Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Dorothy Urfer

Dorothy A. Urfer was born in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1905 according to a family tree at Urfer had an older sister born January 4, 1904.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Urfer was the third of four children born to Fred and Pearl. Her father was a jeweler who operated a jewelry store. Also in the household was Urfer’s maternal grandmother. They resided in Center, Indiana, on School Street.

The Urfer family grew by two members in the 1920 census. Their home was at 201 Wheeling Avenue in Muncie, Indiana. Urfer’s father managed a furniture store.

The 1925 Muncie city directory listed Urfer as a dental assistant at 301 Western Reserve Life. She continued to live at home.

Urfer sent a letter about dolls to the magazine Science and Invention which answered her questions in the July 1927 issue (see page 262, Patent Advice, “Protecting and Marketing a Suggestion”). Urfer’s interest in dolls would resurface later in her life.

At some point, Urfer moved to Cleveland.

Urfer worked for the NEA. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said she was the third of five artists to draw Radiomania which was started by Joe King in November 1927. Art Krenz was next. Urfer’s stint started in 1929. She was followed by Charles Okerbloom and George Scarbo. Urfer’s next NEA series was Annibelle which she dew from December 29, 1929 into March 1936. It was continued by Virginia Krausman.

On August 31, 1935, Urfer married NEA cartoonist Joseph “Joe” King. At the time, Urfer’s
address was 1644 Robinwood Avenue. King resided at Quad Hall on Euclid Avenue.

Urfer worked on other NEA projects such as books of poetry.

According to the 1940 census, Urfer had a two-year-old son, Timothy. The family of three lived in Weston, Connecticut.

In 1953 Urfer wrote and illustrated The Little Red Bicycle. Urfer may have illustrated Mary Alden’s Cook Book for Children. The 1955 book had pictures by “Dorothy King”.

Urfer’s husband passed away January 24, 1980. The death notice mentioned three more children, Heather, Heidi and Stephen, and one grandchild, Mistianna. A research paper was dedicated to Urfer and her husband in 1982.

New York Magazine, February 25, 1980, profiled Urfer who was repairing dolls in New York City. The profile included a photograph of Urfer and one of her Annibelle strips.

The date and place of Urfer’s passing has not been found.

—Alex Jay


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