Lydia Gibson Minor (1891–1964)

Lydia Gibson Minor Lydia Gibson Minor, circa 1915. Courtesy of the Croton Historical Society.

Lydia Gibson was an American illustrator born in 1891. She grew up in a prosperous household as her father Robert W. Gibson was an English-born ecclesiastical architect whose projects included All Saints cathedral in Albany, New York and St Michael’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

Miss Gibson moved to New York City and began to contribute her drawings, cartoons and poetry to various periodicals. She became a strong advocate for women’s suffrage. By 1912 she was a regular provider of illustrations for THE MASSES, a socialist literary and artistic magazine. It was there she first met Robert Minor a leading political cartoonist of the time. Mr. Minor was infatuated with the younger Miss Gibson but she spurned his attentions because he was living with another woman.

After THE MASSES was forced to cease publication in1917 she contributed her drawings to THE LIBERATOR. In 1922 she rekindled her romance with Robert Minor and they married in 1923. They moved to Minor’s house on 79 Mt. Airy Road in Croton.

In 1927 while in Moscow with her husband, who was a delegate of the American Communist Party to the executive Committee of the Communist International she met and assisted “Big Bill” Haywood with the preparation of his memoirs. In 1934 she published a children’s book entitled THE TEACUP WHALE.

Robert Minor died in 1952. Lydia remained loyal to the Communist Party, even loaning the American Communist $5000 for bail for Gus Hall. She died in 1964.