Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: A.D. Reed

Arthur Delbert Reed was born on Match 31, 1877, in Ogle County, Illinois. The birth date is from his World War I draft card; the 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded the date as March 1877. However, an entry at Find a Grave has the date March 21, 1874, and his birthplace in Ogle County, Illinois. His full name was found at

The Reed family lineage is here. Reed was the son of Edwin E. Reed and Lillian B. Hemenway. The Reed family history was told, in part, in the Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois, Ogle County, Volume 2 (1909), which profiled Judge Frank E. Reed who was a nephew of Reed’s father.

The 1880 U.S. Federal Census recorded Reed as the fourth of five children. The family resided in Oregon, Illinois at 235 1st Street. Reed’s father was the county treasurer.

Information about Reed’s art training has not been found.

On June 12, 1897 Reed married Olga Orner in Ogle according to the Illinois marriage index at The Morning Star (Rockford, Illinois), June 26, 1897 said “Mr. Arthur D. Reed of this city, and Miss Olga Orner of Chana, were united in the happy bonds of matrimony on June 12. The bride is one of Chana’s fairest daughters, and the groom holds a good position as one of the artists on the Chicago Evening Journal. Their many friends, both here and Chana, extend congratulations.” The July 15, 1897 Daily Register-Gazette said “Arthur D. Reed, cartoonist on the Chicago Journal staff, and wife are visiting for a few days with the family of his father, E.E. Reed.”

The Daily Register-Gazette, May 22, 1900, reported “Arthur D. Reed, who does the portrait work on the Inter Ocean, with his wife and daughter, have come out from the city to enjoy a visit at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ed E. Reed on South Fourth street.” About two weeks later the 1900 census said Reed was rooming with the Wilkenson family in Chicago at 639 Worth Avenue. It’s not known where his wife was staying.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Reed produced several strips from 1901 to 1906. The first was Country Happenings for the New York Evening Journal. For the McClure Syndicate Reed created Doctor Quack, Mister Bowser, Farmer Jake, William the Conqueror, The Dictionary Illustrated, Uncle Pike, Orphan Joe, Little Abe Corncob, Ham the Country Store Boy, Gazaboo Ike, and Frappe the Snowman and His Papa.

According to the 1910 census, newspaper artist Reed was a Chicago resident at 2352 Clark Street. The location of his wife and family has not been found.

American Newspaper Comics said Reed produced Zeke Smart, from March 6, 1910 to November 26, 1911, for the Chicago Tribune. For the New York Herald, Reed drew After Dark from March 17 to April 14, 1912. Foolish Limericks debuted April 3, 1910 with Reed who was one of a number of cartoonists to draw it for the Chicago Tribune.

The Morning Star, October 26, 1912, said “Arthur D. Reed and family are back from New York where they spent the summer. They have been visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. E.E. Reed in this city, but are now located in their bungalow in Daysville, where Mr. Reed will continue his work as a magazine illustrator.”

Apparently Reed moved to New York City in 1914. The Daily Register-Gazette, March 10, 1914, said “Arthur Reed has decided to resume art work and has taken a position as cartoonist on a New York paper.”

The 1915 New York state census counted artist Reed, his wife, seventeen-year-old daughter and eleven-year-old son in Staten Island on Sea View Avenue.

The Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 1, Group 2, Pamphlets, Etc., 1916, New Series, Volume 13, Number 7 included Reed’s The Wild and Woolly West. Reed was mentioned in Moving Picture News, September 9, 1916. Reed’s animated cartoon, Are We Prepared for the International Trade Hunt After the War?, was listed in Moving Picture World, November 11, 1916. Both films were for Bray Studios.

Reed’s address was the same on his World War I draft card which he signed on September 12, 1918. The cartoonist was employed by Pat Sullivan at 125 West 42nd Street in Manhattan. Reed’s description was medium height, slender build with brown eyes and hair.

Schenectady, New York was Reed’s home in the 1920 census. The artist, his wife and son were renting a place at 18 Governors Lane. Reed’s employer was the electric company.

The 1925 New York state census recorded Reed and family at 28 Sunnyside Road in Glenville, Schenectady County.

The 1930 census had the same street and number but it was now in the village of Scotia in the town of Glenville. Reed continued to work at the electric company.

Reed continued to be a Scotia resident, at the same location, in the 1940 census. The self-employed artist’s highest level of education was the eighth grade.

Reed passed away May 25, 1953, in Schenectady, New York, according to the New York death index at The Troy Record (New York), June 1, 1953 said “During the last week services were held in the Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel and Crematorium in Oakwood Cemetery for the following: … Arthur D. Reed …” Reed’s wife passed away August 21, 1952.

—Alex Jay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *