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ACPL Digital Collections

About this collection

Bert J. Griswold was born in 1873 in Osage, Iowa, and died in Fort Wayne in 1927. A gifted illustrator and cartoonist, he came to Fort Wayne in 1902, working for the Fort Wayne Daily News and the Fort Wayne Sentinel. He later left the newspaper to establish his own advertising agency. In the course of his work as a reporter and cartoonist, he developed a deep interest in the history of Fort Wayne and Allen County. He also became a prominent advocate for the City Beautiful Movement, which worked for the establishment of local parks and boulevard improvements. Griswold wrote short columns for the newspaper about area pioneers and historic buildings, and his efforts culminated in 1917 in the publication of the two-volume Pictorial History of Fort Wayne. All of the pen-and-ink drawings found in this collection represent his original work, and most, but not all, of them were used in his book. A few pictures are unique and were not published. Griswold often made portraits after working from original photographs that were lent to him for his project. In many cases, the original images are no longer extant.  After the publication of his history, he continued to gather historical information and created his own personalized version of his Pictorial History by adding more images and historical material. His last work was his Builders of Greater Fort Wayne, which was published posthumously.

 
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