Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
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Claude E. Stone

 

 

1879-1957

 

January 1958 Vol 4 No# 3  

Judge Claude U. Stone, 78, former editor and publisher of the Peoria Star and one time Congressman passed away Wednesday, November 13, 1957, in Methodist Hospital, Peoria, Illinois.

He suffered a stoke in his home, 210 West Armstrong Ave., and was taken to the hospital. He had suffered a slight stroke a week before. It was the effects of a stroke and subsequent brain surgery in March, 1949, which led Judge Stone to resign his connections with the Peoria Star.

He had a long, public career which began with election as superintendent of schools for Peoria County in 1902. He served in that office until 1910 when he was elected to Congress on the Democratic ticket. He served in the House of Representatives until 1917.

Upon completion of his third term in Congress he was appointed postmaster of Peoria by President Woodrow Wilson, who was his personal friend. After three years as postmaster he resigned in October, 1920, to practice law with the firm of McGarth, Stone, Daily and Michel, with offices in Peoria and Chicago.

In 1925, he received the appointment of Master in Chancery, serving in that capacity for 16 years, finally resigning to devote all his time to the Peoria Star. He had become editor, publisher and manager in December, 1938, under the will and as trustee of the Fannie G. Baldwin estate.

As editor of the Star, he drew upon his broad experience and legal knowledge frequently to write editorials upon issues which seemed to him of special significance.

From his boyhood in Menard County, he was interested in the Indians who had once roamed over the surrounding country, and he started an American Indian archaeological collection which he developed to outstanding quality throughout his lifetime. In 1935, he was the largest buyer, purchasing more material that any other collector, from the Edward W. Payne collection, known as the world's largest private stone-age collection of Indian relics.

The Claude U. Stone collection of Indian artifacts was very large and covered a wide range of type material mostly from within the limits of the United States. Outstanding in this category was his LeFlore County (Temple Mound) Spiro, Oklahoma, material. Over one hundred bird-stones were in the stone collection, at a time when only two other collectors could boast of as many. These bird-stones, as well as those of Dr. Rollin Bunch and Joseph Rinelsen, were placed display at the Third Annual Meeting at the Knoblock-Stephens Indian Relic Collectors Meeting held in Quincy. This was the first time over three hundred bird-stones were ever assembled for one showing.

He was a charter member of the Illinois State Archaeological Society, serving at different times as director, treasurer and vice president, was elected president in 1947 and unanimously re-elected in 1948. He also served the Illinois State Academy of Science as president. He was a member of numerous state Archaeological societies including the Society for American Archaeology.

Mr. Stone's membership in Temple Lodge NO. 46, AF & AM, covered half a century. His other Masonic affiliations included Peoria Chapter No. 7, RAM, and Mohammad Temple, Shrine. He was a member of Grandview Chapter, order of the Eastern Star.