The Men Who Make the Argosy
Ellis Parker Butler is one of the Western authors who drifted to New York in the wave of 1897. He was born in Muscatine, Iowa, in 1869. Orion Clemens once owned a newspaper there, and his brother Sam -- in one of his many hard-up periods --
worked on the newspaper; and that Mark Twain once lived in the town and that he said the sunsets there were the finest in the world are two of the things the town is proud of.
Down the river a few miles Bob Burdette, another famous humorist, ran the "Burlington Hawkeye" when Butler was a boy. This general atmosphere of humor gave Butler the notion that writing humor was about the best career he could undertake, and that is how and why he became a contributor to the magazines.
His first piece of fiction was published -- and paid for -- in 1883, when Butler was fourteen, and he has been writing stories ever since then, which is about forty-nine years.
Although Butler had been appearing in many of the American magazines for many years, his first big hit was when he wrote "Pigs Is Pigs" in 1905. This was eight years after he had arrived in New York. This short story about the Irish expressman Mike Flannery and the guinea pigs has gone 'round the world in many translations.
In addition to "Pigs Is Pigs," Butler has had published twenty-eight other books. He lives in Flushing, on Long Island, where he has been vice-president of a national bank and where he is now president of a savings and loan asociation. He is one man who writes for a living and indulges in finance for amusement.