"Tennessee Trails" through Bedford County

Bedford County TN Biographies

James Richard Hart
1877 - 1921

In speaking of the science of dentistry, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote: “The dental profession has established and prolonged the reign of beauty; it has added to the charms of social intercourse, and lent perfection to the accents of eloquence; it has taken from old age its most unwelcome feature, and lengthened enjoyable human life far beyond the limits of the years when the toothless and purblind patriarch might well exclaim: ‘I have no pleasure in them.” Among the dental practitioners of Tennessee who have attained distinction in their chosen profession, which during recent years has made such rapid and pronounced advance in the elevation of standards and the perfection of scientific methods Dr. James Richard Hart, of Lynchburg, is deserving of prominent mention. Since 1908 he has been engaged in practice in his present field of endeavor, and has not only built up a representative professional business, but has firmly established himself in the confidence of the people as a progressive and public-spirited citizen.

Dr. Hart was born in District No. 22, Bedford county, Tennessee, September 28, 1877, and is a son of Jesse F. and Mattie (Petty) Hart. Derrell Hart, the grandfather of James R. Hart, came to Tennessee from North Carolina, (Derrel was actuall born in Bedford TN - it was his father Henry that came tfrom South Carolina) and at an early date located in District No. 22, Bedford county, where he became a prominent farmer. Here he married Rachel Morris, by whom he had six sons and three daughters, and she still survives him, having reached the remarkable age of ninety-four years. Mr. Hart’s death occurred in 1880 (he died 9 October 1876), when he was sixty years (58 yrs) of age. Jesse F. Hart is the seventh in order of birth of his parents children, and was born in July, 1854, in Bedford county. There he received a common school education and grew to manhood, and at the age of twenty years entered the ministry of the Baptist church, to the work of which he has since given the greater part of his time, although he is also the owner of a farm. His political views are those of the Democratic party.

He was married in Bedford county in 1874 to Miss Mattie Petty, a native of that country, who was born in 1858 and died in 1906. They became the parents of seven children, of whom six are now living, and James R. is the second oldest.

The early education of James R. Hart was secured in the public school of Bedford county, following which he took a course in the Brandon Training School at Wartrace. He then entered the mercantile field as a clerk in a dry goods store, in which capacity he spent three years, and the succeeding two years were passed in traveling through the state of Texas as a salesman. At the end of this period, returning to Tennessee he he entered the dental department of Vanderbilt University where he received the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1908, and at once located in Lynchburg where he continued in the enjoyment of a large practice. He has employed none of the methods of the charlatan but has confined his work strictly to the scientific lines and the success which has rewarded his efforts is but the due the appreciation of merit and ability. He is a valued member of the Tennessee Dental Association and also is connected with Camp # 379 Woodmen of the World, and S.E.H. Dance Lodge #180, Knights of Pythias. In June 1913 Dr. Hart was representative of the Grand Lodge K.P. at Ovoca, TN. His political support has always been given the Democratic candidates and principles.
Tennessee and Tennesseans by Will Hale 1913

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