Lee County Biography

Charles Dwight Hart

Bradford Township

Happy is the man who has lived a long life that has been characterized by uprightness of purpose, integrity of principle and whose high mental and moral standing is gratefully recognized by his fellowmen. Such a man is Charles D. Hart. Lee County proudly claims him as one of best and most enterprising citizens and he is the fortunate possessor of a fine estate on section 20, Bradford Twp. By a proper rotation of crops the land has been brought to a high degree of cultivation, while various buildings have been erected which best subserve the purposes of an agriculturist.

During the early part of this century there resided in Massachusets a worthy couple whose names were Holloway L. and Mary (Carter) Hart. hey were natives of Franklin County, that state and became the parents of three children - Charles D., Henry B. and Mary M. The only daughter became the wife of Horace Roberts and died in New York City, Feb. 3, 1866. After the death of his first wife, which occurred May 10, 1835, the father of our subject was a second time married, March 16, 1836, to Eliza L. Root. They became the parents of one child - Sarah E., who died when 21 years old. Holloway Hart passed his entire life in the old Bay State and finally passed to his rest in Greenfield.

Born in Shelburne, Franklin County, Mass., January 12, 1831, Mr. Hart remained in his native place until ten years of age. He then removed to Greenfield, MA, where he grew to man's estate and engaged in the cutlery works of J. Russell for five years. He later went to Conway, same State, and after working there for a year, returned to Greenfield, where he remained until 1855. Having resolved to see something of the West, he came to Lee County in the spring of 1855 and was joined by his wife a few months later. He began life for himself by purchasing a tract of 160 acres on section 20, from the IL Central RR Co. and at once set about improving the same.

When Mr. Hart came to this State it was not his intention to locate here, as he had only obtained a leaveof absence from his employers in order to visit the Western country. He, however, no sooner became acquainted with this section then he decided it was the place for him, and sending for his family established his permanent residence in this county. That his energy and untiring industry hae been rewarded is evident, when we state that he is now the owner of an estate consisting of 720 acres. He has been accumulated entirely by the exercise of his good judgment and the economy and frugality which characterized his wife as a helpmate in the truest sense of that word. His farm is now exceedingly productive and under most admirable cultivation and the passerby can not help but recognize that is in the possession of a gentleman who thoroughly understands his business.

The gentleman was married in Franklin County MA, May 1, 1853 to Miss Lucy R. Jenkins. Mrs. Hart was born in Franklin County, July 4, 1835 and was a capable lady and well fitted to be the companion and helpmate of her husband. A family of four children have been granted to our subject and his amiable wife. Ella A. (Ella Amelia born 26 Jan. 1855 - died in Franklin County MA when an infant of three months (16 May 1855); Charles J. was the second in order; George E. also died in infancy (30 Dec 1865); and Henry S. married Kate Albrecht. On February 12, 1867, Mrs. Lucy R. Hart passed from earth in Bradford Twp.

On July 11, 1867, Mr. Hart was again married to Catherine S. (Stow) Wright a native of MA, having been born in Greenfield, March 27, 1847. To them have been born a family of five children - William H., Frank S., Mary C., Mabel M, and Lucy A.

Our subject has been elected to many positions of trust and responsibility, and in every office has performed the duties pertaining thereto in a most satisfactory and conscientious manner. He was particularly interested in educational affairs and for 20 years was a member of the School Board, and during that period was instrumental in bringing about many eforms in the school system, which is now one of the best in the Twp. He was elected Justice of the Peace early in the 60's holding the office for a long term of years, although not continuously. Mr. Hart takes an active part in politics and the Republican party counts him as among its most active workers. In religious matters he is liberal in his views. He has been a Mason since 1868 and is identified with Franklin Grove Lodge, No. 268.

Few residents of Lee County are better known and none more highly respected than Mr. Hart and his excellent wife. He is numbered among the wealthy agriculturists of the county and ontributes liberally of his means to the promotion of public enterprises as wella s the relief of the needy.

Portraits & Biographies Pg. 519
Mr. Hart died in Bradford Twp. 14 April 1897. He was married to Lucy Reed Jenkins born 4 July 1835 Ashfield MA, died 12 Feb. 1867 in Shellburne MA. She was the daughter of David Hershey & Hannay (Lilly) Jenkins.

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