Melville Elijah Stone was born in Hudson, Illinois on August 22, 1848. His father, Reverend Elijah Stone, was a Methodist minister, and his mother was Sophia Creighton. In 1860, the family moved to Chicago where Stone attended high school and began his journalism career. From 1864 to 1875, Stone held various journalistic positions, working at different times as a reporter, correspondent, editor, and publisher for various Chicago newspapers. During some of these years Stone was the proprietor of an iron foundry that was destroyed by the 1871 Chicago fire, and he studied law. On November 25, 1869, he married Martha J. McFarland. On Christmas day, 1875 Stone founded the Chicago Daily News, the original Chicago penny daily, which was well received - within a week the paper had to turn down advertisers because of lack of space. Soon after, Stone became associated with Victor F. Lawson, who contributed capital to the venture and became publisher of the paper while Stone retained editorship. In 1888, Stone sold his interests in the Chicago Daily News to Lawson and set off to travel with his family in Europe for several years. In 1890, Stone returned to Chicago, becoming vice-president and then president of Globe National Bank. He held this position until 1898 when he consolidated the bank with the Continental Bank of Chicago. During this time Stone was elected treasurer of Chicago Sanitary Department drainage board. In 1893, Stone became the general manager of the Associated Press of Illinois, which later became the national association, the Associated Press, in New York after absorbing the United Press. Stone extended the foreign service of the Associated Press by established bureaus in the European capitals and speaking with foreign heads of state to secure adequate news and telegraphic facilities and services, even convincing the Czar of Russia to abolish censorship of the foreign press. Stone resigned from the AP in 1918, after 25 years of service. Until his death in February, 1929, he held the honorary position of counselor to the association. Stone penned an autobiography in 1921, entitled, "Fifty Years a Journalist." Stone was survived by his wife Martha McFarland Stone and daughter, Elizabeth Creighton Stone. Stone was predeceased by his two sons: Herbert Stuart Stone died in 1915 when the Lusitania was sunk by German torpedoes and Melville E. Stone Jr. died of tuberculosis in 1917.
From the description of Melville E. Stone papers, 1815-1954, bulk 1890-1929. (Newberry Library). WorldCat record id: 462090228