Bill Freyse

William "Bill" Freyse (June 12, 1898 – March 1969) was an American cartoonist notable for his three decades of work on Our Boarding House, syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association.[1]

After Freyse graduated from the Central High School of Detroit, he began as an editorial cartoonist for the Detroit Journal. As a staff artist for the Detroit Times, he did theatrical caricature. His commercial artwork included billboards, theatre advertising and cartoons for Ford Motors.

In 1939, he took over Gene Ahern's Our Boarding House from Bela Zaboly and continued to draw it until his death in 1969. Over a 20-year period, Our Boarding House was written by William M. Braucher (1896–1958).[2]

Others who worked on the strip included Jim Branagan and Tom McCormick. The Sunday color strip ended on March 29, 1981; the weekday panel continued until December 22, 1984.[3]

Freyse and his wife, Evelyn S. Freyse (1908–2003),[1] had two children, a son, Steve, and a daughter, actress Lynn. The family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, and later to Tucson, Arizona, due to Evelyn Freyse's health needs. In Tucson, Bill Freyse became a Blue Ribbon flower grower.[4]

Freyse occasionally drew elephants into his cartoons, and his hobby was collecting elephants, as noted by Ken Hall in his column, "The Celebrity Collector":

Borden's father, the noted cartoonist Bill Freyse, was himself a lover of elephants and drew them for his (and Lynn's) amusement when she was a child.

Freyse drew the daily and Sunday panels for Our Boarding House with Major Hoople from the 1930s through the 1960s. The strips were syndicated to hundreds of newspapers nationwide. He also created the cartoon version of The Lone Ranger and co-created The Green Hornet. Artistry was his life's work, but elephants intrigued him. "My father instilled in me a great sense of wonder and respect for the elephant", Lynn said. "Elephants are great, majestic creatures, very gentle by nature, and it's true they never do forget!" The first pieces in her collection were left to her by her father, including a bronze elephant, about eight inches tall, and a pair of bronze elephants sitting back to back, their legs in the air.[5]

Bill Freyse
Bill Freyse in an undated photo
BornJune 12, 1898
Michigan, U.S.
DiedMarch 1969 (aged 70)
Tucson, Arizona
Notable works
Our Boarding House
Spouse(s)Evelyn S. Freyse


The Bill Freyse Cartoons collection at the Syracuse University Library has 491 original daily cartoons and 90 original Sunday cartoons from a two-year period of Our Boarding House (1966–67). The daily cartoons are in blue pencil, pen and ink on illustration board, 11 ½ x 13 ½ inches. The Sunday strips are in blue pencil, pen and ink on illustration board, 18 x 26 inches.


  1. ^ a b "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved April 15, 2011.
  2. ^ Meet the Sports Writers,; accessed January 20, 2015.
  3. ^ Profile,; accessed January 20, 2015.
  4. ^ National Cartoonists Society,; accessed January 20, 2018.
  5. ^ "Ken Hall, "Lynn Borden Collects Frog and Elephant Figures"". Retrieved April 15, 2011.

External links

List of newspaper comic strips G–O

Parent article: List of comic strips; Siblings: A–F • G–O • P–Z

List of people from Michigan

This is a list of notable people from the U.S. state of Michigan. People from Michigan are sometimes referred to as Michiganders, Michiganians, or, more rarely, Michiganites. This list includes people who were born, have lived, or worked in Michigan.

Our Boarding House

Our Boarding House was an American single-panel cartoon and comic strip created by Gene Ahern in 1921 and syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association. Set in a boarding house run by the sensible Mrs. Hoople, it drew humor from the interactions of her grandiose, tall-tale-telling husband, the self-styled Major Hoople, with the rooming-house denizens and his various friends and cronies.

After Ahern left NEA in March 1936 to create a similar feature at a rival syndicate, he was succeeded by a number of artists and writers, including Wood Cowan and Bela Zaboly, before Bill Freyse took over as Our Boarding House artist from 1939 to 1969. Others who worked on the strip included Jim Branagan and Tom McCormick. The Sunday color strip ended on March 29, 1981; the weekday panel continued until December 22, 1984.

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