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,
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.
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.