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Bellaw, A.W.

The grate desire ov mi life
iz tew amuze sum boddy.
JOSH BILLINGS: Kindling Wood

Americus Wellington Bellaw, poet, writer, and humorist, was born in Troy, Ohio, March 17, 1842. He was a son of Henry A. Bellaw, an architect and builder, and his wife Eovina A. Pchleuker. His grandfather emigrated from France to Canada where he became an Indian trader at Three Rivers. After attending the Troy Union School, Americus was apprenticed at the age of 16 to a monument carver in St. Joseph, Missouri, and "amid the cheerful surroundings of a tombstone shop" he began to write humorous articles and verse for the Cincinnati Weekly Times and other papers. In 1863 he was married to Mary S. Stafford of Ohio (she died in 1885). He served as a private with the Missouri army during the Civil War and afterwards returned to his marble cutting but at the same time continued writing. In 1885 he started a paper of his own in Sidney, Ohio, entitled The Old Man. He was on the staff of the Saturday Star Journal and the Banner Weekly, published by Beadle, and for years wrote a weekly poem and many short sketches for these weeklies under the pen names "Washington Whitehorn," "Joe Jot, Jr.," and "Jo King." The "Foolscap Papers," which ran for years in the Saturday Journal, were his. He also contributed to Drake's Magazine and various other periodicals. It is said that he published more than four thousand humorous poems. †

REFERENCES: Nat. Cyc. Amer. Biog., V, 1907, 549-50; Drake's Magazine, VI, April, 1888, 256, with a small portrait; Banner Weekly, No. 139, July 11, 1885, 4.

Boy's Library (octavo). No. 17
Pocket Library. No. 393

† Correction made as per Volume 3.


1 Dated November 1, 1913, and now in the manuscript room of the New York Public Library.

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