A spot with a strong connection to the Hamilton County group of illustrators is the former site of the Noblesville High School (NHS) building at 1448 Conner Street. It was attended by George Brehm, who graduated in the 1898 class, Worth Brehm and Thomas Stanley in the 1902 class, and Hanson Booth in the 1907 class.
Thomas B. Stanley (1884-1965)
Thomas B. Stanley was born in Noblesville, where his father ran the telegraph office. At NHS, among other things, he was business manager of the school magazine in 1901. Although there are references to his artwork in the magazine, there are no actual illustrations by him. Stanley attended Herron Art Institute in 1902. From 1906 to 1908, he was listed in the Noblesville city directory as an illustrator.
After 1908, Stanley earned a B.A. and an M.A. in English and then was hired by New York University (NYU) in 1916 to teach Business English. By 1940, Business English had become Marketing. Eventually, Stanley became a Professor Emeritus of Marketing at NYU. He wrote two books on the subject – A Manual of Advertising Typography (1935), and Techniques of Advertising Production (1940).
Throughout his career, he kept his hand in the art world. In 1920, he created a business-oriented cartoon series for the magazine Advertising and Selling. It ran weekly from March to November and the public reaction was enthusiastic. Businessmen wrote to the magazine asking for copies of the strip to post in the office and send to their employees. The reaction was similar to the modern comic strip Dilbert.
Hanson Booth (1886-1944)
Hanson Booth was born on the family farm in Wayne Township and was the brother of a more famous artist, Franklin Booth. The Noblesville High School Annual is where Hanson’s artwork first appeared. He did caricatures of his classmates and teachers very much in the style of the era. His art was used for the cover for several years.
Hanson Booth served overseas after the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917. He was honorably discharged in July 1919 as a Second Lieutenant. He was the only one of the Hamilton County School of illustrators to have served in World War I.
Like his brother Franklin, Hanson would go on to become a successful professional artist in New York. He did illustrations for books and for a variety of magazines, including Boy’s Life, Harper’s, and Popular Science.