Thursday, June 4, 2015

Walter G. Detrick (1884-1926) & Guy Detrick (1908 or 1910-1969)

Author, Schoolteacher, Principal, Superintendent
Born September 20, 1884, Reidsburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania
Died April 16, 1926, Strattanville, Clarion County, Pennsylvania

Son of a blacksmith, Walter Guy Detrick was born on September 20, 1884, in Reidsburg, Clarion County, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Clarion State Normal School in 1908. In September 1918, when he filled out his draft card, Detrick was a tuberculosis patient at the Hamburg State Sanatorium in Strattanville, Pennsylvania. He had contracted the disease in about 1915.

Detrick married Janet L. Hughes in Manhattan on December 16, 1920. She died before him (of influenza, on April 18, 1922), as did a brother who had served in France during World War I. Detrick was a schoolteacher, principal, and superintendent, in Philadelphia and other places. Near the end of his life, he studied to be a nurse at Friend's Hospital in Philadelphia.

Detrick's obituary (Clarion Democrat, Apr. 22, 1926, p. 5) says that he was the author of a number of stories published in national magazines. I have taken the leap and assumed that he was 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 16, 1926, at his parents' home in Strattanville. He was just forty-one years old.

In updating this article (on April 17, 2022, the day after the anniversary of Walter Guy Detrick's death), I find that a Guy Detrick had five letters in Weird Tales and Astounding Stories of Super-Science in 1932-1935. So, in my mind, one of two things happened: 1) Those two magazines published Detrick's letters posthumously; or, more likely: 2) Guy Detrick was a different person . . .

And I find that The FictionMags Index has the solution to this little mystery, for it has Guy Carlton Detrick's hometown listed as Big Prairie, Ohio, and his dates as 1908-1969. Other online sources have a different birthdate, June 17, 1910 (in Big Prairie, Ohio), and a death date of December 23, 1969 (in Cleveland, Ohio). That Guy Detrick worked for the Associated Press in Columbus, Ohio, when he filled out his World War II draft card. There was possibly a second Guy Detrick, an educator and lecturer who had Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993) among his students. But for now, I think we have Walter Guy Detrick and Guy C. Detrick figured out, and we should leave it at that until something new appears.

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

Guy C. Detrick's Letters in Weird Tales and Astounding Stories of Super-Science
Letter in "The Eyrie" (Weird Tales, July 1932)
Letter (Astounding Stories of Super-Science, Jan. 1933)
Letter in "The Eyrie" (Weird Tales, Jan. 1934)
Letter in "The Eyrie" (Weird Tales, Feb. 1934)
Letter in "The Eyrie" (Weird Tales, Nov. 1935)

Further Reading
None known.

Updated on April 17, 2022.
Copyright 2015, 2023 Terence E. Hanley

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