Edward Maro born Walter Truman Best, September 9, 1869, died February 26, 1908 at age 39. He was a magician, musician, and artist.
I first learned about Maro’s grave in Mike Caveney’s Kellar book. He cites an article from a St Charles, Illinois newspaper that Edward Maro was to be buried in that same town. I am treading on worn ground. My friend and fellow historian, Chuck Romano stepped here long before me. I still want to see for myself.
The day is bright. That is good. It is the first day of the season where the high temperature will not reach freezing. The sun keeps most of the chill back, only the occasional breeze nips at my cheeks and ears. Maro is buried in a small slab of land named North Cemetery, ostensibly named because it is on the north side of St. Charles on route 25. Across the street is the larger Union Cemetery, both plots of land commemorate the sacrifices of the local boys who died in the Civil War.
It is easy to find Maro’s grave. Upon his death, he arranged to have a 5 ½-ton boulder shipped from his home in Michigan to mark the plot. I knew for Chuck’s previous Maro article that either through time or neglect, the boulder fell down. It is a landmark that cannot be missed.
The, now prone, stone hides a brass plaque proclaiming the greatness of Maro’s forgotten fame. There are three other stones, reminiscent of over sized river rocks and each bearing a name. Edward Maro rests in the center, Addie Best, who may be Maro’s mother, sits to his right and Allie Maro takes her place on his left. Their naturalistic, rustic motif is a counterpoint to the standard monuments that surround them.
Note: Visible on the Maro monument is a plaque which seems inexplicably unrelated to Maro and may be markers for the people buried on the opposite side of the stone. In 1993 Chuck Romano wrote an article for the Linking Ring detailing the life of Maro and his discovery of the grave site. In 1997, Mike Caveney wrote a short bio of Maro that appeared in Magic Magazine.