Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Clyde Ludwick

Clyde E. Ludwick* was born on September 28, 1885 in Texas. Ludwick’s birth date is from her gravestone; the birthplace is from the censuses; and her middle initial is from Seattle city directories. In the 1880 U.S. Federal Census, Ludwick’s parents, Oliver (1850–1939) and Ellen (1860–1938), were residents of Blanco, Texas.

In the 1900 census, Ludwick, her parents and two older siblings lived in Justice Precinct 4, Burnet County, Texas. Ludwick’s father was a farmer.

The 1903–1904 Austin, Texas city directory listed Ludwick, her sister, Forrest, and brother, Wayne, at 1401 East Second Street. Information about Ludwick’s art training has not been found. At some point, Ludwick moved to Seattle, Washington.

In the 1910 Seattle city directory, Ludwick was an artist at the Western Engraving Company. Her address was 4071 Second Avenue NE. The same address was recorded in the 1910 census which also said newspaper artist Ludwick and her dressmaker mother were roomers. The head of the household was a stenographer.

The 1911 city directory listed Ludwick at 4233 Thackeray Place. The house was owned by her father. According to the 1912 directory, Ludwick was a Seattle Post-Intelligencer artist who lived on “Blanchard corner 6th Ave”. The 1913 and 1914 directories listed Ludwick at 4233 Thackeray Place and a Seattle Times artist.

So far the earliest samples of Ludwick’s work were found in Times of 1912. In some Seattle publications Ludwick and Nell Brinkley were mentioned together.

Such was the interest in Ludwick’s work that readers demanded to know what the artist looked like. The Times complied and published two photographs of her in its October 3, 1913 edition.

The Seattle Star, January 26, 1914, printed a Bon Marche advertisement that featured “Clyde Ludwick” pennants. Ludwick’s last illustration for the Seattle Times appeared May 13, 1914.

Ludwick was not listed in the 1915 Seattle city directory. At some point she moved to California.

So far the earliest Ludwick art found in the San Francisco Chronicle was dated March 17, 1915. She contributed drawings until the last day of the year. Ludwick also contributed an illustration to the Los Angeles Herald, March 23, 1915. 

Ludwick was listed as an Express-Tribune artist, whose address was 451 South Figueroa, in the 1916 Los Angeles city directory. 

Ludwick produced another Easter drawing for the Chronicle on April 23, 1916. Starting in July her art was published by the Sacramento Bee through September 1916.

The September 9, 1916 New York Herald said Ludwick was one of four people who leased studio apartments at 64 West 9th Street. Ludwick was on the third floor. The same address was listed in the 1917 New York City directory.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Ludwick drew Once Upon a Time, from January 7, 1917 to January 27, 1918, for the New York Tribune.

Ludwick has not been found in the 1920 census.

Dry Good Economist, March 12, 1921, reported the National Silk Week. “…Gold, silver and bronze medals are to be awarded by the Silk Association of America for the best window displays made during National Silk Week….The board of judges in the contest consists of Albert Blum, M. D. C. Crawford, Stewart Culin, Herman Frankenthal, Julio Kilenyi, Clyde Ludwick, A.M. Waldron and L.E. Weisgerber.”

On June 10, 1921, Ludwick and Matthew Hubert Harcourt obtained a marriage license in Manhattan. According to census records, Harcourt was a widower and this was his second marriage. 

During June and July 1921, the New York Evening World published Ludwick’s New York Spooning Places.







Ludwick’s illustration graced the cover of the Sunday Eagle Magazine, March 11, 1923.

In 1925 Ludwick was a Portland, Oregon resident when she copyrighted this work: “Harcourt (Clyde Ludwick)* Portland. Or. 11332 Roses. Model of bust of girl with roses. © 1 c. Aug. 8, 1925; G 75237”.

Seattle Times 6/27/1936

Ludwick passed away November 21, 1927 in Tacoma, Washington. The following day an obituary appeared in the Seattle Times.

Mrs. M.H Harcourt Is Called by Death
Services for Former Staff Artist with The Times to Be Held Friday.

Mrs. Clyde Ludwick Harcourt of Seattle died in Tacoma last evening after an illness of several months. She is survived by her husband, Matthew H. Harcourt, Seattle hotel man; their daughter, Natalie, who is attending school in Highland, N.Y.; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oliver B. Ludwick of Steilacoom; her sister, Mrs. Louis Wire of Tacoma, and her brother, Wayne D. Ludwick of Los Angeles.

As Miss Clyde Ludwick, Mrs. Harcourt was a staff artist for The Times twelve years ago. She returned to her work with The Times last year but was forced to give it up because of ill health. Mrs. Harcourt, whose sketches were popular with Times readers, was a native of Texas. She lived for many years in New York. She was an active member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of Hotel Greeters of America.

Funeral services will be held from Piper’s at 5433 S. Union St., South Tacoma, Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock. The Rev. Ralph Sargent of Lincoln Park Christian church will officiate.
Ludwick was laid to rest at the Tacoma Mausoleum.

Several months before her death, Ludwick applied for a patent for a mechanical manikin. The patent was granted September 25, 1928. Several mechanical devices used her work.

* There was another woman named Clyde Ludwick, who lived in Kentucky; her middle name initial was J. 1940 census records include scores of women named Clyde, many born between the 1880s and 1920s.

—Alex Jay


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