Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Lyman Anson

Charles Lyman Anson was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 23, 1884, according to his World War I and II draft cards and passport application.

In the 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Anson and his parents, Charles and Harriet, resided in Milwaukee at 535 Marshall Street. His father was a wholesale grocer. On January 9, 1903, Anson received a passport which did not specify the countries he planned to visit.

The 1905 Wisconsin State Census identified Anson as a student who lived with his parents in Milwaukee.

Anson was a traveling salesman in the 1910 census. He was a lodger in Milwaukee at 225 Greenbush Street.

A family tree at said Anson married Florence May Smith on September 19, 1916, in Oak Park, Illinois.

Anson signed his World War I draft card on September 10, 1918. He lived at 206 Sumner in Newton, Massachusetts, and was assistant inspector of naval construction. His description was short, medium build with brown eyes and dark brown hair.

Wheaton Illinois, at 622 Naperville, was Anson’s next home as recorded in the 1920 census. He was a freelance magazine writer.

The Catalogue of Copyright Entries, Part 4: Works of Art, 1923, New Series, Volume 18, Number 2 has this entry: 

Anson (Charles Lyman) Wheaton, Ill. 5802-5816 
Sillyettes, May 15–19, 21–26, 28–31. [Daily] © May 15–19, 21–26, 28–31, 1923; 1 c. each May 29–June 6; K 175523-175532, 175714-175718.
On July 31, 1923, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle began promoting Anson’s Humorettes, which was six frames of silhouetted figures with text. On the far right of each strip was a copyright line, © 1923 C.L. Anson. Apparently the strip was syndicated by Anson. Humorettes began August 6 and ended September 15, 1923. According to American Newspaper Comics, Anson’s Sillyettes appeared in 1924.




In the 1930 census, Anson remained in Wheaton but at a different address, 404 North Washington. He was a writer and had two sons, Lyman and Barton. Lyman would become a writer in various fields and marry Marione Reinhard, who was the Saturday Evening Post humor editor and helped select cartoons.

Anson, the freelance writer, was at the same address in 1940. He had completed five years of college and worked 52 weeks in 1939. Anson signed his World War Ii draft card April 27, 1942. His office was in the Smith Building, on North Main street in Wheaton. He was five feet two inches, 125 pounds with brown eyes and gray hair.

Anson passed away December 23, 1964, in Winfield, Illinois. His death was reported the following day in the Chicago Sun-Times which said Anson graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in naval architecture and used this knowledge during World War I and II. He contributed to the Saturday Evening Post and was an editor with Dodd Mead & Co., a New York publishing firm.

Anson’s books include Fifty Years Below Zero (1942) and Skeleton Coast (1958). He has an entry in the Genealogical Record of Thomas and Harriet Clapp McKnight. Some of his writings can be viewed here, here, here and here. Anson was buried at Wheaton Cemetery.

—Alex Jay


Charles Lyman Anson was my grandfather (1884-1964). His son, Lyman (no middle name) 1922-1989, was the one who signed the draft card in 1942, and who married Marione Reinhard (my step-mother) 1906-1989, not Charles. Charles was married to Florence all his life. Charles graduated from MIT with a degree in Naval Architecture.
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