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Chicago: Chapman Bros., Publishers


REV. GEORGE HART is a prominent Baptist minister of Morgan County, and a man of large professional capacity. He is a lineal descendant of the Hart family, of whom two brothers came from Germany to the United States in 1700, and landed at Charleston, S. C. They were sold to pay their passage form the Fatherland, and never heard of each other again. Charles Hart, one of these brothers, lived and died in South Carolina. But very little is known of his history farther than he had a son David, who in turn had a son born in South Carolina, Dec. 18, 1798, and who was united in marriage to Margaret Blackwelder. Ten sons and one daughter was the result of this union. This couple resided in Mercer County, Ky., in an early day, and removed to Bedford County, Tenn., where the husband and father died. Solomon Hart, the third son of this family, was born in Mercer County, Ky., Jan. 6, 1793, and at the age of ten years removed with his father to Tennessee. At the age of twenty years, with his older brother, he enlisted as a soldier under Gen. Andrew Jackson, and saw active service at the Horse Shoe battle. Returning from the army he was married to Miss Nancy Waggoner, July 17, 1817, and in 1826 he came to Morgan County, where, with his brothers, Charles and Nathan, he lived for a short time near Jacksonville, then a village of very small proportions. Like most early settlers he was dissatisfied with the scarcity of timber, and so removed to the south part of the county, where he built his cabin on the margin of that beautiful island, formed by Little and Big Apple Creeks. Here he purchased from the Government 240 acres of fine timber land, and invested the rest of his means in prairie. He was soon followed by his brothers, Charles, David, Anderson and Nathan. This favored spot is now called Hart's Prairie. Here Solomon Hart with his wife underwent all the toils and hardships that surround a pioneer's life. He reared a family of two daughters and eight sons. In an early day he became impressed with the religious doctrines of A. Campbell, and opened his house for religious worship to the followers of that faith, and so continued for many years. Here Dr. Henderson, W. W. Happy and Robert Foster gave vent to their eloquence.

Solomon Hart's family were plain unassuming people, never enjoying themselves better than when helping some unfortunate. He was a Jackson Democrat and a great admirer of Douglas, and lived to vote for fourteen presidents. He reared eight sons, who were all Democrats, and before he died, on the 17th day of October, in the eighty-second year of his age, he saw a grand State spring up from a wilderness, to take rank among the first States of this nation.

Solomon Hart, the father of our subject, it will thus be seen had an eventful history. Of this family, Joseph W. died in Morgan County, in 1864; Harvey C. died in Macoupin County, this State, in April, 1886; John C. died in the same county, in 1863; Felitha married Lewis Dutton, now of Kansas; Melchi died in 1862, in Macoupin County; Eliza married Thomas Heggy, and is now farming in Macoupin County, this State; William married for his first wife Brbara A. Fanning, of Morgan County, to whom was born one child - James, who married Augusta Reinbach, of Morgan County. William's second wife's maiden name was Mary Ann Rice, who died, then he married the third time. His third wife was named Mrs. Martha J. price; she now resides on the old homestead in Morgan County,. William is a minister of the Baptist church, and has been for the last thirty years. Marion married Laura Duncan, of Virginia. He is a farmer and stock dealer of Edgar, Clay co., Neb. Solomon married Frances Haynes, and they now reside on the homestead.

The Rev. George Hart, of whom this sketch is written, was married to Miss Nancy B. Rice, of Macoupin County, Ill. Her parents came from Kentucky in an early day. They have nine children, six of whom are living: Mary E., William C., Eliza J., George S., Marion W. W. and Berrisse G. The others died in infancy. Mr. Hart has always resided in Morgan County until twelve years ago, when he removed to Franklin and engaged in mercantile pursuits and milling. He was ordained to the ministry in 1870, since which time he has filled various pulpits of Morgan and other counties. He is a member of the Masonic Order, and has been Village Trustee, besides filling other offices. Politically, he is a Democrat.

1889 Index
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