Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Commercial Artist
3 April 1910- 12 September 1971
Dorothy was Russell's oldest sibling. She was born on April 3, 1910 to Charles Albert Leach (#5) and Hazel Rice Thatcher (#6).
Dorothy was born at home, 959 East Mound St., Columbus, Ohio. Her birth certificate states she was born at 1:10 PM. Her birth was announced in the newspaper at left.
The next day, she is mentioned in the newspaper as being 24 hours old and weighing 8 pounds. At the time, her father was the Assistant City Solicitor of Columbus. Charles joyfully admitted that he respected the new conditions at home.
Right: This photo is dated May 1967. Dorothy was 57 years old and would live only 4 more years.
Below: Several days after Dorothy was born, Charles and Hazel received a postcard (postmarked April 8, 1910). The card and its message from the sender are below:
Another little wave Upon the sea of life; Another soul to save, Amid its toil and strife.
Two more little feet To walk the dusty road To choose where two paths meet .. The narrow or the broad.
Two more little hands.. To work for good or ill, Two more little eyes, Another little will.
Another heart to love, Receiving Love again; And so the baby came, A thing of joy and pain.
Lucy E. Akerman
will write to you soon."
Below: When Dorothy was one month old, she received the card below from a friend or relative of one of her parents. The reference "with love to Grandma Rice" is referring to Dorothy's great grandmother. [Grandma Rice was Susanna Rebecca Steely (#24) (1837-1916), married to Anthony Rice (#23). Dorothy's grandmother Mattie Steely Rice (#12) (Susanna's daughter) (1863-1904), married to John M. Thatcher (#11), was not alive when Dorothy was born. Dorothy's grandfather, John M Thatcher (1854-1908) was also not alive when Dorothy was born. Dorothy's grandfather Watson Leach (# 9) (1844-1907) had died 3 years before Dorothy's birth. Her grandmother Leach (Catherine Kenney (#10) (1843-1888) had been dead for many years. So, Dorothy had no living grandparents, but did have one living great grandparent, who died when Dorothy was 6 years old.]
Card Front: Everts School Building, Circleville O. Erected 1852 Remodeled 1880-81, Contains 20 School Rooms. Four acres of ground. 634 Graduates
Card Back: Miss Dorothy Leach
959 E. Mound St.
% Mrs. Chas. Leach (Postmarked May 7, 1910 from Circleville, Ohio)
“Circleville. O. 5/6 1910
your Mamma’s old School where she fin
ished her education
I would love to see you
how are you. with love to Grandma Rice
and Mamma and
your own little self I
am as ever S. E. Hanue
Below Left: This is a charcoal drawing of Dorothy. It appears to have been done by someone using the two photographs to the right. The artist is unknown. It may have been Dorothy herself who created it.
[All photographs of Dorothy's art on this website were taken August - November 2014 and August 2015. White art boards, notebook paper, and newspapers have discolored with age and some colors have faded from their original hue and vibrance.]
Below: On her first Christmas, Dorothy received a Christmas card from her great grandmother.
The top of the post card was decorated with three dogs and "A merry Christmas."
The bottom of the post card is postmarked Dec 22 1910, and addressed to:
Baby Dorothy Leach
959 E. Mound St.
Dear little Dorothy
Grand-ma wishes you
a bright xmas
Hope Chris Kringle
will stop at your house
with much love
When she was one year and 9 months old, her brother Robert (Bob) was born.
Below Left: As Dorothy grew older, she developed an interest in books. Below Right: Robert, about 3, and Dorothy, about 5 posed for a photograph.
When Dorothy was about 9 years old, her sister, Jane was born. Almost three years after that, baby brother, Russell (Russ), was born.
At some point in her early life, she discovered her natural talent as an artist.
Below: In 1922, at 12 years of age, she drew the two sketches below:
She attended Garfield Elementary, and as her grade cards indicate, she was a good student.
Below: The first card below is dated 1919-1920. Dorothy would have been 9 or 10 at the time and in 3rd grade. The second grade card below says "Fourth Year."
She attended Theodore Roosevelt Junior High School, 1924-1926 where her grades continued to be very good and she excelled in art.
Below: At 13, she began sketching her baby brother, Russ.
As Dorothy continued sketching, she began refining her skills.
Below: At about 15, she did the next five sketches. The second sketch is her sister, Jane. The next three are of her brother, Russell.
Dorothy was such an accomplished artist that she was the Art Editor for The Rooseveltian (The junior high school publication). As art editor, she designed the cover of the publication. One of the pages inside the publication lists the honor roll students for that year, 1925. Both Dorothy and her brother, Robert, are listed.
Left: While Dorothy was attending Theodore Roosevelt junior high school, The Columbus Dispatch newspaper announced scholarships that had been awarded for Columbus school pupils to the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts. Dorothy was one of the recipients of a scholarship.
THESE PUPILS RECEIVED ART SCHOLARSHIPS
Above are the Columbus school pupils who recently were awarded scholarships in the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, by the art section of the Columbus Women's club. The scholarships were awarded on the basis of excellence in art work done in the schools. Those were given the recognition, all of whom have begun their work, are Helen Althoff and Judith Chapman. East high school; Creta Kenny, South high school; Dorothy Leach, Theodore Roosevelt junior high school; Myron Campbell, Everett junior high school. Okerbloom's work is well known to readers of The Dispatch School Page. He is the creator of the cartoons signed "Chuck." which appear frequently on this page.
Dorothy attended South High School from 1926 to 1928, graduating at 18 years of age.
Below: As the following newspaper articles describe, Dorothy became very involved with art at South High School. She helped make set designs, built stage models and paint sets.
Stage is Set With Soap Carvings
SETTING the stage for an evening of plays at South High School is an intricate matter. It starts a month or more ahead when pupils in the art department make miniature stages out of bristol board with furniture and figures carved from soap.
Here are two of the designs submitted by Miss Dorothy Leach and Miss Annette Logan from which stage mechanics will work next week in preparation for presentation Feb. 21 of "The Wonder Hat," a one-act play.
Miss Leach is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs Charles A. Leach, 901 Lockbourne Ave., and Miss Logan's parents are Mr. and Mrs. Tom P. Logan, 889 Lockbourne Ave.
These two designs were selected by Miss Marguerite Fleming, dramatics teacher at South. They were made under the direction of Miss Minna Volk of the art department.
Two other one-act plays will be given the same night, "Grandma Pulls the Strings" and "The Valiant."
Below: A description of a live performance presentation of "The Wonder Hat." Note the elaborate set Dorothy helped design. A transcript of the article is below this newspaper clipping.
SCENE FROM SOUTH HIGH PLAYLET
Above is shown a scene from the one-act play, "The Wonder Hat," which was put on by South High dramatic classes last Thursday.
Elaborateness of the production can be realized from the picture, showing that the students evidently went to great pains to make their dramatic efforts a success.
The above scene shows Pierrot, played by Lewis Flichia, pleading for the hand of Columbine, played by Ida Zimpfer. Harlequin, acted by Earl Lewellyn, is also in the picture.
The play was one of three put on by the dramatic classes. Miss Marguerite Fleming directed.
Dorothy also drew original cartoons for the school paper The South High Optic.
Below: Image 1: page 2 of the paper, dated October 1, 1927, lists "Southern Sue: Dorothy Leach". Image 2: "Southern Sue" always had something to say.
Below: The newspaper announced Dorothy had done the comic for two years and would do it again .
Below: Both Dorothy and brother Bob were two of the students who received gold pins by the Press Club for their journalism work. The year of this article is unknown,
At left: The newspaper article, announces Dorothy was elected by the high school art club as president of the club. As the article indicates, she was also elected secretary of the senior class.
At right: The newspaper article lists Dorothy was one of the 30 students inducted into South High School's National Honor Society.
At left, the newspaper shows the elected South High senior class officers.
Below: The newspaper announced that the cartoonist for South High School was the Class Secretary and had won a national contest with one of her cartoons. A transcript of this article is beside the article.
CARTOONIST SOUTH HI CLASS SECRETARY
DOROTHY LEACH, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Leach, 901 Lockbourne Ave. president of the Art Club at South High School, has just been elected secretary of the senior class. She is better known as Southern Sue, the creator of a clever drawing which appears in every issue of The Optic, the school weekly. Two of her prize cartoons are pictured here.
While taking art at Roosevelt Junior High School, Dorothy won a scholarship to the Columbus Art School.
After graduating there she intends to take a course in art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y. which will enable her to teach. She is interested in dress designing and will study that also.
News was received Thursday at South High that the 1927-28 Argus school yearbook, of which Miss Leach is art editor, received first prize in the National Scholastic Press Association contest. The Argus received a perfect score in business management and in the opening pages devoted to art. [Note: Scroll down to see copies of the Argus and Dorothy's art in that yearbook] Kenneth Purney, now an employe of Western Union and a prospective student at Ohio State University, was editor last year, and Paul Zimpfer, now a student at Capital University, was business manager.
The cartoons reproduced here were used in the Optic last year. The one in behalf of the football team received second prize for 1927-28 among cartoons in high school papers throughout Ohio.
Miss Minnie Volk is art supervisor of publications at South.
Below: Original illustration for one of Dorothy's "Southern Sue Says:-" cartoons.
Below: the newspaper announces journalism awards received by students at South High School. A transcript of the newspaper clipping follows the clipping.
LOCAL STUDENTS WIN
South Hi Journalism Pupils Given Awards in Contest.
The journalism department of South High School won three awards in the annual state journalism contest held at Ohio University, Athens.
An article by Wilbert Pettegrew was adjudged the best feature story in any Ohio school paper.
Dorothy Leach's cartoon "One on the Bleachers Is Worth Two On the Roof," won second place in the cartoon contest, and Fred Grice's editorial on student selfgovernment was selected the third best editorial.
Below: Sketches and other artwork, although not dated, were probably done while Dorothy was attending high school. Some were probably assignments, while others were done just for fun.
Dorothy graduated from South High School in Columbus in 1928.
Below: Dorothy poses with the rest of her graduating class for a photograph that appeared in the newspaper. As a class officer (Class Secretary) she is seated in the front row.
The Argus yearbook lists her as the yearbook art editor and shows her in the sketch club.
Below are scanned images of The Argus: 1) the yearbook cover, 2) the inside cover that Dorothy likely designed, [Note, the book is Bob's. He was a junior at the high school at the time]. 3) a page denoting yearbook information, likely designed by Dorothy, 4) a page crediting her as the art editor, 5) Dorothy's graduating class and an enlargement of her individual photograph, 6) a description of her activity in the class, 7) a photograph of the sketch club, and 8) three samples of art, likely Dorothy's designs, that were inside the yearbook.
Below: A family portrait was made sometime around the time when Dorothy graduated from high school.
Below: It is unknown when Dorothy made these four sketches. "Tweedy" may have been drawn to entertain her nieces and nephews. The others may have been done for fun or for an art class.
The dates when Dorothy did the following painting and charcoal drawing are also unknown. They may both have been done when she was attending art school since they were found among other art-school drawings in 2015. The charcoal drawing appears to be her little brother, Russell, who would have been about 7 years old when Dorothy began art school.
The dates when the pair of drawings below were created is unknown, but they may have been done as early as high school. The style of the drawings and the use of goldleaf is similar to what she did in her high school yearbook design.
The Great Depression began with the stock market crash on September 4, 1929. Dorothy had graduated from high school and was continuing her education at Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, aka Columbus Art School. Click on Link to be taken to a site that shows her art work done at the art school.
In addition to creating art just for fun, like the 9-inch tall paper cutout "dolls" below, Dorothy enjoyed horseback riding and dancing the Charleston.
Below: Dorothy and sister, Jane.
Despite the fact that the Great Depression continued until 1939, Dorothy was able to find work immediately after graduating in 1933 from art school.
She frequently dated during her younger life, but she never married. Instead, she lived with her parents and had a very busy career in retail advertizing.
Dorothy was a renowned fashion artist for Dunn-Taft's. Founded in 1869 as William G. Dunn & Company dry goods store, the store later became a department store. William G. Dunn formed a partnership with Daniel H. Taft in 1889, renaming the store the Dunn Taft Company. The store moved to its final location, 106-110 N. High Street in 1930 and ceased operation in 1941. In 1941, Dorothy was hired by the advertizing department at Lazarus Department Store. Dorothy's advertizing drawings at Dunn Taft's and Lazarus frequently appeared in the Ohio State Journal, Citizen-Journal, and Columbus Dispatch newspapers.
In 1938, Dorothy did a Christmas ad for Dunn Taft's that appeared in the Ohio State Journal on December 11, 1938. She later used the Santa head she had drawn for that ad as a model for the Christmas card she sent to her brother, Russell.
Below: The Lazarus paper, titled LAZARUS ENTHUSIAST, and dated October 24, 1942 features a variety of articles. One of the articles showed the advertising department picnic. Dorothy is the center person in the photo.
Below: This photograph was likely taken at another Lazarus employee gathering. An enlargement of her photograph follows the group photo.
Dorothy eventually became the head fashion artist at Lazarus. She sketched hundreds, perhaps thousands of ads in her lifetime. Some of her creations done at Dunn-Tafts are shown at this link. Advertizing drawings Dorothy did for Lazarus are at the following link. In both links, you will notice how fashion changed from the late 1930s to the early 1970s, and how Dorothy's drawing style also changed.
Below: Dorothy at work in her art studio at the department store.
Below: In 1943, Dorothy' income tax form indicates she made $2,075.56, working as an artist for the Lazarus Department Store Advertising Department. The federal tax withheld from her pay was $207.10. After filing, she paid an additional $66.33. Therefore, her federal tax total for the year was $273.43. She checked the box "Single (and not head of family) on July 1, 1943." She was living at 2321 Bexley Park, Columbus, Ohio with her parents. Information from her pay stubs (1943-1961) show her gross salary and net salary (based on withheld taxes, before filing tax returns).
Below: Sometime, probably in the early 1940's, Dorothy did this colored portrait of her brother.
Below: The front and back of a postcard sent by Dorothy to Russell in 1942. It is unknown what Dorothy was doing in Manchester, Tennessee.
On February 17, 1945, Dorothy and her parents attended the wedding of Russ in Greensboro.
At Left: Hazel, Charles, and Dorothy, posed for a photograph the day after the wedding in front of Russ' in-law's home.
Below: On a different day, Dorothy posed for a photograph with her Aunt Bea Thatcher in front of the Bexley Park Home.
When Susan was 18 months old, her Aunt Dorothy sent the following letter to Russ' mother-in-law, who lived in Greensboro, North Carolina. A transcript is shown below the letter.
Dear Mrs. Sharpe,
It is so sweet of you to ask me to come down with Helen and Susan.
I shall really love to come, but please do not go to any trouble. I’ll help wash dishes and peel potatos, so don’t hesitate in letting me help you. You are in for a great thrill when you see our Baby!
She is so pretty, sweet, and intelligent, I’m just wild about her.
Helen and I will leave about the 18th or 19th of June and I’m looking forward to it just as much as your daughter Helen.
love Dorothy Leach
P.S. Excuse the strange writing, this is a very peculiar pen.
Below: In 1961, Dorothy was initiated into Lazarus' 20-year club. The Columbus Dispatch newspaper published an article about the event, and at the ceremony, Dorothy received a plate to commemorate the occasion.
Below: Dorothy was one of three Lazarus employees presented the top award for the best color ad in the Advertising Federation of America district contest.
At Right: Dorothy drew a cartoon that spoofed French fashion designer, Christian Dior.
Dorothy's father died in 1950. Her mother passed away in 1961. After Hazel's death, Dorothy sold the Bexley Park house and rented an apartment at 2878 Sherwood Road.
Since Dorothy had no children of her own, she spent a lot of time with her nieces and nephews, Steve, Susan, Terry, and Ann. They all remember her as a very special, generous, loving woman.
In 1957, Dorothy's brother, Russell was elected to be City Attorney of Columbus, Ohio.
Below, Dorothy is shown with the rest of his family after Russell was sworn into office.
Dorothy was intrigued with Polaroid Land Cameras and purchased one to take family photographs.
Family holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) for Dorothy were very special occasions with the extended family.
Below: The adult dining table at Jane's home for Christmas. The children were in a separate room. Sitting left to right are Helen Leach, Jane Webster, Dorothy Leach, Hazel Leach, Bob Leach, Russell Leach, Marie Leach, and Dick Webster.
As shown in the portraits below, Dorothy liked to sketch her niece Susan and nephew Terry. Susie (as Dorothy called her) is show below at ~4 and at 9.
The sketches below were done of Susie and Terry in 1959, when they were ~13 and 10.
In 1961, John Kennedy was elected as President of the United States. Dorothy did not care for the man and drew the cartoon below:
In 1964, as a special graduation present from high school, Dorothy took Susan to New York City to visit the World's Fair, to shop at Macy's Department Store, and to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. When Susan graduated from college in 1968, Dorothy gave her a portable color television set.
In the 1964 Presidential election, Dorothy was a devoted Barry Goldwater Republican.
The date when the drawing below was created is unknown. However, it may have been sometime between 1968 and 1971, when Susan was attending the University of Hawaii. At the time, Susan had long hair, but she does not remember ever posing for the picture.
Below: When Ann, her youngest niece insisted that her mother, Aunt Dorothy, and other aunts wear Indian head dresses she'd made, Dorothy was a willing participant.
Below: Dorothy with Jane, Bob, and Russ at nephew Steve's wedding.
For much of her adult life, Dorothy smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes. She also enjoyed eating ribbon candy and chocolate-covered cherries.
Circa 1970, Dorothy began having excruciating pain in one of her legs. After exploratory surgery, the surgeon determined she had a rare form of cancer of the integument. Pressure, created by tendrils of the cancer wrapped around the nerve of her leg, was creating the pain. The size of the cancer was about that of a child's football. After an operation, she resumed her work at Lazarus.
Her co-workers presented her with a large "Welcome Back" card upon her return.
Dorothy's last will and testament was signed by her on February 19, 1971. Witnesses were likely fellow artists at Lazarus.
Eventually, Dorothy was forced to quit working. She moved into Jane's house, where Jane became her caretaker.
Finally, Dorothy had to be hospitalized.
Below: This black and white photograph was dated September 1971, but it was likely taken before that date since she died that month.
On September 12, 1971 at the age of 61, Dorothy passed away. A copy of her scanned death certificate is linked to this website.
An autopsy was performed on September 12, 1971 at 4:30 pm, following her death that day at 12:40 pm. The autopsy lists the following findings: 1) Liposarcoma of pelvis and gluteal region, 2) Metastatic liposarcoma to retroperitoneal lymph notes, lungs, pleural surfaces, myocardium, right pectoralis minor muscle and adrenals, 3) Bilateral pleural effusion, 4) Pericardial hemorrhagic effusion, 5) Post irradiation of lower abdominal region, 6) Post operative state: Abdominal laparotomy, 7) Passive congestion of liver, and 8) Emaciation. The clinical diagnosis of the cause of death was sarcoma and pneumonia.
Dorothy's obituary, as printed in the Columbus Dispatch on September 13, 1971 on page 14 A, appears below:
Following her death, a Christmas Card was received by the family from one of Dorothy's friends who did not know that she had died. Below is Dorothy's brother's response to the Christmas card.
Below: Dorothy's Tombstone is in the old section of Union Cemetery in Columbus, Ohio. She is buried next to her father, mother, brother Bob, and Bob's wife, Marie.
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Contact person for this website is Susan Snyder.