The Hartnell family came from Cornwall to Ontario in 1867. John and Elizabeth Hartnell raised a family of eight children, plus two more girls who died in infancy. The whole family moved to Michigan, where Doan Hartnell was born to son Richard in 1881. His unusual name can be explained by the fact that the entire family had converted while in Ontario from the Methodist Church to the Mormon Church of Latter Day Saints. Richard Hartnell favoured the name Maroni for his first son, a Mormon prophet. The family story is that the little boy couldn’t pronounce this name, but called himself Doanie, with Doan being the nickname by which he was always known.
Several of the Hartnell sons and families moved west to Canada in 1906, after Richard Hartnell bought timber in British Columbia. They opened a mill called Forest Grove Lumber Company south of Clayburn.
Doan was a partner and vice-president of the Hammond Cedar Company in Hammond, and Industrial Timber Mills Company in Youbou until they were sold to B.C. Products in 1946. He was also general manager of both firms. Doan retired in 1946 when the companies were sold.
Doan Hartnell was a great fan of baseball and he decided to sponsor a team in the Dewdney League for Hammond Mill. The League, which began in 1920, included teams from Haney, Hammond, Port Moody, Coquitlam and Ioco. He really wanted the championship for the mill team so he recruited players from the US and eastern Canada with well-paying jobs at the mill as bait. In 1924, the Hammond Mill team was victorious and would have gone to the next level with a game in Calgary if a snowstorm had not caused cancellation.
Following his retirement, Doan moved to Vancouver and passed away on January 2nd, 1959, at the age of 77 at St. Paul’s Hospital.
For more on the Hartnell family visit whonnock.ca