Lorain County, Ohio
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Hart Family Biography


Sylvester Hart Family - Contributed by Deborah (Hart) Brushaber & William Hart

Sylvester Hart (1806-1878)

(Sylvester, George, Zerubbable, John, Samuel, Isaac)
Sylvester was the son of George and Polly Hart. He was born on March 27, 1806 in Weston, Vermont . He died on September 26, 1874 in Oberlin, Ohio and is buried in the South Murry Ridge Cemetery, Lorain County, Ohio . He worked as a farmer and dairy farmer. He married Relief Baldwin, daughter of Joel Baldwin and Polly Havens, on January 25, 1829. Relief was born on August 31, 1806 in Pawlet, Vermont . She died on January 5, 1892 in Oberlin, Ohio . She is buried in the South Murry Ridge Cemetery, Lorain County, Ohio .

Children of Sylvester and Relief (Baldwin) Hart
Relief M., 1830, died in infancy; Eunice D., 1831, died in infancy; Jeremiah Baldwin (John), 1832; Elizabeth C., 1834-1904; Cornelia, 1836; Henry H., 1840; Flavius Alemendo, 1849.

Among the early settlers and good, practical farmers of Carlisle Township who have passed away, none left a fairer record for personal integrity and high moral worth than he whose life and character forms the basis of these lines. Reared amid the Green Mountains of Vermont, and at an early period of his existence being inculcated with the importance of industry and self-reliance, he was admirably qualified for the life of a pioneer in the western country where forty-five years ago he effected a permanent settlement.

Sylvester Hart was born at Weston,Vermont, on the 27th of March 1806.

Relief Baldwin Hart

His father, George Hart, was a native of Massachusetts ; his mother, Polly Lawrence, a Vermonter. In the days of his youth, educational advantages were quite limited, and what little of scholastic learning he obtained was in the common schools of the place of his birth. By subse­quent self-study, and the application of knowledge gained by experience, he became a well-read man, and possessed in­telligence above the average farmer. It was in the year 1834, when, imbued with a spirit of adventure, coupled with the desire to make a home for himself and family, he came to Lorain County, Ohio, and settled in Carlisle township, upon the farm now occupied by his son, Henry H. Some years prior to his removal from Vermont, however, he had become pretty thoroughly acquainted with and habituated in agricultural pursuits. At the age of seventeen years, he bought his "time" of his father, and subsequently purchased a small farm, which he sold preparatory to his departure to Ohio.
All went well with him in his western home until 1840, when his residence and barn were totally destroyed by fire, a calamity under which a man of less indomitable energy and perseverance would have succumbed. Undaunted by this untoward event, he rebuilt on another part of his farm the house in which Henry H. Hart now resides. In December 1856, Mr. Hart removed to the village of Oberlin, intending to retire from the active, incessant labor of the farm. Here he resided a respected and honorable citizen until his death, which occurred Sept. 26, 1874.

Homestead in Ohio

In politics, Mr. Hart was formerly a Whig, and after the organization of the Republican Party affiliated with the latter. He was township trustee of Carlisle many years, and was elected to various other offices in that township. He was not a professor of religion, but the honesty of his life compared favorably with many of the most ardent church members. After a careful investigation of spiritualism, he became convinced of its genuineness, and espoused its teach­ings with a faith that lasted until his death. He became one of the largest landholders in the county, and was also extensively engaged in dairying. Those of his acquaintances and friends by whom he was best known, generally bear testimony to his uncompromising, personal integrity, his business rectitude, and the placidity of his domestic life. It was in the home circle where the serenity of his disposition was so highly ap­preciated. His benevolence was proverbial. Taken all in all, the career of Mr. Hart offers many excellent traits which afford alike a good example for future generations to follow, and an imperishable legacy to his estimable family.

Flavius Alemendo Hart (1849-1918)
(Flavius, Sylvester, George, Zerubbable, John, Samuel, Isaac)
Flavius Alemendo was a son of Sylvester Hart and Relief Baldwin. He was born on December 2, 1849, in Carlisle Township,
Lorain County, Ohio. He died April 22, 1918 in Lorain County, Ohio. He is buried in South Murry Ridge Cemetery, Lorain County, Ohio.
Flavius first married Olive A. Crane, daughter of Simeon M. Crane and Olive R. on November 7, 1877 in Oberlin, Ohio . She was born in 1851 in Florence Township, Erie County, Ohio and died in 1909 in Ohio . She is buried in Birmingham Cemetery, Florence Township, Ohio . Flavius and Olive were divorced in 1902.

Children of Flavius and Olive (Crane) Hart
Burton L., 1878, Merton Simeon, Eugene Crane Flavius, second, married Jenny Bell Morris, a daughter of Harry J. Morris. She was born August 15, 1871 in Cleveland, Ohio and died February 8, 1936 in Oberlin, Lorain County, Ohio . She is buried in South Murry Ridge Cemetery, Lorain County, Ohio.

Children of Flavius and Jenny (Morris) Hart
Henry Sylvester; Arthur Morris, 1908 –1990
Flavius A. Hart was proprietor of a leading furniture establishment in Oberlin, and undertaker, comes of English ancestry. The first of this branch of the family in America was one of three brothers who came from England in 1646 or '48, one of whom settled in Connecticut, one went west and was never heard of again, and the third, from whom our subject descends, made a settlement in Lynn, Massachusetts .
Sylvester Hart, father of Flavius A., was born, in 1806, in Vermont, the eldest son of George Hart, and came to Lorain County, Ohio, in 1832, settling in Carlisle Township, where he carried on farming operations. He died in 1874, a staunch Republican, having originally been an Old-line Whig. He married Miss Relief Baldwin, also a native of Vermont, born in 1806, and died in 1892. They had a family of five children, of whom Flavius A. is the youngest.

Our subject was born in Carlisle Township, Lorain County, Ohio, on December 2, 1849. When six years old, he came to Oberlin, where he received his education, first attending the public schools and then Oberlin College . For a time, he read law in that town, in order to more thoroughly qualify himself for business, and then turned his attention to agriculture, which he followed till some sixteen years since, and he still owns a farm in the township. On giving up agricultural pursuits, he opened a furniture factory in Oberlin, and also a store for sale of the products. The factory he carried on three years, since then he has confined himself to the retail business and undertaking. He car­ries a large stock of furniture, and enjoys a wide business connection.

In 1877, Mr. Hart was married in Oberlin to Miss Olive A. Crain, who was born in Florence Township, Erie County, Ohio, to which union three children have been born: Burton S., Merton S. and Eugene A. In politics our subject has been an ardent Democrat ever since he first exercised his franchise at the ballot, and has twice been Democratic candidate for county treasurer, also Democrat candi­date for mayor of Oberlin. On December 20, 1893, he was appointed postmaster at Oberlin by President Cleveland, confirmed by the Senate on January 9, 1894, and commenced his duties as postmaster on February 1, 1894. He is past master in the A. F. & A. M., and past noble grand in the I. O. O. F. He is a member of the Oberlin Society, which governs the Congregational Church.

Zerubbable Hart, paternal great-grand­father of the subject of this sketch, was a native of Lynn, Massachusetts . He owned the best yoke of oxen in the neighborhood of Boston, and, prior to the battle of Bunker Hill, he hauled hogsheads of sand up that and Breed's Hill for the making of military breastworks. His brother, John Hart, was one of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Their father, Jonathan Hart, was captain of a privateer, and was captured on the Mediterranean Sea by the Moors. He had to work as a slave in the mines of Africa for nine long years without ever seeing the light of the sun; but one day he and two other prisoners succeeded in escaping by first killing the overseer with their picks, and another man with the guard's gun. Having now regained their liberty, they put to sea in an open boat, and were picked up by a Portuguese vessel, and ultimately reached their respective homes.
[Source: “Commemorative Biographical Record for Huron and Lorain, Ohio .” Volume II. J.H. Beers & Co., 1894, Chicago.]
[MyHartt Editor's note: We have not been able to document a connection between any of our Hart(t) branches and John Hart, the signer of the Declaration of Independence. Also, we cannot confirm the story about Jonathan being taken as a slave.]

Flavius Hart House built in 1875
This two-and-a-half story brick house features a Mansard roof that has bracketed eaves and dormer windows. The house has tall, narrow windows set within segmental arched openings with stone sills and wood shutters. A shallow front porch with thin square porch posts spans the front of the house. It has a belled roof. A two-story rear wing, possibly a later addition, is brick on the first floor and wood frame on the second and has a flat roof. The house has an open porch on the west side and an additional one-story wing on the east side. The second addition along the rear has a gable roof and an off-center chimney.
This house was built in 1875 for Flavius Hart (Blodgett). Mr. Hart was listed in the 1877 city directory as a farmer at 108 East College. From 1883 through 1916, he was listed at this address as a furniture manufacturer and from 1894-1897 as postmaster. F.A. Hart's furniture store was at 29 South Main (24 before number conversion) from 1883-1895; it was Hart & Sperry furniture from 1894 to 1904; and Hart & Vincent from 1904 to 1907, when Mr. Hart sold the business to Mr. Vincent (Maddock). In 1891 Mrs. Olive Hart was listed for the first time, and in 1897 the children Bert, Merton and Eugene were listed. In 1920 Mrs. Jennie B. Hart was listed as resident; in 1931 Henry Hart and Mrs. J.B. Hart; and in 1935 Henry, Jennie, and Arthur Hart, a lineman, were listed as residents. In 1937 Floyd Barnard, farmer and James Worcester, retired farmer, were listed as residents; in 1939 and 1942 Paul Rogers was listed as resident. Then in 1956 Mrs. Anna L Laczko was listed as resident; her sons reside there today (City Directories). This house is significant for its association with a prosperous business family in Oberlin. The house was listed by the City of Oberlin as an Oberlin Historic Landmark in September of 1975.
(Submitted by Carole J. Dick)

March 1880 Letter from Viola Baldwin to her cousin Libbie Hart (Libby, Sylvester, George, Zerubbabel, John, Samuel, Issac)
Libbie Hart b. 18 May 1834, d. 3 Apr 1904, second child of Sylvester Hart & Relief Baldwin. Lived most of her life with her parents and is buried with them in S Murray Ridge Cemetery in Elyria, Lorain, OH

Westfield, NY Mar 16, 1880
Dear Cousin Libbie,
I do hope you will excuse my long delay: I have thought of you often enough if that would have written letters you would have had more than you could read. I wonder how you and Auntie are this winter? And how you are enjoying yourself?
But oh Libbie! I have some very sad news to tell you. Sister Frankie died February 2nd and was buried on Thursday the 5th. Poor Frankie had not been real well since Christmas. At that time she came up here and to her folks on a visit. I now believe that she over-done then. For she was poorly but kept-about until about one week before she died then she came on to-the-bed and grew worse so fast that there was no help for her. They consulted a doctor when she was first taken but he called it only a cold, then he afterward said she had a walking fever. Mother went down and helped her and as soon as Frankie could be persuaded to, Mother had the bed brought down and had her on it. Then the Dr. called it Typhoid fever and stayed right there, but when it changed heart-disease set in and it proved fatal. She suffered everything and was delirious all the time. She did not realize that she was going to leave her children. It almost killed Frank, so unexpected. He arranged his affairs and has now come home and is helping Father. The poor little children will grow up to know this as their home.
The rest of our people are as well as usual. I have been down to my sister Sarah's spending a few weeks. I had a very pleasant time. I did intend to teach this summer, engaged to do so, and afterward found there had been a misunderstanding in regard to it so that has fell through.
We have not been troubled with quantities of snow this winter and I have enjoyed that.
I am reading “Roman History in my circle-course. I haven't been able to catch up entirely yet. I am a month behind but I do like it better all the while. I have answered all my questions on last year's studies.
How are you passing the winter? Are any of the children with you and how is Auntie's health? Please write to us all about it we want to hear from all our friends up there. Do you think you will take a trip east this year? Tell us how Jerry and Carleton are. Also all the news from those living near you. Good Bye.
Please accept love from me for yourself, Auntie, and every one of the others.
Our folks wish to be remembered to you all.
Your loving cousin
Viola E. Baldwin

[Submitted by Carole J. Dick]


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