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Mail Tribune 100

Dec. 11, 1917


E.L. McClure who for several years was a resident of Medford and famed as the author of "Scientific Money," as he termed his scheme for revolutionizing the finance of the world and destroying the power of Wall street and the "money devil," died suddenly in Portland Sunday afternoon from apoplexy while making a speech against the liberty bonds.

While in Medford, McClure made frequent speeches on his favorite subject, filled the newspapers with articles and vainly sought to establish a new system of bookkeeping in Medford banks. He left, disgusted with the community. The Portland Oregonian contains the following account of Mr. McClure's death:

Death, swift and unheralded, smote E.L. McClure, Portland resident and something of a public character because of his eccentricities, shortly after 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon as he was addressing a small group of people assembled in Lecture-room A of the Portland Central library.

Mr. McClure had been an interested participant in the discussion. Finally he launched into a spirited dissertation on finances of the nation. He declared, with vehemence, that the money with which purchases of liberty loaned bonds were made was wrung from people of small means, and that the value of the bonds may easily be depreciated. "I will tell you why these things are true: It's because gold is maintained as the standard; because every payment is demanded in gold," McClure exclaimed. At this juncture he stepped back, seated himself on the speaker's table, as though to continue his remarks from an easier posture, when, without slightest warning, he sank back to the floor. Spectators quickly raised him upon the table and sent for a physician.

The Ambulance Service company was called and the body was removed. Deputy Coroner Edward Smith made an investigation of the circumstances of the death at once, and gave it as his opinion that death had been caused by a stroke of apoplexy.

Mr. McClure had only recently been released from the insane hospital, where he was sent last January following a demonstration at the Central library when the Forty-five Efficiency club was organized. He appeared at the hall, as the leader of a mythical rival faction of the club, and wielded a pocket knife in emphasizing his statements that the "plutocrats" were trying to seize the club. Following a hearing and investigation he was adjudged insane January 6 of this year and committed to the asylum.