About Mary Ellen

Mary Ellen Hartje, owner of Old Town Books in San Angelo, TX, was born and raised in San Angelo.  She attended Baylor University (BA and PhD) and Angelo State University (MAT).  She taught secondary school for a couple of years; after receiving her graduate degrees, she began teaching at ASU.  Dr. Hartje taught writing and literature classes in the Department of English at ASU until she retired in 2016.

Starting an independent bookstore in her hometown became Mary Ellen’s post retirement dream.  She began this bookstore journey at ASU’s Small Business Development Center, taking various classes to prepare for starting and building a private business.  After securing a lease for the beautiful building at 506 S. Chadbourne, the “dream” began to look a lot more like reality!

Old Town Books opened its doors on Black Friday, November 29, 2019, and large numbers of happy folks flocked into “the new bookstore in town”!  Mary Ellen and her team have been happily building the new business since that day.

Mary Ellen has three daughters who grew up in San Angelo, Kristen, Lauren, and Erin.  She also has five wonderful grandchildren, Owen, Charlie, Natalie, Mikey, and Eivin.  So, if you go to Old Town Books, and Mary Ellen is not around, it’s a pretty good bet that she is spending time with some of these special people!