Monday, January 25, 2021

Monday, January 4, 2021

Comics: Walt Kelly in The Stylus 1929

The Stylus 1929 Yearbook
Warren Harding High School
Bridgeport, Connecticut


(Next post on Monday: ACBA Newsletter #29)

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year

(Next pos: Witmer Williams, Artist)

Comics: Witmer Williams, Artist

Witmer Clark Williams was born on July 31, 1917, in La Grange, Illinois, according to his World War II draft card which also had his full name. His parents were Thomas M. Williams and Martha Rose Witmer, who married on August 9, 1911 in Chicago, Illinois.

In the 1920 U.S. Federal Census, Williams was the youngest of three siblings. The family of five resided at 48 Ashland Avenue in Lyons, Illinois. Williams’ father, a New York native, worked for an importing company.

The 1921 Allentown, Pennsylvania city directory listed Williams’ mother at 536 North 9th Street.

The 1925 New York State census recorded the Williams family of six in Brooklyn at 143 Sixth Avenue. Their Brooklyn address in the 1930 census was 521 Dean Street.

Williams attended Brooklyn’s Prospect Hill School, Public School 9, where he was an athlete. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 8, 1929, reported the school’s championship.
P. S. No. 9 of Brooklyn Retains Track Crown as Four Marks Fall
Birth was given to the 1929 scholastic indoor track season when P. S. 9 of Brooklyn captured the 27th annual elementary schools indoor track and field championships at the 102d Combat Engineers Armory, Manhattan, yesterday afternoon, with a total of 63 points. During the course of the struggle of youth for medals and fame, four standards caved in under the onslaught and one mark was equaled.

In upholding the dignity of Brooklyn scholastic athletics, P. S. 9 demonstrated that its real strength had taken solid foundation in the running high jump events. The Park Slope youngster annexed three such features. A fourth triumph came in one of the sprints. The future greats from the boro of churches gave further evidence of their greatness by smashing two of the four records and winning 11 of the 23 fixtures.

Frank Scott ably aided and abetted P. S. 9 in retaining its place on the throne by placing first in the running high jump, with a record clearance of 4 feet 9 3/4 inches, erasing a five-year mark of 4 feet 9 1/2 inches from the books. Scott’s mates made a clean sweep of the jump, Witmer Williams, Bernard Valentine and Anthony Martone taking the next places in the order named.
Williams continued his education at Alexander Hamilton High School. The Eagle,
December 10, 1934, noted his accomplishment in the high jump.
Witmer Williams has been elected to captain the Alexander Hamilton track team [t]his Winter. Williams holds the outdoor novice high jump crown. The Scarlet and Gray trackmen figure to give a good account of themselves this season with such stars as Stanley Sachs, John Buffalano, Alvin Moderacki, Joe Jenardi and William Florio returning for service.
Williams was also on the basketball team.

On September 23, 1935, Williams signed up for the New York National Guard. According to his service card, at, he was in Company B, 106th Infantry, in Brooklyn. His enlistment was from November 4, 1937 to June 23, 1938.

An item in the Eagle, April 16, 1936, suggested Williams was going to attend St. John’s University but it’s not clear if he did.
… Tony Kepezensky, The Eagle’s all-scholastic basketball forward, will strut his stuff for St. John’s U. … and Witmer Williams of basketball and track fame will keep Tony company.
The Eagle, April 20, 1939, published the names of the 226 graduates in Pratt Institute’s evening classes. Williams was in the School of Fine and Applied Arts’ Pictorial Illustration section.

The 1940 census said Williams was an advertising commercial artist who earned 800 dollars in 1939 and had completed four years of high school. His mother, a music teacher, was the head of the household which included him, an older sister, Margaret, and younger brother, Burton. They lived in Brooklyn at 525 5th Street. Williams’ father passed away in 1932. The article about his burial named some children from a previous marriage. Williams’ first name was mistakenly added to a daughter’s name.

Williams signed his World War II draft card on October 16, 1940. He worked for the Eisner and Iger Studio at 204 East 44th Street in Manhattan. Williams was described as six feet one inch, 158 pounds, with gray eyes and brown hair.

The New York, New York Marriage License Index, at, said Williams and Randy Anna Swanson obtained a license on November 9, 1942 in Brooklyn. They married on November 14 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brooklyn. The marriage was reported in the Eagle on November 14, 1942.
Miss Swanson Feted
A miscellaneous shower was given by Miss Elna Gronros, 1579 E. 49th St., on Tuesday evening, to honor Miss Randy Swanson of 831 President St., whose marriage to Witmer Williams of 525 5th St. takes place tonight in the S. E. Bethlehem Lutheran Church. The affair took place at the home of Miss Alice Benson. 453 47th St.
Williams’ army enlistment began April 17, 1943. The Eagle, December 2, 1943, said Sergeant Williams trained as an aerial gunner and graduated from the Harlingen Army Air Field in Texas. He was discharged in 1946.

Who’s Who of American Comic Books 1928–1999 said Williams’ comics career began at the Eisner and Iger studio. Sometimes Williams signed his name as Clark Williams. Many of his credits are listed at the Grand Comics Database. His comics career ended in the early 1950s.

The New York State Death Index said Williams’ mother passed away on July 17, 1960. According to the Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), July 20, 1960, she died in Scarsdale, New York.

Williams passed away January 12, 1995, in the Bronx, New York. An obituary was published two days later in the Herald Statesman
Witmer C. Williams, an artist who lived in Scarsdale, died Thursday at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. He was 77.

He was born July 31, 1917, in La Grange, Ill., to Thomas and Martha Witmer Williams.

In 1941 [sic], Mr. Williams graduated from Pratt Institute of Art in New York City. From 1943 to 1946, Mr. Williams served in the Army Air Corps. He attained the rank of sargeant [sic].

On Nov. 14, 1942, he and Randy Anna Swanson were married at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Brooklyn.

Mr. Williams worked for the Gimbels Art Department from 1951 to 1969. He was employed by the Adamo Art Gallery from 1969 to 1975. He again worked at Gimbels, from 1975 to 1983.

From 1983 until the time of his death, Mr. Williams sketched many house drawings for residents in Eastchester and Scarsdale.

Mr. Williams loved bowling, his family said, and participated in many leagues over the years.

Mr. Williams was a parishioner of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stamford, Conn.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Williams is survived by a son, Clark Williams of Atlanta; a daughter, Janet Segerdell of Stamford; two sisters, Dorothea Bulwidas of Boca Raton, Fla., and Margaret Bums of Kitty Hawk, N.C.; and four grandchildren. A brother, Burton Williams, died in 1981.
Williams’ wife, Randy, passed away February 23, 2013.

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(Next post on Monday: Walt Kelly in The Stylus 1929)