News of Yore : Bud Fisher’s Matrimonial Follies

Happy New Year!

A selection of articles I recently uncovered in my slush pile, all dealing with various phases of poor ol’ Bud Fisher’s woes at the wedding altar:

Wife Sues “Bud” Fisher (Washington Post, 2/20/17)
New York, Feb 19. – Mrs. Margaret Pauline Fisher, who in 1912 eloped and married Harry C. (Bud) Fisher, cartoonist, today filed a summons against him in the supreme court. Her complaint has not yet been drawn up. There is nothing in the filed papers which indicates the nature of the action. The summons was served on Fisher.

Before her sudden marriage, Mrs. Fisher was a dancer in vaudeville. In June 1913, her throat was cut so that twenty stitches had to be taken in it at an Atlantic City hotel. She said she had fallen in the bathroom on a pitcher and cut herself. In 1914 she received internal injuries in an automobile accident.

“Bud” Fisher Marries Countess on Liner (Washington Post, 10/25/25)
Harry C. (“Bud”) Fisher, cartoonist, was married at sea today aboard the liner Leviathan to Countess Aedita de Beaumont, of Paris, according to a message received by the United States Lines. Captain Herbert Hartley, commander of the liner, performed the ceremony.

Bud Fisher’s Wife Gets $26,000 A Year (Washington Post 2/9/27)
New York, Feb. 8 (By A. P.).- Mrs. Aedita S. Fisher, the former Countess de Beaumont, was awarded. alimony of $26,000 a year today from her cartoonist husband, Harry C. (Bud) Fisher, from whom she was granted a legal separation last week.

Mrs. Fisher had been receiving $250 a week temporary alimony and Justice Tierney doubled that amount in setting the permanent figure today. She asked $3,000 a month or $36,000 a year.

The Fishers were married at sea aboard the Leviathan, October 24, 1925, by Capt. Hartley. They lived together only a few months, the former countess sailing for Paris the following April, saying she would “never, never” return. About two months later the separation suit was instituted, Mrs. Fisher charging the cartoonist beat her and threw her out of their fashionable apartment on Riverside Drive. Fisher vainly attacked the validity of the marriage, citing an opinion by Judge Parker of the shipping board, that commanders of American boats have no power to perform. ceremonies. Fisher was at sea when his wife was granted the separation decree, his attorney explaining he was on his way abroad to procure witnesses. Fisher, it developed at the trial, receives approximately $280,000 a year from his cartoons.

Fisher Separation Suit Will Be Tried Again (Washington Post, 3/18/27)
New York. March 17 (By A. P.).- Harry C. (“Bud”) Fisher, comic strip artist and turfman, won a point today in the legal tilt with his wife, the former Countess Beaumont. Justice Tierney ordered Mrs. Fisher’s separation action, which was decided in her favor by default, returned to the trial calendar.

Justice Tierney granted Mrs. Fisher a separation on February 8, awarding her annual alimony of $26.000. The hearing was held over the protest of counsel for Fisher, who said his client was on the way to Europe to get witnesses who could refute the wife’s charges of cruelty and abandonment.. At that time counsel for Mrs. Fisher suggested ironically that Fisher was going abroad probably to get Mutt and Jeff, the characters of his comic strip, to testify for him.

After hearing Mrs. Fisher’s story of her life with Fisher, Justice Tierney said from the bench that the cartoonist apparently was the kind of man who drew pictures to amuse children during the day and then went home and beat his wife at night. He also characterized Fisher’s drawings as puerile and senseless.

“I don’t see how any one can pay money for that nonsense,” he ejaculated when told that Fisher made $250,000 yearly from his comics.

Today, however, the justice in ordering the case opened and setting it for retrial March 28 said that when he
granted the separation he was of the opinion that Fisher’s “sudden and unannounced departure for Europe” was to escape jurisdiction of the court. The Fishers were married aboard the liner Leviathan October 24, 1925. and in April of 1926 his wife sailed for France saying she would “never, never return” to him. When she later brought the separation action he raised the question of the validity of a marriage performed by a ship’s captain, but Justice Ford ruled the marriage was legal and binding.

“Bud” Fisher Ordered To Pay Wife’s Board (Washington Post, 6/23/27)

New York, June 22 (AP) – A jury in city court today held Harry C. “Bud” Fisher, cartoonist and turfman, responsible for the $1,942 bill his wife ran up in the Mayfair Hotel from May 17 to July 8, last year.

Mrs. Aedita Fisher, the former Countess de Beaumont, who is suing the cartoonist for a separation, was codefendant in the action, but the jury placed the burden upon her husband, Mrs. Fisher testified had an income of $850,000 a year, maintained a 60-horse racing stable at Lexington, Ky., and a $20,000-a-year horse trainer, two automobiles with two chauffeurs, and a valet. At one time, she said, the cartoonist maintained, in addition to his Riverside Drive apartment, other suites at the Ritz-Carlton, the Marguery and the Mayfair.

Bud Fisher Suit Set Back By Referee Fee (Washington Post, 9/20/27)

New York, Sept.19 (AP) – The separation suit of the former Countess de Beaumont against her cartoonist husband, Harry C. “Bud” Fisher, received a setback today when Supreme Court Justice Crain refused to confirm a referee’s report recommending a separation and $400 weekly for Mrs. Fisher. The court ruled that the referee, Herman Joseph, had disqualified himself by prematurely demanding his fee for services.

Affidavits submitted by Fisher’s counsel stated Joseph had demanded his fee at the time counsel for both sides submitted briefs. Denial was made that the amount of fee ever had been fixed, despite assertion of counsel for Mrs. Fisher at the time of the referee’s hearings that compensation had been fixed at $25 per hour.

Justice Crain, in holding that the referee had disqualified himself, said Joseph’s demand was “understandable.”

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