A Guide to the John F. Knott Cartoon Scrapbook, [ca. 1930-1942], 1952
Born in Pilsen, Austria, to Francis Joseph and Anna (Hajek) Knott, John Francis Knott (1878-1963) immigrated to Sioux City, Iowa, with his widowed mother at the age of five. As a teen, the Sioux City Journal published his artwork and he won several prizes for political cartoons from the Chicago Record. After high school, Knott moved to Chicago, where he worked as an architectural draftsman and took night classes at the Holmes School of Illustration. In 1901, he relocated to Dallas and spent four years illustrating harness and saddlery catalogs for White Engraving Company. Knott married Carrie Louise Bowen (d. 1953) in 1907.
In 1905, Knott began his career at the Dallas Morning News (DMN) with general illustration, though he took a break from 1910 to 1911 to study at the Royal Academy of Art in Munich, Germany. Created in 1906, his most famous character, “Old Man Texas,” symbolized rural Texas, honesty in government, low taxes and property ownership. Upon his return to Texas, Knott’s work began appearing on the front page of the DMN, commenting on such topics as Woodrow Wilson’s first presidential campaign and World War I and attracting national attention. The U. S. State Department cited Knott for his work to combat Soviet aggression (1950) and the Society of Professional Journalists named him best cartoonist of 1951. Knott retired from the DMN in 1957 having drawn over 15,000 cartoons, many of which were reprinted by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Evening Post and Herald Tribune, the St. Louis Dispatch, and other papers.
Perez, Joan Jenkins. “Knott, John Francis.” Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed January 27, 2011.
Newspaper clippings of the cartoonist’s artwork compose the John F. Knott Cartoon Scrapbook, [ca. 1930-1942], 1952. Published primarily by the Dallas Morning News, the cartoons depict the contemporary political climate and controversies in Texas and the nation, including actions of political parties, politicians, and legislation.
This collection is open for research use.
John F. Knott Cartoon Scrapbook, [ca. 1930-1942], 1952, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers