C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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Much like his future student, C.A. Seward, Albert Turner Reid was born in a small Kansas farming community.  In addition,  Reid also shared with  Seward a natural instinct for drawing.


Reid’s father, William Emery Reid, was an early pioneer, and as a lawyer, banker and newspaperman was very active in the early development of Cloud County, Kansas.  William Reid died suddenly when Albert was 14 years old. After the sudden death of her husband, Reid’s mother faced financial constraints and was not able to help her son find sufficient funds to pursue his ambition of attending  the University of Kansas.  Instead Reid supported himself by teaching at the Lawrence Business College and attending classes as funds and time allowed.  He then also taught at a business college in St. Joseph, Missouri and also Kansas Wesleyan in Salina Kansas.   During this time he tried to get work on a Kansas City newspaper but when he did not meet with success he returned to his hometown where he found work as a bank teller.  His break and the beginning of his career as a cartoonist and illustrator happened in 1896 when at the urging of his older brother Reid entered a cartoon in a competition being held by Arthur Capper, owner of the Topeka Mail and Breeze.  Reid won the competition and was awarded $15.  He later won several other similar competitions.  On the basis of this award and attention from Arthur Capper, 23 year old Reid moved to Topeka and began a long relationship as a contributor to Capper’s Topeka Mail and Breeze


It was during this time that  Reid joined forces with Topeka painter, George Melville Stone, to found the Reid Stone School of Art.  Within a year their school became a part of Washburn College where in 1906, Seward met both men as one of their students. Reid quite obviously taught Seward a great deal about the elements of good cartoons.  These lessons regarding the necessity of careful selection and delineation of each line  were well-heeded by Seward. 


Reid soon moved on to build other relationships with even larger newspapers including the Kansas City Star and  the New York Herald.  By 1902 he had married and at the urging of his new wife they made their home in Kansas. He founded and published the Leavenworth Daily Post and then purchased the Farmers Advocate and the Kansas Farmer. He became very active with other projects including serving as president of the Kansas Commission to the Panama International Exposition of 1915, and Vice President of the Kansas Life Insurance Company, and was the primary organizer of the Kansas Farmer Seed Wheat Club.  In addition to these activities, he also found time to make use of his musical talents and composed several well-received musical scores including a favorite of conductor, John Phillip Sousa, “Guardians of Liberty.”


In 1919, Reid received an invitation to become the director of pictorial publicity for the Republican Party and he moved to New York and never returned to Kansas. In New York, he became active in  the American Artist’s Professional League, serving as the Vice President for twenty years. Reid remained very active as a political cartoonist until the middle of the 1930s when he began to devote his time to serious painting and teaching.  He created murals for the post offices of Sabetha and Olathe, Kansas, as well as other buildings.  His preference was for Western subject matter and particularly stagecoaches and horses.  One of his most famous paintings, was titled “Coronado Comes to Kansas”  


Reid died at the age of 85 while still living in New York.  His major legacy is that of being one of the best political cartoonists of his era. His range of clever editorial cartoons encompassed all of the events of the times from politics, to the activities of Carrie Nation, as well as the arts and fashion.

 




Born - 12 August 1873

Concordia, Kansas

Died - 26 November 1958

New York, New York



Professional Positions




1896 - 1909 contributor to Mail and Breeze newspaper

Topeka, Kansas - published by Arthur Capper


1897 -Kansas City Star, staff artist & then contributor

abt 1888 - Record newspaper

Chicago, Illinois

1899 - New York Herald

New York, New York

& also contributor to magazines - McClure’s, Saturday Evening Post, and Judge


1905 - 1923  founder, Daily Post, Leavenworth, Kansas (also purchased the Farmers Advocate & the Kansas Farmer)


1919 - Director of pictorial publicity for the Republican Party, New York



Awards & Honors




1949 - Gold Medal of honor

American Artists Professional League




 

Seward Mentor - Albert T. Reid  1873 - 1958

Images on this page (left to right, top to bottom): portrait by George Stone of Albert Reid, mural by Albert Reid, cartoons by Albert Reid.

Sources: “Albert T. Reid’s Sketchbook,” John W. Ripley Editor & Robert W. Richmond, Associate Editor, Bulletin No. 48, November 1971, Shawnee County Historical Society.

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