Thursday, June 4, 2015

Walter G. Detrick (1884-1926)

Author, Teacher
Born September 20, 1884, Clarion County, Pennsylvania
Died April 17, 1926, Clarion Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania

You start with the name of an author. Then in your research you find someone of that same name but without any apparent connection to the author, the subject of your research. Then the problem becomes this: Are they the same person? If you say yes, you risk making a mistake. If you say no, you're back where you started with an unknown author. So you say yes, but . . .

There is only one Walter G. Detrick in the United States census. I can only assume that he was the writer for Weird Tales and that he died tragically young. Son of a blacksmith, Walter Guy Detrick was born on September 20, 1884, in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. In September 1918, when he filled out his draft card, Detrick was a tuberculosis patient at the Hamburg State Sanatorium in Strattonville, Pennsylvania. He had contracted the disease in about 1915. Detrick may or may not have married a Janet L. Hughes in Manhattan on December 16, 1920. His death certificate says that he was married but does not give the name of his spouse. Detrick was a school teacher, presumably in his home county. I have taken the leap and have assumed that he was also a teller of weird tales who wrote three stories for "The Unique Magazine" published in 1925-1926. The last, "The Kidnapper's Hands," appeared in the February 1926 issue. Walter Guy Detrick, the Pennsylvania teacher, died of pulmonary tuberculosis two months later, on April 17, 1926. He was just forty-one years old.

Walter G. Detrick's Stories in Weird Tales
"Through the Horn Gate" (Apr. 1925)
"Dead Hands" (June 1925)
"The Kidnapper's Story" (Feb. 1926)

Further Reading
None known.

Copyright 2015 Terence E. Hanley

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