In April I had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of the Rootstown Ohio Historical Society to discuss the Hartles and how one of their Rootstown descendents became famous. The Congregational Church (see photo to the right) was a fitting venue given that on August 16, 1810, two of my ancestors, Michael and Susanna, signed as charter members of the congregation.
The story actually began in 1749 when Hans Georg Hertel and his wife, Anna Margaretha Gramlich traveled from Germany to Philadelphia with their two sons. We don't know when the family name became Hartle. From eastern Pennsylvania, they moved to western Maryland and had a third son, Michael who married a Susanna and had seven children. Two, Michael Jr. and Samuel, are grandfathers of YIAH characters.
Michael Jr. married Sarah Poe and moved to western Ohio. His son Socrates would father Adam Milo, father to Anna, Addison and Purl (see photo on the left of their Marseilles property). Samuel and his wife, Sarah's sister Mary "Polly" Poe, followed his father Michael Sr. to Rootstown, Ohio in 1812. Rootstown, in Portage County, Ohio, was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. When this land was ceded to the new Federal Government in 1786, Ephraim Root, one of the investors in the Connecticut Land Company, bought the land which then became Rootstown Township.
Samuel fought briefly in the War of 1812 and subsequently he and Polly had eleven children. The 9th was John Emerson who eventually moved to Hicksville, Ohio after several of his siblings had settled there. He married Amelia Ryan and they had three daughters, one of who was Daeida, known as Ida.
The Famous Cousin
Ida became a milliner when she was still a teen, and in 1883 married a much older and wealthy Harvey Wilcox in Topeka, Kansas. It's not known exactly how they met, but they decided to go west and soon purchased all of the land that would become Hollywood, California.
Her father died in 1873, but her mother, sisters and their families migrated to California after Ida settled there. With her new notoriety, Amelia adopted a new spelling for the family name, Hartell, which it's said she thought looked more refined than Hartle. Amelia lived many years longer than her daughter, and at her funeral, she was referred to as 'Grandma Hollywood'.
Community and Continuity
It was good to be recognized with other founding families at the Rootstown meeting, but I most appreciated the Kline and Parson families who were recognized because the present generation still lives on the land their ancestors originally settled. When society President, Norm Reynolds, asked who in the room still lives within one mile of where they were born, several hands went up. Given our hurried lifestyle, it's good to visit the past and some of mine is buried in Rootstown.
Credit- The information above is from the Hartle family historian, Richard Hartle, MD
Next time: Purl and the military in the Philippines circa 1910