Monday, June 3, 2024

Comics: Fred Proctor, Newspaper Artist, Letterer and Scenic Designer

Frederick William “Fred” Proctor was born on May 6, 1903, in New York, New York, according to his World War II draft card which had his full name as Fred William Proctor. His birth certificate said Frederick. His parents were Fred W. Proctor (from Wales) and Martha Wakefield (from England) who resided in Manhattan at 2434 8th Avenue. His father was a butcher.

Not long after Proctor’s birth, His mother remarried to Edward Dickinson. The status of his father is not known. The 1905 New York state census said the Dickinson family of six (lines 20 to 25) lived in Manhattan at 2182 Fifth Avenue. Proctor’s step-father was a bricklayer. 

In the 1910 United States Census, Proctor, his parents and step-brother (lines 47 to 50) were Manhattan residents at 149 West 132nd Street. 

Proctor’s mother and step-father married in Manhattan on May 17, 1912. The reason for a second ceremony is unknown.

The 1920 census recorded “Proctor Dickenson” on line 92. He lived with his parents and step-brothers in the Bronx at 1180 Jackson Avenue.

On October 3, 1925, Proctor and Helen Madeline Kalinonski obtained, in the Bronx, marriage license number 5788. They married on October 8, 1925. 

Proctor’s mother passed away on July 9, 1929 in Manhattan. 

According to the 1930 census, Proctor and his wife resided in the Bronx at 2251 Sedgwick Avenue. He was a newspaper artist (line 100; his wife was on the next sheet). Information about his art training has not been found.

Proctor has not yet been found in the 1940 census.

On February 16, 1942, Proctor signed his World War II draft card. His residential Bronx address changed from 213 East 207th Street to 1954 Unionport Road which was crossed out at some point. Proctor’s mailing also changed once to 415 West 3rd Street, Seymour, Indiana. He was described as five feet seven inches, with blue eyes and brown hair. He named his step-father as a contact person. 

Proctor’s employer was Harry “A” CheslerWho’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 and Grand Comics Database said he was a letterer. About Chesler Publications, Editor & Publisher, March 20, 1937, said 
There are 11 cartoonists in the 22-man organization. Three men do nothing but lettering for the artists, and special features writers prepare the continuity.
It’s possible Proctor was one of the three letterers. 

Proctor enlisted on October 30, 1942. He had four years of high school and was a commercial artist. Proctor’s veteran file, transcribed at, said he served in the Army from November 13, 1942 to June 3, 1945. His rank was sergeant. 

Proctor has not yet been found in the 1950 census. 

Proctor found work outside of comics. He was a New York Daily News cartoonist (dates unknown) and scenic designer at Columbia Broadcasting System.

The Connecticut Marriage Index, at, said Proctor married Jean E. Bell on January 26, 1973. The status of his first wife is not known.

Proctor passed away on March 31, 1979, in Dover Plains, New York. He was laid to rest at Valley View Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Poughkeepsie Journal (New York), April 6, 1979. 
Mr. Proctor
Dover Plains—Fred W. Proctor, 75, of Holsapple Road, died Saturday, March 31 at his home. He was born in New York City on May 6, 1903. He was an Army veteran of World War II. He had been employed as a commercial artist with the Columbia Broadcasting Systems before his retirement several years ago.

He was married to the former Jean Bell, who died in 1973. There will be no calling hours. Graveside services will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Valley View Cemetery with the Rev. Walter Allyn Rogers officiating.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Hufcut Funeral Home, Dover Plains. 
The Mid-Hudson Post (Highland, New York), September 19, 1979, published an advertisement announcing the auction of Proctor’s estate.

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(Next post on Monday: 1925 La Revue Yearbook)

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