Claire Stalder Moe was born in either 1892, 1893 or 1897, in Rüegsau, Bern, Switzerland. The birth years are based on passenger and census records. Her birthplace was noted on Swiss Overseas Emigration records at Ancestry.com. Moe’s maiden name was Stalder not Stander. (The error is at Women in Comics Wiki, Lambiek Comiclopedia and other websites.) Moe’s daughter, Claire Gurine Moe, said, on her Social Security application (transcribed at Ancestry.com), her parents were “Gunnar Moe” and “Claire Stalder”.
Also, the name “Claire Stalder Moe” appeared twice in a 1947 New York Supreme Court record.
As Clary Stalder, Moe’s first visit to the United States was around February 1915 when she arrived in New York City. The 1930 United States Census recorded her immigration year as 1914. Her birth year was 1892.
Moe’s second trip (this time as Claire Stalder) to the U.S. began in June 1920. Her birth year was 1893.
According to the 1925 New York state census, Moe and her Norwegian-born husband, a tile setter, resided at 33 Brown Place in Harrison, New York. Moe had been in the United States for five years. She immigrated in 1920, a date repeated on a 1928 passenger list.
The New York, New York Marriage License Index, at Ancestry.com, said “Claire Stalder” and “Gunnar Moe” obtained a Manhattan marriage license, number 29086, on September 30, 1922. Apparently, one or both of them lived in Manhattan.
Their daughter was born on October 26, 1925 in Port Chester, New York.
In 1927 they sailed to Norway to visit Moe’s mother-in-law. On March 8, 1928, the trio departed aboard the steamship Stavangerfjord from Oslo, Norway. They arrived in New York City on March 18. The passenger list said Moe was French, five feet six inches, with blue eyes and brown hair. Column 22 said Moe had been in the United States from 1920 to 1927.
The 1930 census had the same address for the Moe family. Moe was a French-speaking alien.
The 1940 census said Moe’s highest level of education was the eighth grade and she had no occupation.
Moe’s daughter attended Harrison High School and graduated, in 1949, from Rider College in Trenton, New Jersey.
According to the 1950 census, Moe was naturalized and keeping house in Harrison at the same address. The new member of the household was son-in-law, Robert Lamont, who married her daughter in 1949.
The censuses made no mention of Moe as an artist. Women and the Comics (1985) said
Lloyd and Grace Jacquet’s shop, known as Funnies Incorporated, was not as much a “factory” as Binder’s. Artists were allowed to sign their work if the publisher did not object, and the Jacquets encouraged individuals to produce complete strips — writing, lettering and drawing as a unit. The Jacquet shop also operated as a freelancer’s agenting service, accepting and placing work by a number of artists who had only a peripheral connection to the comic book industry. Features produced in the shop or sold through it were published by a wide selection of companies, among them Timely (Marvel), Centaur and Novelty. Aside from Grace Jacquet and Edith Ross, who functioned as editors, other women in the shop included Nina Albright, Dolores Carroll, Lucy Feller, Tarpe Mills, Claire Moe, and Ramona Patenaude.
In A Century of Women Cartoonists (1993) Trina Robbins said
As early as 1938, Claire S. Moe drew a series of children’s adventure strips with circus-related themes for Centaur’s Funny Pages. The Circus and Sue, Circus Days, and Little Mary of the Circus were all exciting serials reminiscent of films from the period featuring Shirley Temple.
Many of Moe’s comics credits are at the Grand Comics Database and Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999. She used the pen names Orville Wells and Vic Todd. BDGest has a photograph of Moe from an unnamed source. Some of Moe’s paintings can be viewed at Morphy Auctions and Proxibid.
Find a Grave said Moe passed away in 1976 and was laid to rest on August 5, 1976 at Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum. Her husband passed away on August 29, 1960 (New York State Death Index) and daughter in February 1983.
Funny Picture Stories, Volume 1, Number 4, February 1937: Yellow Terror
Funny Pages, Volume 2, Number 1, September 1937: Circus Days
Comic Pages, Volume 3, Number 6, December 1939: His Highness
Wonderworld Comics, #23, March 1941: Patty O’Day
Wonderworld Comics, #26, June 1941: Patty O’Day
Wonderworld Comics, #32, December 1941: Patty O’Day
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