Robert McKimson

Thomas McKimson

Charles McKimson

Robert Porter McKimson was one of the principal creators of the Warner Bros. cartoons, first as the studio's most imposing animator and then as a long-tenured director. Such enduring characters as Foghorn Leghorn and the Tasmanian Devil first appeared in his cartoons, and he was critically important in the development of Bugs Bunny.

Bob McKimson was born in Denver, Colorado, on October 13, 1910. In autobiographical notes written in 1944, when he was promoted from animator to director, he said that his "schooling consisted of a start in a small country schoolhouse—which contained eight elementary grades in one large room, then on through five years in a small town called Wray, Colorado, where my father owned the weekly newspaper." The McKimson family moved briefly to Los Angeles in 1921, then back to Colorado, and then to Texas, buying and operating a newspaper in each place. Finally, in 1926, McKimson's parents sold their newspaper in Canadian, Texas, a Panhandle town, and moved back to Los Angeles, this time for good.

"My father taught my two brothers and myself the newspaper and printing business from the ground up," McKimson wrote in 1944. "My mother, being an artist, taught each of us everything she knew about drawing from the time we could hold a pencil. Before coming to California my only artistic endeavors were newspaper cartoons, drawings etc. for state and county fairs, and drawing anything and everything for my own pleasure."

Thomas Jacob "Tom" McKimson (March 5, 1907 - February 14, 1998) was an American animator, best known for his work at Warner Bros. studio. He was the older brother of animators Robert and Charles McKimson.

McKimson was born in Denver, Colorado, but relocated to Los Angeles with his family in the 1920s. He began his career in animation in 1928, when he joined the Walt Disney Studio, becoming an assistant to animator Norman Ferguson. He left Disney in the early 1930s to work briefly for Romer Grey Studios, then joined Harman-Ising Studios around 1932. After Harman and Ising left Warner Bros. Animation for MGM, McKimson became a member of Bob Clampett's animation unit, where he is credited with the original design for Tweety Bird. McKimson also provided animation for Bob McKimson and Arthur Davis's units.

During his time at Warner Bros., McKimson also worked for Dell Comics, providing illustrations for the Bugs Bunny and Road Runner comic books. McKimson also illustrated the Roy Rogers daily comic strip from 1949 to 1953 in collaboration with his brother Charles and artist Pete Alvarado, using the collective pseudonym "Al McKimson."[1][2] He left Warners in 1947 to become art director for Dell's parent company Western Publishing, where he remained until his retirement in 1972.
Robert McKimson’s relatively early death probably robbed him of much of the fame that he deserved. No figure at Warner Brothers -- not Avery, not Clampett, not Jones, not even Freleng -- racked up the kind of service that Bob McKimson did. He joined the studio in 1930. His first screen credit is for Bosko’s Store in 1932, and he would continue to be in the credits continuously until the close of the studio in 1963.

McKimson had an extremely rare combination of talents that made him a formidable animator: his art was stylish, and he worked extremely fast. First Avery’s unit, later Jones’ took advantage of his exquisite draftsmanship, which had few rivals at Warners -- indeed, anywhere outside of Disney. It was, however, in the Clampett unit, to which McKimson moved around 1942, that he reached his peak as an animator. It is no coincidence that Clampett started being able to fully achieve his manic vision at this point, having such a talented top animator working with him.

It was McKimson who made the key model sheets for Bugs Bunny in October 1942 and in 1943. These played a pivotal role in shaping the definitive Bugs. He also drew the famous publicity pose of Bugs with a carrot, leaning on a tree, originally drawn for an Easter display at a Los Angeles department store.

Brother Charles entered into the animation field in 1937 with Warner Bros. and animated for Tex Avery. His first screen credit was in 1939, "Land of the Midnight Fun." He remained there until 1941 when he was drafted into the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He animated training films for the Army until his release in 1946.

Meanwhile, Tom rejoined Robert at Warner Bros. in 1942 doing animation and layouts for Bob Clampett. He remained with Warners until 1947 when he joined Whitman/Dell Publishing as Art Director for comic books, coloring books and comic strips. He eventually became overall Art Director and retired in 1972. However, he remained active doing comic books and animation until his passing in 1998. Tom was one of the great talents in the history of comic book art. I believe his accomplishments and place in animation art is well established.

Tom McKimson is probably referred to in the brief appearance of a taxicab labeled “Tom’s Taxi” in The Great Piggy Bank Robbery (Clampett, 1946).

Charles rejoined Warners in 1946 and became an animator for brother Robert, and stayed until 1954. He then joined brother Tom at Whitman/Dell Publishing and became Art Director for comic and coloring books. He remained there until 1963, and left to start his own animation company, doing TV and motion picture titles and commercials, which were released through Pacific Title. Charles closed that business in 1994, but remained active with McKimson Productions doing animation art projects. His ability to create animated TV and motion picture titles was much sought after by the studios. Along the way, he earned two "Emmy" awards for his titles, which further honored his artistic and technical ability. He passed away in April 1999.

Charles E "Charley" McKimson Sr

Birth 17 Jan 1872 in Union County, Iowa , Death Oct 1972 in Beloit, Mitchell, Kansas

In 1900 Charles is in Glen Elder, Mitchell County, Kansas, boarding with a day-laborer's family.  He's a printer.

Mildred Porter
Birth 1884 Colorado
Married in 1905

In 1905 Charles and Mildred were in Denver County - they're in the "Lot and Block Index"

Thomas Jacob was born in Denver County March 5, 1907

Anabel, also in Denver County, January 2, 1909

In 1910 they were in Merino, Logan County, Colorado, with children Thomas and Anabel.  Chas. E. is editor of a newspaper.

Looks like they didn't stay long - the 1911 Merino business directory has Merino Breeze (w), Thad S Sutton ed.

  Rattler November 1916

  Buying a newspaper wasn't simple, even in 1916

  Rattler December 1916

  September 1917  He owned it in 1918, as well as the Gazette, per the History of Colorado

In 1917 Thomas J. McKimpson was in the fifth grade at Wray with Miss Breckenridge, teacher

Anabel McKimspson is in the third grade with Miss Donna Wittemeyer

Robert McKimson is in the third grade with Myrtle Humbersone 


Rattler December 1919

The 1920 census has the McKimson family living on South Coyote Street (now called Clay Street) in Wray, with the three sons and daughters Anabel and Alice.

Advertisement in the 1920 Yuma County Atlas

A 1922 Rattler article said that F.W. Elliott was working in the Akron Reporter newspaper, and that he had worked for McKimson at the Gazette in Wray for several years.  Elliott was "a likeable chap and a valued employee."  The 1920 census has Floyd W. Elliott lodging with the Jesse Holloway family on Kiowa Street.  Floyd is 16, an apprentice printer, born in Iowa..  If he's the Floyd Elliott working at a gas station in Omaha in 1930, he didn't stay in Colorado long.

Likely he's the Floyd Wesley Elliott born July 23, 1903 in Jasper County Iowa to Chas. R.  and Eldora (Phipps) Elliott, dying June 11, 1995 in San Joaquin County, California.

In June 1920 the Yuma Pioneer reported

The McKimson's were in Wray in April 1921, if the Red Cloud (Nebraska) article on their visit is correct.

January 1922

In February 1922 Yuma had another "community sing", with a spelling match scheduled between the men and wormen. E. E. McKimson was one of the ten men spellers.

With his older brother graduating from the eighth grade in  April 1922 in Yuma, it's almost certain that Robert attended school there.

May 1922 Yuma "Thomas McKimson son of Mr. and Mrs. C.E. Mckimson went up to Denver Friday for a few days' visit with relatives."

June 1922

June 1922 the Yuma Pioneer reported "C.E. McKimson, recent publisher of the Republican, and family left for Denver, via the auto route, Monday. Mr. McKimson's plans for the future were indefinite, when he left this city."

Rattler August 1922

C.E. McKimson is in the 1922 fall telephone directory for Greeley, living at 49 S 3rd av, Brighton


  This October 1925 deal must have not been completed (Dallas Morning News)

   March 1926

  And April 1926

  Also April 1926   - This is Thomas

That's about when this photo of Bob was taken - Thanks to his son Robert Jr.

This is Tom - and almost exactly the time period when he was graduating from the eighth grade in Yuma.  Also from Robert McKimson, Jr.

This is "Chuck" - Charles, Jr. - also from Robert McKimson, Jr.


In 1926 they had sold the Record - and Mrs. C.E. McKimson was the note-holder of record, according to an October 1926 article.

  Robert McKimson early 1930's 

  Note the two signatures on this cel !

  Tom and Charles McKimson


(from Weekly Beloit Call)
Charley Edson McKimson was born in Afton, Iowa, January 17, 1872, to Jacob and Nancy Porter McKimson and died October 30, 1972 at the Mitchell County hospital at the age of 100 years, 9 months; and 13 days.
He moved to Kansas in 1887, settling on a farm north of Solomon Rapids. In 1896 he left for Denver, Colo. where he learned the printing trade which he followed for 50 years. He owned newspapers in Colorado, Texas, California and Kansas, his last being the SCANDIA JOURNAL in Scandia, Kansas.
He was married in Denver to Mildred Porter in 1905. To this union 5 children were born. They later moved to California.
After his wife's death in 1936, he returned to Kansas and renewed acquaintance with an old school-mate, Lena Thierolf, to whom he was married in 1940.
After disposing of the Scandia Journal, investments were made in Jewell County land in which he had a keen interest, but retirement was in their home in Beloit.
He was a member of the Methodist church Methodist Men's Brotherhood, and took part in all Church activities.
Besides his wife, Lena, he is survived by 2 daughters, Mrs. Alyce Bryson, Woodland Hills, Calif.; Mrs. Anabel Weikert, Newbury Park, Calif., three sons, Thomas J., Pacific-Palisades, Calif.; Robert P., Beverly Hills, Calif. and Charles E., Jr. Guadlajara, Mexico. Also, 8 grandchildren, 8 great grandchildren, other relatives and many friends.
Mr. McKimson bought the Scandia Journal from the Stofer Bros., taking over November 14 with his first issue Nov. 17, 1938. He wrote that he and his wife had been in the newspaper business for 31 years and when she died he decided to "quit the business forever" and after 2 1/2 years happened to come to Scandia when the printer's ink began to draw him to newspaper shops and he bought the Journal. Cap Berger, who already had a job elsewhere, was persuaded by McKimson to stay here as linotype operator. McKimson sold the shop to Cap in 1946.
Tom, his son, is a cartoonist and the Journal during the days of McKimson and Cap, had the advantage of his artistic skill.
A Thanksgiving drawing was made when Tom was "ten or eleven", and graced the second issue of the Journal under McKimson's editorship.

The five siblings were listed in a 2007 oil/gas well in Weld County - not even near Fort Lupton or Brighton, along with a hundred other parties



Los Angeles Times May 22, 1998  Weikert, Annabel, 89, of Newbury Park, homemaker. Pierce Brothers Griffin Mortuary, Thousand Oaks.

Return to the Yuma County Data Page.