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Marcella with her mother, Myrtle.
  1. The creator of Raggedy Ann and her brother, Andy, was John “Johnny” Barton Gruelle (1880-1938).
  2. Gruelle applied for a patent on May 28, 1915. The patent was approved on September 7, 1915 as No. 31,073. The patent was good for 14 years.
  3. Gruelle and his wife Myrtle had one daughter, Marcella. She was born on August 18, 1902. During 1915, when Marcella was 13-years-old, she received a smallpox vaccine. There is speculation that either the vaccine was administered without her parents’ consent or that a second dose was administered. Marcella suffered consequences from the vaccine. However, the vaccine did not kill her.
  4. Gruell had already submitted a patent application for the famous rag doll prior to Marcella falling ill. Marcella died on November 8, 1915 in Wilton, Connecticut.
  5. Despite urban legends, Gruelle did not create the doll after Marcella’s death. Nor did he design the doll in response to her failing health. These are inconvenient coincidences.
  6. Marcella did not die from the smallpox vaccine. According to her death certificate, she died from heart disease. This could mean several things, and it is possible that the vaccine negatively impacted her heart. However, this will never be known for certain.
  7. Johnny Gruelle experienced great stress and died from heart failure on January 9, 1938 in Miami Springs, Florida at the age of 57.
  8. The family is buried together in the Silvermine Cemetery, New Canaan, Fairfield County, Connecticut.