Here on our blog, we occasionally feature “matchups” that showcase relationships between different items in our collection. Today’s matchup? Cartoons from the Hickory Democrat and information from Charlotte City Directories.
A number of community newspapers on DigitalNC have cartoons; not many of those cartoons describe local content, which is why the recently published Hickory Democrat caught our eye. Scanning front page after front page during 1906-1907, right under the masthead, are cartoons commenting on items of US and local significance. They’re signed “Hutch” and sometimes say “Courtesy The Charlotte News.” Here are some examples:
All of these are from the front pages of the Hickory Democrat, available through DigitalNC.
The usual Googling didn’t turn up much, and we couldn’t find any reference to Hutch in the Hickory Democrat besides the cartoons, so we turned to The Charlotte News. From the News, we were able to piece together more about the artist.
Hutch was the pen name of cartoonist Andrew C. Hutchinson, a Charlotte resident who began drawing cartoons for the News in his late teens. His talent was well respected, especially in light of his age. The News occasionally has articles related to Hutch’s career, mentioning that his cartoons were reprinted around the state (as in the Hickory Democrat) and beyond (the Atlanta Journal republished a cartoon in 1909).
The first reference to Hutch as a cartoonist is in the August 25, 1903 News, which states “Mr. Andrew Hutchinson, Charlotte’s clever young cartoonist, is seriously ill with malarial fever.” The first of his cartoons we located in the News are in the May 30, 1906 issue, which sports two on the front page:
Sometime between March 1910 and December 1911, Hutch moved to New York to draw for the New York World. The clipping at right, from the January 16, 1914 News, proudly describes Hutch’s New York career, which was flourishing as he provided content for Life, Judge, Satire, and The Yonkers Daily News, and as he signed on to work for the Hearst Corporation.
What else do we know about Hutch? A 1910 Charlotte City Directory lists “Hutchinson, Andrew C. Jr. cartoonist” residing at 711 W. Trade Street. It looks like he’s there with his father and mother*, Andrew and Antoinette Hutchinson, as well as two brothers (James L. and John W.). He isn’t listed in the 1911 directory, which makes sense with his purported move to New York. From that 1911 directory, we unfortunately find out that his father passed away as Antoinette is listed as a widow.
This is as far as we got in tracking down Hutch. His cartoons don’t appear in the Hickory Democrat past 1907. We don’t know how long he worked in New York, how his career progressed, or where he ended up. If you have any clues, let us know.
*We know that Andrew, Antoinette, James and John are family from the 1910 census record, which also tells us that Andrew Jr. was born around 1886. Census Record Citation: Year: 1910; Census Place: Charlotte Ward 3, Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Roll: T624_1121; Page: 19A; Enumeration District: 0102; FHL microfilm:1375134