Munson Paddock was born in Racine, Wisconsin, on January 22, 1886, according to his World War II draft card. A family tree at Ancestry.com said his middle name was Leroy. The middle name and its initial were never used in the census and military records.
In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Paddock was the oldest of four children. His mother, Isabella, was the head of the household. The family resided in Salem, Kenosha County, Wisconsin. His father, Munson, a lawyer, passed away February 8, 1900, four months before the census enumeration. (An obituary was published on page five of the Chicago Tribune, February 9, 1900.) The family tree said Paddock’s paternal grandmother was Martha Cecilia Munson who was married to Francis Paddock. Paddock and his father got their first name from her. According to Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 Paddock used several pen names including Cecelia Munson and Cecilia Munson.
Some information about Paddock comes from the Lake Forest College Library Archives and Special Collections which used as its source, Munson Paddock — A Life by Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. The 1903 Kenosha city directory listed Paddock as a student residing at 611 Prairie Avenue. The ’03 Kenosha High School History and Annual said Paddock, class of 1904, was president of the Castalian Society.
Paddock moved to Chicago. He participated in the Newspaper Cartoonists’ and Artists’ Association annual exhibits of 1905 and 1906 at the Art Institute. Vadeboncoeur said Paddock had a 1906 address at the Chicago Daily News. Soon, Paddock relocated to New York City where he drew a handful of comic strips.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Paddock’s first comic strip was Mr. Bluff which began October 26, 1907. Following it were Wisdom of Wiseheimer, debuting November 9, 1907, and Little Miss Thoughtful, starting February 8, 1908. All were for the New York Evening Telegram. For the New York Herald, Paddock produced Angelic Angelina which first appeared March 22, 1908. (Publishers’ Weekly, January 29, 1910, said Angelina was issued as a publication.) Paddock’s last strip was Naughty Ned, running from April 4 to June 20, 1909, for the North American Syndicate. Paddock was a contributor to several periodicals including Sis Hopkin’s Own Book and Magazine of Fun, Judge’s Library and Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly.
According to the 1910 census, freelance artist Paddock was in Manhattan, New York City at 466 West 23rd Street. A 1912 New York City directory said Paddock was a designer whose residence was 406 West 44th Street.
The New York, New York, Marriage Index at Ancestry.com said Paddock married Marguerite Noble on April 14, 1917 in Manhattan. Paddock named her as his nearest relative on his World War I draft card which he signed September 23, 1918. The couple lived in Manhattan at 112 West 11th Street, top apartment. On the occupation line was written: “Commercial Draftsman (Mail Order) Free Lance— 31 Union Sq N.Y.C. N.Y.” Paddock’s description was tall, medium build with blue eyes and dark brown hair. R. L. Polk & Co.’s 1918–19 Trow New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory, Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx had this listing: “Paddoch-Horton Studios (RTN) (Munson Paddock & Аlbert Horton). 41 Union sq W R1101”.
Paddock’s address did not change in the 1920 census. He was a freelance commercial artist.
R. L. Polk & Co.’s 1921 Trow New York Copartnership and Corporation Directory, Boroughs of Manhattan and Bronx said Paddock-Horton Studios were located at 223 West 33rd Street. The New York Evening Post, September 5, 1923, reported the Studios’ new address: “Duross Company leased the top floor of 252 West 14th St. to the Paddock Horton Studios for a term of years…” The partners were involved in a legal matter according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle (New York) November 4, 1923: “Munson Paddock and Albert Horton vs. The Wright Company, Inc. Judgment affirmed.”
The 1930 census listed Paddock, but not his wife, in Manhattan at 320 East 42nd Street. His occupation was freelance advertising artist. The New York Times, April 14, 1931, noted the following business lease: “Harry Michaels and Munson Paddock, commercial artists, in 100 West Forty-second Street”.
Who’s Who said Paddock contributed to several comic books beginning in the mid-1930s. He also worked at a few comic art studios. Some of Paddock’s comic book credits and pen names are here. A Mars Mason story is here. According to Who’s Who, some of Paddock’s pen names were used by some publishers as house names. Other artists may have been credited with one of Paddock’s pen names.
Paddock was mistaken to be a woman named “Cecilia Paddock Munson” in A Century of Women Cartoonists (1993; see pages 62 and 70) and The Great Women Cartoonists (2001; pages 55 and 63). The mistake was repeated in the Animation Journal, Volume 2, 1993, Art in Motion: Animation Aesthetics (1998) and Comics Through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas (2014).
Paddock has not yet been found in the 1940 census. He signed his World War II draft card on April 25, 1942, and resided with Verona, presumably his wife or relative. (His younger sister was Ramona.) They lived at 301 Lilac Lane in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Fifty-six year old Paddock was unemployed.
A Pennsylvania death certificate said Paddock’s first wife passed away February 1, 1949 in Athens, Pennsylvania.
Paddock passed away January 1970 according to Vadeboncoeur who said Paddock “was an illustrator, a commercial artist, a photographer, a collector of railroad photographs and memorabilia and an artist in the earliest comic books.” The family tree said Paddock died in 1971. The Paddock Collection is detailed here. The Paddock facebook page is here.