Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Ink-Slinger Profiles: Louis Richard

Louis Joseph Richard was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, on May 3, 1885, according to his World War I and II draft cards at In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census he was the second of five children born to Richard and Nannie. They resided in Columbus, Indiana at 508 California Street. Richard was a bell boy and his father, a French emigrant, was chief hotel cook. The census recorded Louis’ date of birth as May 1885.

The book, Indiana’s Laughmakers (1990), profiled Richard and said: “...Cartooning ‘came to me by chance,’ he once said, ‘while a bellhop at the St. Denis Hotel, when I caricatured guests in unusual or amusing poses on the backs of menu cards….’ By the time he was 17 years old he was making money with his cartooning…” In the early 1900s, he was cartoonist for The Evening Republican.

The 1910 census recorded the family in the same city, a few houses from their old address, at 602 California Street. His mother’s name was recorded as “ Margarette”. Richard was an assistant claim agent for a railroad company.

Richard’s Indiana Daily Times cartoons of the 70th Indiana General Assembly were collected in a book and published in 1917.

According to American Newspaper Comics (2012), Richard produced the strip Squire Edgegate, which was distributed by World Color Printing beginning in 1918.

Elkhart Truth 3/25/1918

Rockford Republic 3/25/1919

In 1919 Richard was one of several artists to contribute drawings to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s “Marse Henry Edition”. The Literary Digest, April 12, 1919, said: “…Harry C. Temple and Louis Richard, both of the World Color Printing Company, St. Louis, contributed drawings…the latter picturing Uncle Sam thanking ‘Marse’ Henry for the many volumes his genius had filled.”On September 12, 1918 he signed his World War I draft card. He was employed as a claim agent by the Pennsylvania, Railroad Company. His description was medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair.

Indiana’s Laughmakers said: “…when he was transferred to Pittsburgh around 1920, he became chief claim agent of the railroad’s Central Region.” Richard has not yet been found in the 1920 census.

In 1927 he filed to trademark Squire Edgegate. The Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office, September 13, 1927, published this notice:

Ser. No. 252,662. Louis Richard, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Filed July 28, 1927.


Particular description of goods. — Cartoons in Newspaper Publications.
Claims use since Jan. 1, 1918.

In 1930 Richard lived with his wife, Justine, and two daughters, Louise and Justine, in Crafton, Pennsylvania at 24 Creighton Avenue. He married when he was 39 years old and continued as a railroad claim agent.

Bellevue, Pennsylvania, at 18 Kenndell [sic] Avenue, was the home of Richard, his wife and three daughters in the 1940 census. They had lived there since 1935. The census said he had six years of schooling and remained a claim agent for the railroad. He signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. He was described as five feet five-and-a-half inches, 165 pounds, with blue eyes and gray hair.

Indiana’s Laughmakers said: “…He retired from the railroad in 1951 following a heart attack and died in Pittsburgh on October 31, 1959.” One source for the book was a number of articles in The Republican (Columbus, Indiana) dated October 8, 1930, October 10, 1930, August 10, 1935, February 24, 1936, October 14, 1936, and October 31, 1959.

Princeton University Library has a collection of American comic strip printing plates and drawings which includes “…200 aluminotype plates for the six panel strip called Squire Edgegate by Louis Richard.”


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]