Wednesday, May 23, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lauren Stout

Judge 10/20/1917

Lauren O. Stout was born on June 4, 1887, in Winston, Missouri, according to his World War I and II draft cards. In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Stout was the youngest of two sons born to S.H. and Barbara. His father was a stone mason. They resided in Kansas City, Missouri at 1918 East 14th Street.

Kansas City Star 10/2/1910

Information about Stout’s art training has not been found. The Kansas city directories from 1902 to 1909 listed Stout as an artist living at 1624 Jackson Avenue. The same address was recorded in the 1910 census and city directory. Stout was a newspaper illustrator who lived with his widow mother. The 1911 directory said Stout’s occupation was printer.

At some point, Stout moved to New York City. On November 3, 1914, Stout was issued a passport. His address was 136 West 65th Street, the same as illustrator Ralph Barton, a Missouri native, who was issued a passport the same day. A profile of Barton in The New Yorker said he was in Paris in 1915; presumably, Stout was with him.

During 1914, Stout’s illustrated the serialized story, “The Valiants of Virginia”, which ran in many newspapers.

On June 5, 1917, Stout signed his World War draft card. His address was 137 West 70 Street in Manhattan. His description was tall, slight build with brown eyes and black hair. Stout’s service began September 6 with the New York National Guard, Company E, 107th Infantry. Stout was overseas from May 10, 1918 to March 6, 1919. He was discharged April 2, 1919.

Stout was profiled in The Seventh Regiment Gazette, May 1918 (below) and mentioned in the July 1918 issue.

Stout has not yet been found in the 1920 census. In 1922, Stout was a contributor to the New York Tribune.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Stout drew Dulcy the Beautiful Dumb-Bell, which was “written” by Constance Talmadge and ran in 1923. Time, July 30, 1923, quoted Constance Talmadge’s press agent who said “She is ‘collaborating’ with Lauren Stout, cartoonist. ‘That is,’ continued her press agent, ‘Constance develops the ideas and lines, then gives them to Mr. Stout, who in turn, transfers them to paper.’”

Dulcy the Beautiful Dumb-Bell appeared in the Eaton Rapids Journal (Michigan) which said in its August 3, 1923 edition:

An added feature which we feel certain will win the favor of our readers has been contracted for by this newspaper. The feature is a comic cartoon strip, by a screen star. Yes, you would guess it, anyway by Constance Talmage [sic], for what screen star indeed is more ebullient?

The scintillant comedienne of the screen has been known to possess a highly developed funny-bone for these many years, else how would she have arrived at her eminence as leading comedienne of the of the silversheet?

And those who know her best know that her sense of humor persists when she is totally outside the atmosphere of the studio. In other words, it is genuine, a part of her and her life, and it is superabundant, her wit and repartee have made her “the life of the party” oh those occasions when Hollywood seeks social relation. And it is not ususual [sic] for the other guests on these occasions to lend a keen ear to Miss Talmadge’s witticisms so as to have something to “spring” on their friends and acquaintances the next day.

Because we know so many of our readers are numbered among the admirers of this whimsical young lady, it gives as pleasure to announce that she has decided to try to bring a smile or two to her hosts of friends a bit more often than she can possibly do it on the screen, by giving expression to her ebulliency in a series of comic cartoons. Each week we will publish one of these. The caption of the series is “Dulcy, the Beautiful Dumb-bell.” The series will treat of the experiences of a hair-brained damsel named Dulcy.

Miss Talmadge is supplying the ideas for the cartoons and the speech for their characters, though the drawings wi;l be by Lauren Stout, a well-known metropolitan artist and contributor to Life, Judge and New York Tribune.
Stout also spelled his first name Loren. The New York Evening Post, November 10, 1928, published a Sunday New York Herald Tribune advertisement that mentioned “Aren’t We All” by Edward Hope and illustrated by Loren Stout. A 1929 issue of New Outlook Magazine reviewed the book, Travel Trails, and said “We like the illustrations by Loren Stout.” Aren’t Men Rascals, by T. Swann Harding, was published in 1930 by the Dial Press. It was illustrated by Loren Stout. The 1933 New York City directory listed a Loren Stout at 123 East 10th Street. Dining, Wining, and Dancing in New York (1938) had decorations by Loren Stout. 

Stout was a member of the Dutch Treat Club.

According to the 1940 census, Stout resided at “240-2 34th Street” in Manhattan. He was an artist working with the Federal Art Project. Stout completed four years of high school and had been unemployed for 80 weeks.

Stout signed his World War II draft card on April 27, 1942. His address was 21 East 87th Street in Manhattan. Stout, who was unemployed, named Dr. Walter Dunckel as the person who would always know his address. Dunckel also had the same address. Stout and were Dunckel were friends for many years. The Fort Plain Standard (New York), November 17, 1932, reported this incident.

Dr. W. A. Dunckel writes from West Kingston, R. I., that he and his family were recently in an automobile accident. The party consisted of Dr. and Mrs. Dunckel and son. Jack, and Loren [sic] Stout, well known artist of New York city. All were injured except Mrs. Dunckel. Jack Dunckel suffered a broken leg. Dr. Dunckel and Mr. Stout are improving. Dr. Dunckel is a native of Fort Plain and his family lived here for many years in the former Bleecker house, which is now the D. A R. Chapter House. Dr. and Mrs. Dunckel were frequent visitors in Fort Plain last year during the transactions connected with the closing of the estate of Miss Lulue A. Bleecker and the sale of the Bleecker house. Fort Plain’s oldest and most historic building.
Stout passed away July 9, 1942. The following day the New York Times said Stour died at the United States Veterans Hospital in the Bronx. He was laid to rest at the Long Island National Cemetery.

—Alex Jay


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