Tuesday, March 22, 2016

LeRoy Ernest Fess (1896-1958)

Poet, Author, Journalist, Hobbyist
Born September 20, 1896, Darien, New York
Died April 9, 1958, Buffalo, New York?

LeRoy Ernest Fess was born on September 20, 1896, in Darien, a small town in western New York State. As a student at Alfred University, also in the western part of the state, he was listed as a resident of Crittenden. Fess paid his way through Alfred University in part with a state scholarship. He matriculated in 1913 but didn't graduate until 1919; induction into the U.S. Army Infantry interrupted his schooling. In 1920, his poem "All" won a place as a poem of distinction in The Poets of the Future: A College Anthology for 1918-1920, edited by Henry T. Schnittkind (Boston: The Stratford Company, 1920).

Leroy E. Fess made his living as a reporter, news photographer, feature writer, and columnist at newspapers in Buffalo, including the Buffalo Evening News and the Buffalo Courier Express, for which he wrote "The Farm Picture" column. He also worked for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and the Syracuse Post-Standard. As a lover of dogs, Fess served as editor of The Saint Fancier (1932, about Saint Bernard dogs), president of the Dog Writers Association of America (1954), and compiler and editor of Fifty Years of Irish Wolfhound Registrations in America, 1897-1955. He wrote other non-fiction as well, including "Data Treasure of Past Uncovered" in the newsletter Early Settlers of New York State, Their Ancestors and Descendants (Sept. 1936). His only known work in the genres of fantasy, horror, and science fiction is "The Dream Chair" in Weird Tales, October 1928. He also wrote two letters published in "The Eyrie," the letters column of Weird Tales.

Leroy Fess died on April 9, 1958, at age sixty-three. He was survived by his wife, Margaret Richmond Fess, a 1929 graduate of the University of North Dakota and like her husband a reporter and writer of features for various New York newspapers.

Leroy Ernest Fess' Story in Weird Tales
"The Dream Chair" (Oct. 1928)

Letters to "The Eyrie"
Jan. 1929
July 1941

Further Reading
"LeRoy E. Fess, 61, Dead; Farm Editor Specialized in Dog Articles for 40 Years," New York Times, Apr. 10, 1958.
Note: I have not read this article. It may include information not given here.

Dog lover Leroy Ernest Fess

Text copyright 2016, 2023 Terence E. Hanley

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