The Mencken Companion

Bodine, A. Aubrey (1906-1970). Photographer for the Baltimore Sunday Sun from 1927 to 1970.

Cairns, Huntington (1905-1985). Secretary of the National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), author and editor of many books. Good friend of HLM. Edited H.L. Mencken: The American Scene (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965).

Cheslock, Louis (1899-1981). Composer. Cheslock was a member of the faculty of Peabody Conservatory of Music (Baltimore) where he taught violin and composition. In 1952, he became Chairman of the Department of Theory. He was also a violinist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Saturday Night Club. Cheslock edited H.L. Mencken on Music (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1961).

Fleming, Dewey L. (1898-1955). On staff of the Sun since 1923; became head of the paper's Washington Bureau in 1941.

"Frank the pony … reach the ice cream". From pp. 112-113 in Chapter 7, "Memoirs of Gormandizing", Happy Days, 1880-1892.

Frizzellburg. A very small community on Rt 832 (Old Taneytown Road) in Carroll County, MD, named after Nimrod Frizzell, a blacksmith who settled there in 1814. It is 31.9 miles northerly from Baltimore and 4.2 miles westerly from Westminster, MD. Frizzelburg does not appear on many maps. See Maryland-Delaware Atlas and Gazetteer (Freeport, Maine: De Lorme, 1993), p. 73, Grid B-6.

Hauptmann, Gerhart (Johann Robert) (1862.11.15, Bad Salzbrunn, Silesia, Prussia-1946.06.06, Agnetendorf, Ger.). German playwright, poet, and novelist who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1912.

Lohrfinck, Rosalind C. (0000-1964.Aug.19, Baltimore, MD).

Lossing (0000-0000).

Marriage. HLM and Sara Powell Haardt were married on 1930 August 27 in the Episcopal Church of St Stephen the Martyr, 2400 West North Avenue (between Moreland Ave and Warwick Ave.), Baltimore. Maryland had no civil marriage, so HLM was obliged to marry in a church. The site of the address is now (1999 February) occupied by St Stephen's Court Apartments.

Mencken, Anna Gertrude (1886.Nov.17-1980.??.??). HLM's sister.

Mencken, Anna Margaret Abhau (1858.Jun.11-1925.Dec.13). HLM's mother.

Mencken, August (1854.Jun.16-1899.Jan.13). HLM's father.

Mencken II, August (1889.Feb.18-1967.May.19). HLM's brother.

Mencken, Charles (1882?.00.00-19??.00.00). HLM's brother.

Mencken, Henry Louis (1880.Sep.12-1956.Jan.29).

Mencken, Sara Powell (1898.Mar.01-1935.May.31) HLM's wife. Married HLM 1930 August 27.

“Moose Hunters”. A story of four sixteen-year-old boys in the woods of Maine, which appeared in the Chatterbox for 1887. Chatterbox was an annual miscellany for children published in England. The publication was given to HLM by Grandma Mencken at Christmas 1887, though HLM did not try to read it until the Summer of 1888. From pp. 157-159 in Chapter 7, “Larval Stage of a Bookworm”, Happy Days, 1880-1892 (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Morrison, Virginia Mencken (0000.00.00-0000.00.00). HLM's niece, bore HLM's grandnephew, David Mencken Morrison (1943.Mar.??-1974) who was killed in an airplane crash.

“pelt flies with roast lemon peel”. From pp. 66-67 in Chapter 4, “Baltimore of the Eighties”, Happy Days, 1880-1892 (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996).

Palmer, Jr. Edward L. (1877.May.26-1952.May.13, Gibson Island, MD). Baltimore Architect. Credited with the design of the Cedarcroft neighborhood in Northern Baltimore. An example of his work is the poured concrete houses, built in 1905, at 835-843 West University Parkway (Between Roland Ave. and Keswick Rd), Baltimore, MD.

In 1925, Palmer entered into a partnership with William D. Lamdin. This small but well-known neighborhood of about 135 homes is bounded on the east by York Road, on the south by Lake Avenue, and on the north by the City Line. In 1885 meat-packer Philip E. Lamb purchased 25 acres, and later, an additional 20 acres which covered most of the present-day neighborhood. Lamb called his estate “Cedarcroft.” The Cedarcroft Land Company was formed in 1910 by Philip and George Lamb and several other men, including Edward L. Palmer, an architect credited with the design of the development. When all of the lots were sold, the Cedarcroft Land Company was liquidated in the early 1920s.

Treitschke, Heinrich von (1834.Sep.15, Dresden -1896.Apr.28, Berlin). German historian and political writer who advocated power politics. As a public figure he was handicapped by almost total deafness.

Tully, Jim (1891-1947). Author of Beggars Life, Circus Parade, Shanty Irish, Laughter in Hell. Tully was a good friend of HLM.

“Uncle Willie” cigar.

Warner & Co., Inc. Polk's Baltimore City Directory for 1900 lists WARNER & CO. (Theodore Warner and James R. Paine), Hatters, at 324 W. Baltimore St. Polk's for 1922 gives WARNER & CO., Hats, Caps, Umbrellas, Coats, Canes, etc., 222-224 W. Baltimore St. Sometime between 1925 and 1927, WARNER & CO., moved to 18-20 East Baltimore St. Polk's for 1964 gives WARNER & CO., The Quality Store for Men, 20 East Baltimore St.

In his writings, Mencken refers or to alludes to people, literary characters and things which are now familiar only to specialists. Though these may be glossed over by the modern reader with little diminishment of his pleasure in reading Mencken, it makes for a better understanding of HLM if the reader understands the historical and intellectual context within which he lived and wrote.

The purpose of the Companion is to provide thumbnail sketches of persons and events long gone by, provide a glossary of terms which may be unfamiliar to a modern reader, and to provide indexes for those of his books which the publishers have not provided with indexes.

Mencken, Henry L. The Philosophy Of Friedrich Nietzsche. Torrance, CA: The Noontide Press. Reprint of a work originally published in 1908.

In this edition of the book, Mencken made several remarks about the inferiority of Negroes which he elided from later editions. I learned later that Noontide Press was a publisher of, among other things, white supremacist literature, so their selection of edition to reprint, in this light, was not surprising. The remarks are few and one can see why a more mature Mencken would be embarassed by them.

The work is more Mencken than Nietzsche, and its main value is in demonstrating that Mencken's thought was in conformance with the intellectual temper of the times. The book is heavy with names and references to learned works now forgotten. Click here for a biographical list.

When I compiled this list, I could not enter characters with diacritical marks, so I adopted the convention of placing a colon (:) before the letter to indicate that a diacritical mark was missing. The information is taken from various reference works and encyclopedias.