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J R Williams

Birth place or City of origin: Halifax
State of origin: Nova Scotia
Last known City: Prescott
Last known State: AZ
Start/Birth date: 1888
Death/End date: 1957

Looking for adventure, James Robert Williams ran away from home when he was in his mid-teens. He worked at a ranch for a while, then signed up with the US Cavalry for three years, and played football with a young Lieutenant George Patton. Returning home to his parents in Ohio, J R Williams got married and took a steady job at a crane manufacturing company, where he started drawing cover designs for the company's catalog.

Best known as a cartoonist, he also did traditional painting and sculpting of western subjects. In 1921 his one-panel cartoon Out Our Way, With the Willits appeared for the first time. The success of this series led to a syndicated Sunday feature, for which he became famous and was printed in more than seven hundred newspapers. The series highlighted, in a friendly tone, his many experiences and observations from living in the West. Artists George Scarbo and Ned Cochran assisted Williams on the strip, which is still running. Another strip he did was titled Bull of the Woods, about a machine shop boss. He then moved into Prescott, where he lived his remaining years, well liked and respected as a talented, well-seasoned western character.

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Best known as a cartoonist, he also did traditional painting and sculpting of western subjects.

He was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was educated in public schools in Detroit, Michigan and Conneaut, Ohio and then attended Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. He spent a period of time traveling and finding various jobs including working as a fireman on the Pennsylvania Railroad, as a ranch hand in New Mexico, and in Oklahoma as a muleskinner at Fort Sill with the Apaches.

He was in the United States Cavalry for three years, and did tattooing and played football and then worked as a machinist at night while studying art during the day.

In 1922, he sold his cartoon Out Our Way to a newspaper syndicate, and the series, for which he became famous, was printed in more than seven hundred newspapers. The series highlighted in a friendly tone his many experiences and observations from living in the West. Other cartoons by him were Worry Wart, Born Thirty Years Too Soon, and The Willets.

He lived in Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1920s, and from 1931 to 1941, lived on and worked his 45,000-acre Skull Valley cattle ranch in a remote wilderness area near Prescott, Arizona and did cartooning and sculpting at night. However, he became frustrated from not having enough time for his cartooning, so he then moved into Prescott, where he lived his remaining years, well liked and respected as a talented, well-seasoned western character.

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Courtesy of www.askart.com

Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada on March 30, 1888. Williams studied at Mount Union College in Ohio. In 1922 he became nationally known for his cartoon Out Our Way, which was syndicated in 700 newspapers for many years. He had homes in Prescott, AZ and San Marino, CA until his death in the latter on June 17, 1957.

 

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