Friday, September 07, 2012


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Ben McCutcheon

Benjamin Frederick “Ben” McCutcheon was born in Lafayette, Indiana on May 31, 1875, according to the Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index at 

Past and Present of Tippecanoe County, Indiana, Volume 1 (1909) profiled McCutcheon and said, “…Like his older brothers, he attended the public schools of Lafayette and Purdue University….” His artistic talent was evident in The Debris of 1892 yearbook. He signed the larger illustrations “McCutcheon”, and used “Cutch” for the smaller ones (below).

“…Like his brother, George, his first newspaper work was done with the Morning Journal. Afterwards he joined his brother John in Chicago, working on the old Chicago Record….”, according to Past and Present of Tippecanoe CountyThe Times (Washington, DC), August 28, 1898, noted the talented trio:

The Writer, of Boston, has this to say of a talented Indiana family: 

George Barr McCutcheon, the author of “The Maid and the Blade,” published in the July number of Short Stories, is the city editor of the Lafayette (Ind.) Daily Courier, and has contributed many short stories to the magazines. He is thirty-two years old, and has now in preparation a novel, soon to be issued. He is the eldest of three brothers, all writers and artists—John T. McCutcheon being now at Manila with Dewy as artist-correspondent for the Chicago Record, while Ben F. McCutcheon is doing art work for the same paper….

McCutcheon has not been found in the 1900 census which was enumerated beginning the first week of June. The reason may have been because he married Anna Barnes on June 5. His discharge from the military was mentioned in the Minneapolis Journal, July 2, 1901: “…Benjamin F. McCutcheon, Company F, Thirty-fifth Indiana infantry…” He illustrated The Wonderful Kingdom of Wonderful Things, which was published in nine Sunday installments in the Kalamazoo Morning Gazette-News, from August 2 to September 27, 1903. It ran much longer, with additional art by others, in the San Francisco Call, from August 30 to December 27. Past and Present of Tippecanoe County said: “…After the fusion of the Record and the Herald he became financial writer for the Evening Journal. Since 1905 he has been the commercial editor of the Chicago Tribune. Under the pseudonym ‘Ben Brace,’ he has published two novels, ‘Sunrise Acres’ [1905] and ‘Seventh Person’ [1906]. The characteristic of Ben McCutcheon’s work is intricacy of plot, and a foundation for his stories in some unique condition or situation.”

Kalamazoo Morning Gazette-News 8/2/1903

Kalamazoo Morning Gazette-News 8/16/1903

In the 1910 census, he lived with his wife and son in Chicago at 421 St. James Place. He was an author. Beginning December 1911, his Noah's Ark Boys strip ran in the Chicago Tribune Sunday section for five months. The Colorado Springs Gazette, April 25, 1916, noted the passing of his mother on the 24th in Chicago. McCutcheon signed his World War I draft card September 12, 1918. His occupation was director of publicity for the federal government’s Liberty Loan program. His description was medium height and slender build with blue yes and brown hair.

His address did not change in the 1920 census but his occupation was advertising broker. Eldest brother George passed away October 23, 1928 in New York City.

The 1930 census recorded him and his wife in Chicago at 411 Fullerton Parkway. His occupation was proprietor of publicity. McCutcheon passed away August 27, 1934, in Chicago, according to the Cook County, Illinois Death Index at


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