Obituary Details

John Garrett Hartwell

(04/09/1858 - 06/05/1934)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 06/07/1934

J. G. Hartwell Dead

Former State Senator and Prominent Figure in Wyoming Politics Loses Gallant Fight For Life; Funeral in Crete, Neb., Thursday

Former State Senator J. G. Hartwell,for more than twenty years a prominent figure in the political life and legal fraternity of Wyoming, lost a gallant fight for life, when he passed away at a hospital in Lincoln, Neb., at 6:30 o'clock, Tuesday morning, June 5th.

All his family were at his bedside when the end came, including his father, Dr. James E. Hartwell of Crawford, who, although almost 83 years old, was actively engaged with leading specialist of Lincoln and Denver, in trying to save his son's life.

Hope for the recovery of Senator Hartwell was abandoned last Friday, when his brother, N. E. Hartwell, received a telegram asking him to come to his bedside at once, which he did.

Dr. Herman Mast, who made the trip from Denver to Lincoln by airplane last week, also pronounced his (condition) hopeless.

Deceased had been suffering from a severe attack of pneumonia, the poison from his lungs affecting his whole system.

According to word received by Mrs. N. E. Hartwell, funeral services will be held in Crete, Neb., home of his wife, where "Happy" attended Doane College, was a star athlete and later was football coach at the college.

J. G. Hartwell came to Lusk early in 1914, and the same year was elected county attorney, being also elected in the same position twice more. He served eight years in the State Senate, where he was Republican floor leader. He was also delegate to the Republican national convention in 1932.

During his long residence in Lusk, he was active in every civic enterprise. He was president and also secretary of the Counmty Fair Board, coach of the local High School football team, president of the Lions Club, and active in the Congregational Church.

Previous to his fatal illness, he had apparently been in perfect health, hence his untimely death comes as a distict shock to his hundreds of friends in every section of Wyoming.

He is survived by his wife and small son; his father, Dr. James E. Hartwell; his brother, N. E. Hartwell, and two sisters.

(The following biographical sketch of Mr. Hartwell is taken from Mrs. Frances Beard's Biography of Men of Wyoming):

Since 1906 John Garrett Hartwell has been connected with the history of Wyoming, but he was born in Floyd County, Virgina, April 9, 1888, and was reared in Crawford, Nebraska.

The father of Senator Hartwell, Hon. James E. Hartwell, is still living in Crawford, Nebraska. He was born in Virginia in 1847, and was reared and married in the Old Dominion, but was graduated from the Baltimore Medical College, Baltimore, Maryland. From then until 1892 he was engaged in the practice of his profession in Floyd County, Virginia, but in that year came west to Crawford, Nebraska, where he is still engaged in the practice of medicine and surgery, and continues to be recognized as one of the ablest men in his calling in his section. A very strong Republican, he has been active in his party, and has served as councilman and mayor of Crawford. He is a member of the Congregational Church and the masonic fraternity. Twice married, his second wife, Nannie Ellen Stewart, was born in Floyd County, Virginia, in 1870. Four children have been born to them, namely; Senator Hartwell, who is the oldest; Norris Elbert, who resides in Lusk; Ethelyne, and Neva.

His preliminary educational training occured in the grammar and high schools of Crawford. Senator J. G. Hartwell followed his graduation from the latter by his entrance in Doane Academy, Crete, Neb., and remained a student of that school until his graduation in 1905. His graduation from Doane College followed in 1910, at which time he took the degree of Bachelor of Arts, and his degree of Bachelor of Laws was taken at his graduating in 1913, from the University of Nebraska, at Lincoln. While at the University he made Delta Chi, the Greek letter legal fraternity. In 1913 he was admitted to the bar of Nebraska, and early in 1914 to that of Wyoming. For six months he was engaged in a law practice at Crawford, and then, in 1914, came to Lusk, where he established himself in a general civil and criminal practice, in which he has since continued. In the meanwhile, in 1906, he entered the livestock industry in Crook County, Wyoiming, and has never lost interest in it, today owning a valuable ranch 20 miles north of Lusk, although he maintains his home in Lusk, where he and his family occupy a modern home.

Reared in a Republican household, Senator Hartwell inherits his political opinions, but his convictions with reference to them are decided, and he is fearless in giving them expression. He was an elected county attorney of Niobrara County on the Republican ticket in 1914, re-elected in both 1916 and 1918, and in 1920 was elected to the Wyoming State Senate, and returned to that office in 1924. In 1929 he was elected once more to the office of county attorney. In all his political life he has shown himself aggressive in fighting for the needs of Niobrara County and Wyoming, and has a record in public office that is a credit to him and his supporters. Since boyhood he has been a consistent member of the Congregational Church. He belongs to Custer Lodge No. 12, I.O.O.F., and the Lions Club, both of Lusk, and to the Wyoming Bar Association. During the World War he was Government Appeal agent in Niobrara County, was a member of the local draft board, and devoted much time to war work.

On February 22, 1916, Senator Hartwell was married, at Crete, Nebraska, to Miss Hazel Gilmore Buck, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William F. Buck. Mr. Buck owned and operated a grain elevator and was an honored and respected citizen of this community.

Senator and Mrs. Hartwell have one son, John Garrett, Jr., who was born December 20, 1929.

Note: The printed copy that was used for this article was damaged and difficult to read. Therefore, some of the information, especially the numbers and dates, may not be accurate.

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