Biography of J. F. Hartsel
North Central Ohio Biographies

J. F. Hartsel, a well known citizen of Polk, is identified with the firm of Hartsel & Irwin, general merchants. He was born on a farm southeast of Polk, Nov. 2, 1869, the son of John and Irene (Fast) Hartsel.

John Hartsel was a native of Wayne County, and a veteran of the Civil War. He was born near Wooster and attended the district schools. As a young man he came to Ashland County, and engaged in general farming until his retirement in 1877. He then resided at Polk until his death, April 24, 1929. His wife, born in Jackson Township, Ashland County, died in 1922. Both are buried at Polk. Mr. Hartsel was a Democrat, a member of the Christian Church, and belonged to the Grand Army of the Republic. There were three sons born to Mr. and Mrs. Hartsel: O. C., who lives at Polk; J. F., the subject of this sketch; and Clifford, who is associated with the firm of Cassel & Hartsel, Ashland.

J. F. Hartsel grew up on his father's farm near Polk and received his education in the district schools. He came to Polk in 1911 and engaged in business with E. S. Wicks, under the firm name of Wicks & Hartsel, elevator owners. Two years later the firm was reorganized as Hartsel & Bryan, and in 1919 the elevator was disposed of to a farmers cooperative association. Mr. Hartsel remained with the organization for a year as manager and in April, 1920, purchased the general store of C. F. Losh, which he has since successfully conducted. Since 1925 his son-in-law, Clifford Irwin, has been associated in business with him. Mr. Hartsel is a director of the Polk State Bank, of which he was an organizer in 1916.

In 1890 Mr. Hartsel was married at West Salem to Miss Emma Bryan, of Polk, the daughter of J. F. and Sarah (Wicks) Bryan. The former died in 1915 and the latter lives at Polk. To Mr. and Mrs. Hartsel were born three children: 1. Cloyd C., born in 1891, a graduate of Polk High School and Savannah Academy. He also attended Ashland College and Wooster College, and for a number of years was a teacher in the public schools of Polk, Sullivan and Strongsville. He enlisted for service in the World War and served overseas with an engineering corps. He is unmarried and lives at home. 2. Irene S., married Clifford R. Irwin, and they have two sons, Burl and Dean. 3. Irma E., married R. W. Arnold, lives near Polk. They have five children: Donald, Monica, James, Virginia, and Portia.

Mr. Hartsel is a Democrat and has held the offices of township assessor, trustee, and school director. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

History of North Central Ohio
Embracing Richland, Ashland, Wayne,
Medina, Lorin, Huron and Knox Counties
BY: William A. Duff
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka-Indianapolis 1931

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