I am researching people involved with an organization called the Stratemeyer
Syndicate. Between 1905 and 1985 this group produced more than 1,600 books,
including many of the popular series books for children in the U.S. like the
Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, and the Bobbsey Twins. They did this by
hiring writers to complete novels from limited outlines. The writers were
paid a flat fee and the books were published under pseudonyms owned by the
Syndicate. I have a web site with basic information on the Syndicate: http://keeline.com/StratemeyerSyndicate
Two of the more prolific writers for this organization were a father and
daughter. Toghether they wrote nearly 200 books for the Syndicate and a
number of books on their own. Below I have entered the information I know
about them. I would like to find obituaries for these people in hopes that
they might have additional information about these people. Since Elizabeth's
son, Kenneth, also lived in West Hartford, CT at the time of his death, his
obituary might be helpful. I would greatly appreciate making a connection
with living family members or getting photos of these people but I guess that
is too much to hope for.
Thank you for any help you can provide. If there is a way I can help you in
California, please let me know. I will be happy to pay for any expenses you
incur in this search or to make copies for me. I am a bookseller specializing
in old children's books so if there are books you remember and can't find,
perhaps I can lead you to copies or find them myself.
James D. Keeline
5707 Spartan Dr.
San Diego, CA 92116James@Keeline.comhttp://keeline.com
John William Duffield
b. 15 Jan 1859, Brooklyn, NY
d. 24 Oct 1946, West Hartford, CT
br. Evergreen Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY
ed. Colgate University (Hamilton, NY), 1882; Colgate Seminary, 1884
oc. Book publisher, 1900-1910; bookseller, 1910; Booklovers' Society,
1916; NY TIMES writer, 1918-1922. Children's book author, 1913-
1943, including 115 for the Stratemeyer Syndicate: Bomba the
Jungle Boy, Don Sturdy, Ted Scott, Radio Boys, etc.
Apparently he lived in Brooklyn or Hollis, NY for most of his life
and he moved to West Hartford (73 Milton St.) just before his death.
According to the 1900 NY Census, he was married to Sara S. (b. Jul 1858)
who was a public school teacher.
According to records at Colgate University, he was married to Clara B.
Selleck who died on 5 Feb 1931 in Hollis, Long Island, NY.
John and Sara had two children:
Earl Vincent Duffield (Dec 1890-15 Jul 1953) who was married to Caroline
(b. circa 1894 in Canada) according to the 1920 NY Census.
Elizabeth M. Duffield (26 Oct 1895-22 Nov 1983) who was married to
Watson Ferris Ward, Jr. (Jun 1886-after 1931).
Elizabeth M. Duffield Ward
b. 26 Oct 1895, Brooklyn, NY
d. 22 Nov 1983, Hartford, CT
oc. None stated in census or other records. However, she wrote children's
books between 1915 and 1942 including 4 under her mainden name and 71
for the Stratemeyer Syndicate, including many Bobbsey Twins volumes.
She lived near her father in Hollis, NY for many years and probably
moved to West Hartford at the same time.
Watson Ferris Ward, Jr. (Jun 1886-after 1931) who was a Captain in the
U.S. Army in 1918 and was a self-employed accountant in the 1920 OH
Census. His career was not stated in a 1931 New York City Directory.
Kenneth E. Ward (16 Apr 1919-27 Nov 1981) who was a Medical Director
for an insurance company. He attended Colgate University beginning in
Sep. 1936 and was introduced there by his grandfather, John W. Duffield.
He lived in West Hartford, CT at the time of his death.