Marcella gave the rag doll the name of "Raggedy Ann". It is said that the inspiration for her name was from the combination of two poems by James Whitcomb Riley . . . "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphan Annie".
After seeing how special the rag doll was to Marcella, Gruelle began writing poems about Raggedy Ann; they were unpublished. Since Johnny was a professional illustrator and writer, he began putting rag dolls in his cartoons. The doll was usually dangling down from a child's hand.
Marcella contracted an infection that took her life at the tender age of 13. in 1915. The family began making rag dolls. Each doll had a small candy heart stitched on the chest and these "sweetheart" rag dolls were in demand.
Saddened by the death of his daughter, in 1918 Johnny also wrote a book of stories about this special doll named "Raggedy Ann" titled "Raggedy Ann Stories". Raggedy Andy joined as a new character in 1920. Raggedy Ann now had a brother. The dolls, stories and books continued to be produced and sold well through the Great Depression, until about 1934.
If you want to know "the rest of the story" about the Raggedys, or more about Johnny Gruelle and his many talents, please visit this website: http://www.raggedyann.cc/johnny_gruelle.htm
To read "Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie", click on the POETRY link above. They are a bit lengthy so I've chosen to post and include them with other poetry on my website.