The Henry W. Hartman home

hartman-homeThe enormous stone house at 329 Fourth Street was built in 1893 for Ellwood City founder Henry W. Hartman. Built at a time when the only other structure close by was Hotel Oliver (later named Hotel Lawrence) the house was Mrs. Hartman’s dream home.

Henry Waters Hartman, born in Huntington County Pennsylvania December 21, 1850, married Mary Holliday in 1876 and had two sons, Holliday Ellwood Hartman and Henry Waters Hartman Jr. Some folks have suggested that Ellwood City was not named after Col. Isaac Ellwood but after Mr. Hartman’s first born son Holliday (who was named after Col. Ellwood).
Frustrated that Ellwood City never got the electrical streetcar system he desired, Mr. Hartman moved to Denver Colorado to start an electric streetcar system there. After Henry Hartman passed away in 1913 in Colorado, his widow Mary lived in the house in Ellwood City until 1923.

Since Mrs. Hartman sold the house on Fourth Street, it has been owned by a handful of people including George Sewall III & R. Charles Stiefel Jr. Over the years the house was also the Ellwood City Public Library, doctor offices, & bridal shops. During the 1950’s, the owners of the house at the time wanted to tear down the building to build a gas station on the corner of Fourth Street and Crescent Avenue. Currently the house is the offices of Century 21 realtors. If you have any memories of the large house or the families that have lived here, please leave a comment below or email me at

Eric McAnallen wrote: I have many fond memories of this house. My grandparents, Willis and Alberta Bartle, owned it in the 80s and 90s. I’m not sure of the exact dates.
Alberta and her sister, Kay Paswell ran the aformentioned Bridal House out of the first floor selling formal wear, bridal gowns and prom dresses to the young ladies of Ellwood City. My mother was a seamstress for the shop and I spent quite a few hours running around the back rooms among the dresses as a lad.
There was a large apartment on the second floor and a smaller one on the third and a basement with laundry for the tenants. Also in the basement was the ubiquitous “Pittsburgh Toilet.”
I often had the unenviable task of cutting the grass and keeping the grounds neat and trim. Out front, right on the corner of the lawn, sat a big aluminum wedding bell with the shop’s name on it. I think it might still be in my barn. Over the entrance hung a hand-painted sign that read, “Through these doors walk the world’s most beautiful women.”
My grandmother closed the shop and sold the house not long after my grandfather died.
I’ll look through the family photos and see if we have any of the building during that time.
Bob Baney wrote: Dr Obley had an office there in the 50s and maybe the early 60s aand lived there also.
Jo Ann (Miller) Oxsen wrote: In later years my Mom and Dad, Midge and Harry Miller, on their way to visit me in California, stopped along the way to see Dr. Fred Obley and wife Peggy in Arizona (Mesa, I believe). Mom used to play golf with Peggy when they lived in E.C.
Danny John wrote: I lived right don the block from the Obleys and was very good friends with the daughter I think it was Linda just not sure…I do however remember Dr. Obleys Big German Shepard Dog named Mike he was a very good dog just scary for a kid. I belive that Dr.Obley and family lived on the second floor of the house and the offices was on the first floor
Linda Turner wrote: I loved this house even though I just saw the “doctor’s office” as Dr. Obley was our family doctor. I remember the office quite well. I also remember their German Shepherd. The dog attacked me while walking down 4th street going towards Lawrence Ave.(on my way home). Lucky, my coat was double sided as I did have scratches on my back from the dogs claws, but not serious. Later, Dr. Obley gave the dog away. But that did not make me afraid of or dislike Shepherds. I’ve had 2 of my own and a Doberman. Danny J., don’t know when you lived there, but I probably passed your home many times, since I lived above my Dad’s barber shop at Lawrence & 4th nex to the Oasis.
Bob Stevenson wrote: I lived right across the street from the Hartman House. We lived over my granfather’s funeral home. It was on the corner where later, Jean’s Flower Shop was. And I remember Mike the German Shepard. And yes Dr. Obley did give it away. Their old daughters name was Linda. I never heard what happened with her. Anybody know? Maybe Jo Ann
Danny John wrote: Linda we lived at 305 4th street in one of the apartments above the Knights of Columbus that house was right next door to the city paint and glass and i do remember your dads shop even washed his car a few times I think that was one of the larger barber shop in Ellwood. My Mom (Phyllis Carroza John) worked at the Oasis for many years
JoAnn Raffetto Marsden wrote: Hello everyone, I certainly remember the Hartman Home. My parents, Bill and Betty Raffetto bought the home in 1967 and I lived there until I went off to Pitt in 1969. My Dad lived there until his death in 1977. When er first moved in the Doctor’s offices on the first floor were rented to a Dr. Evangelista, but shortly after, my Mom, along with Helen Mantz of Helen’s dress shop opened the Bridal House. I can say with great memories how I loved trying on all the gowns! It was a beatiful house- I was greatly saddened on my last visit to town, that the beautiful trees on the front lawn had been cut down. I can remember sitting in the third floor balcony feeling like I was in a treehouse.
Tiffini Hartman Brockway wrote: Henry Waters Hartman was my great, great grandfather. My father, James Warren Hartman is the son of Henry Warren Hartman who was the son of Henry Waters. I also have an uncle, Henry Waters Hartman II. Both my Dad and my uncle are still alive.
I have never been to this beautiful home, however I have photos and newspaper articles about my great, great grandfather including this home. If you have any additional information on him that you could share with me, I would appreciate it.

8 thoughts on “The Henry W. Hartman home”

  1. The top floor of that house was wonderful! I was raised across the street over my grandfather’s funeral home! The kids in the neighborhood played on the top floor when Dr Obley lived there! We felt like we were in a castle! Good memories for sure!

  2. I have memories of going to Dr. Obley. I believe, if memory serves, I got my polio shots from him. That is questionable in my memory bank.

    I do remember the morning after the Beaver Falls game in 1963 when I went there for treatment of a pinched nerve in my neck. I had slept over, which was normal after games, at my friend Charlie Landolfi’s house. He too remembers quite well that night,. Since I was unable to find a pain free way of laying I kept him up all night. He was thrilled when morning came and he could take me to Dr. Obley’s for something, anything to shut me up.

    I bet that grand old house was a treat to play in Debbie.

    However, my fondest memory of the grand old house is when my Aunt Kay (Gibbons) Paswell and her sister Alberta had the Dress Shop in there. That was the last time I ever crossed that threshold.

  3. I used to go to Dr. Obley and he made house calls. I remember getting many shots there. Every time I had an ear ache & swollen glands out came the penicillin shot. Also remember how he could not believe my throat didn’t hurt when he diagnosed me with a strep throat. I had a fever and no other symptoms, in fact I was eating potato chips before I saw him. I loved that house but never saw anything but his doctor’s office.

  4. Dr Obley was our doctor and we lived right behind him. I remember when my brother was injured with a nasty deep cut on his upper thigh. My dad just picked him up and ran next door to the office. Dr. Obley stitched him up and sent him home. That is something that I can’t even imagine happening today. We would have to make a trip to he ER. Simpler times…..

      1. You’re so right Ernie. I am happy that we had that life’s experience of better times because we are who we are today because of it!

  5. I, too, have great memories of this house. When my parents owned the home, I ived in the third floor apartment. It was on the third floor where i first kissed a girl. That was a great achievement for a tall, shy, skinny kid! Dr. Bill Raffetto, Deer Park, Texas.

  6. Ran across your web site recently while looking for background info on Ellwood, and it brought back a flood of memories.


    My father (Dr. Thomas R. Wilson) was raised in Ellwood and attended ECHS. His father (Thomas A. Wilson) owned Wilson drugs on Lawrence Ave (diagonally across street from where Young’s drug store was located) and was later appointed as Postmaster, serving until late 40’s. They lived at 21 Pittsburgh Circle. My grandparents are interred at Slippery Rock Presbyterian Cemetery.

    After completing med school, my father practiced in Ellwood for a short time with Dr. Helling before enlisting in the Army Air Corps. After the war, he returned to Ellwood and opened his own practice in general medicine, practicing until late 1953, when he returned to school to specialize in radiology.

    Hartman House:

    In the late 40’s, Dad moved his practice to the Hartman House, across the street from Hartman Elementary. I don’t know if he bought the house or rented. As pointed out by others on your site, I recall there were apartments on the second and third floors.


    I attended Hartman K-2; moved to West End School for 3rd-5th (School years 49/50 thru 51/52), then returned to Hartman for 6th and beginning 7th until the family moved. West End was only 1st thru 5th. Teachers I remember were: Miss Ida Cooper (1st grade and principal – my sister was in her class) Miss Wright (3), Mrs Wright (4 – new teacher, only there one year), Miss Marshall (5), and Miss Dunn (I remember her teaching health in the middle classroom on the second floor). West End was Kind of a tough school; I remember having to fight my way in out in the playground my first few days there. I remember a few names of people in my classes; will try to locate old school pix.


    I well remember the snow of ’50; about 3 ft sticks in my mind. We lived on the hill behind Ellwood City General Hospital, and getting down that hill was not a venture taken lightly.


    I remember both the Manos and Majestic theaters. Nikki Manos was in my class when I went to Hartman.


    Fire in 1st Presbyterian Church

    Boy Scout Troop 31 at above church

    Walking across the bridge vic intersection of Glenn Ave and 4th (or 5th; I can’t recall streets) across Connoquenessing Creek to the news stand at the end of the bridge to purchase comic books

    Hamilton Bros Grocery

    Green & Sawyer bakery (and the wonderful aromas as you passed by)

    Ruth Blocher’s Jewelry store on Lawrence Ave

    Waterson’s (Waterman’s) Texaco at the corner before crossing bridge mentioned above

    I drove thru Ellwood a number of years ago and was surprised at how easily I was able to navigate to sites I recalled after a nearly 60 year absence.

    Don’t know your requirements for submissions; hope this is of interest to you. Thx for your web site; it really conjured up a lot of great memories.

    Thomas A. Wilson II (Tom)

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