Thursday, December 29, 2016
Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Al Burtis
Aleyn “Al” Henry Burtis was born in Garden City, Kansas, on March 29, 1904, according to America’s Young Men, Volume 3 (1938) and Who’s Who on the Pacific Coast (1949). His parents were Arthur Henry Burtis and Sadie Mack.
In the 1905 Kansas state census, year-old Burtis was the youngest of five children. The family of seven resided in Garden City, Kansas.
The 1910 U.S. Federal Census recorded the Burtis family twice. The family of six was in Garden City, Kansas, and Valparaiso, Center Township, Porter County, Indiana at 822 Laport Avenue. Burtis’s father was a broker.
The 1915 Kansas state census listed the Burtis family in Garden City, Kansas. Burtis’s address in the 1920 census was 412 North 7th Street, Garden City, Kansas.
A hint of Burtis’s artistic talent was noted in St. Nicholas, February 1918, which listed his name among many contributors.
Who’s Who said Burtis was a student, from 1923 to 1924, at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. Burtis did spot illustrations for the 1924 yearbook, The Blue Jay.
The Evening News (North Tonawanda, New York), December 3, 1924, published the names of candidates, including Burtis, for the West Point admission examination.
Best Seats Available for Saturday AfternoonThe Daily Northwestern, January 20, 1927, published the article “Shore Guild to Give ‘Henry IV’” and said, “This set has been designed and executed by Aleyn Burtis, and its historical accuracy is expected to create the proper atmosphere….”
Tickets for “Shoot to Kill” which will be presented by W.A.A., April 17 and 21, at the Evanston Country club will be on sale today at U.H. and at Chandler’s and Du Breull’s.
…Scenery for the shoe is now almost complete. Aleyn Burtis, Jack Leimoet, and Cameron Garbutt have been constructing the sets which include the interior of a summer hotel for the first act and a garden for the second. Yellow is the predominating color used to carry out the theme of bananas which runs through the plot. “Banana Split,” the last song number before the finale, will be a blaze of yellow carried out not only by scenery but by banana costumes of the choruses.
Who’s Who said Burtis was, in 1926, a member of the advertising department of Wahl-Eversharp in Chicago.
According to the Iowa marriage records at Ancestry.com, Burtis was a Chicago resident when he married Elizabeth Alden Evenson on November 2, 1929 in Sioux City, Iowa.
The newlyweds were residents in Queens, New York, at 3432 91st Street, in the 1930 census. Burtis’s occupation was commercial artist.
American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Burtis produced a series of panel cartoons, from 1930 to 1932, for the Associated Press. As part of the Associated Press promotion, Burtis was caricatured and appeared on the front page of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida), March 26, 1930. When the panel ended, Burtis did the strip The Dillys which ran from June 6, 1932 to March 9, 1935. It was syndicated by the Associated Press.
The Daily Star (Long Island City, New York), March 30, 1933, reported the birth of Burtis’s son. At the time Burtis resided at 37-28 80th Street in Jackson Heights, New York.
At some point Burtis moved Des Moines, Iowa where he held a series of jobs. The 1936 city directory listed his home at 653 41st. Burtis was in the sales department of the Iowa Broadcasting Company. In 1937 Burtis was an executive assistant at the Register & Tribune. Burtis’s address was 4010 Woodland Avenue in the 1938 and 1939 directories. He was employed as an assistant general manager at Look Inc. Who’s Who said Burtis was with Look magazine, in New York City, to 1942.
During World War II Burtis served in the Army Air Forces. The Daily Argus (Mount Vernon, New York), October 24, 1942, reported Burtis’s training.
First Lieutenant Aleyn H. Burtis, 396 North Columbus Avenue, has completed a six weeks’ course of military instruction and physical conditioning at the Air Forces Officer Training School at Miami Beach, Fla. His wife lives at the Mount Vernon address.Who’s Who said Burtis was a lieutenant colonel and served from 1942 to 1946. He was assigned to the 20th Air Force in Saipan-Guam.
Burtis has not yet been found in the 1940 census. The 1943 Kansas state census listed Burtis as a resident of Topeka.
Having completed his military service in 1946, Burtis moved to La Junta, Colorado where he was owner and publisher of the Tribune-Democrat newspaper.
America’s Young Men said Burtis had two children in the 1930s: Evenson Mack and Betty Alden. According to Who’s Who, Burtis’s home, in 1949, was at 822 Carson Avenue and his office at 422 Colorado, both in La Junta.
Burtis passed away May 24, 1987, in La Junta, Colorado. The Associated Press reported his death which was published in The Advocate (Stamford, Connecticut), May 26, 1987.
La Junta, Colo. (AP)—Aleyn “Al” Henry Burtis, 83, the editor of La Junta Tribune-Democrat who helped pioneer offset printing in Colorado, died Sunday after suffering a heart attack. He was 83.Burtis was laid to rest at Fairview Cemetery.
Burtis had been editor of the La Junta Tribune-Democrat since he purchased it in 1946. In 1962, he formed Valley Offset Inc., where the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette and the La Junta Tribune-Democrat became the first daily newspapers in Colorado to be printed on a web offset press.
Labels: Ink-Slinger Profiles