Today’s featured facial hair is a fan find! Thank you to Paul H. for alerting us to this wonderful forked beard.
In fact, this beard really looks like there’s enough hair to be two beards. Perhaps Colonel Strother had a beard for each of his names?
Before his stint in the Army during the Civil War, David Hunter Strother had toured Europe to study art and was a successful magazine illustrator and writer. He published his artwork under the delightful nom-de-plume of “Porte Crayon.”
When the Civil War began, his artistic talents meant he was assigned as a topographer in the Army, but by 1864, Colonel Strother was chief of staff to his cousin Gen. David Hunter. He was involved in the shelling of the Virginia Military Institute and later promoted to colonel of the Third West Virginia Cavalry.
He wrote about his wartime experiences for Harper’s Monthly as “Personal Recollections of the War.”
After the war, he continued to work as an artist until 1879, when he was appointed by President Hayes as General Consul to Mexico City, a post he held for the next six years.
In 1940, the “Porte Crayon Memorial Society” lobbied to have a mountain in Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia named after Strother. Mount Porte Crayon is not for casual day hikers, however. It’s far from any trailhead or road, and extreme westerly winds batter the mountain and surrounding trees.
It’s hard to imagine a White House appointee in 2012 who would be successful with this kind of beard and a double life as the artist Porte Crayon!