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Artists, Writers & Publishers of the Boston-Edison Historic District

Ernest Harrison Barnes

Ernest Harrison Barnes painting: A Shady Tree

Ernest Harrison Barnes was born in 1873 in New York state. He was educated at Hillsdale College in Michigan and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1915. He showed at the Cinncinnati Art Museum, the Boston Art Club, the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, and the Corcoran Biennial. His work was purchased for permanent collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts and the state of Michigan, among others. 

Ernest Harrison Barnes lived at 676 Chicago Boulevard.

Malcolm W. Bingay

Malcolm W. Bingay

Malcolm Bingay was born in 1884 in Ontario. His parents moved to Detroit soon after, and Malcolm was educated in Detroit until he was expelled from school for sassing a teacher. He went to work for the Detroit News as a printer's devil, then graduated to office boy, and at age 17 went to work as a reporter. When he was 21, he was made sports editor, and at 24 city editor. Five years later he was managing editor, a post he held until 1928 when the News fired him.

After a year as a PR council, Bingay was hired as the managing editor of the Detroit Free Press, a post he held for years. While managing editor, Bingay masterminded a story on an American Legion parade that won five Free Press reporters the Pulitzer prize. He wrote a daily column called "Good Morning" and a sports column under the nom de plume of "Iffy the Dopester." His columns are collected in multiple books, including He who went about doing good,  Two candidates, Landon and Roosevelt: Common sense versus theatrics, Of Me I Sing and Detroit is My Hometown.

Malcolm W. Bingay lived at 1732 Longfellow from the 1920s through the 1940s.

Read a TIME Magazine story on Malcolm W. Bingay or browse Detroit is My Hometown courtesy of openlibrary.org.

Anne Campbell

Anne Campbell was born in rural Michigan in 1888. Campbell became a poet at an early age, first publishing in 1905. She moved to Detroit, and in 1915 married Detroit News reporter and columnist George W. Stark; the couple had three children. Campbell continued her poetry career, eventually publishing five books of poetry. The Detroit News hired her as their staff poet in 1922. She wrote a poem a day for the paper for over twenty-five years. She died in 1984.

Anne Campbell lived at 1950 Longfellow in the 1940s, then moved to 2067 W. Boston, where she lived into the 1970s. 

Alfred R. W. de Jonge

Alfred Robert Willy De Jonge was born in 1885 in Berlin and emigrated to the United States in 1909. De Jonge became a newspaper editor in Boston. However, he later attended Columbia University, earning a PhD in 1927. After attending Columbia, de Jonge joined the faculty of Lincoln Memorial University in Tennessee, and then in 1930 joined the University of Detroit as an assistant professor of German. De Jonge joined the US Army, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel, and during WWII acted as the assistant Military Attache at the American Legation. After the war, de Jong returned to Detroit and became an editor for the Detroit Free Press. 

Alfred R. W. de Jonge lived at 1666 W. Boston Boulevard in the 1950s and 1960s.

William H. Grier

William H. Grier was born in 1926 in Birmingham, Alabama. His father lost his postal job unfairly when William was 12, and the family moved to Detroit. William Grier attended Howard University, then got his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He practiced psychiatry in Detroit, married, and raised a family, including his son David Alan Grier. In 1968, Grier partnered with Price M. Cobbs to write a seminal book on race relations, Black Rage. Grier eventually moved to San Francisco, where he died in 2015. 

William H. Grier lived at 2200 West Boston from the later 1950s through the 1970s.

Read William H. Grier's obituary from the New York Times.

Helene Rother

Helene Rother was born in Germany in 1908, and later moved to Paris, where she designed jewelry. When the Nazis invaded France at the beginning of World War II, Rother fled to Casablanca with her then-seven-year-old daughter, living for months in a refugee camp. She eventually made her way to New York City in 1941. She first worked for Marvel Comics, then in 1942 moved to Detroit to work for Harley Earl at General Motors, as an interior designer. She was one of the first woman to have such a position.

In 1947, she opened her own design studio in the Fisher Building, specializing in automotive interiors, furniture, and stained glass. She was contracted by Nash Automobiles, and designed their interiors from 1948 to 1956, helping the brand reinvent itself as stylish and modern. Her interiors won the prestigious Jackson Medal for outstanding degsign in 1953. In the early 1950s, Rother purchased a home in Boston-Edison to use as a home and studio. She continued in automotive design, and designed stained glass for several area churches. She also designed sterling flatware. Helene Rother died in 1999.

Helene Rothman lived at 101 Chicago Boulevard beginning in the 1950s, in the house earlier occupied by Martin L. Pulcher.

Read a biography of Helene Rothman, and her Wikipedia entry.

Corinne Finsterwald Rowe

Lily by Corinne Finsterwald Rowe

Corinne Finsterwald was born in 1894; she was the daughter of Charles A. Finsterwald. She attended the Wicker School of Fine Arts and married artist Guy Rowe in 1919. The two co-developed an encaustic printing process. Corinne was known for her drawings of Greek heads and ruins, encaustic flower prints, street scenes, and landscapes. She exhibited in the Corcoran Gallery, Baltimore Museum of Fine Arts, and the New York Academy of Design, among other places. Her work is in the permanent collection of of the Library of Congress. 

Corinne Rowe lived with her father Charles at 1239 Chicago Boulevard (now demolished), the home built for J. B. Webber

Delmar Driscoe Spellman

Delmar Driscoe Spellman

Delmar Spellman was born in 1868 in Ohio. He opened his own photography studio at age nineteen in Sidney, Ohio, and in 1898 moved to Detroit to open a photography studio in the city. By 1910 his studio had moved into a custom-designed building. 

Delmar Driscoe Spellman lived at 713 Edison from the 1910s until his death in 1942.

George W. Stark

George Washington Stark was born in Detroit in 1882. He went to work at the Detroit Free Press in 1905, and in 1909 transferred to the Detroit News. There, he worked as a reporter, drama critic, and city editor. In 1915, he married Anne Campbell, (later the official Detroit News poet); the couple had three children. Starting in 1938, Stark wrote the column "Town Talk," dealing primarily with Detroit history, and became involved in Detroit historical activities. He was the first president of the Detroit Historical Commission, beginning in 1943. Stark retired from the News in 1958, but continued to write occasionally for the paper. Stark also authored two historical books during his career: "In Old Detroit" and "City of Destiny." 

George Stark lived at 1950 Longfellow in the 1940s, then moved to 2067 W. Boston, where he lived until his death in 1966.

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