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Jay County Indiana Biographies

William A. HART, a member of the bar of the Jay Circuit Court and a landowner of Jay county, proprietor of a farm in Jefferson township, where he has resided for the past twenty years or more, is a native of the Buckeye state, but has been a resident of Jay county since he was four years of age. Mr. HART was born on a farm in Adams county, Ohio, February 4, 1862, and is a son of John R. and Aletha ( MENDENHALL ) HART, the latter of whom was born and reared in Preble county, Ohio, a daughter of Marmaduke MENDENHALL. The late John R. HART, an honored veteran of the Civil war and for many years one of the leading citizens of Bearcreek township, this county, also was a native of Ohio, born in Highland county, that state, December 4, 1833, and was a son of James and Mary ( LEWIS ) HART, both of whom were born in the state of Delaware and who were among the early settlers in Highland county, Ohio. John R. HART was the seventh in order of birth of the eight children born to this parentage. He was reared on the farm and his schooling was completed at the academy at North Liberty and in Delaware College. At the age of nineteen years he began teaching school, a vocation he followed, with occasional interruptions, for many years thereafter. When twenty-two years of age he married and established his home in Adams county, Ohio, where he became engaged in farming and where he continued to teach school during the winters. On June 28, 1863, despite the family obligations he meanwhile had incurred, he enlisted for service as a soldier of the Union and went to the front as a member of the 2d Ohio Heavy Artillery, with which command he served until the close of the war. He was mustered out at Columbus, Ohio, and returned home. He remained there until 1866, when he disposed of his interests in Ohio and came with his family over into Indiana and located on a forty-acre tract of land he had bought in Bearcreek township, this county, ten acres of which had been partially cleared and in which clearing had been erected, a log cabin and a log barn. In this log cabin he established his home until presently he was able to erect a more suitable house and in good time had a farm instead of a timber tract. Mr. HART continued farming until his retirement and removal to Bryant, where his last days were spent. He helped organize the Wesleyan Methodist church at Bryant and was for years the superintendent of the Sunday school. His long service in the school room gave value to his counsels on local educational questions and he did much to promote the betterment of the schools at Bryant and in that vicinity. He was an ardent Republican and took an earnest interest in local civic affairs, helpful ever in the cause of better government. To John R. HART and wife were born seven children, all of whom are living save two, Mary A. and David H., the others, besides the subject of this sketch, being Mrs. Margaret Jane SPADE, James M., Orla E. and Charles C. HART. As noted above, William A. HART was but four years of age when he came to Jay county with his parents in 1866. He grew up on the home farm in Bearcreek township and when seventeen years of age began to teach school, a vocation he continued to follow during the winters until he had rendered service in the school room, in the district schools of his home township, aggregating eighty months. Meanwhile he had turned his attention to the study of law and under the preceptorship of the law firm of Headington & LaFollette at Portland carried these studies to a conclusion and was admitted to the bar of the Jay Circuit Court, and entered upon the practice of his profession at Portland. For nearly twenty years thereafter Mr. HART continued his practice at Portland and then failing health caused him to seek relief in the open and in 1900 he moved onto a farm of 100 acres which he had bought in Jefferson township, a part of the place on which he is now living, and has there resided ever since. Since taking possession of that place Mr. HART has added to his holdings until now he has 2:00 acres. On June 26, 1888, William A. HART was united in marriage to Louana BRANDON, of Franklin, Ohio, and to this union three children have been born. Opal R., William and Florence, deceased. Miss Opal R. HART was graduated from Earlham College and took a post-graduate course at Chicago University and is now a teacher in the New Mt. Pleasant schools

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