Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hartsock Family of Hawthorne Lane

How does one name an old house? Do the first inhabitants get the honor? What about the architect? How about the families who dwell in the home for decades? The current owners of 59 North Hawthorne Lane face just such a dilemma. The Recker Family built this astonishing house, but it was designed by Gustav Stickley. So is it the Recker Home or the Stickley House? And what of the people who came after the Reckers? The home has had remarkable stability. In the late 1920s, Harvey and Bess Hartsock moved in and remained in the house until the 1940s. For years it was known as the Hartsock House. And who were the Hartsocks anyway?

Attorney Harvey Barton Hartsock (1887-1966) hailed from the village of Quincy, Indiana. He eventually graduated from Depauw University and received a law degree from Columbia University. He married Bess Leoti Taylor (1885-1968) in Bartholomew County on April 12, 1912. They would rear four children in both Brooklyn, New York and in Irvington.

Mr. Hartsock made history in the late 1930s when he represented a faction of the neighborhood who wanted to keep the ban on the sale of packaged liquors in place. Irvington had been dry since its founding. In Sorrentino v. Cunningham, Hartsock argued that the covenant forbidding the sale of alcohol should stand. Judge Ernest Stewart agreed with Hartsock and the ban remained in place until the dawn of the 21st century. You may read more about this case in Paul Diebold's Greater Irvington (70).

The photos show a glimpse into the lives of the Hartsock family. In the top photo Mr. Hartsock proudly stands next to his sons Hetzer B. and Robert E. Hartsock. The photo was likely taken around 1939. The color photo of Mr. and Mrs. Hartsock was likely taken in the early 1940s. In the bottom photo the Hartsock brothers playfully pose or snap a photo at the photographer in the rear of 59 North Hawthorne Lane. You also get an amazing view of the rear of 51 North Hawthorne Lane. This photo was likely taken around 1939. More images of this interesting Irvington family will be forthcoming. A special thanks are in order to Brian and Emily Mack for being so generous with these historic photos. You may learn more about the Recker era by clicking on the link below.

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