Daeida Wilcox Beveridge: the Mother of Hollywood

Daeida Wilcox Beveridge

By Allan R. Ellenberger

Daeida Hartell Wilcox Beveridge was born in Hicksville, Ohio and educated in the public schools of Canton and in a Hicksville private school. She married prohibitionist Harvey Henderson Wilcox of Topeka, Kansas and came to California in 1883. Three years later they purchased a fig orchard in the Cahuenga valley and soon bought the remainder of a 120-acre tract. Shortly afterward – depending on who is telling the story – she met a woman on a train to Hicksville who described her summer home near Chicago that she called Hollywood. The name appealed to Mrs. Wilcox so on her return she named her Cahuenga valley ranch — “Hollywood.”

Harvey Henderson Wilcox

Wilcox was an integral part in the development of the area, laying out the village and the naming the streets. The first pepper trees and flower beds were planted under her personal direction. Among her many gifts was the ground for the city hall, public library, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, of which she was a member; Christian Church and the Methodist Episcopal Church. It was her early dream of beauty that gave fame to Hollywood, making it noted for its wealth of trees and flowers.

Her husband died in 1891 and two years later she married Philo Judson Beveridge, son of Governor John L. Beveridge of Illinois. They had four children, two of whom survived — Marian and Phyllis. Their home was on the northeast corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue (6467 Hollywood Blvd.).

In early July of 1914, Mrs. Wilcox took ill. On August 13, she entered Good Samaritan Hospital where she died the following day. Funeral services were held at the Connell undertaking parlor with interment in the family mausoleum at Rosedale Cemetery next to her first husband (there was no cemetery in Hollywood when her husband died in 1891). Survivors included her second husband, her daughters Marian Pringle and Phyllis Brunson, her mother Anna Hartell, an aunt Sylvia Connell and a niece, Gertrude.

NOTE: In 1937, family members removed their bodies, along with two infant children, Daieda’s mother and her second husband, to the Cathedral Mausoleum at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery where they rest today.


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12 Responses to “Daeida Wilcox Beveridge: the Mother of Hollywood”

  1. Landman says:

    Another great story enjoyed by your readers Allan! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Hollywood Cemetery did exist in 1914 when she died, but not in 1891 when Harvey died. I am sure that is why they were both first interred in Rosedale. I would love to find that original family mausoleum there. Another great blog, Allan, thank you!

    A. – Thanks Steve, you are correct. I reworded it so that it’s more understandable (hopefully). I’ve wanted to find their original place also. I wonder if Rosedale would have that info.

  3. Scott Groll says:

    I don’t know about a family mausoleum, but I’ve been to the grave of Harvey’s mother, Azubah Wilcox at Rosedale. She died in 1888, and is buried in the ground in Section J, Lot 95, with her daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Elisha Luke.

    A. — Thanks Scott, that’s great to know.

  4. Heather Lubahn says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. I am the great-great-great granddaughter of Daeida Wilcox Beveridge. I was extremly gald to see that most of this article is correct. They wayI heard the story about how the name came to be was that she had a friend in Hollywood, FL. She loved the name and decided to name the plot of land after it. I will check to make sure and give you the referance. I wanted to thank you again 🙂
    Hi Heather, thank you for that. I had never heard that story, however Hollywood, FL was not founded until the early 1920’s so it couldn’t have been that but I would love to know the source. Perhaps, the FL city was named after ours. Would love to interview you sometime about your family. Thanks again. — Allan

  5. Heather Lubahn says:

    I am going home this weekend so I will ask my mom for the book’s title. Also I added one too many greats. I am only her great-great grand daughter.

  6. Kathleen Quinn Lubahn says:

    I have seen this gravesite. I am Heather’s mom and the great granddaughter of Daeida. There is now a great- great-great granddagughter Remi, age 20 months!
    How wonderful for you. congratulations. — Allan

  7. KC Brunson says:

    Hi! I am also Daeida’s great-great granddaughter! Her daughter, Phyllis, is my father’s father’s mother. It as really interesting to read this and learn about my family history. I have heard that Daeida had a treasured friend named Holly and admired the woods surrounding the plot, hence the name. My family keeps a picture of Daeida at our house, among other family photos. Thank you for writing this great article and enlightening me about my family history!
    HI KC, it’s my pleasure. I’ll have more about other family members in future posts.

  8. M Smith says:

    When we gathered information about Daeida for her inclusion in the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame, our best information came from books and articles published in the first half of the 20th century. We also received great information via what was then called Hollywood Heritage, a historical society that put us in touch with some good historians. It’s exciting for us to read this post and the responses!

  9. JW Hoy says:

    I would like to offer another inspiration for the “Hollywood” name. I am a distant cousin to Philo Beveridge, Daeida’s 2nd husband. I have been researching the Beveridges, and trying to trace their sentiments in the move to California and why Daeida and Philo may have hit it off, which is really not particularly mysterious. She may have been an enthusiastic young reader of a wonderfully awful, “escapist” 19th c. novel (1859), Hollywood Hall. A Tale of 1715, by James Grant. Worth reading today for its precious stereotyping and romantic enthusiasm, and it may pertain in other important ways, particularly as she later meets the Beveridges (Gov. John L. and son Philo). James Grant, in his typical way, probably liked the name for its similarity to other names, such as “Holyrood”, quintessentially Scottish, as in Melrose and Argyle.

  10. James Workinger says:

    I notice the two plaques pictured disagree on Mrs. Beveridge’s birth year. Which is correct–1861 or 1862?

  11. Bob Marlowe says:

    Given a choice, I will always, at least until further proof is found, go with a cemetery headstone over a public relations plaque.

  12. Christian says:

    Hi, I’m writing a script in which Hollywood’s origins and coming of age are part of the story; can see the sign out my window right now, on Friday, November 14, 2014. Am very interested in contacting, via email, any of Daeida’s surviving grand-kids. Members of my family worked in Hollywood since the 1920’s as well. Would love to hear from anyone; Email is:

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