Joseph Hart and His Descendants
By Rev. Charles Coffin Hart (Published 1901)
JOSEPH, JR., SILAS, ELIZABETH, SAMUEL AND JAMES HARVEY
Joseph Hart, Jr., third son of Joseph and Nancy Hart, was born in Fort McTeer Blount
County, Tennessee, in 1793. His early education was limited to the schools of the
neighborhood. He learned the trade of tanner and currier. He was married, but to whom the
writer cannot learn, as the court house records were destroyed by fire. They had no
children. For fifteen years he made his home and carried on a tannery in Columbia, Maury
County Tennessee where he died in 1833, aged forty years.
Silas Hart, fourth son of Joseph and Nancy Hart, was born at the home of his parents in
Blount County, East Tennessee, in 1796. He received such education as the community
afforded and learned the carpenter's trade. In September, 1821, he accompanied the family
to Bartholomew County, Indiana where he assisted in erecting a cabin and clearing ground
for the next year's crop. In the spring of 1822 he returned to Blount County, where he was
married to Miss Susan Strain. They had one son, Silas Hart, Jr. After the birth of the son
the father died. The widow and her son accompanied her father, Mr. Robert Strain, to
Alabama. In his young manhood Silas Hart, Jr., went to Carrollton, Miss., and was employed
in the store of his uncle, Samuel Hart. In 1849 he went to California. Since then his
friends have lost sight of him.
Samuel, second son of Joseph and Mary Hart, was born at the homestead, three miles
northeast of Maryville, Tenn., Feb. 17, 1813. The family emigrated to Bartholomew County,
Indiana, in the autumn of 1821. Here Samuel attended such schools as the, neighborhood
afforded. The mother having died, the father, in May, 1828, took Samuel to Columbia,
Tenn., to reside with his brother, Joseph Hart, Jr. Here he attended school one year, and
was then employed in a store where he gained some knowledge of mercantile business. At
eighteen he was employed as deputy postmaster, which duties he performed with great
satisfaction to the community. At twenty he was sent by some capitalists to Columbus,
Miss., to attend the sale of lands which the government had obtained by treaty with the
Indians before they were transferred to their territory in the West. This business was
performed to the entire satisfaction of his employers. And so well was he pleased with
what he learned of the new territory that in the fall of 1833 he went to Carrollton,
Miss., and located as a general merchant. These three journeys between Tennessee and
Mississippi were made on horseback, alone, most of the way through a wilderness country
and almost without roads.
About the year 1835 the legislature of Mississippi repudiated the public debts of the
state. In consequence of this act, Mr. Hart became a bankrupt and took the benefit of the
United States bankrupt law, gave up what goods and other property he held and went out of
business. After all was disposed of, the claims unpaid amounted to several hundred dollars
at home and $10,000 to a wholesale merchant in new York. A vacancy having occurred in the
office of Probate Clerk, the most remunerative office in the county, Mr. Hart was
appointed to fill the vacancy. And so well did he do this work that the people elected him
for six successive terms. Thirteen years in this office---and at the same time, as he was
a good business man and a ready writer, he did much work for the State---enabled him to
accumulate above his current expenses, about $13,000. Though all former debts were legally
cancelled, yet be felt that he was morally bound for them, should he ever be able to pay
them. Hence he first paid in full his home obligations. In August, 1848, he paid his New
York merchant $10,000 in gold, and then, with a clean record, he again went into general
mercantile business, and soon became the most popular and successful merchant in his
June 18, 1842, he was married to Miss Amanda Ayres, of Elkton, Ky., who was visiting
her brother, Treadwell Ayres, a lawyer of Carrollton. To them were born eleven children,
viz: Emma Stansberry, April 26, 1843; Mary Elizabeth, Feb. 4, 1845; a daughter, unnamed,
died in infancy; William Harrison, Aug. 21, 1847; Laura Amanda, Oct. 11, 1849; died July
18, 1862, aged 13 years; Charles Harvey, Feb. 8, 1852, died in Texas, Nov. 19, 1888, aged
36 years; Samuel, Jr., Jan. 9,1855; Washington Stansberry, Nov. 19, 1856, died Sept. 27,
1857; Minnie Ella, Oct: 3, 1858; Isaac Ayres, May 3, 1861, died April 10, 1893, aged 32
years; Clarence, Aug. 17, 1864, died Sept. 7, 1865.
In October, 1842, Samuel Hart and Amanda, his wife, were converted under the preaching
of Rev. James Gallagher, then laboring as an evangelist in Carrollton. They united with
the Presbyterian church. He was soon after elected a ruling elder and Clerk of the
Session, in which he served until the time of his death. His Christian life was very
simple and practical in its character. After his conversion he at once established the
family altar, which was ever after faithfully maintained. He literally lived the
"Golden Rule," which was manifest in the family, in his business and, indeed,
everywhere. Like one of old, he could say: "For to me to live is Christ." He was
a diligent student of the Bible, and always at the midweek prayer meeting. A careful
observer of the Sabbath, he neither made nor received social visits on the Lord's day. For
forty years he superintended the Sabbath School, and also conducted a Bible class Sabbath
afternoon for adults who could not attend the Sabbath School in the morning. He was a
Royal Arch Mason, and often served as master of his lodge, and also as high priest of his
At the beginning of the civil war he was worth $50,000. Much of this, however,
consisted of claims on citizens of Carroll and surrounding counties, which, at the close
of the war, were worthless. The Confederate army swept through Carrollton more than once;
the Federal army also. What one left, the other took. Hence at the close of the war he was
almost bankrupt again, his business was completely broken up. During the first three years
of the war he bought all the cotton he could, and as it was not safe to ship it, he stored
it for safety in remote parts of the county. At the close of the war he wrote to his New
York merchant, to whom he had now been indebted for five years, that he would send him the
cotton to cancel the debt, and if there were a balance due him, he would take it in goods.
The balance enabled him to resume business in a small way, which he did in the autumn of
1865; but the country was so utterly impoverished by the war that business was almost a
failure. After a few years his health failed and he closed business, having little worldly
goods, but out of debt.
Note---I lived in my brother Samuel's family from 1851 to 1855. In January, 1887, I
spent two weeks with him. He was feeble, a constant sufferer from a chronic complaint, but
always patient and cheerful. He walked with me twice to the house of God. During the
following winter he was so feeble that he kept to his bed most of the time. On the evening
of Feb. 15, 1888, he said to his wife: "I would like to get up and pray once
more." She assisted him. They kneeled together at the bedside, and after a few
minutes his voice ceased. The spirit had returned to God, who gave it. This was the
glorious ending of the life that now is of one of the most cheerful, happy, godly men I
ever knew. He was seventy-five years old, height 5 feet, 7 inches, weight 160 pounds;
always neat in person and dress, shaved smooth. In manner, gentle, kind and amiable. A
noble Christian gentleman, "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end
of that man is peace." His wife, Amanda Ayres Hart, was a quiet, unassuming, godly
woman, in every way worthy of such a husband. She survived her husband about two years,
when she joined him.
"In the land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign."---C C. Hart.
Emma Stansberry, born April 26, 1843. Educated in the schools of Carrollton. She united
with the Presbyterian church in early life. Was married to Mr. John L. Tustin, a jeweler
of Carrollton, March 21, 1860. They had two daughters, Lizzie and Emma H. Mr. Tustin
served in the Confederate army during the civil war. He died soon after the war. His widow
and her children lived with her parents, she taking the oversight of household affairs,
until after the death of her father, 1888; when she purchased and remodeled the Carrollton
Hotel, which she opened as the Tustin House. This business she conducted successfully
until her death in 1897.
Lizzie Tustin, after completing her education in the Carrollton schools and studying
music under private instruction, spent one year in the College of Music, Cincinnati, 0.
She was then employed as a music teacher in a school in Texas, where she married a Mr.
Iler. They had one son, Garland. Mrs. Iler returned to Carrollton on a visit and died
there November 26, 1895. Their son, Garland Iler has a home with his uncle, S. P.
Emma H. Tustin united with the Presbyterian church in early life. She married Mr.
McBride, a druggist of Carrollton. They had no children. After the death of her mother she
took the management of the Tustin House. For three years she was a helpless sufferer from
spinal trouble. During this time she manifested the greatest patience and Christian
resignation. Died April 17, 1899, in the 32d year of her age.
Mary Elizabeth, second child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born Feb. 4, 1845. She
received her education in schools of Carrollton and also at Grenada, Miss. She united with
the Presbyterian church at an early age. She was married to Mr. Isaac Anderson Hood, son
of Rev. Nathaniel Hood, of Blount County, Tennessee Nov.. 27, 1866. They had two children,
Samuel Hart and Amanda. Their married life was spent in Memphis, Tenn., where Mr. Hood
died March 16, 1873. Mrs. Hood and her children made their home in Carrollton, where she
taught school for two years. On Sept. 26, 1876, she was married to Mr. William I. Ayres, a
cotton broker of Grenada, where he died of yellow fever Sept. 5, 1878. Mrs. Ayres then
taught in the public schools of Grenada for fifteen years. After this she lived three
years in Webster Groves, Mo., when, at the request of the School Board, she returned to
Grenada and resumed the work of teaching, which she still continues (February, 1900).
Samuel Hart Hood was born April 7, 1868. He received his education in the schools of
Grenada. He served an apprenticeship of one year in the office of the Grenada Sentinel and
completed his apprenticeship in Memphis. As a journeyman printer he worked in Memphis,
Tenn., Evansville, Ind., and other cities. In September, 1895, he came to Webster Groves,
Mo., and has since that time been in the employ of R. P. Studley & Co., printers,
binders and lithographers of St. Louis. On Nov. 15, 1898, he was married to Miss Clara
Bristol, daughter of Dr. B. J. Bristol, of Webster Groves. They have one, child, Clara.
Amanda Hood was born Nov. 18, 1869. Received her education in the schools of Grenada.
In early life she united with the Presbyterian church. Dec. 21, 1887, she was married to
Mr. John W. Buchanan, editor of the Grenada Sentinel. They have two children: Mary, born
Aug. 16, 1889; and Ellen, born June 6, 1898.
Third child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, a daughter, not named, died in infancy.
William Harrison, fourth child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born Aug. 20 1846.
Received his education in the schools of Carrollton. Was converted in early life and
united with the Presbyterian church. He soon developed a remarkable Christian character.
At the age of seventeen he was drafted into the Confederate army, participating in the
battle of Franklin, near Nashville, Tenn., where he was so severely wounded as to unfit
him for further military service. He returned home in February, 1865. After he recovered
from his wound he went to St. Louis, where he was employed as traveling salesman for E. C.
Simmons & Co., afterwards Simmons Hardware Company. He continued in their employ nine
years. He married Miss Roxie Gregory, of St. Louis. Then he established himself in the
hardware business in Grenada, Miss., and was building up a good trade when, on Aug. 19,
1878, he died in the scourge of yellow fever which carried off 350 of the citizens of
Grenada. His widow returned to her father's home in St. Louis.
Charles Harvey, sixth child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born Feb. 8, 1852. Received
his primary education in the schools of Carrollton, was a student in the State University
of Oxford, Miss., one year. Went to St. Louis, where he was employed as bookkeeper in the
M. E. Book Concern. After this he went to Western Texas, where he was employed in herding
cattle for several years, when he formed a partnership with two others in the cattle
raising business, where he died Nov. 19, 1888, in the 37th year of his age. Unmarried.
Samuel, Jr., seventh child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born Jan. 9, 1855. He
received his education in the schools of Carrollton. He married Miss Hattie Miller, of
Carrollton. They are members of the Presbyterian church, and have three children: Harry
M., born May 31, 1886; Minnie Armstrong, born Feb. 24, 1889; Samuel, Jr., born Oct. 19,
1893. He has been clerk of the Chancery Court of his district twelve years, and at the
late election was elected for the seventh time.
Minnie Ella, ninth child of Samuel and Amanda, Hart, was born Oct. 3, 1858. She
received her education in the Carrollton schools. Was converted in early life and united
with the Presbyterian church. She was married Oct. 9, 1887, to Mr. Stephen P. Armstrong,
of Vaiden, Miss. The Armstrong Bros. are doing a prosperous business as general merchants.
Mr. Armstrong is an elder in the Presbyterian church. They have four children, only one of
whom is now living (September, 1900). Mrs. Minnie Ella, wife of S. P. Armstrong, died
September, 1900, aged forty-two years.
Isaac Ayres, tenth child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born May 3, 1861. Attended the
schools of Carrollton. After he became of age he made his home in Holly Springs, Miss. He
died April 10 1893, aged thirty-two years. Unmarried.
Clarence, eleventh child of Samuel and Amanda Hart, was born Aug. 17, 1864, died Sept.
NOTE-Laura Amanda Hart died. at the age of thirteen. Washington Stansberry Hart lived
but fourteen months. Clarence Hart lived twelve months.---C. C. H.
James Harvey, third son of Joseph and Mary Hart, was born in the family home three
miles northeast of Maryville, East Tennessee, Sept. 21, 1815. He was named for Rev. James
Harvey, author of "Harvey's Meditations," a devotional work popular with the
Presbyterians of East Tennessee. At six years of age he accompanied the family in their
emigration to Bartholomew County, Indiana. Here he obtained the rudiments of education,
such as could be had in the schools of the neighborhood. When about fourteen years old his
father carefully wrote the indentures and apprenticed his son to John B. Abbett, of
Columbus, to learn the trade of a tailor. When out of his apprenticeship he went to Salem,
Ind., where he worked for two years as a journeyman tailor. In the early autumn of 1836,
at the age of twenty-one, when the Ohio river was low and few boats were running, he, with
ten other young men, some mechanics, some common laborers, one lawyer, all seeking an
opening for business clubbed together, bought two skiffs, fishing and hunting implements,
and from New Albany, Ind., started down the Ohio river, stopping at farm houses or towns
when their larder required replenishing, sleeping on shore or in barns. After twelve or
fifteen days they landed at Evansville, Ind. Here they sold their outfit and disbanded.
The young tailor made his way, on foot, across the country to New Haven, a village on the
Little Wabash river, in Gallatin County, Illinois. Here he established and carried on the
tailoring business successfully for fourteen years. In September, 1850, he moved to
Shawneetown, on the Ohio river, where he established himself as a merchant tailor and
general clothier. In this business he continued with a good degree of success, enjoying
the confidence of his fellow-citizens for thirty years; when by misfortunes, failures by
others and faithlessness of friends for whom he had endorsed, he was driven to the wall
and compelled, at the age of seventy-four, to go out of business. His fellow-citizens
showed their confidence in his integrity by electing him treasurer of the city, which
office he held many years, and at each election he received a handsome majority of votes;
and although each year $6,000 to $8,000 passed through his hands, not a dime was missing.
And in the final settlement, after many years of service, his accounts were found by the
auditing authority to be correct. He also served as magistrate seven years, receiving an
unusually large amount of business, especially in collecting, all of which was found
correct. In 1842 he was made a Master Mason, and soon after received the degree of Royal
Arch Mason. He has served in every office in his lodge, and for seventeen years, was
secretary. In 1872 he was elected treasurer of his lodge, which office he has held
continuously twenty-seven years. He was a careful and discriminating reader of magazines
and other general literature, and had a retentive memory. No man in his community had a
more accurate knowledge of current literature, especially of the current history of the
affairs of his own country, than he had.
On March 26, 1860, he was married to Miss Achsah L. Gold, a member of the Presbyterian
church of Shawneetown. To this union four children were born: Joseph Calvin, May 6, 1862;
Mary Frances, May 5, 1865, died Sept. 14, 1972; Charles, Jan. 4, 1869, died when a few
weeks old; Elizabeth, March 9, 1870, died April 1, 1871.
In the autumn of 1867 Rev. C. C. Hart, pastor of the Presbyterian church of Logan, 0.,
visited his brother in Shawneetown. At the solicitation of the pastor and session of the
church, he conducted evangelistic services daily for two weeks, at which time his brother
and many others were converted and united with the Presbyterian church. He at once
established the family altar. He collected a class of small children, brought them into
the Sabbath School, taught them Sabbath after Sabbath, visited them at their homes, and
had the unspeakable pleasure of seeing them all converted and brought into the church.
NOTE---He has always maintained a noble character for honesty, integrity in business,
purity in private life, fidelity to public trusts, generous to all and eminently domestic
in his habits. He has no enemies, and all who know him respect him for his many good
qualities, which have been manifest in the community in which he has lived for half a
century. And now, at the completion of his 85th year, Sept. 21, 1900, he is living a quiet
life, enjoying the peace of the gospel, illustrating the fruits of the Spirit, waiting
patiently the call of the Master. His wife, Atta, as she is familiarly called, is a noble
woman, an earnest Christian, sweet, gentle, quiet of temper; in every way worthy of her
noble husband. Those who know her best appreciate and love her most.--C. C. H.
Joseph Calvin, the only living son of James H. and Achsah L. Hart, received his
education in the schools of Shawneetown. At an early age he was converted and united with
the Presbyterian church, and has ever been active in the Sabbath School, choir, Christian
Endeavor and in the general work of the church. In his boyhood he learned the printing
business. For eight years he was bookkeeper for Hair & Ridgeway, box manufacturers and
lumber dealers, of Chicago. The winters proving too severe, he left Chicago and for a year
was editor and manager of the Carmi Courier, White County, Illinois. He then accepted a
clerkship in the State National Bank of Shawneetown, which he still holds (January, 1900).
He is also chief editor of the Shawnee News. He was made a Master Mason in 1891, Warren
Lodge, and for four years has been master of his lodge (January, 1900).