Thursday, December 01, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: William Paul Pim

William Paul Pim was born in Freeport, Pennsylvania, on December 1, 1885, according to Alabama Authors, BhamWiki and other sources. However, Who Was Who in America with World Notables, Volume 3, (1960) said Pim was born near Freeport, and Who’s Who in American Art, Volume 1 (1935) said his birthplace was in Armstrong County.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Pim as the oldest of two children. Who Was Who said their parents were Ira Lester Pim and Mary Ella Dougherty. The family lived in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Who Was Who said Pim graduated from Cabot (Pennsylvania) Institute in 1903, and studied photo-engraving Bissell College in Effingham, Illinois in 1906.

Pim’s residence in the 1910 census was Cleveland, Ohio at 1854 East 18th Street. His occupation was commercial artist. Who Was Who said Pim had a studio in Cleveland until 1914.

From 1915 to 1917, Pim resided in Birmingham, Alabama, where he was a cartoonist for the Birmingham News. He married Lenna E. Hales on July 16, 1917 in Birmingham. Cartoons Magazine, October 1917 reported their skyscraper wedding. Cartoons Magazine, February 1918, also noted Pim’s marriage.

Who Was Who said Pim was with the Cleveland Plain Dealer from 1917 to 1918. While in Cleveland, he took the life class of John Huntington at Polytechnic Institute.

On September 12, 1918, Pim signed his World War I draft card which had his address as 130 North 73 Street, Birmingham, Alabama. He was an artist with the Birmingham News and described as medium height and build with gray eyes and brown hair. Pim moved from the News to the Birmingham Ledger from 1919 to 1920.

In the 1920 census, cartoonist Pim and his wife made their home at 4303 Avenue E in Birmingham. Who Was Who said Pim was an art instructor at Birmingham-Southern College from 1922 to 1931. (The Gold and Black, November 9, 1922, reported Pim’s appointment to the faculty.)

During the 1920s and 1930s, American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Pim produced Baby MineMasterpieces of Great Literature, Telling Tommy, and Next!

The 1930 census recorded Pim in Birmingham at 4300 9th Court. In 1939, Pim wrote Telling Tommy About Mother Nature’s Curious Children, the first of seven Telling Tommy books: Telling Tommy About Famous People in Their Youth (1940); Telling Tommy About Days We Celebrate (1941); Telling Tommy about Famous Inventors (1942); Telling Tommy About Our Good Neighbors (1943); Telling Tommy about Things We Use (1946); and Telling Tommy About Pilgrims Progress (1957).

According to the 1940 census, self-employed artist and writer Pim was a Birmingham homeowner at 4300 10th Avenue.

Pim passed away July 26, 1950, in Birmingham. Many newspapers published the Associated Press obituary. Pim was laid to rest in Forest Hill Cemetery.

Further Reading
310 Pythian Place
Telling Tommy About – W. Paul Pim

—Alex Jay


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