Mel Blanc is one of Oregon’s most tremendous pop culture stars. But he is not the first.
That honor goes to Homer Davenport, a political cartoonist for Hearst newspapers.
Born and raised in Silverton, Oregon, Homer Davenport began working for the San Francisco Examiner in 1892. Three years later, Hearst transferred him to The Evening Mail in New York. Davenport’s cartoons proved so influential and effective that a bill was brought before the New York State Senate to outlaw them.
This cartoon, which caricatured New York State Senator ( R ) Thomas Collier Platt and William M. “Boss” Tweed, was titled “No Honest Man Need Fear Cartoons”.
Gus Frederick, long active in Silverton’s historical society, followed the Mel Blanc Project events with interest, thinking that Homer Davenport deserved similar celebration.
Oregon Cartoon Institute could not be in greater agreement with this assessment.
All inquiries about the Homer Davenport Project should be directed to the Davenport Project website.
For a wonderfully lively and detailed appreciation of Homer Davenport’s life, see Walt Curtis’ biographical sketch, written as a foreword to a 2002 edition of Davenport’s book, A Country Boy.
For a capsule summary of his life, see the 1912 New York Times obituary.
For more information about Mel Blanc, see the Archives of this website.
“Despite what some might term the “frivolous” nature of my job, I consider myself an artist, and cartoons, art.” Mel Blanc