News of Yore 1905: Mad Cartoonist Succumbs

[I was planning an altogether different post today until I received an email from a reader asking for the date Louis Dalyrmple died. In finding that information I stumbled upon quite a story. Here it is. This first article was printed in the Washington Post on November 26 1905.]

Dalrymple Insane
Cartoonist Found Wandering in Street and Removed to Sanitarium

New York – Louis Dalrymple, the cartoonist, whose wife is a Baltimore woman, was removed from his home at 138 East Twenty-ninth Street this afternoon to a Long Island sanitarium. He is said to be violently insane, and small hope is given of his recovery. His condition had given much anxiety to his friends for several weeks. He brooded, they say, over the troubles caused by his divorce from his first wife, formerly Miss Letitia Carpenter, of Brooklyn. He became violent to-day, and was found wandering in the street near his home.

Dalrymple was married to Miss Carpenter about fifteen years ago, at the time when his work was making him well known to the public. Shortly after the marriage Mrs. Dalrymple obtained a divorce. The court denied Dalrymple the right to marry again in this State and awarded $75 a week alimony to his wife.

Seven years later Dalrymple married Miss Ann Good, of Baltimore. The wedding took place in New Jersey. He moved to Greenwich, Conn. In the years that followed he worked at different times for papers in Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Then he drifted back to New York. He had become prey to all kinds of hallucinations, and was so changed that his friends hardly knew him.

[The Cumberland Evening Times supplied a far more lurid account on January 1, 1906, accompanying Dalrymple’s death notice, obviously drawing from the same source as the Post’s November story. Notice, though, how many details differ. Not a good day for journalistic accuracy.]

A Cartoonist Gone Insane

Becomes Violent and is Taken to an Asylum
Little Hope of Recovery
Exiled from New York by Alimony Tangle — Could Not Exist Away from Broadway — Lost His Mind Through Worry Over Marital Troubles

Louis Dalrymple, one of the most famous cartoonists in America, has been taken to a sanitarium on Long Island. He is insane, probably hopelessly.

For weeks the noted artist’s condition has been a source of grief to his friends. Early this week he became violent. Recently he was found in a frenzy, chasing children about the streets in the neighborhood.

Those who knew Louis Dalrymple’s story are convinced that marital troubles affected his mind. Alimony demands were made upon his income through a divorce suit and he brooded over an enforced exile from New York and an ever-growing desire to return here.

About fifteen years ago Dalrymple, then forging to the front as a cartoonist for Puck, married Miss Letia Carpenter, a pretty brunette of Brooklyn. Their life together was not happy. The wife obtained a divorce on statutory grounds. By the terms of the decree she was awarded their handsome home on Madison street, Brooklyn, where she still lives.

The court denied the husband the right to marry again in this state, and ordered him to pay his wife $75 a month in weekly installments.

Seven years later Dalrymple met Miss Mary Ann Good, an exceedingly attractive young woman, belonging to a good Baltimore family, who had come to New York on a visit. He eloped with her to Jersey, and they were married there.

But Dalrymple was compelled to go on paying his former wife $75 a month as long as he lived within the jurisdiction of the state courts. He finally decided to leave New York.

Mr. and Mrs. Dalrymple moved to Greenwich, Conn. where he contributed to Judge and other comic publications, sending his copy in by mail. He used to slip into New York on Sunday, when process-servers were powerless and sheriff’s officers could not nab him.

The Sunday visits only added to his desire to return to this city. He resolved to put a good stretch of continent between him and the temptation. In turn he was employed on the staff of the Philadelphia Press, the Baltimore News, the Pittsburg Dispatch and the Chicago Tribune. But a demon of unrest kept driving him on — he couldn’t get settled and be satisfied anywhere. It was a wander-lust which fed on his brain.

A few weeks ago the Dalrymples came back to town and took lodgings in Twenty-ninth street.

“Not even the fear of Ludlow street jail can keep me away,” the big artist told his friends. “Good old Broadway kept calling me, and I had to come.”

The friends noticed a change in him. Dalrymple, once one of the handsomest men in New York, was thin to emaciation. He was painfully nervous. He wandered in his speech.

These things kept growing worse. He imagined that Tammany workers had drugged him on the night before election, and he threatened to kill Mayor McClellan. He was found sketching himself while looking in a mirror in the lobby of the Fifth Avenue Hotel. His antics necessitated his forcible removal from the Waldorf-Astoria. Later he became violent.

The physicians hold out little hope of recovery for the talented cartoonist, who in his day had made millions laugh.

[…and finally the death notice, this one from the New York Times of December 29, 1905. Notice that we now have three different first names for his first wife! Paresis, a partial paralysis of the limbs, was in these days a common euphemism for syphilis.]

Death List Of A Day — Louis Dalrymple

Louis Dalrymple, the cartoonist, died on Wednesday night in the Long Island Home, at Amityville, after having been in a stupor for nearly three weeks. Death was the result of acute paresis, the symptoms of which were unsuspected until three months ago.

About fifteen years ago Dalrymple’s political cartoons were a feature of Puck. About that time he married Miss Lelia Carpenter of Brooklyn. She later sued for a divorce, which was granted. Afterward Dalrymple married Miss Ann Good of Baltimore and left the State. His cartoons were seen successively in Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburg papers. Last summer he returned to this city, and soon after that showed signs of nervous disorder. His wife had him removed to the sanitarium.

Mr. Dalrymple was 42 years aold. He was bron at Cambridge, Ill. and came to this city to study art when 16 years old. He will be buried in Baltimore.

Obscurity of the Day: Adventures Of Lovely Lilly

People sometimes ask me, “what’s your favorite strip?” That’s an awfully tough one to answer, because I like a great many strips for a great many different reasons. I usually answer Bringing Up Father, since the combined level of humor and art is so fabulous. But if the question were rephrased, something like “if you were stranded on a desert island and one strip washed up on the beach once a week, what strip would you pick?” I might just have to go with Adventures of Lovely Lilly. Not many episodes of this obscure classic were produced, but if I could get a new installment of this strip once a week I’d be one contented castaway.

Some of you were introduced to this bizarre strip many moons ago in Rick Marschall’s Nemo magazine (issue 27 to be precise) as I was. Just six strips were reproduced in that magazine, in black and white, but boy did they make an impression on me.

Each strip is a pithy four panel tale told in classic storybook fashion. It stars the most darling little flower of a girl, evidently not much past toddler age. She wears clothes that would be the envy of any expensive porcelain doll. In each strip our poor little darling Lilly is menaced by a ferocious jungle beast. Oh no! What will our little heroine do? Is Lilly rescued by some heroic feller? Does she reason with the jungle beast, or pull a thorn from its foot? Mmmm, not quite.

What our little waif does is put some serious beat down on that animal. I’m talking treatment that would make a slaughterhouse worker woozy. I’m talking the kind of cruelty that would put a PETA member in therapy for years. And she does it all while wearing that beatific little china doll smile, the sort of expression that makes mommas use up a roll of film in the ol’ Instamatic.

But if the deliciously bizarre plot of the strip isn’t enough to place it in the hall of fame, the artwork provides the final vault up into the highest ranks. Is it too hyperbolic of me to say that this is some of the most beautiful line art ever to appear in a newspaper? Take my word for it that you do not get the full effect either here or in the old Nemo magazine. These incredible full page strips are absolute heaven to behold in their giant original glory.

But enough of my fawning. We’ve got stats to cover. Adventures of Lovely Lilly ran in the magazine section of the Sunday New York Herald. The feature started in December 1906 (this date is per Marschall, I haven’t seen any from before January 1907). It ran until January 27, then returned for a second engagement from May 19 to June 9 1907. The strip was written by Carolyn Wells, a popular humorist who did the writing duties on a large number of Sunday magazine cover comics (though none at all like this). The art was by a fellow named G. F. (George Frederick) Kaber in apparently his only experience slumming in newspaper comics.

News of Yore 1950: Cartoonist Does Double Duty

Milt Morris Delineates Human Frailties 2 Ways
By Jane McMaster (E&P, 9/16/50)

One of the hitherto unreported casualties in the Korean War was an editorial cartoon by AP Newsfeatures’ John “Milt” Morris. It showed two sketches of a South Korean soldier: one titled “The Yaks Are Coming”; the other titled “The Ya(n)ks Are Coming.” The title: “Typographical Correction.”

Mr. Morris was prideful about the cartoon (and still is) except for one thing: the Yak planes evaporated so fast the cartoon lost its punch between the’ time it was penned and the date it hit papers.

But the added problems of a shooting war in an already tough field rest lightly on the 43-year-old cartoonist. His brown hair is un-flecked with gray (“I’ll take gray, just so long as I get hair,” he says). He has an unsophisticated air of geniality. And he draws both six-a-week editorial cartoons and a daily panel and Sunday page, “Neighborly Neighbors” for APN. His recipe for not getting stomach ulcers: “I don’t take myself too seriously.”

About 200 papers use his cartoons.

Learn-at-Home Product
“Cartoonist by accident” is not cliche but literal fact as far as Mr. Morris is concerned. A native Californian, he was on the receiving end of a heavy truck at age 13 in San Bernardino. Abed for a year recuperating, he finally got bored with reading and took up drawing, by correspondence course.

After high school, he landed a job with the Los Angeles Herald-Express—in the morgue. But in two years he had dug his way out into the art department. He attended art classes at night.
Coming to New York at 23 and during the depression, he jobhunted without luck; finally landed on the New York Journal American after five months when he was down to $45—$4 less than bus fare home. In 1935 he joined APN.

He soon took over “Neighborly Neighbors”, which Oscar Hitt had started. And beginning in 1940, he used to substitute for Editorial Cartoonist Henry “Hank” Barrow when the latter was sick or on vacation. One memorable pinch-hit cartoon was at the time of Henry Ford’s death. It showed a desert with two tire tracks going across it.

In July, 1949, when prize-winning Mr. Barrow left to become editorial cartoonist of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, Mr. Morris took over the job. (At first as a substitute, then with full title and over a score of other candidates.)

Being a fast worker had given Mr. Morris some priming for the new job. He had found when engaged only on “Neighborly Neighbors” that he was sometimes enough ahead (the panel has continuity) to do extra jobs. In 1943 he trekked to Washington to draw Roosevelt, in his office, and other Washington bigwigs. In 1945, he went to Washington to sketch Truman and cabinet. Six-shot series were offered each time.

Harold Ickes, he said, was his biggest surprise. While that official had a reputation for blasting people, his office was the “most quiet, library-like office I had ever been in. Ickes never said a word. Just occasionally looked over his glasses at me. It was most startling. Everybody else talked.”

Mr. Morris likes the variety of dividing his time between a human interest panel and editorial cartoons. And there are likenesses between the two: his Common People of the editorial cartoons is a caricature of his father (“He gets a kick out of it when I don’t make him too milktoasty looking”); and Andy Jarnsen of the panel is a caricature of brother-in-law Andy Johnson, who is “nuts about fishing.”

Mr. Morris sums up: “An editorial cartoon is mainly pointing up human frailties on a big scale. The other is pointing up the human frailties of ‘the little citizens.’ “

Obscurity of the Day: The Quaker Kids

Only the second continuing Sunday series from the Philadelphia Press, The Quaker Kids is a great example of what our newspapers lost out on when syndicated comics became the norm. Just try and get something with this sort of local flavor from a syndicate!

The Quaker Kids was produced from July 2 to October 22 1899 by a fellow named Joseph S. Moyer, the only continuing series he did to my knowledge. Obviously Joe took considerable inspiration from the work of the good Mr. Outcault.

This image (or rather the jigsaw puzzle version of it) supplied by the fabulous Keystone Scan-o-Matic, Cole Johnson. A second example was proffered, but sadly it suffered considerably on its trip through the ether and had to be put out of its misery.

News of Yore 1950: New Strip Gets Name Change

UFS Signs ‘L’il Folk’
By Jane McMaster (E&P, 7/8/50)

“Li’L Folk,” gag-a-day about kids being readied by United Feature Syndicate for early fall
release, is a li’l strip. It’s just 1.5 inches deep, and the width is three or four columns, instead of the conventional four or five.

The space bogey had a lot to do with the size, naturally. Syndicate folk point out four columns can be arranged two on two for a panel effect.

Artist is 27-year-old Charles M. Schulz who learned his trade well from an art instruction correspondence course and a few night sketching classes at the School of Art in his native Minneapolis.

He’s now an instructor at Art Instruction, Inc., and has made a number of sells to the Saturday Evening Post. He sold “Li’l Folks” (plural then) to the St. Paul Pioneer Press as a weekly feature for two years.

Title Change
(E&P, 9/16/50)
United Feature Syndicate’s new gag – a – day about kids by Charles M. Schulz has had a name change from “Li’l Folk” to “Peanuts” due to radio and strip conflicts.

Obscurity of the Day: The Giddy Goblins – Hans and Hassan in Fableland

Here’s yet another example of the good art/bad writing combination that was a hallmark of the Boston Herald‘s syndicated Sunday sections. Here we have The Giddy Goblins – Hans and Hassan in Fableland, a strip about a pair of elfen mischief makers, one a German and the other — well, I’m not sure. A turk? An arab? Anyway, the strip injects these two fellows into well-known children’s stories with not very hilarious results. The emphasis seems to be on how much dialogue can be squeezed onto a page rather than what humor might be wrung from the story.

A.T. “Crite” Crichton, who had a distinctive unvarnished style, was the perpetrator of this series, which ran from January 18 to August 30 1908. Crite was a freelancer who also had a few strips appear in the New York World, the New York Herald and the World Color Printing section in a cartooning career that I can track from 1904-1911. What he did before and after that I dunno.

Obscurity of the Day: Monk Sez

My, my, my, those folks out in San Francisco do like their horse-racing. Of course we all know A. Mutt, later Mutt and Jeff, started in that fair city as a betting tip strip, but here’s another entry from that burg in the same genre. Monk Sez, also known as Ride With Monk, had a nice long run in the San Francisco Examiner from January 1937 to July 11 1942.

The panel was by someone who signed himself only as Jackson. I don’t know who that might be, but he did a creditable job on both the art and the picks. You’ll recall that poor Mutt was a pretty consistent loser — Monk on the other hand didn’t do too bad at all.

Talking out of ignorance here, but I’m guessing the feature ended when the war put an end to horse-racing for the duration?

News of Yore 1950: Kevin In, Mitzi Out

Kevin the Bold Captures Mitzi’s Art and Story

(E&P, 8/26/50)

Kevin The Bold, valiant fighter, skilled swordsman, champion of the oppressed, is the dashing hero of a new Sunday color comic feature of that name which NEA Service will introduce Oct. 1.
The artist is Kreigh Collins, creator of the current NEA Sunday comic, Mitzi McCoy. With the introduction of Kevin The Bold, whose adventures are laid in 15th Century Ireland, Mr. Collins returns to the field in which he made an international reputation — the field of costume illustration.

The story of how Mr. Collins went back nearly five centuries for his new hero is perhaps without precedent in the comic business, says Ernest Lynn, NBA feature director. It was the outgrowth of popular approval of two episodes in Mitzi McCoy, each of which gave the artist an opportunity to display his great flair for period art. The first was a story dealing with the history of the Irish wolfhound. The second subtitled “The Christmas Story,” told the story of the birth of Christ. This was released at the Christmas season last year.

At Editors’ Request
In each instance Mr. Collins used the device of having Stub Goodman, one of the leading characters of Mitzi McCoy, narrate the story to a young boy, Dick Dixon. And in each instance fan mail greatly increased. Several editors urged period illustration on a regular basis.
So with the release of Sept. 24, Mitzi McCoy enters a new phase. This release forms a bridge into the new story, taking the readers from the 20th century town of Freedom, U. S. A., to the sea-coast of 15th Century Ireland. This time Stub Goodman narrates to his young friend the story of “The McCoy Legend,” dealing with the ancestors of Mitzi McCoy, among them the beauteous Moya McCoy. Thereafter Mitzi McCoy merges its identity with Kevin The Bold and on Oct 15 the feature formally assumes the name of its new here.

Mr. Collins’ new protagonist enters the story masquerading as a shepherd. His exploits in routing Barbary pirates who have made a slave raid on the Irish coast earn him the title of “The Bold.” In subsequent adventures the action moves to other parts of the world, with Kevin accompanied by a great Irish wolfhound, Rory, ancestor of Tiny, a prominent character in Mitzi McCoy.

Mr. Collins, who was born in Davenport, la., in 1908, received his art education in Cincinnati and Paris. He began his career at 19 and since then has succeeded at almost every type of illustration— murals, landscapes, portraits, and book, magazine and advertising art. He lives in Ada, Mich.