Open main menu

FLORENCE HUNTLEY A woman of the century (page 416 crop).jpgFLORENCE HUNTLEY. HUNTLEY, Mrs. Florence, journalist, author and humorist, was born in Alliance, Ohio, and was graduated in the Methodist Female College, Delaware, Ohio. She became known to the public as the wife of the late Stanley Huntley, of New York, the author of a series of remarkably humorous sketches in which Mr. and Mrs. Spoopendyke are the characters. She met Mr. Huntley, and they were married in Bismarck, Dak., in 1879, at which time he was editor of the Bismarck "Tribune." They returned East in 1880. She suggested to her talented husband, who was a special writer on the Brooklyn "Eagle," the sketches which made him famous. They were used, at her suggestion, in his special department under the title of "Salad." This department was always written by Mr. Huntley on Pnday. Mrs. Huntley was often said to be the author of the "Spoopendyke" sketches, but she disposes of the assertion by her acknowledgment that she wrote but one of them. She adopted the style employed by her husband, who was too ill to write or even to read a sketch, and the production went over the country as her husband s. While suggesting subjects to him, the work was done by him. Her husband was an invalid for two years before his death. Mrs. Huntley tells the story of her own entrance into the literary field as follows: "The people who laughed over the humorous things he continued to write would have felt tears burning in their hearts, if they could have seen this frail, delicate, nervous man, racked with pain and burning with fever, sitting bravely at his desk writing jokes to pay our board bills. Now and then, when I could not bear to see him working thus. I prevailed on him to let me do it for him. In this way I wrote considerable for the 'Salad’ column. but it was always supposed at the office that I had acted as his amanuensis. Once, when driven by necessity, he agreed, against his inclination, to write a serial story for a New York young folks' paper Three weeks after the beginning of 'Daddy Hoppler,' Mr. Huntley broke down completely and was ordered to sea by the physician. An increasing board bill and an unfinished contract stared us in the face and nerved me to the rashness of writing the next installment, for which I received twenty dollars. This encouraged me. At the end of five weeks Mr. Huntley returned, considerably improved, and found me with bills all paid and a new serial under way, and the gifted editor apparently none the wiser." Since that time Mrs. Huntley has written much in various lines, and her productions are in constant demand. Mr. Huntley died in July, 1886. Her first journalistic work after Mr. Huntley's death was that of political correspondent of the Minneapolis "Tribune" from Dakota Territory, in 1887. She then accepted an editorial position on that paper, doing regular social and political editorial, with the humorous paragraphing. She next accepted a position on the Washington, D. C , "Post," and remained there a year, having charge of a woman's page and regular editorial and humorous paragraphs. She then took charge of the political correspondence of the Hutchinson, Kans., "News," a daily giving support to Ingalls in his last Senatorial fight. Besides this, she did much miscellaneous work for many papers, stories for the "National Tribune," specials for the New York and Chicago papers, and tariff papers for the "Economist." She has published one novel, "The Dream Child " (Boston, 1892). She has recently published two original Spoopendyke papers, and has been asked by the editor of a Chicago Daily to resume the work. Mrs. Huntley makes her home in Washington, D. C.