Wednesday, December 05, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: T.O. McGill

Thomas Owen McGill was born on February 4, 1869, in Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, according to his death certificate (viewed at which had his full name and birth information.

In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, McGill was the oldest of two sons born to Richard and Jennie. His father was a baker. The family lived in Kirwin, Kansas. Herringshaw’s American Blue-Book of Biography (1926) said McGill was educated in public schools.

Herringshaw’s said McGill married Elizabeth Ehrmann in 1900. The Daily Inter Mountain (Butte, Montana), May 26, 1900, noted McGill and his wife at the McDermott Hotel. The 1900 census (enumerated June 6) recorded journalist McGill and his wife in Butte at 101 East Granite Street.

McGill was a New York City employee. The City Record, May 12, 1902, had this note, on page 2711, under Bureau of Buildings.

Thomas Owen McGill resigned as Secretary to the Superintendent of Buildings for the Borough of Manhattan on May 9,. 1902, and on the same day appointed as Chief Inspector of Buildings at a salary of $3,000 per anum.
The Fergus County Argus (Lewistown, Montana), October 29, 1902, reported McGill’s arrest and release. 
Butte, Oct. 22.—P.A. O’Farrell, editor, and A.W. Brouse, business manager of Heinze’s campaign sheet, generally known as the “Reviler,” must appear before the federal grand jury and answer a charge of sending obscene matter through the mails. A decision to that effect was rendered at 10 o’clock this morning by United States Commissioner W.J. Naughton after due consideration of the evidence presented before him yesterday afternoon.

R.A. Pelkey, an employee of Brouse, and Thomas O. McGill and W.D. Wilmarth, cartoonists with the Heinze sheet, were discharged from custody. They were arraigned yesterday with O’Farrell and Brouse….

…O’Farrell, Brouse, Pelkey, McGill and Wilmarth were arrested Saturday by Deputy Marshal Meiklejohn on the complaint of Postoffice Inspector E.D. Beatty of Great Falls. His charge was the result of a cartoon representing Senator W.A. Clark and several other prominent men in an alleged obscene pose and which appeared in the Reveille a short time ago. 

The paper is said to have been sent through the mails and the prosecution was brought under the statute prohibiting the sending of obscene matter through the mails….
The Denver Post (Colorado), October 30, 1903, published an article about McGill’s time in Butte and said in part
…Mr. McGill is by profession a cartoonist and newspaper artist. Now that he is out of what is called journalism and has become tainted with commercialism, the cartoon is merely a side line with him, but at the time he went to Butte it was on a journalistic mission of the higher class. 

Mr. McGill stayed in Butte, Mont., nine months. Although he has many intimate friends, he rarely goes into the details of those nine months. 

“In the words of the play bill,” is all Mr. McGill will say, “nine months are supposed to have elapsed.”

“But you have nothing to say for or against Butte?” he may be asked.

“I have nothing to say against Butte,” Mr. McGill will reply with decision. 

However there are inklings that Mr. McGill found Butte one of the most interesting places he has ever visited. A small book of cartoons, distributed among his friends, lends color to the impression. Mr. McGill did not write for general circulation, and as the number of copies of “Sketches with Pen and Pencil at Butte, Mont.,” are rare, they are the more highly prized…
Around 1903 McGill’s newspaper career began at the New York Evening World where he contributed comic art and humor articles. In 1906 two McGill columns were Dominick, the Head Waiter and Two-Minute Talks with New Yorkers.

The first photograph (left), used in July, was replaced August 1. 

McGill produced over a score of comics for the Evening World. The Jollys’ Bull Pup was the longest running series from October 15, 1908 to September 6, 1909. Others include Affable Aleck; Dan Ticker Sure Is a Queer Old Man; Everybody Works for the Captain; Hasty Helen; A Later Edition of Mother Goose; Peter Kettle, the Boy Who Couldn’t Grow Up; Silly Mary; and The Three Terrors.

The Fourth Estate, April 11, 1908, said McGill was one of six men in charge of entertainment at the reunion dinner of “comic artists, cartoonist, caricaturists and writers associated with humorous publications and with the humorous departments of newspapers and other publications…”

According to Editor & Publisher, April 9, 1910, McGill was elected president of Amen Corner.

The 1910 census recorded McGill and his wife in Manhattan, New York City, at 2173 Broadway.

McGill was in Stockholm, Sweden, when he applied for an emergency passport (viewed at August 1, 1913. He planned to visit Russia. On August 21, 1913, McGill departed Liverpool, England and arrived August 30 in New York City. His address was 2173 Broadway, New York.

McGill has not yet been found in the 1920 census.

The Fourth Estate, May 29, 1920, said McGill was one of several people honoring the Morning Telegraph editor’s birthday.

The Fourth Estate, September 10, 1921, said McGill was a director, executive director and secretary of Amen Corner.

Herringshaw’s said McGill was vice-president of the White Rock Mineral Springs Company, and secretary of the Gaynor Memorial Association. He was a member of the Manhattan Club, the Belleclaire Golf Club, and the United Hunts Association.

The 1930 census said McGill was a writer at a publishing company. At some point he remarried a woman who was twenty years his junior. The couple resided in Manhattan at Bretton Hall, 2350 Broadway.

A 1936 passenger list said McGill’s address was 201 West 79th Street. He traveled solo from August 22 to September 3 on a cruise originating and ending in New York.

McGill has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

McGill passed way November 30, 1947 at St. Mary’s Hospital, Evansville, Indiana. The death certificate said the cause was heart attack and he had bladder cancer. McGill and his wife, Suzette Dunlevy McGill, resided at 803 S. E. Riverside in Evansville. His occupation was recorded as advertising art for newspapers. McGill was laid to rest at Crown Hill Cemetery in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. An obituary in the Evansville Courier, December 1, 1947, said McGill 

spent his youth in Denver Colo. He later moved to New York City where he had a varied career as reporter, art editor and chief cartoonist for both the old Morning and Evening World.

He was instrumental in writing and supporting the bill which created the Port of New York Authority. He served as chief inspector of the Bureau of Buildings for the borough of Manhattan, and for 10 years was advertising manager for White Rock Mineral Water company. 

Mr. and Mrs. McGill returned to Evansville in 1941 and his activities since coming here have been confined chiefly to art work. 

McGill’s father, a Civil War veteran, passed away November 26, 1925 (headstone application at and was laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Denver. Information about McGill’s mother’s fate has not been found. 

—Alex Jay


See one of my comments on your previous entry: I found him in the 1900 census.
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