CYRUS H. K. CURTIS lived in Camden in 1890 at 626 Cooper Street, before moving to Philadelphia, according to the 1890-1891 City Directory and a newspaper article from 1894. It is also said that he previously had resided on Second Street above Penn, and near Fifth and Linden Streets.
Philadelphia Inquirer - February 18, 1894
Camden Courier-Post * June 8, 1933
OF CURTIS SET FOR TOMORROW
services will be held tomorrow for Cyrus H. K. Curtis, publisher and
philanthropist, who died early yesterday at his home, Lyndon, at Wyncote,
was chairman of the board of the Curtis Publishing Company, publishers of
the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies Home Journal, and the Country Gentleman.
He was president of the Curtis-Martin Newspapers, Inc., publishers of the
Public Ledger, Evening Ledger and Inquirer, in Philadelphia; and the
Evening Post, in New York City.
More Than Year
had been ill more than a year with heart disease and suffered a relapse
last Friday. He would have been 83 on June 18.
will be held at Lyndon.
will be in West Laurel Hill Cemetery. His family has requested that
flowers be omitted. Attending the services will be the entire Port≠land
Men's Singing Club of 40 voices from Portland, Maine.
his bedside when the end came were his daughter, Mrs. Mary Louise Curtis
Bok, of Philadelphia; her sons, William Curtis Bok and Cary W. Bok; his
stepdaughters, Mrs. John C. Martin, of Wyncote and Mrs. Pearson Wells, of
Detroit, and Curtisí personal physicians, Drs. Martin E. Rehfuss of
Philadelphia and Freeman Brown of Rockland, Maine.
publisher was stricken in May of last year while in New York. He was taken to Philadelphia aboard his
yacht, the Lyndonia, and was in Jef≠ferson Hospital three weeks.
Died in Sleep
wife, Mrs. Kate Stanwood Curtis, died in her sleep May 31, 1932, at
Jefferson Hospital, where she had gone to be near her husband during his
regained some of his strength and was able to take his customary cruise to
Florida waters early this year, returning to Philadelphia April 7.
death closes a career outstanding in American publishing. From a humble
beginning he erected one of the greatest publishing fortunes in America, a
fortune which enabled him to give away millions in philanthropies in his
number of those years in which he was building the foundations of his
enterprises he spent here in Camden. He resided at various abodes in this
city, one on Second Street above Penn, another near
Fifth and Linden
streets and a third on
Seventh. However, he left Camden
about 40 years ago.
has been variously reported that the Saturday Evening Post in its
rejuvenated form was "born" during those years Curtis resided in
life story forms one of the epic chapters in the history of American
journalism. At 15 he became a publisher, issuing the weekly magazine Young
America in partnership with a youth of his own age.
marked the beginning of the part he was to play in the publishing business of the country.
in Portland, Maine
June 18, 1850, Curtis was the ninth of
the American line of the descendants of William Curtis, who settled on the
rocky shores of Maine early in 1632. And throughout his life he carefully cultivated the rugged New England
traits of his forefathers. He gave generously to his native city of Port≠land.
parents, Cyrus Libby and Salome Ann Curtis, named him for Herman
Kotzschmar, a widely known New England musician of a century ago.
interest in music never waned and through his aid the Philadelphia
Orchestra and the Philadelphia Grand Opera Company were materially
assisted. The Curtis Institute of Music, in Philadelphia, formed another
of the municipal projects which he supported and endowed.
business career really started when he was 12. It was the Fourth of July,
1862. Enthusiam was rampant. Flags filled the air as soldiers left the
Maine city for the Civil War battle front.
Curtis, with only 3 cents with which to purchase firecrackers to aid in
saluting the departing soldiers, was sad. His mother suggested he earn the
additional nine pennies he needed. So by nightfall his 3-cent investment
in local newspapers in Portland had tripled, He bought the firecrackers
and at the same time established himself as a newspaperman. From then on
he became a newsboy. Looking for a richer territory, he moved his stand to
Fort Preble a suburb of Portland, where troops were being enlisted and
trained for the Civil War.
at Fort Preble brought him recognition from Portland newspapers and he was
given a regular job at $2 a week. After three years he formed a
partnership and commenced publication of "Young America." After
the first issue the partners disagreed and young Curtis assumed the
editorship of the magazine, continuing singlehanded to publish the weekly
for more than a year.
Halt Editorial Dreams
came his first business disaster. The Portland fire of July, 1866, which
destroyed much of the city, burned the plant of the new magazine and put
an end, temporarily, to his editorial dreams.
he was not discouraged.
went to Boston where he worked as a dry goods clerk for $3 a week,
soliciting newspaper advertis≠ing on a
commission basis as a side line, his
ability brought him a better job,
when two Boston papers offered him a place as a regular solicitor on a
salary basis. He was just 20.
satisfied as a solicitor for long he established the People's Ledger in
Boston in 1872, continuing its
publication after he came to Philadelphia in 1876. The
Ledger was sold in 1879 when he
returned to the advertising business.
of the Tribune and Farmer was started in 1875
with the aid of his wife, the former
Miss Louisa Knapp, of Boston.
criticized her husband's efforts in behalf of women's articles so he
turned that branch of the work over to her. Thus did the Ladies' Home
Journal have its beginning. Her women's articles increased until they
filled several pages in the Tribune and Farmer. Then they became the
disposed of the Tribune and Farmer and assumed full management of the
Journal which had developed into a prosperous publication when Mrs. Curtis
retired in 1889.
editorship was given to the late Edward W. Bok, who later became Curtis'
S. E. P. in 1891
Curtis Publishing. Company was organized in 1891 and in 1897.he purchased
the Saturday Evening Post, which had been established by Benjamin
Franklin. Curtis built its circulation until it surpassed that of any
other magazine in the world.
young journalist, George Horace Lorimer, was made its editor and still
holds that position. Curtis purchased the Country Gentleman in 1911.
bought and merged a number of Philadelphia newspapers into his Morning and
Evening Ledgers. His last purchase was the Inquirer in 1930. It still is
His first wife died in 1910 and on August 2, 1910, he married his second wife, the former Kate Stanwood Cutter Pillsbury, whose first husband had died in Milwaukee in 1903..
Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 1933
OF CURTIS IS HELD AT WYNCOTE
Funeral services for Cyrus H. K. Curtis were held yesterday at "Lyndon," his country home in Wyncote, Pa.
During the Services members of the Portland (Maine) Men's Singing Club sang the Kotzschmar Hymn, composed by Hermann Kotzschmar, an eminent organist of Portland, after whom the publisher was named.
Burial was private in West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Seven of the pipe organs which Curtis presented to communities and institutions in various parts of the country were played in simultaneous musical memorial services for him yesterday.
Three of these programs, consisting of selections which were Curtis' favorites, were given in Philadelphia at the Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania; Drexel Institute and the Unitarian Church of Germantown.
Throughout Philadelphia, flags on municipal buildings and many private buildings were flown at half mast.
The 82-year-old publisher died Wednesday after a year's lingering illness.
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