Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who Are These People?

And why do I have their books?

Maybe my ancestors bought used books that had other people's names in them. Or maybe these books are lost & found items that were never found. Maybe they belonged to friends and relatives that I don't know about. In any case, they were all stored in my grandparents' attic and may have been in my great-grandfather H. E. Hartman's library before that.

aft. 1898
Someone whose name looks like Huson B M.Vay signs a copy of "The Latimers: A Tale of the Western Insurrection of 1794" by McCook

aft. 1898
Alice Woodward signs her copy of "The Pennsylvania Citizen" by Shimmell

Easter Day, Ida L-something receives "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" for her confirmation

The book "At Agincourt" by G. A. Henty is signed: "Yours Truly" from Clarence Northwood Xmas 1902

aft. 1903
Helen Bastian receives a beautiful copy of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" by Kate Douglas Wiggin

On June 2, Lucia gives H. E. Lelling(?) "The Garden of Allah" by Robert Hichens

Marea gives Joe the book "The Shepherd of the Hills" by Harold Bell Wright to celebrate his graduation on May 24.

aft. 1926
Helen M. Cleary puts elegant nameplates in the books "The Twins At Home" and "The Twins' Wedding" by Dorothy Whitehall

A recent graduate receives "Byrd's Great Adventure" by Francis Trevelyan Miller from his or her affectionate uncle John P. Bauds.

aft. 1946
Mrs. Charles A. Woods of Sewickley, Pennsylvania sticks her address label in the book "From the Top of the Stairs" by Gretchen Finletter

Monday, November 24, 2008

Found: M. Millen's Bible

Today I found Miss M. Millen's family Bible - The Devotional Family Bible published by A. J. Holman & Co. in Philadelphia. Millen's name is written in pencil on the back inside cover page, and there are four newspaper clippings pasted into the front inside cover. Unfortunately, I don't know who Miss M. Millen is, nor do I know any of the names in the articles.

1. The first one is ripped, so all I can see is "R. J. Arnold, of ... celebrated ..."

2. MILLEN. Robert C. Millen was born March 13, 1849,. and died March 11, 1908. He is survived by his widow and four children. He served his country for three years during the Civil War. In 1889 he enlisted under the banner of King Immanuel, and served him faithfully until the end. He was a tireless worker in the church at Nowrytown, Pa. Many miss him, for he was a kind and helpful neighbor, always ready to minister to those in want. He has gone to his reward. - J. F. D.

3. Millen-Swartwout.
Quietly at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Merritt D. Swartwout, No. 39 Walton street, in the presence only of immediate relatives, Miss Nina Isabella Swartwout and Harry H. Millen, both of this village, were married at 7:30 o'clock this morning by the Rev. Dr. Bostwick Hawley.
Mr. and Mrs. Millen left on a morning train for a sojourn in the Adirondacks. Upon their return they will reside with the bride's parents.

4. Mrs. Mary Arnold, widow of the late Robt. J. Arnold, who died Mary 11, 1905, departed this life on Sabbath morning, Oct. 7, 1906, at 5 o'clock, aged 78 years. She has been an invalid for 9 years having been confined to bed all that time. Mrs. Arnold's name was Shirley and she was married in 1850.
She is survived by the following sons and daughters: Mrs. R. C. Millen, of Nowrytown; George W., of Girard, Ohio; James of Monessen; Emma B, John N., and J. S. Telford, of near Saltsburg; and Mrs. H. S. Eakman, of near Apollo.
Funeral was held Monday afternoon conducted by Rev. Huston.

Inside the Bible, I found an envelope from Universal Corporation Insurance in Pittsburgh, Pa. addressed to Mr. Joseph Young of Edri Penna. and postmarked the 28th of May 1925. Inside is a pinkish piece of paper titled "Fire, Theft and Transportation Certificate of Insurance / TRIANGLE AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania". The Assured is Duquesne Sales Company and/or Joseph Young, insured for a new 1925 Ford that cost $429.07.

I also found a sheet of lined paper filled in with sermon notes, dated January 1914 and signed Maria C Millen. Phrases include the following: "I do not remember the books", "Do not think I ame [sic] trying to preach to you", "Jesus is the same yesterday to day and for ever."

If you have any information about the people related to this Bible, please comment or e-mail me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Other Side

Holliday Ellwood Hartman married Ida Zeigler. The youngest of their six children is my grandmother Eleanor Ida Hartman. She married John Harold Wise, my grandfather The Family Historian who filled in our family tree and who stored all these books for 50 years.

The majority of the books belonged to his father-in-law Holliday Ellwood Hartman, but I found a box of Wise books mixed in. The books cover three generations of Wises (four if you count Levi) (five if you count me).

My great-grandfather John Loyal Wise (1892-1983)
I have your book "Peloubet’s Select Notes on the International Lessons for 1917" - Bible lessons for Christian living. You received the book for Christmas 1916 from your uncle Levi M. Wise. (Levi must have been your father Israel M. Wise's brother.) You went to Cornell and then worked as a farmer in Harmony, PA.

My great-grandmother Estella Mickley Wise (1890-1977)
I've heard a lot about you - 'Stella' stories always told with great love and admiration. (I love your name. And the stories about you.) I found a book you got from your friend Cora E. Flinner for Christmas 1904 (signed in incredibly neat handwriting). It's an illustrated version of Harriett Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

My grandfather John Harold Wise
I found two books that belonged to you and your brother Dave when you were young. The first is a beautiful 1926 edition of "A Child's Garden of Verses" by Robert Louis Stevenson. It was a gift from your Aunt Jo in 1929, when you were four-and-a-half and Dave was just two-and-a-half.

The second is "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon, a gift from Aunt Clare in 1946. I also found four "Tuck-me-in Tales": Old Mr. Crow, Jolly Robin, Rusty Wren, and Solomon Owl.

My grandfather's brother David Wise
I found a collection of cute little books that belonged to you - Big Little Books and Better Little Books, to be precise. They were published in the 1930s and 40s by Whitman Publishing Company and feature stories about popular comic strip characters and Disney characters.

My mother Nancy Kay Wise Hala
I was disappointed to find bold orange Crayola scribblings that said "Nan" in your father's gorgeous "Child's Book of Verses." I can't imagine that your mother would have allowed that. (She does say you were a bad child.) Ironically, I also found your "Aid to the Heidelberg Catechism" from 1964 to 65, when you would have been about 12 years old. You took lots of notes and it looks like you memorized the whole catechism.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wisdom From 1880

Holliday Ellwood Hartman married Ida Zeigler, the fifth of ten children born to Samuel Boyer Zeigler and Katherine Scheidemantel Rader. My great-great-grandfather Samuel Zeigler (1862-1915) was a milk delivery man, and so far the only other thing I know about him is that he owned "Webster's Encyclopedia of Useful Information and World's Atlas" published in 1880. On the inside cover, he wrote his name (twice ... spelled Ziegler and then Zeigler) and town (twice ... spelled Zelienopele and then Zelienople) and the date (once ... July 18, 1891). He also noted six page numbers: 470, 426, 94, 139, 422.

Page 470 - There's an arrow next to the brief article "Marking Tools," which explains how to engrave your name or some other mark on your steel or iron tools. First, cover the tool in a thin layer of beeswax and make your mark with a sharp object. "Clear with a feather, fill the letters with nitric acid, let it remain from one to ten minutes, then dip in water and run off, and the marks will be etched into the steel or iron."

Page 426 - There are arrows next to three articles on this page: "Superstitions Regarding Babies," "To Catch Fish," and "Ladies' Stamping Powder." My favorite was the baby one, which includes:
Born on Monday, fair in the face;
Born on Tuesday, full of God's grace;

Born on Wednesday, the best to be had;

Born on Thursd
ay, merry and glad;
Born on Friday, worthily given;
Born on Saturday, work hard for a living;

Born on Sunday, shall never know want.

I googled my birthday and found that I was born on the worst possible day of the week.

Page 94 - Between "Hive Syrup" and "How to Soften Hands," Samuel drew an arrow next to "How to Clean the Hair" :
From the too frequent use of oils in the hair, many ladies destroy the tone and color of their tresses. The Hindoos have a way of remedying this. They take a hand basin filled with cold water, and have ready a small quantity of pea flour. The hair is in the first place submitted to the operation of being washed in cold water, a handful of the pea flour is then applied to the head and rubbed into the hair for ten minutes at least, the servant adding fresh water at short intervals, until it becomes a perfect lather. The whole head is then washed quite clean with copious supplies of the aqueous fluid, combed, and afterwards rubbed dry by means of coarse towels. The hard and soft brush is then resorted to, when the hair will be found to be wholly free from all encumbering oils and other impurities, and assume a glossy softness, equal to the most delicate silk. This process tends to preserve the tone and natural color of the hair, which is so frequently destroyed by the too constant use of caustic cosmetics.

Page 139 - In the section "Choice Poems," my great-great-grandfather chose "The Murderer, an unpublished poem by Edgar Allen [sic] Poe." I don't really understand how it's unpublished when it appears here in the encyclopedia, but here's the first of seven stanzas:
Ye glittering stars ! how fair ye shine to-night,
And O, thou beauteous moon ! thy fairy light

Is peeping thro' those iron bars so near me.
How silent is the night-how clear and bright !
I nothing hear, nor aught there is to hear me.

Shunned by all, asif the world did fear me;

Alone in chains ! Ah, me ! the cursed spell

That brought me here. Heaven could not cheer me

Within these walls-within this dark cold cell,

This gloomy, dreary, solitary hell.

Page 422 - Here, Samuel drew an arrow next to the article "Business Law" and circled "Signatures made with a lead pencil are good in law."

Page 268 - Foreign and United States Patents

A ripped and yellowed newspaper page fell out of the encyclopedia. I think it's from a Pittsburgh paper, but I don't know the date. Cremo Cigars were offered On Every Street for 5 cents, and Pittsburg [sic - it used to be spelled like that] beat Chicago 5 to 2 in the Federal League. Panama hats were popular, and a lady was offering a $25 reward for her lost diamond ring. My favorite ad is under SPECIAL NOTICES: "I WILL NOT be responsible for any debts contracted by my wife, Mrs. Bridget Warren, after this date, she having left my bed and board. John Warren, Sr."

In conclusion, was my great-great-grandfather the milk delivery man possessive about his tools, superstitious about babies, meticulous about clean hair, interested in literature, protective of his rights, and an aspiring inventor? The only thing I know for sure is that he was a poor speller.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hartman-Holliday Family Books

I found a number of books that were in Holliday Ellwood Hartman's library but belonged to his relatives: his grandmother, his mother, his father, his aunts, his uncle, his cousin, and his children. In order to figure out all the relationships, I've been working on the family tree. Here's what I have so far, thanks to research done by my grandfather (Holliday's son-in-law) John H. Wise, family trees submitted to RootsWeb.com, and a few Google Books. If you have any additions or corrections, feel free to comment or e-mail me at katherinehala@gmail.com.

Holliday's Grandmother - Dorcas Hill - My Great-Great-Great-Grandmother:
You married Alexander Holliday, lived in Hollidaysburg, and had five children. I have a book that belonged to you: "Lady Huntington and Her Friends; or, The Revival of the Work of God in the Days of Wesley, Whitefield, Romaine, Venn, and Others in The Last Century" compiled by Mrs. Helen C. Knight. The inside page reads "Dorcas Hill Holliday, from her Aunt Hannah Copaley Lloyd, Hollidaysburg Pa, Apr. 17, 1854." Your father's last name was probably Hill. Therefore, your Aunt Hannah must be from your mother's side. So either your mom's last name was Lloyd and your Aunt Hannah didn't marry, or your mom's last name was Lloyd and your Aunt Hannah was your mom's brother's wife, or your mom's last name was Copaley and your Aunt Hannah, her sister, married a Lloyd.

Holliday's Father - Henry Waters Hartman - My Great-Great-Grandfather:
I find you fascinating, and I already wrote a whole post about you, highlighting your business dealings with Andrew Carnegie and your book autographed by Carnegie. I have two other books that belonged to you: Carnegie's "An American Four-in-Hand in Britain," given to you by W. L. Abbott in 1884, and "The Great Boer War" by A. Conan Doyle, presented to you by W. Pilkington of England in 1900. I like the book from Pilkington because he wrote you two Shakespeare quotes in beautiful handwriting: "The friends thou hast and their adoption tried bind them to thy soul with hoops of steel" (especially fitting for a man in the steel industry) and "To thine own self be true And it must follow as the night the day thou canst not then be false to any man."

Holliday's Uncle - Jesse Lee Hartman - My Great-Great-Grandfather's Brother:
You were one of seven children, although your brother Homer died before you were born. Your older brother Henry Waters Hartman is my great-great-grandfather. When H. W. Hartman moved to Colorado and his streetcar venture failed, you helped his son - your nephew - my great-grandfather - Holliday Ellwood Hartman. You provided him with a house and probably helped him when his wife died of cancer and he was left with six children, the youngest of whom was 9 (my grandmother). I have your book "The Life of Charles Sumner: with Choice Specimens of his Eloquence, a Delineation of his Oratorical Character, and his Great Speeches of Kansas" edited by D. A. Harsha and published in 1856. This book also has F. R. Hartman's name in the back cover - your little brother.

Holliday's Mother - Mary Holliday Hartman - My Great-Great-Grandmother:
You descended from Northern Irish immigrants who fought in the Revolutionary War and founded Hollidaysburg. You had four siblings, including a twin named Gilbert and a sister named Hannah who ended up at the same nursing home as you. You married Henry Waters Hartman and probably moved around a lot as a young married woman. You had two sons, and at one point you were fairly wealthy and lived in a beautiful home in Ellwood City.

You gave your sons a lot of books, and you seem to have read a lot yourself. I have at least ten books that belonged to you: a Presbyterian hymnal given to "Mrs. Mary Hartman" from Waters in 1877, which means you got married in or before 1877; another Presbyterian hymnal you inscribed in 1900; "Laddie: A True Blue Story" by Gene Stratton-Porter from Eva Dillan for Christmas 1903; "Friendship Village" by Zona Fale, a Christmas gift from Eva Dillan in 1912; "A Far Country" by Churchill, a Christmas gift in 1915 from Donacheg(?); "The Major" by Ralph Connor, a Christmas gift in 1917 from Dorothea; "The American Government" by Frederic H. Haskin; "A Self-Denying Ordinance" by M. Hamilton; "Samuel Boyd of Catchpole Square: A Mystery" by B. L. Farjeon; and "Hazel of Heatherland" by Mabel Barnes-Grundy.

I am puzzled by your relationship with your son. Apparently you spent the last nine years of your life in a Presbyterian home in Hollidaysburg. But my grandmother - your granddaughter - who would have been about 14 when you died - doesn't remember ever visiting you. She says it's because Hollidaysburg was quite far away and her father didn't have a car. My grandfather thinks maybe you and your son didn't have a good relationship. What happened? When did you stop seeing each other?

Holliday's Aunt - Blanche Holliday Hastie - My Great-Great-Grandmother's Sister:
You married Samuel Hastie and had a daughter named Helen. I have your book "The People's Bible History" published in 1896, which you either gave to your nephew Holliday or he adopted as his own. (His signature is under yours on the inside cover page.) You also gave Holliday his "Books I Have Read" journal.

Holliday's Cousin - Helen Holliday Hastie (HHH):

You are Aunt Blanche's daughter, and you seem to have been very interested in literature. I have a book that belonged to you - "In Story-Land" by Elizabeth Harrison - along with several books you gave your cousin Holliday.

*Update, February 2009 - There are two Helens ... Holliday's cousin Helen Holliday Hastie (daughter of Aunt Blanche and Uncle Samuel Hastie) and Holliday's daughter Helen Hastie Hartman who married Thomas North (see below). "In Story-Land" definitely belonged to cousin Helen Holliday Hastie, but I think I accidentally sent it to daughter Helen Hastie Hartman North's daughter Pam. Oops.

Holliday's Aunt - Hannah Holliday - My Great-Great-Grandmother's Sister:
I have your Bible, a tiny black book from 1885 with your name engraved on the cover. The second page is marked in pencil "Hannah L. Holliday, Presented by her Mother." The only thing I know about you is that you and your sister Mary, my great-great-grandmother, both died in the same Presbyterian home in Hollidaysburg, in 1934 and 1935.

Holliday's Son - Henry W. Hartman - My Grandmother's Brother:
You died in a car accident when you were only 23, six years after your mother died of cancer at the age of 45. I have two books that belonged to you: "Don Strong of the Wolf Patrol" that you got for Christmas in 1925 from your Aunt Jane, and a "Problems in American Democracy" textbook from Zelienople Public Schools that was purchased in September 1928. You used it after John Shaffer and Clyde Kauf. You scribbled '31, Speedy #16, and your initials throughout the book, plus an interesting pie chart called "Business Circle" that includes Prosperity, Panic, Depression, and Recovery. It seems like both your father and grandfather followed that model. Why is it in the inside cover of your textbook?

Holliday's Son - Samuel Hartman - My Grandmother's Brother:
I remember you and Aunt Marion very well. I have your book "The Young Financier" by W. O. Stoddard, given to you for Christmas in 1924 or 1926 by John E. Kocher.

Holliday's Daughter - Mary Holliday Hartman Meyers - My Grandmother's Sister:
I don't remember you very well, but I've met your two children Rick and Carole at various family reunions. I have your books "The Motor Maids by Rose, Shamrock, and Thistle" by Katherine Stokes, a gift from your mother, and "The Twins In The West" by Dorothy Whitehill. I also have "The Luck of the Bean-Rows: A Fairy-Tale for Lucky Children" by Claud Lovat Fraser from your Aunt Jane - your mother Ida's sister.

*Update, February 2009: There are two Mary Holliday Hartmans: Mary Holliday Hartman, H.E.'s mother (1846-1935), and then Mary Holliday Hartman who married a Meyers, H.E.'s daughter (1916-1996). Based on dates and notes in the front of the books, I believe I matched the books with their correct owner. I'm going to send Mary Holliday Hartman Meyers' books to her son Rick.

Holliday's Daughter - Helen Hastie Hartman North - My Grandmother's Sister:
You married Thomas North and had two children: Pam and Jack. I have four books that belonged to you, and I should probably send them to Pam. One is a lovely little illustrated edition of "Through The Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There" by Lewis Carroll. (Paul Eastwood Hutchinson's name and address are also written inside. Paul was the name of your mother Ida's sister Lillian's husband ... your Uncle Paul ... and may also have been the name of his son, your cousin.) This same book is on sale for about $43 online, but I think I'll forego the profits and give the book to Pam. I also have "Jean's Winter With The Warners" by Christine Whiting Parmenter. This sells for between $25 and $30 online, but your copy is kind of moldy and has a page falling out, so I'll definitely send it to Pam. :) Then I have "Jack Morgan: A Boy of 1812" by W. O. Stoddard and "A Little Brother of the Rich" by Joseph Medill Patterson signed "Helen Dear Hartman, Nov. 19, 1927."

*Update, February 2009: I sent the books to Pam, even the moldy one and one that belonged to a different Helen ... see above.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

H. E. Hartman's Childhood Books

I wonder how Holliday Ellwood Hartman would have described his childhood. His father Henry Waters Hartman led an exciting and unstable life. H. W. Hartman moved around a lot - operating a steel mill in Beaver Falls, PA, then founding Ellwood City, PA, then starting a streetcar between Denver and Littleton, CO, and at some point visiting Paris. He also took some major financial risks. In the late 1880s, at the beginning of his son's life (see photo of Baby Holliday), he was especially successful and sold his 900-employee steel mill to Andrew Carnegie (see The Rise Of Henry Waters Hartman). Later he found himself at the opposite end of the wheel of fortune when his Colorado streetcar business went bankrupt.

Judging by his books, my great-grandfather H. E. Hartman spent a lot of time during these tumultuous years reading and receiving an excellent education (see The Education of H. E. Hartman). His parents, his aunts and uncles, his friends, and his little brother all gave him books (see photo). In high school, he read a huge number of classics and recorded them in his journal "Books I Have Read." This is what I've pieced together concerning H. E. Hartman's formative years:

  • 1883 (-1) His father opens the successful Beaver Falls steel mill
  • 1884 (0) He is born on the 15th of December
  • 1887 (2) His little brother 'Waters' is born
  • 1890 (5) His father gives him the book "The Birds' Xmas Carol"; Helen (?) gives the dear boys Holliday and Waters "Sarah Crewe"
  • 1892 (7) His father founds Ellwood City, PA; His mother gives him 2 books in the "Five Little Peppers" series
  • 1894 (9) Receives "Santa Claus' Christmas Book" from Walton (?) and "The Century Book for Young Americans" from his mother
  • 1898 (13) Receives "Great Words From Great Americans" from H. P. Richardson (?)
  • 1899 (14) Receives "Man in the Iron Mask" by Dumas from his brother and "Books I Have Read" journal from Aunt Blanche; Records reading "The Twin Lieutenants" by Alexander Dumas and "A Princetonian" by James Barnes, among others
  • 1900 (15) Records reading "The White Company" by Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Last of The Mohicans" by James Fenimore Cooper, and "Richard Carvel" by Winston Churchill, among others
  • 1902 (17) Receives "The Eternal City" by Hall Caine from his mother and "The Virginian" by Owen Wister from his brother
  • 1903 (18) At Betts Academy
  • 1907 (22) Graduates from Yale
  • 1907 (22) Reads "Thirty One Years On The Plains And In The Mountains" while traveling 65 miles along the "Switzerland Trail of America" in Colorado (see photo)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Holy Crazy Family Bible

I was thrilled to find an old family Bible today. The cover is in pretty bad condition and the pages are moldy, but I was expecting to find a treasure of family genealogy - records of births, deaths, and marriages. This is what I found instead ...

... several pages of random scribblings - names of people (Caroline, Thomas Henry, James R. Holliday) and places (Johnstown, California, Lidieingham) and lots of arithmetic problems (1865-1783=82 and 1300+2000+2000=5300+1500=6800). Some words are upside down and there's at least one math problem that seems to have the wrong solution. I have more questions than answers, but I did find some useful information:

  1. Photo 1. It's The Cottage Bible, printed in Hartford in 1841 in two volumes (Genesis-Song of Solomon and Isaiah-Revelation). The notes are by Thomas Williams and references are from the Polyglott Bible.
  2. Photo 2. Alexander Lowry Holliday's name appears on both the front and back endpapaers of Volume I. There's also a mention of his gold watch opposite the title page, above a picture of Jesus. So I'm guessing the Bible belonged to A. L. Holliday, my great-great-great-grandfather, the father of Mary Holliday (who was the wife of H. W. Hartman and mother of H. E. Hartman). Thomas O. Connor's name also appears quite often, but I don't know who he was.
  3. Photo 3. The first page of Volume II features five names: Blanche Holliday, Hannah Holliday, Mary Holliday, Gilbert Holliday, John Holliday. I'm fairly certain that these are the children of A. L. Holliday and his wife Dorcas Hill, the third child being my great-great-grandmother Mary. This explains Aunt Blanche, the aunt who gave H. E. Hartman his Christmas present "Books I Have Read" (see post "The Education of H. E. Hartman").
I also found a tiny Bible printed in London in 1855 "by His Majesty's special command." The name Hannah Holliday is engraved on the front cover, and the inscription reads, "Hannah L. Holliday / Presented by her Mother". I'm not sure why his aunt's Bible is in my great-grandfather H. E. Hartman's book collection. Was she ever married? What about the other Hollidays - did they have families?

One question I'm considering - and one that led to the creation of this blog - is what I should do with these books. The two volumes of The Cottage Bible are in such bad condition that I'll probably have to get them rebound if I decide to sell them or even if I want to keep them in the family. I e-mailed two bookbinding companies in Philadelphia for estimates. Out of curiosity, I googled Cottage Bibles to see if any were for sale online. I found a leather bound 1855 edition on ebay for $550 and a 1835 edition being offered by the Philadelphia Rare Books and Manuscripts Company for $450. I'm not convinced anyone would buy our family's Bible with so many scribbles on its endpapers ... but maybe it's of interest.

*Update, February 2009: Neither bookbinding company got back to me with an estimate, so I still don't know how much it would cost to repair the Cottage Bible. That's another thing I'll have to look into when I get back.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Rise of Henry Waters Hartman

Today I discovered a book that belonged to H. E. Hartman's father, my great-great-grandfather Henry Waters Hartman. I actually know a lot more about H. W. Hartman than I do about his son:

  • He was born on December 21, 1850, on Shavers Creek in Huntington County, Pennsylvania.
  • When he was young, he worked for the Hollidaysburg Iron & Nail Company.
  • On October 12, 1876, he married Mary Holliday.
  • He and Mary had two sons: Holliday Ellwood Hartman (my great-grandfather) in 1884 and Henry Waters Hartman, Jr. (who went by his middle name Waters) in 1887
  • He also worked for the Pottstown Iron Company and the Gaither Steel Works in Johnstown.
  • In 1883, he opened a steel mill in Beaver Falls (Hartman Steel Works) and employed 900 men for the production of various kinds of wire. He was chairman of The Hartman Steel Company Limited, which maintained branch offices in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, St. Louis, and Chicago.
  • In 1892, he founded Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, and moved his wire plant there.
  • When he was in his thirties or forties, he took a trip to Paris, where he had his photograph taken in a professional studio.
Sources: "The History of Ellwood City, 1892-1942" edited by the Ellwood City Historical Association; "Union Drawn Steel Co." by Margaret Sherrill Cox; "History of Beaver County, Pennsylvania" by Joseph H. Bausman and John S. Duss; Interviews with my grandfather John H. Wise

Being an important figure in the steel industry, H. W. Hartman was acquainted with the great industrialist and businessman Andrew Carnegie. At one point, they were business partners. "It is believed that Carnegie was a principal investor in the [Beaver Falls] wire mill," reports the Ellwood City Historical Society. Then in 1888, Carnegie bought the Hartman Steel Works and took control of the Beaver Falls factory. I don't know the circumstances surrounding this transaction, whether it was a friendly deal or closer to a hostile takeover. Either way, the book I found - Carnegie's "The Triumph of Democracy" - leads me to believe that at some point in their relationship, Andrew Carnegie and my great-great-grandfather were friends. Carnegie presented his book to H. W. Hartman with the following inscription: "H W Hartman Esq / With regards of / Andrew Carnegie".

While Carnegie went on to become the Second Richest Historical Figure After Rockefeller (according to Wikipedia), somehow my great-great-grandfather lost his fortune. It isn't as easy to find information on the Fall of H. W. Hartman as it is to read about his early success, but I'll start looking.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Education of H. E. Hartman

For a long time, the only thing I knew about my great-grandfather H. E. Hartman was that he was smart. When I was little, I would tell my grandparents about my good report cards and academic prizes. "You take after me," my grandma would say. "That's from my side of the family. My daddy went to Yale."

As I searched through the first box of my great-grandfather's book collection, I found a commemorative album called "The Book of the Yale Pageant: 1716-1916." The book was published in 1916, a number of years after H. E. Hartman graduated from Yale in 1907. I contacted the Association of Yale Alumni to see if they have any more information about my great-grandfather. I'm hoping to find some of his textbooks or a yearbook in the other boxes.

*Update, February 2009: I found some of H. E.'s textbooks from high school, but not from college. My cousin Ryan has his yearbook, which paints a very interesting picture of Holliday Ellwood Hartman as a young man. I'll have to blog about it when I get back to this project.

Before attending Yale, H. E. Hartman went to a preparatory school called Betts Academy in Stamford, Connecticut. My uncle has a photo of my great-grandfather on the Betts baseball team in 1903, when he was eighteen or nineteen years old and probably a senior. (I need to find his exact date of birth.) I searched for Betts Academy online and discovered that playwright Eugene O'Neill went to Betts in 1902 when he was fourteen years old. He studied there for three years and then went to Princeton in 1906. Since they were at Betts at the same time, it's possible that my great-grandfather knew Eugene O'Neill. The Nobel Prize-winning playwright died in 1953 in the hotel room where he was living at the time, Room 401 of a Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston. The building is now a Boston University dormitory called Shelton Hall, and I lived on that same floor (The Writer's Corridor) my freshman and sophomore years of college.

*Update, February 2009: H. E. Hartman was born on December 15, 1884, which means he was eighteen in the photo.

H. E. Hartman's book collection shows that he was an avid reader well before prep school and university. I came across a really interesting journal called "Books I Have Read." H. E. Hartman received this journal from his Aunt Blanche for Christmas 1899, when he was fifteen. (I'm not sure yet who Aunt Blanche was. I added that to my list of questions at the bottom.) There are over 100 entries, and most of them include the title, author, publisher, place and year read, and genre of the book.

*Update, February 2009: Aunt Blanche was Holliday's mother's sister. Holliday's mother Mary Holliday Hartman had two brothers, John and Gilbert, and two sisters, Blanche and Hannah. You can read more about this side of the family in the post Hartman-Holliday Family Books.)

I think the first thing H. E. Hartman did after receiving his Christmas present was to record a lot of the books he had already read. The first thirty-one entries are in very similar handwriting and seem to be written with the same pen. About twenty of these have no "date read," and the last ten are marked 1899. Starting with the entries from 1900, the pen and ink change from page to page and the handwriting is not quite as consistent.

I've already found a few of the books my great-grandfather read before 1900, including "The Swiss Family Robinson" (a gift from Helen - who's Helen? - in 1894) and "The Prisoner of Zenda" (a gift from his brother in 1899). He also read two books by Dumas, two by Robert Louis Stevenson, and two by Arthur Conan Doyle - books I hope to find in the other eleven boxes. I was amused to find titles of books that I also read as a child, including "Black Beauty" by Anna Sewell, "Five Little Peppers" by Margaret Sidney, and "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

*Update, February 2009: I believe Helen was Holliday's cousin Helen Holliday Hastie, Aunt Blanche's daughter.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Great-Grandfather Holliday Ellwood Hartman

When my great-grandfather Holliday Ellwood Hartman (my mom's mom's dad) died in 1960, his library was boxed up and moved to my grandparents' attic. It remained there, probably untouched, until a month ago.

Now twelve boxes of H. E. Hartman's books are sitting behind my parents' couch. I'm going through them, book by book, to discover more about my great-grandfather.

If you are interested in any of my posts - or if can share information about book collecting, book restoration, book selling, book publishing at the turn of the century, or the Hartman family tree - please comment or e-mail me.