Women cartoonist: Jill Elgin
Jill Elgin (13 January 1923 – 25 January 2005, USA)
Jill Elgin was the pen name of Kathleen Josephine Elgin, born January 13, 1923 in Princeton, New Jersey. Her father, Charles Porter Elgin, was born in 1897 in Columbus, Ohio. Her mother, Mary Leantine Poore, was born in 1897 in Ohio. Her parents married on August 1, 1919. The father was a graduate student in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University.
In 1923 the father graduated with a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton, after which he was hired as a consultant for the New York Telephone Company.
In 1924 he was hired as a consultant for the Ohio Bell Telephone Company in his home town, Columbus, Ohio, so the family moved to Columbus.
In 1925 her sister, Susanne Elgin, was born. Two years later the youngest sister, Charlene Elgin, was born.
In 1931 the father bought the Cedarville Ohio Dolomite Company, so the family moved to Cedarville.
By 1932 the three daughters were attending public school in Xenia, Ohio, so the family moved to 241 North King Street in Xenia.
On November 21, 1936 the student newspaper published a brief profile on Kathleen Jo Elgin, in which she said her favorite activity was “drawing” and her career choice would most likely be “bubble dancer.”
In 1937 Kathleen Jo Elgin drew a comic strip for the student newspaper, which was published every Saturday in the local newspaper, The Xenia Gazette. The young artist signed her comic strip “Jo Elgin.”
In June of 1939 Kathleen Jo Elgin graduated from Xenia High School.
In September of 1940, at the age of seventeen, she moved to Dayton, Ohio, to study art at the Dayton Art Institute. She lived at 125 West First Street.
In 1940 the U.S. government began to require draft registration for all able-bodied men over the age of 18. War was declared after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and the nation mobilized for victory.
Kathleen Jo Elgin’s father, Charles Porter Elgin, who was a veteran of the Great War, re-enlisted at the age of forty-four. He served as a Major in the Air Force, and was was stationed at the engineering department of the Lindly Aviation Company of Mineola on Long Island, New York. Mrs. Elgin and her three daughters left Xenia, Ohio, and moved to Hampton Bays, Long Island, NY.
In 1942 Kathleen Jo Elgin left Hampton Bays and moved to New York City to attend night classes at the National Academy of Design at 1083 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street. She lived at The Ansonia Hotel, a grandiose apartment complex at 2109 Broadway, between 73rd and 74th Streets, on the Upper West Side.
At first she supported herself by doing freelance commercial art for advertising agencies, but as money ran low she began to look for steady work as a staff artist. She visited NYC publishing companies with her portfolio, which featured her first published work – the high school comic strip, signed “Jo Elgin,” that had appeared in The Xenia Gazette.