Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Obscurity of the Day: There's A Reason

The very productive C.H. Wellington has been seen on Stripper's Guide quite a few times now. My favorite work of his are the panel cartoon features, and I think the best of those is And The Worst Is Yet To Come. There's A Reason is sort of in the same vein -- a pantomime feature that makes the reader expend at least a little brain juice to figure out the gag. There's A Reason isn't nearly as creative with the concept, but then Wellington wasn't quite so practiced in the form yet. This weekday feature was done for Hearst's New York Journal from January 20 1909 to July 14 1910.


Part 1

Charles Hewitt Wellington was born at Edore Central Township, St. Louis County, Missouri on January 13, 1884, as recorded in the Missouri Birth Records. His parents were James and Josephine. His father died before the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Wellington has not been found in the 1900 census but his mother ran a boarding house in St. Louis. She also cared for her parents, Charly and Carrie Hewitt. According to Edan Hughes (Artists in California, 1786-1940), "Wellington was educated at Smith Academy in his native city and at Washington University."

In the World Encyclopedia of Comics: Volume 5, Maurice Horn wrote, "'Duke' Wellington's first published work appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Republic. He accepted, in 1908, an offer to draw for the Memphis News-Scimitar and later moved to Nashville for a six-month stint on the Tennessean." He has not been found in the 1910 census; his early career in New York City can be read here, strippersguide.blogspot.com/2006/04/first-pas-son-in-law.html.
Part 2

Wellington's listing in the New York, New York Directory 1916 was "artist Newspaper Feature Service 35 W39th." He signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918. His address was the Friar's Club, West 48th Street, and occupation as cartoonist for the Newspaper Feature Service. He has not been found in the 1920 census; he moved to California about 1925 according to Hughes.

In the 1930 census, Wellington and his wife, Emily, lived in Los Angeles, California at 9920 Toluca Lake Avenue. They had married in 1919. His occupation was cartoonist for the New York Tribune. Wellington passed away on April 1, 1942. The Newport Mercury and Weekly News (Rhode Island) reported his death on April 3, 1942.

Charles H. Wellington, 56, creator of the comic strip, "Pa's Son-In-Law,"
which ran in the Daily News for years until recently, died at his home,
North Hollywood, Cal., Wednesday. He created the strip, which was one
of the most popular of the cartoons, in 1914. The daily strip, which ran
in the Daily News from the New York Herald Tribune, was discontinued
because of Mr. Wellington's recent illness, although he continued his
Sunday feature. Surviving are his wife and his mother.
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