Tuesday, April 11, 2017


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Tom Dibble Jr.


Thomas Reilly “Tom” Dibble Jr. was born in Haddonfield, New Jersey, on April 19, 1898. The New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, at Ancestry.com, said his parents were Thomas Dibble and Arabella Chase.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Dibble as the only child. His father was a reporter. The family resided in West Haddonfield. At some point, the family moved.

The Dibble family of five were New York City residents in the 1905 New York State census. Dibble was the oldest of three brothers. They lived in Manhattan at 416 St. Nicholas Avenue.

Englewood, New Jersey was the home of the Dibbles, now six members, in the 1910 census. Their address was 28 Grand Avenue.

During World War I, Dibble served in the navy. His service was recorded in The Book of Englewood (1922).

Dibble, Thomas R., Jr.
In Federal Service from: April 21, 1917, to March 8, 1919.
Branch of Service: Navy, U. S. S. “Bussum;” U. S. S. “Herbert L. Pratt;” S.P. 579 New York.
Grade or Rank at Discharge: Quartermaster, 3rd Class.
On June 16, 1919, Englewood resident Dibble filled out the Application for Seaman’s Certificate of American Citizenship (R.S. 4588). It’s not known when he departed or where he sailed.

Dibble was counted in his parents’ family in the 1920 census which was enumerated in early January. They lived in Englewood.
Aboard the S.S. West Eldara, Dibble arrived in the port of New York on February 2, 1920. The crew list said his address was “Alexander Place, Englewood, New Jersey”.

The listing in Who Was Who in American Art (1985) provided a bit of information regarding Dibble’s art training, “Dibble, Thomas (Reilly), Jr. [P] Englewood, NJ b 19 Apr 1898, Haddonfield, NJ. Studied: V.D. Perrine. Member: Palisade AA; AFA [29]”. Dibble was a painter and a member of the Palisade Art Association and American Federation of Arts. His last 
listing was in volume 29 of the American Art Annual.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Dibble created Who’s Zoo which ran from October 19, 1925 to May 28, 1927. It was distributed by Press Publishing. His cousin was cartoonist Bernard Dibble. 
Anna Dibble left a comment at the Stripper’s Guide about the family relationships.
Bernard Dibble was my husband's father.
Tom Dibble, Jr. was Bernard Dibble's first cousin.
Bernard Dibble was the son of Theodore Savage Dibble.
Tom Dibble, Jr. was the son of Thomas Reilly Dibble.
Theodore Savage Dibble & Thomas Reilly Dibble were twin brothers. Their father Theodore Hoyt Dibble was a Civil War hero.
Dibble had a wife and son when he passed away March 2, 1929, in Englewood. His death was reported the following day in the New York Times.
Englewood, N.J., March 2.—John Ireland Howe, New York dress manufacturer, and Thomas Reilly Dibble Jr., artist, son of the late T.R. Dibble, former editor of The New York Evening Journal, died today in Englewood Hospital several hours after they were injured in an automobile accident on Sylvan Avenue in the Englewoods Cliffs district of the Palisades. Each of the victims was 29 years old and both lived in Englewood.

Mrs. Howe, Mrs. Dibble and Mrs. James B. Boynton of Tenafly also were injured in the accident. They are still in the hospital.

The party was returning from New York at 1 A.M., the police said, when the automobile, driven by Howe, skidded off the new concrete road, smashed into a pile of rock on the east side of the highway and then overturned. Mrs. Boynton was hurled through the windshield and the others were crushed or severely jolted, but remained in the car. They were picked up a few minutes later by a passing motorist.
The June 26, 2013 issue of Seven Days profiled Dibble’s granddaughter Anna and said: 
Dibble grew up in an artistic family in Peru, Vt. Her dad, Thomas Reilly Dibble, was a painter who owned a frame shop in Manchester. Her grandfather, whom she never knew, had a comic strip in the New York Sun called “Who’s Zoo” that featured made-up animals. Indeed, hybrid animals are a family specialty. A framed painting of a duck wearing a man’s suit, by Dibble’s father, sits on his daughter’s studio desk.

Further Reading
Anna Dennis Dibble Website
Equinox Village Press Release

—Alex Jay


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