Thursday, August 11, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Roy W. Taylor

Courtesy of Cole Johnson

Roy W. Taylor was born in Indiana in November 1876, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. Newspaper reports said Taylor was 36 years old when he died in 1914, so his birth may have been in 1877 or 1878.

In the 1880 census, Taylor was the youngest of two children born to William, a gardener, and Mary. The family lived in Richmond, Indiana at 32 South Sixth Street.

The Evening Star (Washington DC), October 21, 1914, said a young Taylor stayed with an uncle in Chicago where he studied art and married.

The Publishers Weekly, September 17, 1898, published the following listing: 

Gillilan, S.W. Finnigin to Flannigan: an Irish dialect story in verse; il. by Roy W. Taylor. Richmond, Ind., Nicholson Printing and Mfg. Co., [1898.] c. 8 p. sq. D. pap., 25 c. [2625
A nearly identical listing was in The Annual American Catalogue 1898.

Taylor also illustrated the books, Uncle Jeremiah and His Neighbors at the St. Louis Exposition (1904) and Peck’s Bad Boy Abroad (1905) with D.S. Groesbeck.

Uncle Jeremiah and His Neighbors at the St. Louis Exposition

Uncle Jeremiah and His Neighbors at the St. Louis Exposition

Taylor resided in Chicago, Illinois at 242 West 66th Street as recorded in the 1900 census. His occupation was newspaper artist. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Taylor drew three dozen comic series including Ain’t it Awful, Mabel?, Alice’s Adventures in Funnyland, Can You Beat That, Sadie?, The Hungry Five, Little Lovey PettProfessor Bughunter, and Unlucky Looie.

Taylor has not been found in the 1910 census. Taylor passed away on October 21, 1914, in Washington, D.C. His death was reported that day in the local paper, the Evening Star.

R.W. Taylor, Cartoonist, Dies at Mother’s Home
His Comic Pictures in the Papers Have Pleased Thousands of Children.
Roy. W. Taylor, cartoonist, died at the home of his mother, Mrs. A.L. Marshall, 723 3d street northwest, early today. He was thirty-six years old.

Funeral services will be held at the house tomorrow afternoon at 5 o’clock, after which the body will be sent to the old home of the deceased at Richmond, Ind.

At the time of his death Mr. Taylor was employed on the Philadelphia North American, and came to Washington some weeks ago when he felt that he was gradually growing weaker and did not have much longer to live. Previous to this employment he was attached to the art staff of the New York World and the Chicago Tribune, his cartoons in the Sunday comic sheets giving thousands of children entertainment.

When a mere youngster, Mr. Taylor went to live at the home of an uncle in Chicago, where he had an opportunity of studying art. He showed steady progress, it is said, and at the age of twelve years his first comic cartoon was published by a newspaper. His progress was steady and within several years his cartoons became known in many parts of the country.

He married in Chicago several years ago, but shortly thereafter his wife became ill and after lingering for over a year died some months ago.
The Indianapolis News (Indiana), October 23, 1914, reported the burial plan.
The body of Roy W. Taylor, a cartoonist, who died here Tuesday, was taken to Richmond today for burial. Mr. Taylor, who was thirty-six years old, was born and reared in Wayne county. He had been employed on the Chicago Tribune and the New York World, and was on the staff of the Philadelphia North American at the time of his death. His mother, Mrs. A. L. Marshall, of this city, survives him.
An earlier Roy W. Taylor profile appeared in 2012.

—Alex Jay


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