California Genealogy and History Archives
Another of the captains of industry who had made a name and place for themselves in the states to the east before settling in this commonwealth may be mentioned in Marion Hart, now an extensive hop-grower in Sonoma county, in the vicinity of Fulton. He was born in Morgan county, Ill., in 1840, on the paternal farm, where he learned the rudiments of agricultural life under his fatherís training, the later being a life-time farmer and stock-raiser. Subsequently he settled down to farm life on property of his own in that locality, but later disposed of it to try his luck further west, November of 1873 finding him established in the stock business in Clay county, Neb. The conservative business which he then undertook grew steadily from year to year, and in addition to buying and shipping cattle and hogs also carried on an extensive grain business. Some idea of the extent of the latter business may be gathered from the statement that during one month alone his shipment of grain to Chicago amounted to eighty-five carloads, besides other shipments of grain to other markets. All of the land which he owned in Clay county, comprising five hundred and sixty acres, was under a fine state of cultivation, a part o it, however, being reserved as range for cattle, of which he had about one hundred head. One seasonís sale of stock amounted to $3,500.
After a successful record of over seventeen years as a general farmer and stock-raiser in Clay county, Neb., Mr. hart disposed of his interests there in 1890 and in the fall of the same year came to California, reaching the state on November 14. In San Francisco, where he first located, he purchased and conducted a lodging house for about two years, but finally disposed of it and coming to Sonoma county settled down to the calling with which he was more familiar through his long and successful career in Nebraska. Coming to Fulton in 1891, he purchased in this vicinity twenty-one acres of land and set out the entire acreage to hops, with the result that he now has one of the most flourishing hop ranches in Sonoma county. It is no uncommon crop for his vines to produce one hundred bales during the season, and from the fruit trees which he set out for family use only, he had a yield of eleven hundred pounds of prunes from eleven trees.
In Morgan county, Ill., in 1861, Mr. Hart was married to Miss Laura A. Duncan, a native of Virginia. Eleven children were born of this marriage, named in the order of their birth as follows: Marshall M., who married a Miss Dill and resides in Nebraska; Fannie E., the wife of Dr. Edgar, of San Francisco; Mrs. Leona Hanley, of Eureka, Cal.; Thomas deceased; Mrs. May Lewis, a resident of San Francisco; Marion, of Stockton; Henry, a resident of San Francisco; Lulu, who is a trained nurse in Oakland; Ella, Mrs. Gauron, of Oakland; Grace P., deceased; and Ruby Belle. In all of his undertakings Mr. Hart has had the co-operation of his faithful wife, who throughout their married life of nearly fifty years has been a helpmate indeed. Fraternally Mr. Hart is identified with the Masonic order, having attained the Royal Arch degree.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011