Wednesday, January 03, 2018


Ink-Slinger Profiles by Alex Jay: George W. Rehse

George Washington Rehse was born on September 2, 1868, in Hastings, Minnesota according to The Artists Year Book (1905), and Who’s Who in America (1906). In The Minneapolis Journal (Minnesota), August 8, 1903, the article said “…Mr. Rehse, of St. Paul, says that he was ‘born near Hastings by German consent…’”

In the 1870 U.S. Federal Census, Rehse was the youngest of six children born to J.F., a foreman, and Mary, both German emigrants. They resided in Hastings.

The 1875 Minnesota State Census recorded the Rehse family in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their address in the 1880 census was 907 7th Avenue South in Minneapolis. The family named was misspelled “Reahse”. Rehse’s father, “Fred J.”, was a retail grocer.

The 1892 and 1894 Minneapolis city directories listed Rehse as a clerk who resided at 1521 11th Avenue South. The 1895 directory said Rehse was at the same address and a cartoonist at the Penny Press. Who’s Who said Rehse “acquired knowledge of the work without art training or instruction; never attended school of art.” Masterpieces of Wit and Humor (1903) published a profile sketch of Rehse that said 

George W. Rehse has made an enviable reputation in the Northwest by clever and good-natured cartoons, most of which have appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He is a native of the “gopher” state, and thirty-four years of age. He began his career in 1895, after several years of futile effort to “catch on.” Although he never had any art training, he has won recognition as an artist by close observation and constant application to his work.
According to the Minnesota, Marriages Index, at, Rehse married Nellie E. Palmer on February 4, 1897 in Minneapolis.

A 1897 St. Paul, Minnesota city directory listed Rehse as a Pioneer Press artist who boarded at 589 St. Peter.

The 1898 St. Paul city directory said Rehse moved to St. Louis. Who’s Who said Rehse was a cartoonist for St. Louis Republic.

St. Louis Republic 5/1/1898

Rehse was listed in the 1899 St. Paul directory at 539 Holly Avenue and back at the Pioneer Press.

In the 1900 census, cartoonist Rehse and his wife were St. Paul residents at 39 East Central Avenue.

St. Paul Globe, August 29, 1900, reported Rehse’s lawsuit. 

George W. Rehse, artist, has begun suit in Justice Baker’s court against Osman Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, for $50, which he alleges is the value of a cartoon he drew by the order of the chief potentate. The cartoon meant fourteen hours straight work. It included about fifty figures and a number of goats and foxes.
The Cazenovia Republican, (New York), November 22, 1900, published the widely distributed article about Rehse. 
Fun That Is Funny.
To say that the work of George W. Rehse, cartoonist of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is wittier than that of any of his fellow laborers in the field of caricature would perhaps be invidious, but there is no doubt that he is fully as funny as any. Mr. Rehse possesses the faculty of making almost anything look funny. When this cartoonist draws a dog, one can almost see its tail wag. His political cartoons are genuinely and legitimately funny without appealing to partisan sentiment.
Rehse was involved with the Pioneer Press Cartoon Book series from 1904 to 1907.

The St. Paul Globe, May 15, 1904, noted Rehse’s now location, “Mr. and Mrs. George W. Rehse, St. Paul, are occupying their new home on the peninsula.” The 1905 St. Paul city directory said Rehse resided at White Bear Lake.

The Minneapolis Journal, November 5, 1906, noted Rehse’s travel, “George W. Rehse, the man who signs ‘Rehse’ to the Pioneer Press cartoons, left Saturday evening for Paris, where he will study art in order to perfect his talent for cartoon drawing.”

Year-book of the St. Paul Institute of Arts and Sciences (1908) listed Rehse as a cartooning instructor.

The Cleveland Directory for the Year Ending August, 1909 had this listing: “Rehse George W cartonist [sic] Newspaper Enterprise Assn r 4509 Carnegie av, S.E.” Rehse’s presence in Cleveland explains his small role in A.D. Condo’s Mr. Skygack from Mars, which began October 2, 1907. American Newspaper Comics (2012) said Rehse drew it from June 13 to 18, 1908 for the NEA. Other cartoonists in the directory were Armundo D. Condo, James H. Donahey, Johnny B Gruelle and Robert W. Satterfield.

The 1909 St. Paul city directory said Rehse resided at White Bear Lake.

Grant, Minnesota was Rehse’s home in the 1910 census. It appears the cartoonist and his wife lived on a street called Wildwood (the legibility is difficult).

Rehse’s American Boyhood & Remember These was published in 1910.

At some point, Rehse moved to New York City. American Newspaper Comics said Rehse produced In the Tall Timber, from February 6 to March 1, 1911, for the New York World’s Press Publishing. Aulsbrook picked up the series. Rehse continued Rollin Kirby’s Everyday Movies (also known as Metropolitan Movies) which began May 19, 1913. Rehse’s tenure started in January 1914 and lasted in the early 1920s.

New York Tribune, July 14, 1913, noted Rehse”s overseas return, “George W. Rehse, widely known as a cartoonist, has just arrived from Paris, where he has been studying for the last year.” A passenger list said Rehse sailed from Liverpool, England to Boston where he arrived on July 10.

The 1917 New York City directory had Rehse, a cartoonist at The World, residing at 523 West 157th Street.

Rehse’s art was featured on the cover of School and Home Education, October 1919.

Rehse’s address was unchanged in the 1920 census.

Rehse obtained a passport on September 29, 1920. He was going to the British Isles for “study and observation” and France for the “study of art”. His travel was partially explained in the Editor and Publisher, October 9, 1920.

Gene Carr, for the past eighteen years with the comic section of the New York Sunday World, has been transferred to the metropolitan section of the Sunday World, succeeding George W. Rehse, who resigned last week.
Rehse returned to New York on June 2, 1921.

American Newspaper Comics said Rehse drew Children of Adam for the Ledger Syndicate. The panel ran from February 20 to November 5, 1922.

Rehse’s fourth trip over the Atlantic Ocean began with his passport application on October 21, 1922. Rehse planned to be away for two years to study in Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar, France and Austria. He returned September 5, 1924.

According to the 1930 census, Glendale, Los Angeles County, California was Rehse’s home. The self-employed cartoonist and his wife lived at 1900 Chilton Drive. The same address was found in Glendale directories from 1930 to 1936.

Rehse passed away December 2, 1939, in Burbank, California. The Editor & Publisher, December 9, 1939, reported Rehse’s death.

George W. Rehse, 70, retired newspaper cartoonist, was found shot to death in his automobile Dec. 2 at Burbank, Cal. A gun and note telling of ill health and grief over the death of his wife were besides the body. After working in Minneapolis, he became political cartoonist for the old New York Evening Mail. He later joined the Morning World. 
Rehse was laid to rest at Grand View Memorial Park and Crematory

—Alex Jay


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]