Daeida Wilcox Beveridge - Biography

Biography

Born in Hicksville, Ohio, Daeida was the daughter of farmers Amelia and John Emerson Hartell, and attended private school in Hicksville before moving to Canton. Daeida, then, married Kansas prohibitionist H. H. Wilcox and they moved to Kansas until 1886, when they continued on to Southern California, where they purchased 200 acres (0.81 km2) of apricot and fig groves near Los Angeles.

A few months after Daeida and Harvey had arrived at their new ranch, Daeida took a train to visit family and friends in her hometown of Hicksville. During the trip, she met a woman from the Chicago area, who lived on a country estate that she referred to as "Hollywood." Daeida took a liking to the name, and when she returned to her California ranch, she too, named her new home "Hollywood."

Then, in 1887, at the age of 25, she and her husband Harvey, began to layout their dream town. Harvey subdivided the property into lots, while Daeida landscaped the lots, planting the first pepper trees and flower beds in Hollywood, and provided street names, which she hoped would appeal to buyers. She, also, created Hollywood's first sidewalk in front of her home, which sat yards away from the future Hollywood Walk of Fame with its stars that line the Boulevard, today. Their property, bought for $150 an acre, then sold for $1,000 a lot.

With her husband, Daeida led development efforts and was instrumental in establishing much of Hollywood's civic infrastructure, including the city hall, library, police station, primary school, tennis club, post office, city park, and much of the commercial district. She also donated land for three churches and space for Hollywood's first theatrical productions. She came to be called the "Mother of Hollywood," and when Daeida died in 1914, the Los Angeles Times reported that it was Daeida's dream of beauty that gave world fame to Hollywood, years before the first movie company arrived in 1913.

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