CyPix: Pen and ink

Samples from P. A. Westrope's penmanship scrapbook.

Samples from P. A. Westrope’s penmanship scrapbook (MS 613)

Perry Albert Westrope was a self-taught ornamental penman who lived in Iowa for many years. An avid penmanship enthusiast, he traded samples with other penmen and mounted both his own and others’ samples into a penmanship scrapbook. The above bird was made when Westrope was 70 years old. He noted next to it “Some of my best at 70.”

Westrope clipped an article from The Business Educator (1912) about himself and his brother, another penman:

When the love for penmanship gets a good grip on young persons, it is usually retained for life, no matter in what lines of work they may engage. That fact is exemplified in the Westrope brothers, P.A. and N.S. The former, now a bond salesman residing in Denver, Colorado, and past sixty, still swings a very skillful pen, and never loses an opportunity to see a penmanship scrapbook.

Come to Special Collections to view the rest of the scrapbook in MS 613.

6 thoughts on “CyPix: Pen and ink

  1. Diana Shonrock

    Too bad we don’t teach penmanship anymore; most schools don’t even teach cursive. I’d love to have a copy of this.

    • Kim

      The scrapbook has several amazing examples, many of which are even more complex. I selected these because they represent the work of Westrope himself, but I think those that he collected by others are also beautiful. If you’d like to take a look at it please come by Special Collections (Parks Library room 403) between 10 am and 4 pm, M-F. The collection number is MS 613. Thanks for your comment!

      • Kirstie A Petersen

        I am so glad to have found this site! I am wondering if you might have any information pertaining to this old family photograph. I have always been told that it is a picture of my great-grandmother’s brother, William Embree. I love this old picture, because I am teacher, who loves to teach handwriting to my little ones. I recently took notice that the words on the chalkboard say “Central Christian College P.A. Westrope Penman” Do you think the man in this picture is actually Westrope? Or could my relative have studied under him? Why would William Embree be “advertising” for Westrope? The Embree family is also from Grant, IA, as was Westrope.

      • Kim

        Hi Kirstie,

        Unfortunately, the family photograph didn’t post when you submitted your comment. However, we do know that Mr. Westrope taught penmanship at several schools. I’ve looked through the scrapbook and didn’t see mention of either your ancestor or Central Christian College, but that doesn’t mean that the chalkboard isn’t referring to this Mr. Westrope. He could have been a teacher or been a guest lecturer.

        The image posted in this blog post is of Mr. Westrope, so hopefully you’ll be able to tell from that whether or not your image is really of Mr. Westrope instead of your ancestor.

        Thanks for getting in touch!

  2. Nancy L. Howell

    Kirstie — I think I can help with the Westrope/Embree mystery. I am a descendant of Cornelius and Sarah McCue of Lancaster Co. PA. Here is the family line: Cornelius and Sarah had 8 children, two of which were William H. McCue and Hannah A. McCue. Hannah married Perry Albert Westrope in 1881 in Montgomery Co. Iowa. William had a daughter by the name of Eva May McCue who married Grant Sharp Embree (both buried in the Grant Cemetery, Grant, Montgomery Co., Iowa ) Not sure who William Embree is, but perhaps this will help in your search. (Nancy Stickelman Howell, nlhowell AT sbcglobal DOT net)

    [edited to convert email address to plain text to discourage spam – KDA]

  3. Denise

    I too am descended from Cornelius & Sarah McCue. Hannah Westrope was my great grandmother’s (Millie May Focht) aunt. I have an original picture of Hannah and several drawing done by P.A. West rope. I believe they are originals. Also a business card stating “world’s greatest penman of the age of 70”.

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