Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Clarence Rigby

Clarence S. Rigby was born in November around 1865 in Youngstown, Ohio. Rigby’s birth month was recorded in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census; Rigby’s birth year is based in part on census records and his age on the death certificate. The birthplace is based on the fact that Rigby’s mother, Emma, was a Youngstown native and resident in the 1870 census.

In the 1870 census, Rigby was the oldest of three sons born to George, a plasterer, and Emma. According to the 1880 census, the Rigby family added a son and daughter and resided on North Rayen Avenue in Youngstown.

Rigby’s father passed away September 11, 1886.

Information regarding Rigby’s art training has not been found. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Rigby created or worked on at least 24 series including Alexander, Book-Taught Bilkins, Bruno and Pietro, Dummydom, The Foxy MiceLittle Ah Sid the Chinese Kid, and The Trials of a Little Mother. Rigby was also involved in animation with J.R. Bray.

Artist Rigby lived in Brooklyn, New York, and was married to Caroline as recorded in the 1900 census. Rigby’s brother, Joseph, also an artist, lived him them at 495 East 8 Street. Joseph would go on to work for the Pittsburgh Press.

Morning Telegram, August 16, 1901, reported the upcoming baseball game between artists and actors. The purpose was to raise money to endow a hospital bed for artists and actors. The Telegram said, in part,

Homer Davenport, big, broad shouldered and clumsy looking; Swinnerton, in a Guernsey which never has felt the despoiling touch of laundress; Outcault, who can draw pictures of “pore ’lil Mose” with his eyes shut; T. Powers, with a clean shave and a vast consciousness of the change in his appearance; Shultz, the “Foxy Grandpa” artist; Kemble, McCarthy, Louis Dalrymple, Pughe, C. Mortimer, F. Gilbert Edge, Grant Hamilton, Harry Dart, H. F. Colthaus, Joseph Lemon, Clarence Rigby, Bert Cobb, C. G. Bush, Thomas Nast, Archie Gunn, Bob Edgren and Abram Stone were present, representing the artists. De Wolf Hopper, Burr Mcintosh, Digby Bell, Francis Wilson, Joseph Weber, Lew Fields, Dave Warfleld, Willie Collier, Dan Daly, Peter F. Dailey, James K. Hackett, James Powers, Andrew Mack, Gus and Max Rogers, Edward Foy, Charles J. Ross, Frank Daniels, Harry Bulger, Robert Graham and Daniel McAvoy were in attendance looking after the actors’ side of the arrangements.

…It was decided that Homer Davenport should play second base; Swinnerton, shortstop; Powers, first base; McCarthy, third base, and Bert Cobb, right field, and that Abram Stone should manage the game.

Rigby and his wife resided at 169 Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. The 1905 New York State census said Rigby was a newspaper artist.

The 1910 census said the comic artist Rigby owned a home on Nassau Avenue in Hempstead, New York.

In 1920, Rigby and his wife were back in Brooklyn at 1092 Dean Street. Eight people lodged with the couple.

At some point Rigby moved to Seattle, Washington. At age 60, Rigby passed away May 24, 1926, in Seattle, according to his death certificate which was transcribed at

—Alex Jay

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