Jonas C. Heartt
Jonas C. Heartt

Information on this page is from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester, published in 1880.

JONAS C. HEARTT, son of Philip Heartt, was born in Troy, Aug. 12, 1793, and at the time of his death, April 30, 1874, was the oldest native-born inhabitant of the city. He was the first child baptized by the first pastor of the Troy First Presbyterian church, and for this reason he was given the name of the pastor, Jonas Coe. His life was closely interwoven with the interests of Troy; he grew up with it, and helped to make it what it is. To his intelligent counsel can be attributed many of the successful enterprises, both moral and educational, that are now the pride of the city. He was not a seeker of public position, but he was sought for as on peculiarly fitted to represent the city, both at home and in the Legislature, where he was made Speaker by a flattering vote. His connection with city affairs began in 1822, when he was elected assistant alderman for the Second Ward. He was also supervisor of this ward for 1833, '35, and '36, and in 1838 he was elected mayor and re-elected each following year until 1843, when he declined the nomination. During these years many advantages were gained to Troy which were due to his prudence and quick-sightedness. He saw the necessity of opening direct communication with the West, and during his mayoralty measures were adopted for building the Troy and Schenectady Railroad. It was through the united efforts of Mr. Heartt and Jonathan Edwards that Troy was made the terminus instead of a branch of the Hudson River Railroad. Mr. Heartt was instrumental in having a direct line of steamboats from Troy to New York, and for twelve years was a director in the River Steamboat Association. He was a director of the Troy and Boston Railroad from the time of its construction until his decease. He was the first president of the board of trustees of the fire department, and for many years was a member of the board of fire commissioners. After the death of Mr. Marshall, Mr. Heartt, was made president of the board of governors of the Marshall Infirmary, and through his efforts a debt of eighteen thousand dollars against the institution was paid off in one year. Upon the formation of the Mutual Bank he was made a director, which office he held in connection with the presidency of the Mutual Savings Bank until the time of his decease. He was always ready to afford assistance to educational interests. He was interested in the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, of which for years he was a trustee, and also of the Troy Female Seminary, of which he long was the honored president.

With all these interests, so beneficial to the city, he for more than forty years was actively engaged in the hardware business, which was founded by his father in 1798. Mr. Heartt was chosen a member of the vestry of St. Paul's Church on Easter Monday, 1831, and constantly until 1861, when he was chosen church-warden, as successor to Hon. David Buel, Jr.; and he was a member of that church for nearly fifty years, and aided it with wise counsel, active exertion, and liberal contributions. He was a good friend, remarkably strong in his attachments, and strictly honorable in his business relations. He was genial and entertaining, and rarely can a man be found so free from deceit. At the time of his death meetings were held, resolutions passed, and fitting addresses made by the members of the following institutions, in honor of him whom all had learned to respect as a good man: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; the directors of the Mutual National Bank; the Troy Club, of which he was president; board of trustees of Troy Female Seminary; Troy and Boston Railroad; Governors of Marshall Infirmary; Troy Gas-Light Company. Mr. Heartt was married Aug. 30, 1814, to Catherine Lamberson, a lady of rare womanly qualities, and who was born at Jamaica, L. I., Aug. 8, 1793. Of their nine children only three are living, - Jonas S. Heartt, of Troy, Mrs. Edward Schell, and Mary W. Heartt, of New York City.

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