Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Elmer Woggon

Elmer Frank Woggon was born in Toledo, Ohio, on November 4, 1898, according to his National Cartoonists Society (NCS) profile. His World War I draft card had the full name. A family tree at Ancestry.com said his German-born parents were William Henry Woggon (1838–1930) and Edith Maria Mathilda Schields (1876–1953).

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census recorded Woggon and his parents in Toledo at 51 Jervis Street. His father was a baker. Ten years later, the Woggon family had added two girls and the house number was 55 on Jervis Street.

A 1915 city directory listed Woggon as a student at 55 Jervis Street. The Toledo Blade, April 10, 1978, said Woggon graduated from Newton Elementary School.

According to a 1916 directory, Woggon was a clerk in his father’s bakery. The next year, Woggon worked at Milner’s as a clerk. Woggon was a Multigraph operator in the 1918 directory. Woggon signed his World War I draft card on September 12, 1918 and continued to live at home. He was a multigrapher at L.A. Miller-Willys Overland. Woggon was described as tall and slender with gray eyes and light hair.

Woggon’s NCS profile said he was a student of the Landon and Federal art programs. Woggon was featured twice, in 1919 and 1921, in Federal School advertisements published in Cartoons Magazine.

The Blade said Woggon joined its newspaper’s staff “in 1918, working in the editorial department and later in the advertising department.”

In the 1920 census, newspaper cartoonist Woggon was the oldest of six siblings.

The 1923 city directory listed Woggon and his wife Wanda at 55 Jervis Street. Their address in 1924 was 1602 Wellesley Drive and was unchanged in the 1930 and 1940 censuses.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Woggon drew and Eddie Stinson wrote Skylark, which ran from October 8, 1928 into 1929. Woggon collaborated with writer Allen Saunders to create Big Chief Wahoo which was originally titled The Great Gusto. Woggon’s tenure began November 23, 1936 and ended July 10, 1954. Ghost artists included his brother Bill Woggon, Don Dean, Pete Hoffman, and Wayne Boring (per Alberto Becattini). Other artists continued the series. W.C. Fields was a fan of the strip according to Parody as Film Genre: “Never Give a Saga an Even Break” (1999). Field’s film, My Little Chickadee (1940), featured an Indian sidekick. A Big Chief Wahoo topper, Indian Slango, is here.

The Blade, February 23, 1942, reported the home invasion at Woggon’s new home, 1650 North Cove Boulevard.

Woggon remarried to Helen E. Walrath according to the Blade, March 23, 1946.

All of Woggon’s brother were Blade artists. Bill was the artist of the Katy Keene character.  John worked in the advertising art department. And Glenn was with the art department.

The Blade said Woggon moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1950. Woggon passed away April 9, 1978, at his home in Fort Lauderdale. His death was reported the following day in the 

—Alex Jay


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