Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Hazen Conklin

Hazen Conklin was born on April 21, 1883, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, according to the Massachusetts Birth Records at Ancestry.dom and Conklin’s World War II draft card. His parents were Charles Conklin, a clergyman, and Lillian Hazen, who died when Conklin was almost seven years old. Her death was reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 10, 1890.

Conklin has not yet been found in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.

Conklin followed in his father’s footsteps. The Universalist Register for 1905 said Conklin was preaching in Canton, New York. The 1906 Register said Conklin was located at 16 Clifton Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Boston Herald, February 12, 1906, reported Conklin had resigned from the First Universalist Church in Plymouth and accepted a call from the Universalist Church of West Lynn. Also mentioned was Conklin’s education as a graduate of Tufts College and the Universalist Theological Seminary in New York.

Before leaving Plymouth, Conklin married Marcia Thomas Manter on March 1, 1906 as recorded in the Massachusetts, Marriage Records at

The Universalist Register for 1907 listed Conklin at 27 Mall Street in Lynn, Massachusetts.

Our Paper, February 9, 1907, said “The First Universalist Church of Nashua has extended a call to the Rev. Hazen Conklin of West Lynn.” Conklin and his wife were among the New Hampshire representatives who attended the Universalist General Convention. The 1908 Register said Conklin resided in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The 1910 census said Conklin, a widower, was in North Attleborough, Massachusetts at 25 High Street.

Several newspapers including the Washington Herald (District of Columbia), June 10, 1910, reported Conklin’s bankruptcy. Conklin said he wanted “to give up the ministry and take up writing.” The Spokane Press (Washington), November 4, 1910, said Conklin wanted to be a newspaper reporter.

On March 10, 1911, Conklin married Anna Esther Hilsebusch in Quincy, Massachusetts. The couple and their daughter Edith were counted in the 1915 New York state census. They lived in Brooklyn at 4404 Sixth Avenue. Conklin’s occupation was editor. In the 1920 and 1930 censuses, the Conklin family was in Brooklyn at 580 East 22nd Street.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Conklin wrote several comic series, from 1914 to 1916, for the New York World’s Press Publishing. Some of the series were Comickettes, Evening World’s Success Movies for Young Men, Sammy Says, Sammy’s Sayings and Sammy’s Slate.

Thornton Fisher illustrated Conklin’s piece, “Down in Front”, in the Moving Picture World, February 5, 1916.

Conklin’s move to the Thompson Feature Service was reported in Editor & Publisher, January 1, 1920.

At some point Conklin moved to Rhode Island. In the 1935 state census, Conklin was a widower in Providence. The 1940 census said Conklin and his daughter resided in Providence at 157 Melrose Street. Conklin was the editor of the Journal.

Conklin was at the same address when he signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. Two days later Conklin passed away. The New York Times, April 30, 1942, said Conklin died at his home.

—Alex Jay

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