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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Nappanee Cartoonists Nappanee Cartoonists

Nappanee Cartoonists

Location: 157 North Main Street, East side, next to Nap. Public Library, Nappanee. (Elkhart County, Indiana)

Installed: 2005 Indiana Historical Bureau, City of Nappanee, Nappanee Historic Preservation Commission, Nappanee Public Library, Elkhart County Historical Society, Nappanee "Smokey Stovers" Fire Department, Mayor Larry and Linda Thompson, E. Newcomer and Son Jewelers

ID# : 20.2005.1

Text

Side one:

Merrill Blosser was first Nappanee artist to gain national recognition as a professional cartoonist. Freckles and His Friends, his most popular cartoon, ran from 1915 to 1973, syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association. In 1965, National Cartoonists Society honored Blosser on fiftieth year of Freckles and its "wholesome entertainment.

Side two:

Five other Nappanee artists became nationally recognized cartoonists. Henry Maust and Francis "Mike" Parks drew newspaper editorial cartoons; Bill Holman's best was Smokey Stover (1935-1973); Fred Neher's Life's Like That ran 1934-1977; Max Gwin drew Slim and Spud for Prairie Farmer 1955-1991. Town, training, and careers connected these artists.

Keywords

Arts and Culture, Newspapers and Media

Annotated Text

Merrill Blosser was first Nappanee artist to gain national recognition as a professional cartoonist. (1) Freckles and His Friends, his most popular cartoon, ran from 1915(2) to 1973, syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association. (3) In 1965, National Cartoonists Society honored Blosser on fiftieth year of Freckles and its "wholesome entertainment." (4)

Five other Nappanee artists became nationally recognized cartoonists. Henry Maust (5) and Francis "Mike" Parks (6) drew newspaper editorial cartoons; Bill Holman's best was Smokey Stover (1935-1973); (7) Fred Neher's Life's Like That ran 1934-1977; (8) Max Gwin drew Slim and Spud for Prairie Farmer 1955-1991.(9) Town, training, and careers connected these artists. (10)

Notes:

1. South Bend Times, South Edition, April 4, 1994.

2. Warsaw Times-Union, May 25, 1965.

3. Nappanee Advance-News, March 29, 1973.

4. Warsaw Times-Union, May 25, 1965

5. Nappanee Advance-News, February 9, 1994; Nappanee Advance-News, July 19, 1923; South Bend Tribune Supplement, September 21, 1975. Maust had his most significant achievements in commercial art.

6. Goshen News, September 19, 1990; South Bend Tribune Supplement, September 21, 1975

7. Ron Goulart, ed., "Smokey Stover, " The Encyclopedia of American Comics (New York, 1990), 340; Toonopedia accessed November 1, 2004.

8. Nappanee Advance-News, October 24, 2001 [obituary].

9. The Elkhart Truth, April 22, 1992.

10. South Bend Tribune Supplement, October 13, 1974 town and career; Landon School Advertisement, Fred Neher Scrapbook, Heritage Center, Nappanee Public Library training.

NOTE: The Nappanee Public Library has a permanent cartoon exhibit in the Heritage Center that features the work of the cartoonists from Nappanee. Their work has also been featured in the traveling cartoon exhibit, called "Indiana's Cartoons and Cartoonists, " which was sponsored by the Indiana Historical Society. This exhibit was in Nappanee, Indiana at the Nappanee Public Library in 1994, and in Bremen, Indiana, at the Bremen Public Library in 1995. Their work, as part of the traveling exhibit, was also displayed in Indianapolis in 1994, prior to the exhibit coming to Nappanee. Nappanee Advance-News, March 16, 1994; South Bend Tribune, June 16, 1995, May 15, 2004; South Bend Times, April 4, 1994.