Hartwell, Ohio History: Early Homes and Neighborhood Developments
The Hartwell "Circle" is developed for the growing community
John W. Hartwell and Daniel DeCamp, the president of the Hamilton County House Building Association, enthusiastically promoted living in this area. The original Greenham farm was now known as "Hartwell," and it was platted in 1869. Named after John Wesley Hartwell, the popular vice president of the CH&D Railroad, Mr. Hartwell liked DeCamp's enterprise so well that he offered a year's free commuter ticket to anyone who bought land and built their home in the village that bore his name. Daniel DeCamp himself built his own dwelling in 1877 on a piece of pie-shaped property between what are now Woodbine and Avalon, where it still proudly stands today. Mr. DeCamp's wife Joanna, suggested that a circular section of Hartwell, affectionately called "the bowl," be set aside for at least 2 places of worship. It was decided that this circle would be a center-point, with streets that would arc from it, styling it much like the village of Glendale to the north.
Charles M. Steele was the first mayor. The house he lived in is still there at the southwest corner of present-day Hillsdale and Burns. The large farms to the north of Hartwell were divided into subdivisions. You can view the home location on this map.
Hartwell Subdivisions: Maplewood
"Maplewood," once the Sturgis Farm, was platted in 1871. When Colonel T. E. McNamara built the first home in this new subdivision at the southwest corner of Wiswell and Sheehan, he found remnants of a wigwam and other Indian artifacts. In Maplewood, there was an Opera House on what we know today as Wiswell Ave., and a jail on Burns, where "Halls of Montezuma" is today. The Town Hall was a one-room wooden structure on present day Ferndale and Burns. This structure was later turned into a community meeting place for teens in the 1960s, and then torn down in the 1970s. There is a "tot lot" there today. The "Bell and Steele" subdivision was located just west of Maplewood, and the "Oxley" lay to the east.