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Once described as “just a housewife,” Daeida Hartle 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 Hartle. She attended private school in Hicksville before moving to Canton. Daeida married H. H. Wilcox, a prohibitionist, and they headed first to Kansas and then to Los Angeles. Three years later, in 1886, the pair 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 gave the streets names, which she hoped would appeal to buyers. Their property, bought for $150 an acre, then sold for $1,000 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 imagination, 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 street 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 their 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 three churches, the first library, and a city hall. She built the first banks, a 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 an Illinois governor, who shared her vision of community. The Beveridges had four children and continued 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 judgment, and a worthy opponent. Not a bad description of a woman born in Hicksville who moved west and became “just a housewife.”

Summary of Accomplishments:

bullet 1886 — Co-founded Hollywood, California
bullet 1887 — Named Hollywood
bullet 1886–1914 — Led development of community, business, and the arts
bullet 1995 — Induction into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame

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