Moon, Carl


Born: October 5, 1878
Dead: June 24, 1948
Ohio connection: Birth

Karl (originally spelled with a K, later changed to Carl) Everton Moon was born in Wilmington on October 5, 1878, to Sylvester Bronson Moon, a medical doctor, and Lucy (Brunette) Moon. He attended public school and graduated from Wilmington High School, class of 1897, soon after he moved to Cincinnati where he learned photography. Carl married Bessie Wilson, a schoolmate, and later moved to New Mexico due to her poor health. In 1904 they settled in Albuquerque. It was here that he first became attracted to Indians as photographic subjects. The Indians were very solicitous of the ailing Bessie; they called her their “Princess.” They gave her an amulet that she wore to her grave. Bessie Wilson is buried on the Moon lot, Wilmington Cemetery. Before writing and illustrating children’s books, Moon photographed and painted many members of the Pueblo tribe who came into Albuquerque to sell their deerskins, beads and pottery. Moon stayed in Albuquerque until 1907 and then moved to the Grand Canyon headquarters of Fred Harvey to manage and operate Harvey’s art business. The same year, his work was exhibited at the White House at the request of President Theodore Roosevelt.  He married Grace Purdie on June 5, 1911. They had two children, a son Francis and a daughter Mary Caryl. Carl and Grace eventually settled in Pasadena, California. During journeys in the American Southwest, the Moons heard many stories and legends of the native people and it was an easy task to write them down. Indian Legends in Rhyme, their first publication for children, was published in 1917. Indian Legends in Rhyme was the first of twenty-two children’s books by Carl and Grace Moon. Grace wrote the story poems and Carl illustrated them. They collaborated on one more book, Lost Indian Magic, before they decided to each write their own stories, but Carl illustrated all the books Grace wrote as well as the ones he wrote himself. Carl Moon died June 24, 1948, in San Francisco, California.