A. F. Willmarth was born in Chicago in 1850. He died in Fairplay March 10, 1938. He was married to Cora D. Willmarth. Cora died in Fairplay January 17, 1913, according to the Fairplay Flume obituaries.
A.F. (Arthur) Willmarth was an internationally known political cartoonist and illustrator. His wife, Cora, wrote the book Widows Grave and Otherwise in 1903. A.F. Willmarth illustrated the book. He also illustrated Hello Bill - A Book of Toasts, as well as Bachelor Bigotries by Laura Brave Bates, Drawing Room Plays by Grace Luce Irwin and The Seven Plays.
He did illustrations for Paul Elder and Company of San Francisco where he illustrated books and pamphlets. Willmarth worked for several newspapers, including a few in Colorado.
In 1891 he worked for the Aspen Times. The Aspen Times praised Willmarth for his political cartoons depicting the Spanish-American War. In 1892 he worked for the Denver Republican. In the 1920’s Willmarth published The Park County Republican and Fairplay Flume.
In 1892, Willmarth participated in an Expedition in the Mesa Verde area that was commissioned by the State of Colorado. In 1892, he worked at the Denver Historical Department of Colorado’s Exhibit for the 1892 Expedition in Chicago. Aspen, Colorado sent the Silver Queen Statue to that expedition.
In 1914 the Summer Saloon in South Park City was bought by Arthur Willmarth, who started a newspaper called The Park County Republican. Four years later Willmarth sold out to The Fairplay Flume. The two newspapers combined into The Park County Republican and Fairplay Flume, which is still the official name of the newspaper for Park County, known as The Flume.
Willmarth was the Mayor of Fairplay 1922-26. He was a member of the town Board of Trustees and Clerk of the District Court of Park County.
The following collection of sketches and papers were jointly purchased by the Park County Local History Archives and the Park County Historical Society. The original documents are preserved at the Archives in Fairplay, Colorado.