Edgar and John Hartt

From the Biographical Review, Volume XXXIII, located at the Durham Center Museum.
Transcribed by Arlene Goodwin


Edgar Hartt, Greenville’s veteran merchant, member of the firm of J. G. & E. Hartt, was born on Norton Hill in this town on January 2, 1828, his parents being John and Salome (Miller) Hartt. His paternal grandfather, Joseph Hartt, was a native of Dutchess County, New York. The maiden name of his grandmother was Polly Green.

John Hartt, the father, was born in Hartsville, Dutchess County, and was a shoemaker by trade. He came to Norton Hill in 1820, previous to his marriage, and carried on a successful business here during the remainder of his working life. He hired a number of hands, and did considerable custom work. His death occurred at the age of seventy-four.

He and his wife were members of the Christian church; and he was a Deacon and active worker in the church. The house of worship was four miles from their home. In politics he was a Republican. Mrs. Salome Miller Hartt was born in Dutchess County. She lived to be eighty-seven years old. Of her seven children, five are living, namely: Mary Ann, who resides in Greenville; Edgar, the direct subject of this biography; John G., a sketch of whose life appears below; William B.; and George A., who is in the employ of John G. Myers, of Albany.

Mr. Edgar Hartt received a practical education in the public schools of Norton Hill. His first business experience was in shoemaking, which he learned by working with his father. He followed his trade about nine years. The partnership with his brother was formed in 1856, at the old stand; and three years later the store where they are now doing business was built. It is doubtful, if there is a single partnership in the State that has existed longer than this. Messrs. Hartt still buy goods in some instances of the firms from whom they bought when they began business. They carry a very complete stock of general merchandise, including dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, ready-made clothing, hats and caps, crockery and glassware, oil cloth, hardware, grain, drugs and patent medicines, wall paper and stationery. The business has grown from year to year with the growth of the village, which has nearly doubled in size since they began.

In 1860 Mr. Hartt married Augusta Chapman, a native of Westerlo and daughter of Robert and Eliza Chapman, her father a blacksmith. Both parents died at the age of eighty. They had three children, two of whom are living. Mr. and Mrs. Hartt have three children—Gertrude, Clara, and Henry G. Gertrude is the wife of G. W. Palen, a tanner residing in Western Pennsylvania, near DuBois. Clare resides with her parents. Henry G. Hartt is a partner in the firm of Colier & Co., dry-goods merchants at Coxsackie, where they came on a most successful business. He married Grace Vanderburg.

John Hartt, brother of Edgar and his partner, was born in Norton Hill on October 3, 1829. Upon leaving home and starting life for himself, he entered the employ of Thomas Saxon in South Westerlo.

From that place he came to Greenville and began working for Mr. Bentley, with whom he remained for the next nine years, during the first three of which he worked for fifty dollars a year and found his own clothes. His hours were from six o’clock in the morning to nine o’clock in the evening, and he often had to work until midnight. His motto always was that, no matter how small an amount he earned, he must save a little; and he always kept to it. He left Mr. Bentley to join his brother in business, starting, as has been said, in the old corner store.

Mr. Hartt married in 1859 Jane A. Tallmadge, a native of Greenville, N. Y. Her father, Henry Tallmadge, a native Poultney, Vt., was a physician by profession; but he came to Coxsackie, and engaged in mercantile business there. He died at the age of sixty-three. His wife, whose name before marriage was Jane A. Reed, was born in Coxsackie, and died in Greenville at the age of seventy-five. She bore him eight children. Mr. and Mrs. Hartt have only one child, Arthur, who is a merchant at Ravena, Albany County, this State, and Postmaster in that place. He was in the Greenville Local printing-office for nine years, and has taken an active part in politics. He married Rose Wilsey, and has one son, Harold.

Both John and Edgar Hartt are prominent members of the Republican party in this section. The former has been Town Clerk and Assistant Postmaster. Neither has cared for public office. Both are attendants of the Presbyterian church, and their wives and the three children of Mr. Edgar Hartt are members of the church. The brothers are among the best-known men in the county, and command universal esteem.


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