Henry Herbert KNIBBS, son of George KNIBBS and Sarah Augusta WOODRUFF , was born 24 October 1874 in Clifton, Ontario, Canada. He married Ida Julia PFEIFFER 28 June 1899 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York, USA. He died 17 May 1945 in San Diego County, California, USA. Ida Julia PFEIFFER was born 28 October 1872 in Buffalo, Erie Coiunty, New York, USA. She died 18 October 1957 in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA.


Marriage Notes for Henry Herbert KNIBBS\Ida Julia PFEIFFER:

From the Buffalo Evening News, Friday June 9, 1899:
Mr. and Mrs. George F. Pfeiffer announce the engagement of their daughter, Ida Julia, to Mr. Harry H. Knibbs of Highland Avenue. The wedding will take place the latter part of June.

Other Marriages/Unions for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:
See Henry Herbert KNIBBS & Turbesé Dorothea LUMMIS


Notes for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:

Also known as: Harry


A sample of Henry's signature taken from his military registration card, 1917.
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Please visit my Notable KNIBBS Page for Henry

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Henry Herbert Knibbs is a native of southern Canada. After finishing his studies at an English Church School in Canada he went to Buffalo, New York, where he became a stenographer, working for several years at secretarial work and salesmanship. During this time he wrote a volume of verse entitled First Poems, which was published over the pen name of Henry K. Herbert. Having decided to make writing his life work, he went to Harvard, where he specialised in English under Dean Griggs and Professor Bliss Perr
In Cambridge he and his wife lived on thirty dollars a month. During a whole year they never once used a street car, but walked round Boston and the suburbs. During the Harvard years he spent several seasons in the Maine woods. His wife always accompanied him, and they fished, hunted and canoed n the northern part of the State.
In 1911 they went to California, where they now live. Generally speaking they spend all their spare time in the woods and mountains. Once they took a seven months' trip through California, equipped with a camp wagon and two saddle ponies. Mr. Knibbs has never hired a guide, and has never suffered hardship through becoming lost for any length of time. He once refused a position on a New York newspaper, giving as his reason that he could not write editorials and could not accept two hundred dollars a month as the price of outdoor liberty. Owing to their experiences
in the wilderness, they are able to live for any number of months or years in the woods on fifty cents a day for each
of them.
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There is much information available to indicate that Henry Herbert Knibbs was born in Clifton (now called Niagara Falls), Ontario, Canada to affluent American parents. His biography record at Los Angeles Library as well as at Stanford University, California, states that his ancestors were Cornish tin miners, seamen and Long Island farmers.

It was his father who encouraged him to read the works of Longfellow, Lord Byron, Whittier, Tennyson, Edgar Allen Poe. His introduction to horses and livestock on his grandparents' farm in Pennsylvania stayed with him throughout his life and had a major influence on his writing. He developed a love for the violin at a very young age, and it was that love to which he turned his attentions later in life after the sudden end to his writing career.



He attended Woodstock College at age 14, then Bishop Ridley College for three years and studied English at Harvard. He is listed as a former student of Harvard studying literature, and living at that time at 711 Cole Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA.
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In 1899, Henry married Ida Pfeiffer.
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In 1900, we see Henry living at Buffalo City, Eerie County, New York:
Harry Knibbs Head Mar 25 Canada Stenographer
Ida J Knibbs Wife Mar 27 New York

The census indicates that he immigrated into the United States in 1892.
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He moved to California in 1901 where he wrote his first Novel, Lost Farm Camp. Most of Henry's novels are set in the West and in revolutionary Mexico.
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Henry aged 34, taken in 1908 for the Boston Sunday Post newspaper. (click to enlarge)
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From the Boston Sunday Post, December 6, 1908:
Harvard Student is Hailed as America's Future Poet Lauriate.
At 34, H. H. Knibbs, a Stenographer, Begins His Travel on the Road Towards Education -------His Genius Discovered by His Former Pastor.
Hailed as the future poet laureate of America by leading men of letters, H. H. Knibbs formerly a railroad stenographer, now a student at Harvard, at the age of 34 finally sees fame beckoning to him. His first collection of verses. a tiny volume, has just been issued, but already the prediction is made that his name will not only rank with those of Keats and Shelley, but men like Professor Bliss of Harvard, Professor Henry Van Dyke of Princeton and Professor William Lyons Phelps of Yale are unanimous in praise of his verse.
LOOKS LITTLE LIKE A POET
Gentle and serious minded, somewhat above the average height and well-knit. his face aglow with health. He little resembles the average conception of a poet. His eyes are kind, his features strong, his high forehead denotes Intellect and the lines about his mouth prove that he is not devoid of humor. "I have been trying to write poetry ever since I was a nine year old." he said, "and my first worthwhile poem was published when I was about I8. It was entitled The Wolf-Man' I received my Inspiration for this poem from seeing a print of an old painting of the wolf-man whose playing upon the pipes charmed the wolves to follow him and commlt any depredations he desired." It was not until a year ago that Knibbs decided to lake up literature seriously. At the instlgation of the Rev. Charles C. Albertson, of whose parish lhe was a member while living in Rochester, N. Y., he gave up his employment as stenog-rapher and devoted all of last winter to perfecting his verse, and this fall he entered Harvard University.
Many Years of Study
A marrled man, Knibbs Is confident that he will be able to surmount the difficulties he expects to meet on the long road towards hls goal. He will spend four years at Harvard, he will study at Oxford and In Italy, and only then will he return to Boston to devote his life to literary pursuit
"It is not too late," he maintains, "I have still many years before me in which to receive the needed education," and this tone of hopefulness and determination re-echoes through all his songs, published under the title "First Poems." While living In Rochester, N. Y., Knibbs desirous of polishing up his English. asked permission of Dr. Albertson to carry on a correspondence with the minister, who undertook to correct the mistakes the young poet made. The clergyman's attention was soon arrested by fugitive lines of verse which began to appear to the letters,
How He Was Discovered "There was a strong virile rhythm to the lines," said Dr. Albertson, "and so good were they that I piqued myself at not knowing whose the lines were. I was ashamed to ask Knibbs what they were, and the identity of the verse really got on my mind. First, I would pick out something as Keats, then again as Shelley's, but I could not find the lines in either of these poets. and finally it dawned on me that possibly the verses were written by Knibbs himself. So I inquired and found guess was correct . and I began to realize that I had run across n genius."
After that Dr. Albertson engaged Knibbs to act as his stenographer, and encouraged him to cultivate his poetic talent. "What little advance I have made, recently: I owe almost entirely to the untiring efforts of Dr. Atintrison and the sincere advice he has given me says Knibbs. Knibbs was born 34 years ago in Niagara Falls. Ontario, and Ilved therere until he was about I7. He attended the public schools and when 16 years old went toIWoodstock College at Woodstock, Canada, but was forced to give up his studies there after a fww menthe on account or illmess and return home. He had Archdeaxcon Houston of Christs Church as a tutor for a year and then entered Ridley Colege at Catherines, Ont. During the two years at Ridley Knibbs studied English literatire under Dr. J. 0. Miller and it was during this period that the ambition to write came upon him.
His Modesty Proverbial
The plaudits he has received since his book appeared have made no change in the young poet. delare his friends. His manner is unassuming and his modesty is rapidly becoming proverbial among his fellow students.
"The love of good literature seems to have been practically inbred in me." he tells, "for my mother began reading Shakspere to me when I was but eight years old. After that, until I left home for college, seven years later, my mother read to me every evening some passage from one of the great poet's plays, together with quotations from the 'Song of Songs.' by King Solomon, and King David's Psalms. These two latter have remained my favorite biblical books. "My favorite pastimes are hunting, fishing and canoeing, and on one of my recent canoe trips, I made over 1000 miles over the rivers of northern New York.
"I realise there is a great deal of work for me to do, and I am determined to do it."
Mr. Knibbs writes inder the nom de plume Henry K. Herbert.

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In 1910, they was living at Cambridge Ward 5, Middlesex, Massachusetts in the household of a Wallace A King:
Wallace A King Head Mar 73 Vermont
Ada L King Wife Mar 67 Vermint
Aline M King Daughter UnM 34 Vermont
Harry H Knibbs Mar 35 United States
Ida J Knibbs Mar 37 New York
Carle Shulte UnM 30 Russia
Roy Ingersol
Richard Douglas
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Henry can be seen at the 1920 census living at Antelope Township, Los Angeles, California:
Henry H KNIBBS Head 45 Canada Author - Fiction & Poetry
Ida J KNIBBS Wife 37 New York
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In 1940, he was seen to be living at El Cajon Judicial Township, San Diego, California:
Turbese D Fisk Head Div 47 Author New Mexico
Henry H Knibbs Lodger 65 Mar Author Canada
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He wrote six books of poems:
First Poems, 1908;
Songs of the Outlands, Ballads of the Hoboes and Other Verse, 1914;
Riders of the Stars: A Book of Western Verse, 1916;
Songs of the Trail, 1920;
Saddle Songs and Other Verse, 1922;
Songs of the Lost Frontier, 1930.

He also authored 13 western novels and a series of articles printed in the Saturday Evening Post, Red Cross Magazine, Current Opinion, West, Western Stories and Adventures.

Henry Herbert Knibbs was a scholar who aspired to be a Western writer and poet. There is no doubt that he put a great deal of research and thought into his writing. He was not born into ranch life, but became a Western writer through his great efforts. As a result, he left a legacy of profound cowboy poetry for our pleasure. He spent his last few years as owner of a violin shop in Banning, California. Dispite efforts made by Turbesé Lummis, his biography, 'A Boy I Knew' (alternately titled, 'Ticket Of Leave Man'), remains unpublished.
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I am extremely pleased to have seen copies of several pages from a book called "Hitchcock's New and Complete Analysis of the Holy Bible" published in 1877 which belongs to Ken Close who is descended from Henry's great-uncle Charles Knibbs. It was passed to Ken by his grandmother Hilda Gladys Knibbs, but Ken has no idea as to how it came into her possession. Inside the front cover is written "Henry Herbert Knibbs, 513 North Arden Boulevard, Los Angeles". So we presume from this that the book once belonged to Henry Herbert. The book contains many entries of births , marriages, and deaths of individuals within the family.
We suspect that the Bible originally belonged in the family of Lizzie Adkins, but probably not to Lizzie herself as her name Lizzie Reader is crossed out, and replaced with Lizzie Adkins, her maiden name - maybe it was her second husband George James Knibbs who was the original owner.


Follow this link to see full details of these recordings
:


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Amongst Henry Herbert's papers currently contained in the archives at Stanford University, California, there are the following letters which help to establish the links within this part of the family:
** Knibbs, Clyde E., 1938 (his 2nd cousin from Verona, Grundy County, Illinois)
- Knibbs, Ida Julia (his wife)
- Knibbs, Olive (his sister)
- Knibbs, Sara (his mother)
- Most letters from 1945, and all from 1946 are to and from Turbesé Lummis Fiske, in her capacity as administratrix of Henry Knibbs' estate

** Note: The letter from Clyde E Knibbs to Henry Herbert was written in March 1938, and interestingly, to 513 Arden Boulevard, Los Angeles which is the address written in the front of the Bible mentioned above. Clyde told Henry that he was contemplating moving to California himself if he could get a job there to pay the bills. He also enquired as to the health of Henry's mother and sister, and reported to Henry that his own mother and sisters were well.

Our gratitude must go to the Stanford University for making the following image of Henry available from their archives:



There is also a Death Mask of Henry Herbert Knibbs in the University archives.


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Henry's Militrary Registration document was completed on 12 September 1918, and shows that he was living at what looks like 711 Cole Ave., Los Angeles, California. He listed his wife Ida as his next of kin and gave her address as the same as his so she was clearluy still with him at that time. He gave his occupation as 'Author'. He was recorded as tall, medium height, grey eyes and brown hair.


See Henry's Military Registration Card from 1917

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The University Missourian (Columbia, Mo.) wrote on 15th February, 1909:
HE'S STUDYING TO BE A POET
Hailed as the future poet laureate of America by leading men of letters, H. H. Knibbs, formerly a railroad stenographer Now a student at Harvard at the age of 34, finally sees fame beckoning to him.
His first collection of verses, has just been issued, but already the predictions made that his name will not only rank with those of Keats and Shelley, but me like Prof. Bliss of Harvard, Prof. Henry Van Dyke of Princeton, and Prof. William Lyons Phelps of Yale are unanimous in praise of his verse.
Gentle and serious minded, somewhat above average height and well-knit, his face aglow with health. Mr. Knibbs little resembles the average conception of a poet. "I have been trying to write poetry ever since
I was nine years old," he said, "and my first worth while poem was published when I was about 18. It was entitled 'The Wolf Man.' I received the inspiration for this poem from seeing a print of an old painting of the wolf-man whose playing upon the pipes charmed the wolves to follow him and commit any depredations he desired."
It was not until a year ago that Knibbs decided to take up literature seriously. At the instigation of the Rev. Charles C. Albertson, of whose parish he was a member while living in Rochester, N.Y., he gave up his employment as stenographer and devoted all of last winter to perfecting his verse, and this fall he entered Harvard university.
A married man, Knibbs is confident that he will be able to surmount the difficulties he expects to meet on the long road towards his goal. He will spend four years at Harvard, he will study at Oxford and in Italy, and only then will he return to Boston to devote his life to literary
pursuits.

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On obituary for Henry, believed to be from the L.A. Times, date unknown:
Henry Herbert Knibbs, California author and poet, died in 1945 but his memory is treasured in many western hearts and his books in many western homes. On May 19 a group of his friends will "go up the mountains to reminisce about him, to read some of his writing and to be part of the world he loved and knew so well." They will gather on the Chapman ranch, above Camp Baldy, north of Upland. All of those who loved Harry or who knew him only through his books will be welcome. Don McLain of Altadena has made most of the arrangements. I believe a plaque inscribed with a quotation from one of his books will be set in an upstanding boulder in Harry's memory and there is a movement to name a mountain for him.

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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Henry.

Sources for Henry Herbert KNIBBS:

  1. Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1907,
  2. Stanford University Archives, California http://www.oac.cdlib.org/,
  3. Californian Death Records http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi,
  4. Classic Rhymes by Henry Herbert Knibbs,
  5. 1900 US Federal Census,

Notes for Ida Julia PFEIFFER:

The California Death Index shows Ida's mother's maiden name was GEOTHER.
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In 1875, we see Ida, her parents and siblings living at Lancaster, Erie, New York:
Geo F Pfeifer M 34
Elizabeth Pfeifer Wife F 32
Frederice Pfeifer Son M 10
William H Pfeifer Son M 7
Alfred E Pfeifer Son M 5
Ida Julia Pfeifer Daughter F 2
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In 1880, they were living at Buffalo, Erie, New York:
George J Pfeiffer Self M 39 New York
Elizabeth Pfeiffer Wife F 37 New York
William Pfeiffer Son M 12 New York
Alfred Pfeiffer Son M 9 New York
Ida Pfeiffer Daughter F 7 New York
Hellen Daughter F 2 New York
Eva Pfeiffer Daughter F 4 New York
George Pfeiffer Son M 15 New York
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The first thing I've discovered about Ida was that she was a high achiever whilst at school. The Buffalo Courier published an article on 4 March, 1889, when Ida was 16 years of age, listing her as "One of the Highest Ranked Students in the Public Schools and Three Asylums".
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Ida married Henry Herbert in 1899.
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In 1900, Ida's parents and siblings were living at Election District 1 Buffalo city Ward 23, Erie, New York:
Geo. Pfeiffer Head M 59 Postman New York
Elizabeth Pfeiffer Wife F 58 New York
Wm H Pfeiffer Son M 32 Collector New York
Alfred E Pfeiffer Son M 29 Salesman New York
Eva L Pfeiffer Daughter F 25 Stenographer New York
Ella M Pfeiffer Daughter F 23 New York

George's parents were identified as from Germany.
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In 1905, they were living at Buffalo, Erie, New York :
George F Pfeiffer Head M 64y Letter Carrier United States
Elizabeth Pfeiffer Wife F 62y Hosewife United States
William H Pfeiffer Son M 38y Clerk (Grocery) United States
Helen M Pfeiffer Daughter F 23y United States
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In 1910, we see her parents living at Buffalo Ward 17, Erie, New York, United States :
George Pfeiffer Head M 69 New York
Elizabeth Pfeiffer Wife F 67 New York
William H Pfeiffer Son M 42 New York
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In 1930 she can be seen living at Los Angeles (Districts 0001-0250), Los Angeles, California:
Ida J Knibbs Head Mar 57 New York
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From the Buffalo Evening News, 21 Auguyst, 1934:
PFEIFFer - Entered Into rest, Aug 21, 1934. William H. beloved husband of Sophia Pfeiffer (nee Ohlmer); brother of George J Pfeiffer, Mrs. Ida J Knibbs, Mrs. James Franklin of California. Alfred H. Pfeiffer and Mrs, Eva Rew of Buffalo. Funeral from the family residence, 27 Galloway street, Friday afternoon at 2:30 P. M. Friend. are invited to attend.

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In 1940, Ida was living at Assembly District 57, Los Angeles, California:
OIda Julia LKnibs Head Wid 67 New York
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After thirty years of marriage, Henry left Ida to live with Turbesé Lummis Fiske. Ida refused to divorce him and wrote to him daily for the first year, then weekly, and eventually annually begging him to return and denouncing the woman he was living with. The reasons for the breakdown of their marriage are unknown.

After Henry's death, Ida went to court in an effort to gain the copyrights owned by Henry and claimed by Turbesé. I had inderstood that she lost the battle but more recently, I came across details in the US Catalog of Copyright Entries (Renewals) to show that copyright was given:
on 20 Dec 1951 and 31 March 1952 for the book Wild Horses, written in 1924
on 20 Dec 1954 for The Fighting Gringo ('Popular Mag' 7Jan1927)
on 29 Oct 1953 for The sungazers written in 1926
All to his widow Ida Julia Knibbs.

Later, I came across another source taken from U.S. Copyright Renewals, 1958 January - June, showing that on 12 May 1958, copyright was renewed on the book Songs of the lost Frontier, and in the name of Ida Julia Knibbs.

So, I can only conclude from these that Ida did get copyrights to at least some of his materials.
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Our gratitude goes to the members and volunteers at Find A Grave web site for recording the details, in memory of Ida.

Ida is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot: Iris Columbarium, Lot 0, Space 25839

Sources for Ida Julia PFEIFFER:

  1. Stanford University Archives, California http://www.oac.cdlib.org/,
  2. 1920 US Federal Census,
  3. findagrave.com,
  4. Californian Death Records http://vitals.rootsweb.com/ca/death/search.cgi,