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Daeida Hartell Wilcox Beveridge

Once described as “just a housewife” Daeida Hartell Wilcox Beveridge renamed a former fig farm and secured her place in Hollywood history.

Born in Hicksville Ohio, Daeida was the daughter of farmers, Amelia and John Emerson Hartell. She attended private school in Hicksville before moving to Canton. Daeida married H.H. Wilcox, a Kansas prohibitionist. They moved west by train in 1883. Three years after settling in Los Angeles, the Wilcoxes purchased 120 acres of apricot and fig groves in a frost -free belt nearby. H.H. subdivided the property into lots. Daeida landscaped the lots and named the streets to appeal to buyers. Their property, bought for $150 an acre, now sold for $1000 a lot.

Soon thereafter Daeida traveled back to Hicksville by train and met a woman whose description of her summer home near Chicago so captured Daeida’s attention that she insisted its name be given to the Wilcox subdivision. In 1887, a subdivision map was filed as Hollywood, California, with street names including Sunset Boulevard. According to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, into which Daeida was inducted in 1995, many Hollywood streets and location names were taken from friends and places in Daeida’s hometown.

Although H.H., an invalid, died in 1891, Daeida increased the value of the properties and continued to be an important force in the upbuilding of Hollywood from a collection of lots into a community. She donated land for 3 churches, the first library, and a city hall. She built the first banks, post office, the Hollywood Club, and a theatrical playhouse. Daeida installed the first sidewalks and developed one of two commercial districts. She gave land for a park, primary school, and a police station. Daeida used her power judiciously, always with an eye to the betterment of her city.

In 1894, Daeida married Philo J. Beveridge, son of the governor, who shared her vision of community. The Beveridges had 4 children and continuted philanthropic and civic good works. At the time of her 1914 death, Daeida’s associates had only kind words for her – reliable, forcible, kindly, a woman of rare judgement, and a worthy opponent. Not a bad description of a woman born in Hicksville, Ohio who moved west and became “just a housewife.”

SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • * Co-founded Hollywood, California (1886) Named Hollywood (1887)
  • * Led development efforts (1886-1914): Landscaped lots, named streets, developed commercial district, built civic centers, sidewalks.
  • * Donated land to ensure broad community base
  • * Brought residents, businesses, and artists to the area

UNIQUENESS OF CONTRIBUTION

  • * Daeida H. W. Beveridge was a well – regarded business woman in a time when business women were not well-regarded. The force of her personality, business acumen, and vision laid the foundation for what would become one the the world’s leading industries.

Thanks to the Hicksville Historical Society for the above information.

 
 
 
 
 
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