Joseph Crane Hartzell, 1842-1929
Joseph Crane Hartzell (1842-1929) was a missionary bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His career was marked by his ardent support of African issues and his efforts for African American betterment. Hartzell was born in Moline, Illinois on June 1, 1842. His parents were ardent Methodists, and Hartzell decided at a young age to attend seminary. In 1862, Hartzell received his B. A. from Wesleyan University. He received his B. D. from Garrett Biblical Institute in 1868.
Hartzell began his ministerial career in 1870 when he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana to take over the pastorate of Ames Church. In 1873, he was made presiding elder of the New Orleans district. Between 1883 and 1896, Hartzell was active in the Freedmen's Aid and Southern Education Society. He worked to improve the lives of African Americans living in New Orleans, helping to establish schools and a hospital for African Americans.
In addition to his community activism, Hartzell was also a publisher. In 1873, he founded the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a weekly paper promoting Methodist work among African Americans. Between the years 1876 and 1896, Hartzell was a delegate to the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1896, Hartzell took his first trip to Africa, and was consecrated missionary bishop to Africa.
Joseph Hartzell retired from the Methodist Church in 1916.