Tuesday, November 12, 2019


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: Nell Reppy

Nellie “Nell” Reppy was born on October 7, 1903 or 1904 or 1905 or 1906, in Boulder, Colorado. A 1913 newspaper article said she was ten years old. Three passenger lists have the birth years 1904, 1905 and 1906, and her birthplace.

In the 1910 U.S. Federal Census, Reppy was the second of three children born to William, a mining engineer and surveyor, and Mary. The family resided in Carthage, Missouri at 1104 Main Street.

The Denver Rocky Mountain News (Colorado), November 9, 1913, reported Reppy’s beating by five schoolmates.

Boys Attack Small Girl
Gang Assaults Child Near Where All Parties Attend Boulder School
Boulder, Colo., Nov. 8.—Nellie Reppy, a ten-year-old Boulder girl, was attacked by a gang of five young Boulder boys yesterday afternoon and beaten. The attack occurred near the Highland school, where the young girl and the boys attend school. No cause for the attack is known.

Reppy was mentioned in the Elk Mountain Pilot (Crested Butte, Colorado), April 11, 1918, “Miss Nellie Reppy came in the last of the week from Doyleville for a few days visit with her aunt, Mrs. H.H. Fogg.”

According to the 1920 census, Reppy and her mother, a widow, lived with Reppy’s mother’s brother, E R McConnell, a widower, in Gunnison, Colorado on Rainbow Route.

Information about Reppy’s art training has not been found.

The 1924 Denver, Colorado city directory listed Reppy, no occupation given, and her mother, a
Denver Art Museum matron, at 1300 Logan.

At some point both moved to New York City. The 1930 census said their Manhattan address was 240 East 79th Street. Reppy was a self-employed artist. and her mother a dressmaker.

Reppy’s drawings appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, April 1931.

The New York, New York, Extracted Marriage Index, at Ancestry.com, said Reppy married Edward C O’Donnell on January 22, 1932 in Manhattan.

A passenger list recorded Reppy departing Trinidad, British West Indies, on March 14, 1933 and arriving in New York on March 24. Her address was 70 West 85th Street, New York City.

According to the New York Evening Post, October 10, 1933, Reppy had a representative.

Tom Patterson, brother of Russell, the artist has opened a personalized store at 33 West Twenty-eighth Street to cater to commercial artists, particularly those in agency work. He will continue to represent his brother, Robert E. Lee, Ed Graham, Ed Walter, Nell Reppy and Julian Brazelton.
Reppy’s husband passed away August 2, 1934 in Manhattan.

The Newspaper Feature Service produced a long-running series of romantic cartoons, by several artists, beginning in 1913. Reppy contributed to the series in 1934.

Reppy’s address was the same on passengers lists from 1935, a trip to Mexico, and 1936, a visit to Europe.

The 1940 census recorded Reppy and her mother in Manhattan at 225 East 74th Street. Reppy, who had four years of high school, was attending school.

Reppy illustrated several books including The Little Builders’ ABC (1943), Australia (1945), A Penny for Candy (1946), Making Sure of Arithmetic, Grade 5 (1946), Making Sure of Arithmetic Grade 6 (1946), Making Sure of Arithmetic Grade 8 (1946), Come Play with Us (1947), Here Am I (1947) and Neighbors Around the World (1948).

Reppy’s address in the 1949 Manhattan directory was 210 East 68th Street.

At some point Reppy married Theodore Edward Shepard.

An airline passenger card said her permanent address was “Acueduct R. Hondo 330, Mexico.” On April 11, 1963, she flew from Mexico to Miami, Florida.

Reppy was listed in the 1969 Anglo-American Directory of Mexico.

Shepard, Theodore (Am.); wife, Nell Reppy (Am.); ch.: Anthony. Bus. Pl. Santos Degollado 10-402, z. l. Tel. 5-12-12-31. Also see Sonora, Res. Acueducto Rio Hondo 330, Virreyea, z.10. Tel. 5-20-51-64. Also see Morelos. Clubs: Am, Ref.
Reppy passed away on August 20, 1969, in Mexico. The Department of State death report said Reppy’s American address was 112 Southwest Hamilton Street, Portland, Oregon, and Mexican address was Acueducto Rio Hondo 330, Mexico. The cause of death was pulmonary metastasis. Her remains were sent to Finley Tyson Funeral Home in Portland.


—Alex Jay


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