Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Pierre J. Kinder

Pierre Jermain Kinder was born on May 3, 1882 or 1883, in Tolono, Illinois.The Ohio Births and Christenings Index, at, had 1882 as the birth year but his World War I draft card and Social Security application have 1883; the application also had his birthplace. The year 1885 was on his World War II draft card. Both cards and application had his full name.

The 1899 Toledo, Ohio city directory listed Kinder as a student residing at 1027 West Woodruff Avenue.

1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Kinder, his parents Stephen and Catherine, and younger sister Marguerite in Toledo, Ohio at the Schmidt Apartment House. Kinder’s father was a railway freight agent.

Kinder attended Toledo High School where he was in Freshman Class A, according to the school yearbook, Centurion 1900.

The Toledo city directories for 1901 and 1903 said Kinder was an assistant at the public library. Hubbell’s Toledo Blue Book, 1903–1904, listed Kinder and his sister at the The Vienna.

In 1904 Kinder was found in two city directories. In Detroit, Kinder was an artist staying at 109 Abbott. The Toledo directory said Kinder still had his job at the public library.

It’s not clear where Kinder studied art but he was a cartoonist in the 1905 Evanston, Illinois city directory, which included Wilmette, and listed his address as 418 9th. The 1909 directory said he was a Chicago Daily News cartoonist.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Kinder produced two series for the Chicago Daily News and filled in on other comics. Thomas Augustin “Gus” O’Shaughnessy created Tiny Tinkles on July 23, 1903. Kinder drew it from June 12 to August 25, 1905. The series ended in 1911. Kinder created Burglar Bill which ran from January 9 to March 27, 1906. It was followed by Curious Cubby which debuted August 29 and ended September 7, 1906. Ed Carey’s Brainy Bowers and Drowsy Duggan started January 30, 1901 and ended May 19, 1915. Kinder’s run lasted from August 27, 1914 to the end date. Kinder produced one strip, dated June 5, 1915, for Austin C. WilliamsRed and Skeeter.

According to the 1910 census, newspaper cartoonist Kinder lived with his parents and sister at 418 9th in Wilmette Village, New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois.

American Carpenter and Builder, December 1913, published Kinder’s The Builders’ Alphabet.

Cartoons Magazine, October 1915, noted Kinder’s travels, “P. J. Kinder of Chicago, cartoonist for the Santa Fe Magazine, has been making a tour of the Pacific coast cities, and visiting the expositions.”

Around 1918 Kinder’s father passed away. On September 12, 1918, Kinder signed his World War I draft card and lived at his mother’s home. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.

Kinder married artist Gertrude S. Spaller in Cook County, Illinois on July 29, 1922. They lived with Kinder’s mother at her home.

In the 1930 census, Kinder’s household included his wife, daughter, son and mother-in-law. They all resided 2815 Grant Street in Evanston, Illinois. The commercial artist’s house was valued at $18,000.

Kinder’s residence was the same in the 1940 census and the household of six included his mother.

Kinder signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He was described as five feet eight inches, 148 pounds with hazel eyes and balding gray hair. His address was unchanged.

Kinder passed away February 16, 1944, in Cook County according to the
Illinois Death Index. Curiously, Kinder was listed in the 1948 Evanston city directory as an illustrator residing at 201 Michigan Avenue. Perhaps the directory was referring to Mrs. Pierre J. Kinder, who married Harry Waters Armstrong on June 29, 1949 in Cook County, Illinois. She passed away March 12, 1970 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

—Alex Jay

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