Hugh C Weir

When looking around for more on Miss Madelyn Mack, Detective, an early twentieth century female detective, I discover that her creator is close to forgotten: no wiki article, that’s a statement.

There is a little detail here which, sketchy as it is, I reprint here in full:

Date of Birth
1 May 1884, Vergennes, Illinois, USA

Date of Death
16 March 1934, New York City, New York, USA

Newspaper Reporter, Magazine Editor, Author and Screenwriter.

Began working at the age of 16 as a newspaper reporter for the Springfield (Ohio) Sun.

Wrote his first screenplay at the age of 20 for Universal. After the success of the film he wrote studio head Carl Laemmle “As you read this you will note the name of the one man in America whom you need to write scenarios for you. I would like very much to come to Hollywood and tell you more in detail about my abundant qualifications”.

Authored at least 300 screenplays and again as many short stories and magazine articles.

After returning to newspaper reporting he interviewed many prominent people including former President Teddy Roosevelt, who later became his friend.

With screenwriter Catherine McNelis founded McNelis-Weir Advertising Agency and later Tower Magazines Inc.

Was an avid collector of Dickensiana.

Would personally wrap the hundreds of the carefully chosen Christmas gifts he gave out each year.

Madelyn Mack, inspired by the early and important US finger print expert Mary Holland, was also the subject of two lost silent movies:

Holland, Mary (Feb. 25, 1868-Mar 27, 1915)
Mary and Phil Holland operated the Holland Detective Agency in the early 1900’s.
In 1904, they met Ferrier at the World’s Fair in St. Louis. Ferrier instructed
Mary Holland and eight others on fingerprints and how to use the Henry System.
In 1907, Mary Holland was hired by the US Navy as a fingerprint instructor.
She is considered to be the second American fingerprint instructor in the United
States (second to Parke) but the first woman fingerprint instructor. Her teachings
promoted the Henry System throughout the United States. Mary Holland is also
credited as one of the fingerprint experts (along with Edward Foster, William M.
Evans and Michael P. Evans) to testify in the trial “People vs. Jennings”.

For those readers young enough to connect to the word ‘awesome’ in its comtemporary usage, you can find awesomely enthusiastic discussion of the heroine here


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