Lee County Biography

John E. Hart

South Dixon Township

John E. Hart, an evangelist and an nctive minister in the United Bretlren Church, and is an influence for much good in this community, is also connected with the agricultural life of this county. He is a practical farmer, having a good farm on section 11, South Dixon Township, which he has improved and made a pleasant home. His native place is in Erie County, Pa., and November 19, 1833, is the date of his birth, his parents being Chauncey and Magdalena (Somes) Hart.

The father of our subject was born in Connecti­cut of New England parents, and came of the original Yankee stock. In early life he was a farmer and a brewer, and when a, young man he worked in a brewery in Rochester, N. Y., where he lived until past the meridian of life. He then removed to Pennsylvania, and followed farming in that state a number of years. When an old man he came to Illinois in 1866, and settled on a small farm in Nachusa Township. He did not live long in his new horne, as death claimed him eighteen months later, in the early part of 1868, he being then seventy-five years of age. He was an honest, hard-working man of unblemished character, and left behind him an honorable life record. In early years he was a Whig, but transferred his a1legiance to the Republican party after its formation. A man of true piety, he was an al­most life-long member of the Methodist Episco­al Church, dying firm in the faith. His widow survived him a few years, and then passed away in Chenango County, at the age of seventy-scven. She was a noble woman and a sincere Methodist in religion.

Our subject was one of eleven children, of whom seven are yet living. He was five years old when his parents removed from his birthplace to Venango County in the same State, and he lived there until he came to Illinois in 1865. He began to farm in Dixon Township, and in 1873 purchased his present home in South Dixon Township. He has devoted all his spare time to its improvement, has its ninety-five and one-half acres under excellent tillage, has erected a good set of buildings; and has a neat and orderly place that adds much to the attractiveness of this portion of the township.

It is not merely as a tiller of the soil, however, that our Reverend subject has won for himself an endming place among our most honored citizens, but also by his earnest work as a preacher of the Gospel. He has been a local minister in the United Brethren Church for many years, and for the past six years has been regularly licensed. He has become quite widely known in his church as an evangelist of much power, who is very success­ful in bringing in recruits to the cburch, and his services are often sought.. He is it man of true Christian spirit, has an ardent love for his sacred calling, and puts his whole soul into the work. He is not only a great worker in the church, but also in the Sunday-school, and has been very active in building up these nurseries of the churcb, as he believes that all of them a child often lays the foundation of a high moral and Christian character. He is Superintendent of the Sunday-school connected with his church in this town, and under . his fosterling care it is growing in strength and numbers. All good causes find in him a champion, and especially is he interested in the temperance movement, believing firmly in legislation to eradicate the evil, and adhering to prohibition in politics.

The Rev. Mr. Hart was first married in Yenango County, Pa., to Miss Catherine Best, who was born in Pennsylvania but was reared in the State of New York, returning to her native State to marry. She accompanied her hushand to the new home in Lee County, but was not destined to share it with him long, as she died one month after their arrival in 1865, aged thirty years. She left five children, namely: Alice, who died at the age of nineteen, Alsa, who married Charles Boss­meyer, and .died at the age of thirty-four, her hus­band being also now deceased, Chauncey a farmer in South Dixon who married Ida Uhl, Mary who died at the age of twenty years, and Horatio who died in childhood. Our subject was a second time married in this county, Mrs. Sarah M. Beatty, nee Brink, becoming his wife. She was a native of the state of New York and came to Illinois in her girlhood. She married Frank Beatty who enlisted in a Venango Conunty Pa regiment during the late war and sacrificed his life while in his prime for his country. Mrs. Hart is a member of the United Brethren Church.

Portraits & Biographies Pg. 449


Lee Co Bios

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