Edward Hartwick"s family moved to Michigan and he graduated from Grayling High School in 1888. He graduated with high honors in 1893.
Among his ancestors was a brother of John Christopher Hartwick, a Lutheran minister who emigrated to the United States from Germany in the early decades of the 18th century. Hartwick, New York and Hartwick Seminary, now Hartwick College were named after him. A year later, in September 1889, Hartwick left Michigan to enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Upon completing his schooling, he was appointed a second lieutenant in the 4th Cavalry and, shortly thereafter, transferred to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, nicknamed the Buffalo Soldiers.
He was to remain in the West until the outbreak of the Spanish–American War was to take him and the 9th to Cuba. The following report was officially submitted following the action of July 1, 1898 before San Juan Hill.
An interesting account of the Battle of San Juan Hill appears in Hartwick"s biography in which he is quoted as saying, among things, "The above claim of Colonel Roosevelt is not true": The claim had to do with exactly when and how and why Teddy Roosevelt "led" the charge up San Juan Hill. Hartwick left Cuba to return to Grayling and on October 19, 1898 married Karen Bessie Michelson.
He resigned his commission effective July 1899.
He became engaged in the lumber and banking industries in Grayling and soon prospered, eventually moving to Detroit. 17, F. & A. M., Jackson Chapter, Number. 3, R. A. M., Detroit Commandery, Number.
Major Hartwick"s clubs were: the Detroit Athletic Club, the Ingleside Club, Detroit Golf Club, Bankers" Club of Detroit, Fellowcraft Athletic Club, and the Detroit Automobile Club.
He held membership with the National Association of Real Estate Exchanges, Detroit Real Estate Board, Detroit Board of Commerce, Detroit Real Estate Exchange, Exchange Club, Detroit Y. M. C. A., American National Red Cross, Detroit Retail Lumber Dealers" Association, Milwaukee Junction Manufacturers" Association, and was president and director of the Michigan State Retailers" Lumber Association. Following the United States" entry into World War I Hartwick volunteered for service and was commissioned a major in the 20th Engineers.
He sailed to Europe in November 1917. In March 1918, Hartwick became ill with meningitis and on March 31, 1918, at age 46, he died near Bordeaux, France.
He was buried in Talence Cemetery "with full military honors."
On December 23, 1920, his remains were removed to Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit.
Ten months later, in October 1921, a bronze monument was erected there in his honor. In 1927, his widow purchased more than 8,000 acres (32 km²) of land, including the last 85 acres (340,000 m2) of virgin pine in Michigan"s Lower Peninsula. Shortly afterwards, Karen Hartwick donated the parcel to the state of Michigan in her husband"s name.
Thus Hartwick Pines State Park, the largest state park in the lower Peninsula, came to be.
He was a 32d degree Mason, having been a member of Jackson Lodge, Number.