Thursday, July 19, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Elizabeth Kirkman Fitzhugh

Elizabeth Kirkman Fitzhugh was born Elizabeth Katharine Atwater Kirkman on June 24, 1887 in Wallingford, Connecticut. Her full name was published in the 1906 Yale University yearbook Pot Pourri. The birth information was recorded on Fitzhugh’s naturalization and Social Security applications. The Social Security application had her parents names, Walter Kirkman and Laura Atwater.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Fitzhugh, her widow mother, younger sister, Laura, and aunt, Elizabeth Ashley, lived in Wallingford at 149 South Main Street. Her father was an Englishman.

Fitzhugh was a student at the Yale School of the Fine Arts from 1906 to 1909. The Brattleboro Reformer (Vermont), October 22, 1909, said “Miss Laura Kirkman will continue her studies in the musical department of Yale university. Miss Elizabeth Kirkman will take a post-graduate course in the art department of the same institution.” The Brattleboro Reformer, July 29, 1910, reported “Mrs. Kirkman and Misses Laura and Elizabeth Kirkman will occupy James Underwood’s house during the remainder of their stay here.”

The 1910 census recorded Fitzhugh, her mother, sister and aunt in New Haven, Connecticut at 183 Lawrence Street. Fitzhugh’s occupation was artist.

American Newspaper Comics (2012) said the panel, Militant Mary, ran from September 29, 1913 to November 8, 1919. The panel was produced for Associated Newspapers. It was signed “Steve Hyde”. Beginning January 28, 1918, Fitzhugh signed the panel. There was no noticeable change in the art and lettering during the name change. Steve Hyde may have been a pseudonym for Fitzhugh. Coincidentally, the name Hyde turned up Fitzhugh’s “Josephus Hyde and His Sinful Pride” for the New York Tribune, November 15, 1914.

On January 21, 1914, she and Valentine M. Fitzhugh obtained a marriage license in Manhattan, New York City.

Valentine was listed in the 1916 New Haven, Connecticut city directory 29 Chestnut in West Haven. The 1917 directory said he had moved to New York City.

According to the 1920 census, artist Fitzhugh, her husband and daughter, “Emilee”, were Manhattan residents at 21 Waverly Place.

On June 26, 1924, Fitzhugh signed her Petition for Naturalization. Fitzhugh had lost her American citizenship when she married Valentine, an Englishman, on March 13, 1914. The petition said Fitzhugh had been living in the state of Massachusetts beginning June 18, 1920. Her present address was 99 Main Street, Concord, Massachusetts. She had two children, Emily and Richard.Three months later, Fitzhugh became an American citizen on September 29. Her husband also became an American citizen on April 13, 1929.

The Andover Historic Preservation website had this address for the Fitzhugh family, 124 Main Street. The 1928 North Andover, Massachusetts city directory listed Fitzhugh at 15 Morton. The same address was found in the 1930 census and a 1937 Andover directory.

Skull Valley, Yavapai County, Arizona was the home of self-employed Fitzhugh, her rancher husband and son in the 1940 census.

At some point Fitzhugh and Valentine moved to California where they obtained their Social Security numbers. When Valentine signed his World War II draft card, he lived in Noel, Missouri where he was unemployed. He was in Wichita, Kansas during the 1945 state census. Valentine passed away August 1965 and his last residence was Maryland.

Fitzhugh was included in the 1948 Yale University Alumni Directory Number: Living Graduates & Non-graduates.

What became of Elizabeth Kirkman Fitzhugh is not known.

—Alex Jay


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