Wednesday, June 29, 2011


News of Yore 1915: Stuart Carothers, His Rise and Fall

Carothers Making Good as Cartoonist
[Daily Fayetteville Democrat (Arkansas), 8/21/1915]

Stewart Carothers, of Chicago, formerly of Fayetteville, is the author of the Charlie Chaplin [sic: Chaplin's] Comic Capers, which are now appearing daily and Sunday in sixty metropolitan newspapers in the United States. Besides the daily Charlie Chaplin comic strip, Mr. Carothers has a full page in colors in each Sunday issue of the Chicago Herald, portraying the antics of the movie comedian of international fame, Charlie Chaplin, and another of his creations, The Haphazards of Helene [sic: Movies of Haphazard Helen].

The Chicago Herald has the copyright for the Charlie Chaplin Comics, and is said to be deriving a handsome profit from the sale of exclusive rights to the feature. Mr. Carothers is now well up on the salary list of the Herald staff, being second only to the sporting editor, the city editor and the managing editor.

Mr. Carothers attended the public school of Fayetteville and was later a student in the University. His cartoons have appeared in a number of issues of the Cardinal, the University Annual. His brother, Neil Carothers, is Associate Professor of Political Economy and Sociology in the University of Arkansas.

Cartoonist Falls to Death at Loop Hotel
[Chicago Daily Tribune (Illinois), October 4, 1915]

Stewart W. Carothers, Herald cartoonist, who drew the Charley Chaplin pictures, was killed early this morning by falling out of a window at De Jonghe's hotel.

His body was found at 3:30 o'clock by Policeman Fisher, who was walking through the alley in the rear of the hotel.

R.A. Skinner of 4441 Walden street and H. Bergum of 912 North Mozart street were with Carothers during the night. They went to De Jonghe's about 1 o'clock, where Skinner and Bergum registered. Carothers accompanied them to their room on the fifth floor.

Carothers was invited to remain in the room on account of the lateness of the hour.

Skinner and Bergum occupied the bed, and Carothers laid down on a couch.

How he happened to fall from the window is not known. Skinner and Bergum did not know of his death until informed by Lieut. James McMahon.

Policeman Fisher said he walked through the alley at 2:30 o'clock and the body was not there at that time. On his next trip he stumbled against the body that lay on the cement pavement at the north end of the hotel.

Will Be Buried in Mississippi.

Mrs. Neil Carothers Goes to Starkville to Attend Son's Funeral.
[Dallas Morning News (Texas), 10/5/1915]

Austin, Texas, Oct. 5—Mrs. Neil Carothers, director of the woman's building of the University of Texas, accompanied by her daughter, Miss Katherine, left today for Starkville, Miss., to attend the funeral of her son, Stuart W. Carothers, who was killed yesterday by falling from the fifth story of a hotel in Chicago. Mrs. Carothers was advised by telegraph yesterday of the accident and instructed that the body of her son be taken to Starkville, Miss., for internment.

At the time of his death Mr. Carothers was employed on the Chicago Herald as a cartoonist and was making rapid headway in his profession. While a student in the Austin High School he gained distinction among the students for his ability to do free hand drawing. Finishing his high school course, he attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where his brother, Neil Carothers, was teaching and who is now a teacher at Princeton. Going to Chicago three years ago he took a course in the Chicago Art Institute.

Stuart Carothers Buried.
[Times-Picayune (Louisiana), 10/9/1915]

Starkville, Miss., Oct. 8.—The body of Stuart Carothers, whose death occurred in Chicago early Monday morning resulting from a fall from a fifth-story window of his hotel, reached Starkville Wednesday night and was taken to the residence of Prof. A.M. Maxwell, his uncle.

His mother, who is in charge of the Woman's Building of the University of Texas, arrived early Wednesday.

The funeral service was held at the residence of Prof. Maxwell. Rev. F.Z. Browne, pastor of the Presbyterian Church, assisted by Rev. W.A. Jordan and T.H. Lipscomb, officiated. The interment was in Odd Fellows cemetery.

[Stuart Wallace Carothers was born in Tennessee in February 1893, according to the 1900 U.S. Federal Census. He was the third of three sons born to Neil and Carrie, whose maiden name was Wallace, as recorded in the Lineage Book (Daughters of the American Revolution, Volume LIV, 1905). The family lived in McNeil, Arkansas. In 1910 Carothers lived with his mother and sister in Austin, Texas at the University Woman's Building; his mother was the head of the household and a widow. He was unemployed. (I believe "Stuart" was the preferred spelling based on both census records, the Dallas Morning News, and Times-Picayune articles.) Eventually Carothers found work at the Chicago Herald newspaper where he did a comic strip based on Charlie Chaplin, and originated Movies of Haphazard Helen (Billy DeBeck claimed he created this feature, but that's untrue -- Allan). Both strips were continued after Carothers' death; one especially bright light who got his big chance was a very young and raw E.C. Segar, who turned in some really amateurish work on the Chaplin strip. A photo of Carothers can be viewed at Popeye's Thimble Theatre Homepage.]

Carothers' last Charlie Chaplin strip.


Doing some genealogical sleuthing, and discovered that this man was my great uncle.
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