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Clara M. Stocker papers

Identifier: S3090

Scope and Contents

The collection contains articles written by Clara Stocker,1927-1948; music manuscripts and a few published scores by Clara Stocker; newsclippings, 1926-1973; and a scrapbook of newsclippings, 1925-1936.


  • Creation: 1925-1973


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Clara Stocker was a musician, composer, performer, linguist, and educator whose home was Duluth form her birth until 1952. She was the only daughter of physician Samuel Marston Stocker and Stella Prince Stocker who were married at Jacksonville, Illinois in 1885, and came to Duluth in the same year. Clara's mother was a formidable figure and influence on Clara. Clara's mother was a composer and musical director who lectured in America and Europe on multiple topics ranging from Wagner operas to Indian Myths and Melodies. Stella Stocker was also the founder of organizations still active in Duluth, the Duluth Cecilian Chorale Society, the precursor of the Matinee Musicale, and the Cecilian Society, a club for music study that she began organizing in 1887.

Clara traveled with her mother and younger brother Arthur, a boy soprano.  They lived in New York city for a time when Stella Prince Stocker lectured for the New York City Board of Education on American Indian and other music. There were several trips abroad for the threesome. Most of 1900 and 1901 were spent in Germany and New York at Wellesley College, Columbia University,  and Horace Mann School where Stella presented Recital-Lectures with Arthur performing. France was pivotal to Clara, and reflected in her mother's account of the music season in Paris that was published in the Duluth newspaper in July 1908. Arthur Stocker died as a youth.

As a young women, Clara taught French and music from the Duluth home of her parents. In 1920 she received the Certificate d'Etudes Francaise from the University of Grenoble that allowed her to matriculate at the Sorbonne. She completed graduate work at Columbia University with subsequent courses in Gregorian Chant at Pius X School of Liturgical music in New York City. Clara founded a Duluth chapter of the l'Alliance Francaise, serving as president in 1922-23. The organization brought prominent French lecturers to Duluth.

Like her mother, Clara's personal Duluth contributions were also in the field of music education.  She composed for piano, flute and piano, violin and piano, wrote and arranged songs and set selected poems of James Joyce to music. Her specialty in teaching utilized folk songs which she drew from Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Estonian, and Jewish cultures. She also wrote songs for the recorder, an instrument she played and taught. While she lectured on musical and literary subjects she said herself that her specialty was the arts of Finland. In addition to French, Clara Stocker was fluent in Finnish, and she had a long association with the Finnish painter Juho Rissanen who lived in Finland.

Clara was music critic for Duluth's newspapers in the 1920s until 1942 and wrote program notes for the Duluth Symphony Orchestra in the 1940s. She was a prolific writer in the field of music education. Four articles including "Teaching French Through Folk Songs" and "A Further Study in French Tonetics" were circulated, the later and other pieces were published in The Modern Language Journal of 1920, 1924-1928.  She was also active in World Federalism. At an advanced age, she moved to Florida and lived her last years in North Carolina, dying in Ashville July 7, 1973.  She is buried at Forest Hill cemetery in Duluth.

Clara Stocker, daughter of Stella P. Stocker, was a Duluth musician. She studied under Maurice Jacquet in New York for five years and studied music and French at the University of Grenoble, the Sorbonne and Columbia University. Stocker wrote music reviews and critiques for Duluth newspapers, and published some articles on Finnish folklore. She also gave lectures and composed music, some of which has been published.


2.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains articles written by Clara Stocker,1927-1948; music manuscripts and a few published scores by Clara Stocker; newsclippings, 1926-1973; and a scrapbook of newsclippings, 1925-1936.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.


This collection is part of the Northeast Minnesota Historical Collections, which are housed in the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives at the Kathryn A. Martin Library, and are on permanent loan from the St. Louis County Historical Society.

Guide to the Clara M. Stocker papers
Finding Aid Authors: P. Maus.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526