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1932-02 Nickel Detective
1934-02 Strange Detective
1933-06 Nickel Detective
1935 Childrens Book
1933-08 Nickel Detective
1935 Childrens Book
1933-11 Strange Detective
1936 Childrens Book
1933-12 Strange Detective
1936 Childrens Book
1934-01 Strange Detective
1937 Childrens Book




























Clifford Phelps Benton was born on February 19, 1893 in Denver, Colorado. His father, Lester Hulbert Benton, was born in 1859 in Ohio. His mother, Erie Anna Brickford, was born in 1860 in Iowa. His parents married on February 16, 1887, and had three children, John Howard Benton (b.1888), Clifford Phelps Benton (b.1893), and Lansing MacElroy Benton (b.1902). The family lived at 315 Raleigh Street in Denver. The father was a mail carrier.

In 1901 the father was assigned to a new route in Toledo, Ohio, so the family left Denver and moved to 213 Melrose Avenue in Toledo.

In 1911 the father was reassigned to a mail route in Twin Forks, Idaho, so the family left Ohio and moved to Twin Forks, where they lived at 218 Third Avenue North.

In June of 1913 Clifford Benton graduated from Twin Forks High School, where he had become interested in a career as an artist.

In September of 1913 he left Idaho and moved to Chicago, to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. Among his classmates at the art school was Hannah Ruth Miller, with whom he fell in love. She was born July 23, 1893 in Iowa. Her father was the president of the First National Bank of Cedar Falls.

On July 12, 1917, during the Great War, Clifford Benton reported for draft registration. He was recorded at the time to have been age twenty-four, medium height, medium weight, with blue eyes and light brown hair.

On March 18, 1918 he married Hannah Ruth Miller at her parents home in Blackhawk, Iowa.

On July 26, 1918 Clifford Benton reported for active duty. He served as a private in the Army, and received basic training at Camp Lewis in Washington State, where he served with the 13th Infantry Division. While stationed at Camp Lewis, his wife moved to nearby Tacoma. He was honorably discharged on January 17, 1919.

After the war he resumed his art career. He worked as a advertising artist in Mapleleaf, Washington, where he and his wife lived at 8523 Fifth Avenue in Mapleleaf. On December 7, 1919 their son, Clifford Sturgis Benton, was born in Washington.

In 1923 the artist was hired to work as a staff artist at an advertising agency in Chicago, so he and his family left Washington and moved to Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, where they lived at 764 Riford Road.

December 30, 1927 his daughter, Janet Benton, was born in Illinois.

In 1928 the artist created advertising for the Wrigley's Chewing Gum Company of Chicago.

In 1931 he began to illustrate children's books, such as "Health Stories" by Anna B. Towse for Scott & Foresman Publishers of Chicago, "Miss Minerva Goin' Places" by Emma Sampson (1931) Reilly & Lee, of Chicago. He illustrated three "Miss Minerva" books for the same publisher.

In 1933 he began to provide freelance illustrations to the Nickel Publishing Company at 537 South Dearborn Street in Chicago. They produced the pulp magazine Man Stories, which was renamed Popular Fiction Magazine, and then became Nickel Detective, which, after six issues, was retitled, Strange Detective Stories. The editor was Ralph Daigh and a writer was Jack Smalley, both of whom had worked at Fawcett Publications of Minneapolis. Other artists who worked for Nickel Publishing included Eric Lundgren, T. Wyatt Nelson (1888-1973), Steven R. "Joe" Kidd (1911-1987), and George R. Taylor (1905-1989).

By 1938 Clifford Benton was employed as a graphic artist and photographer by the National Safety Council, located at 20 North Washer Drive in Chicago. They produced a variety of magazines and booklets, as well as programs for the organization's annual safety conference. The artist remained employed by the National Safety Council for the rest of his life.

On April 27, 1942, during WWII, Clifford Benton again reported for draft registration as required by law for all adult men under the age of sixty-five. He was recorded at the time to have been age forty-nine, five-ten, 180 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair and a light complexion. He was not selected for a second tour of duty in the military.

On July 15, 1942 the artist's father, Lester Hulbert Benton, died at the age of eighty-three in Twin Forks.

On January 16, 1950 the artist's mother, Erie Anna (Brickford) Benton died at the age of eighty-nine in Twin Forks.

In 1958, at the age of sixty-five, the artist retired from the National Safety Council. He and his wife left Glen Ellyn, IL, and moved to Lakewood, Colorado.

Clifford Phelps Benton died at the age of eighty-one in Lakewood, Colorado, on May 6, 1974.

                            © David Saunders 2019

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