Melville Elijah Stone

Melville Elijah Stone (August 22, 1848 – February 15, 1929) was a newspaper publisher, the founder of the Chicago Daily News, and was the general manager of the reorganized Associated Press.[1]

Melville Elijah Stone, Sr.
Melville Elijah Stone by WJ Root, c1890s
BornAugust 22, 1848
DiedFebruary 15, 1929 (aged 80)
EmployerChicago Daily News
Associated Press
Spouse(s)Martha Jameson McFarland
ChildrenMelville Elijah Stone, Jr.
Herbert Stuart Stone
Elizabeth Creighton Stone
Parent(s)Elijah Stone
Sophia Creighton
RelativesOrmond Stone, brother


Stone's parents were Reverend Elijah Stone, a Methodist minister, and Sophia Creighton. In 1876, Stone, who started out as a reporter, founded the first Chicago penny paper, the Chicago Daily News. In 1881 he established the Chicago Morning News (renamed the Chicago Record). Stone became general manager of the reorganized Associated Press in 1893, and under his direction it became one of the great news agencies. He retired in 1921. Stone died of hardening of the arteries in 1929.[1]


Stone's son, Herbert Stone, married Mary Grigsby McCormick in 1900 and perished in the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Lusitania in 1915. His wife was daughter of William Grigsby McCormick of the McCormick family which included her uncle Robert Sanderson McCormick who married the daughter of the founder of the rival newspaper Chicago Tribune.[2] Another son, Melville Elijah Stone, Jr., also predeceased him but he was survived by his wife, the former Martha McFarland of Chicago, whom he married on November 25, 1869, and his daughter Elizabeth Creighton Stone. Stone's brother was the astronomer Ormond Stone. A Liberty ship is named in his honor.

The penny myth

On the March 3, 2008 edition of The Rest of the Story, Paul Harvey, Jr. (substituting for his more famous father) related the story of Stone being responsible for the common use of pennies. The Chicago Daily News was not an initial success, as pennies were not widely used in 1876. According to Harvey, Stone convinced local merchants that employee theft could be reduced if the price of item was sold for 99¢ instead of $1.00 etc., forcing employee to make change for sales and less likely to steal money since it required further calculation. Merchants began experimenting with a penny price drop in their goods, meeting with success among their patrons. An increase in pennies, thought Stone, would help the circulation of his penny paper. When merchants began running low on pennies, Stone purchased several barrels of pennies from the Mint, further increasing their use within the Chicago area.[3]

This story is also related in Scot Morris' The Book of Strange Facts and Useless Information, though there is some doubt as to its veracity.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Melville E. Stone Dies In 81st Year At His Home Here. Counselor Of Associated Press Dies". New York Times. February 16, 1929. Retrieved 2008-04-16. Melville E. Stone, founder of newspapers, one of the organizers of The Associated Press, and a leading figure in American journalism for half a century, died last night at his home, 120 East Seventy-fifth Street, in his eighty-first year.
  2. ^ Richard Norton Smith (2003). The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880–1955. Northwestern University Press. pp. 23–25. ISBN 978-0-8101-2039-6.
  3. ^ "The Rest of the Story". 2008-03-03. Missing or empty |series= (help)
  4. ^ [1]

Further reading

  • Abramoske, Donald J. "The Founding of the Chicago Daily News." Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (1966): 341-353. in JSTOR
  • Cole, Jaci, and John Maxwell Hamilton. "A Natural History of Foreign Correspondence: A Study of the Chicago Daily News, 1900-1921." Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly (2007) 84#1 pp: 151-166.
  • Dennis, Charles Henry. Victor Lawson: his time and his work (U of Chicago Press, 1935; reprint Greenwood Press, 1968); 471pp; scholarly biography
  • Melville E. Stone, Fifty Years a Journalist (1921), Doubleday, Page and Co.
  • Story of Chicago in Connection with the Printing Business (Chicago: Regan Printing House. 1912)
  • Columbia Encyclopedia, sixth edition (2001)

External links

August 22

August 22 is the 234th day of the year (235th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 131 days remain until the end of the year.

Eleanor Franklin Egan

Eleanor Franklin Egan (April 28, 1879 — January 17, 1925) was an American journalist and foreign correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post.

Hudson, Illinois

Hudson is a village in McLean County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,838 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bloomington–Normal Metropolitan Statistical Area.

SS Melville E. Stone

The SS Melville E. Stone was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after Melville Elijah Stone (August 22, 1848 – February 15, 1929), a newspaper publisher, founder of the Chicago Daily News, and one time general manager of the reorganized Associated Press.

Sinking of the RMS Lusitania

The sinking of the Cunard ocean liner RMS Lusitania occurred on Friday, 7 May 1915 during the First World War, as Germany waged submarine warfare against the United Kingdom which had implemented a naval blockade of Germany. The ship was identified and torpedoed by the German U-boat U-20 and sank in 18 minutes. The vessel went down 11 miles (18 km) off the Old Head of Kinsale, Ireland, killing 1,198 and leaving 761 survivors. The sinking turned public opinion in many countries against Germany, contributed to the American entry into World War I and became an iconic symbol in military recruiting campaigns of why the war was being fought.Lusitania fell victim to torpedo attack relatively early in the First World War, before tactics for evading submarines were properly implemented or understood. The contemporary investigations in both the United Kingdom and the United States into the precise causes of the ship's loss were obstructed by the needs of wartime secrecy and a propaganda campaign to ensure all blame fell upon Germany. Argument over whether the ship was a legitimate military target raged back and forth throughout the war as both sides made misleading claims about the ship. At the time she was sunk, she was carrying over 4 million rounds of small-arms ammunition (.303 caliber), almost 5,000 shrapnel shell casings (for a total of some 50 tons), and 3,240 brass percussion fuses, in addition to 1,266 passengers and a crew of 696. Several attempts have been made over the years since the sinking to dive to the wreck seeking information about precisely how the ship sank, and argument continues to the present day.

United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic

The sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912 resulted in an inquiry by the United States Senate. Chaired by Senator William Alden Smith, the inquiry was a subcommittee of the Senate's Commerce Committee. The hearings began in New York on April 19, 1912, later moving to Washington, D.C., concluding on May 25, 1912 with a return visit to New York.

There were a total of 18 days of official investigation. Smith and seven other senators questioned surviving passengers and crew, and those who had aided the rescue efforts. More than 80 witnesses gave testimony or deposited affidavits. Subjects covered included the ice warnings received, the inadequate number of lifeboats, the handling of the ship and its speed, Titanic's distress calls, and the handling of the evacuation of the ship.

The subcommittee's report was presented to the United States Senate on May 28, 1912. Its recommendations, along with those of the British inquiry that concluded a few months later, led to changes in safety practices following the disaster.

William Grigsby McCormick

William Grigsby McCormick (June 3, 1851 – November 29, 1941) was an American businessman of the influential McCormick family in Chicago, who was a co-founder of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.