Thursday, March 12, 2015


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Harry J. Flemming

Harry J. Flemming was born in Buffalo, New York on November 17, 1886, according to his World War I and II draft cards at In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, he was the second of three children born to Frederick and Rose. They lived in Buffalo, New York at 456 Glenwood. His father was a sign painter. The Buffalo Express (New York), June 4, 1907, reported the "Art School Commencement": "…Buffalo Art Students' League scholarships, representing four months free tuition in the school: …Men's life class, Urquhart Wilcox, instructor…honorable mention, Harry J. Fleming [sic]…." Academy Notes, Volume 4, Issue 12, 1909, published the article, "A Satisfactory Year in the Art School", which said, "…In the competitive examination for scholarships, given by the Art Students' League of New York—open to any student in the country—the Art School of Buffalo was awarded two scholarships on life work—one to Frank Minstermann and the other to Harry J. Flemming…."

The family remained in Buffalo, according to the 1910 census, at a different address, 385 Humboldt Parkway. Flemming was a lithographer in an engraving shop. The date of his move to New York City is not known. He signed his World War I draft card on June 5, 1917. He lived at 458 West 145 Street in Manhattan, New York City. His occupation was artist. He had an office at 170 Fifth Avenue. His description was medium height and build with brown eyes and hair.

His address in the 1920 census was the same as his draft card. He was an artist and painter. The New York Times reported his marriage on June 26, 1921.
Announcement is made of the marriage of Harry J. Flemming, an artist and illustrator, and Miss Lurana F. Stein, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stein of Flatbush, at the bride's home on Wednesday [June 22] last. The couple are on a motor trip through this State and Canada.
Advertising Arts & Crafts (1926) had a listing for him: "Flemming, Harry J., 116 W. 39th, Wis 0925. Nat'l Adv. Ill., Figure, Heads, Poster." He drew the comic strip Craig Kennedy, which was written by its creator Arthur B. Reeve. The strip was signed "H.J. Flemming", and has been attributed to Homer Fleming, whose middle name was William. The strip began in the Dallas Morning News on July 26, 1926.

Dallas Morning News, 7/25/1926
Flemming mentioned in bottom third of ad.

Dallas Morning News, 7/26/1926

Flemming was divorced in the 1930 census. His residence was in Manhattan at 130 West 57th Street. He was a commercial artist.

The 1940 census recorded him at 200 East 16th Street in Manhattan, where he was a freelance artist. On April 25, 1942, he signed his World War II draft card. He lived at the same address and was self-employed. His description was five feet four inches, 133 pounds, with brown eyes and hair.

Flemming passed away in 1953. He was buried at the family plot in Buffalo, New York, according to Find a Grave.

—Alex Jay


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