William Clarence Brigham, Jr., (no relation to Walter Cole Brigham) was born August 1, 1895 in Newark, New Jersey. His father, also named William Clarence Brigham, was born in 1872 in New Jersey. His mother, Anna M. Chapin, was born in 1876 in New York of French and German ancestry. His parents married in 1893 and had four children, William Clarence Brigham (b.1895), Harold Frederick Brigham (b.1897), Lewis Maitland Brigham (b.1900), and Margaret C. Brigham (b.1907). The family lived at 263 Garside Street in Newark, NJ. The father was a postal inspector.
The children attended public school in Newark.
In June of 1909 William C. Brigham, Jr., completed the eighth grade, after which he entered the workforce. He worked as an apprentice in a printing shop in Newark that supplied graphic materials for newspaper advertising.
In 1915, at the age of twenty, he won a scholarship to attend the School of Industrial Arts in Trenton, NJ. That same year the Trenton Business Directory listed William C. Brigham, Jr., as an artist with a studio at 12 Jarvis Place.
In 1917 he began to study at the Art Students League of New York at 215 West 57th Street. His most influential teachers were George Bridgman (1865-1943) and Robert Henri (1865-1929).
In 1917 he joined the New Jersey National Guard, in which he served as a private in the quarter masters corps.
On May 3, 1917, during the Great War, William Clarence Brigham, Jr., reported for draft registration and was recorded to be age twenty one, single, of medium height, medium build, with blue eyes and brown hair. His occupation was listed as "Commercial Illustrator employed by Bloomingdale Brothers of New York City."
He served as a corporal in the Army and was sent overseas. He was honorably discharged in 1919.
After the war William Clarence Brigham, Jr., resumed his career as a commercial artist in New York City. He opened an art studio on the 10th floor of 286 Fifth Avenue, near 30th Street in midtown Manhattan.
In 1920 William Clarence Brigham, Jr., married Dorothy O. Coons. She was a music teacher, born in 1896 in Syracuse, NY. The newlyweds moved to 148 Seeley Avenue in Arlington, New Jersey.
In 1922 William Clarence Brigham, Jr., painted covers for Mystery Magazine and The Wireless Age.
In 1924 his paid advertisement and listing appeared in Lee & Kirby's nationwide directory of graphic artists.
In 1924 he illustrated advertisements that were published in newspapers and nationally-distributed magazines.
On June 3, 1924 his son, William Conover Brigham, was born.
In 1926 William Clarence Brigham, Jr. began to illustrate digest-sized risqué magazines, such as Ginger, Pep, and Hot Stuff.
In 1928 his illustrations began to appear in pulp magazines. He painted covers for The Dragnet, The Underworld, Rangeland Love, Clues Detective, and Popular Engineering Stories.
His pen and ink line drawings illustrated stories in pulp magazines, such as Eagles of the Air, Complete Flying Novel. Five Novels Monthly, Clues Detective, New York Stories, and Gangster Stories.
In 1929 his daughter, Barbara A. Brigham, was born.
From 1935 to 1939 his drawings also appeared in comic books produced by National Comics, Chesler Studio, Dell Publications, Centaur Comics, and DC Comics. He created the features Sandra of the Secret Service, Jack Woods, Brad Hardy, and Professor McScrewy.
On February 24, 1942 during WWII he again registered with the selective service as required by law for men under the age of sixty-five. He was recorded to be forty-six, five-eleven, 194 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. His art studio was in NYC at 509 Madison Avenue. His home address was 70 Magnolia Avenue in Kearny, New Jersey. He was not selected for military service.
On November 13, 1948 Mr. and Mrs. William C. Brigham, Jr., attended a benefit event in Brooklyn to support the Florence Nightengale Federation, Incorporated.
William Clarence Brigham, Jr., died at the age of fifty-four on August 20, 1949.
© David Saunders 2016