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 History of Trumbull & Mahoning Counties, Ohio
Published:  Cleveland: H. Z. Williams & Bros.

Trumbull County, Ohio

     The Hart family is a very numerous and honorable one, and highly distinguished for piety, industry, and patriotism, of which the principal subject of this sketch is a worthy representative.  Bliss Hart, one of the pioneer settlers of Brookfield township, was the third son of Hon. Simeon Hart, and his wife Sarah (Sloper), of Burlington, Connecticut.  He entered the Continental army in 1777 at the age of fifteen, was in a number of hard-fought battles, and after much hardship, privation, and suffering, and discharged May, 1780.  In May, 1783, he married Sylvia Upson, a lady of good family, and of first-rate intellectual endowments, a brilliant conversationalist.  Witty, beautiful, and warm-hearted, she was worthy of her husband, who was a man of strong powers of mind, and was much respected, and had much influence in the church, town, and society of Burlington, which he represented at six sessions of the General Assembly; was a magistrate, and was a member of the convention to form the constitution, but having gone security for a large amount for a friend he was obliged to sell his real estate at a heavy sacrifice, and in the year 1823 removed with his family, which at this time consisted of himself and wife, and a son, Oliver Ellsworth, and a daughter, Amanda (their other children having previously married), to the south part of Brookfield township, where he purchased four hundred and fifty acres of land, upon which he set about building up a new home, clearing, erecting buildings, planting fruit trees, etc., so that in a short time the wilderness bloomed and blossomed as the rose.
     Mr. Hart was a woman of much native strength of character, kind-hearted, and sympathetic, very energetic, with an indomitable will, thrifty and industrious.  She was a fit help-meet for her husband under the changed circumstances in which they were placed, and instead of repining at the adverse dealings of Providence, she went to work with a will, to help redeem their fallen fortunes.  Heaven smiled upon their earnest endeavors, and plenty soon crowned their hospitable board, while good cheer and happiness reigned.

     The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
     Sate by the fire, and talked the night away,
     Wept o'er his wounds, or, tales of sorrow done,
     Shoulders his crutch, and showed how fields were won.

     It is related, as an instance of Mrs. Hart's pluck, that a rabid dog came into their door-yard one day when there was no one at home except herself and her two little grandchildren.  She saw that the animal was on its way to the barnyard, and with wonderful presence of mind, without a moment's hesitation, ran out through the wood-yard and picked up a stout hickory club, which fortunately lay there, and armed with this weapon of defense, drove the savage animal away, and down the road, without its having offered to attack her or showing any resistance.  Mr. and Mrs. Hart were among the "pillars of the Presbyterian church, never absenting themselves from its services, except in case of severe sickness in their family.  Mrs. Hart was noted for her ministrations by the side of the sick bed and also for her benevolence, verifying the Scripture that it is more blessed to give than to receive."  After a long life of active usefulness, beloved by all who knew her, "like a shock on corn, fully ripe," she passed to her rest, Aug. 20, 1854, at the advanced age of eighty-nine years, and was interred in the old burying-ground in Brookfield by the side of her husband, who departed this life Mar. 6, 1831, aged seventy years.  Their children were Oliver Bliss, Sylvia, Experience, Levi, Amanda, Oliver Ellsworth, Rosalinda, Melissendia, and the Robert Sloper, the first and last of whom died young; the others lived to grow up and have families of their own.  All of them, except Experiences finally removed to Brookfield, and settled there.  Upon the death of Bliss Hart the old homestead reverted to his son,  Oliver Ellsworth Hart, who afterward married Susannah White Danforth of Palmyra, New York, a cultured, Christian lady, of excellent family, lovely in disposition, and exemplary in character.  Five children were the fruit of this union, two sons and three daughters, all of whom were born and brought up, at the old homestead, except one son, who died at the age of three years.  In middle life Mr. and Mrs. Hart were called to their long home.  Surrounded by their children and friends they died in the triumph of a living faith, and were buried in the village graveyard in Brookfield.  A beautiful monument marks their graves.
     Simeon O. Hart, the surviving son of Oliver Ellsworth Hart and his wife, is a young man of good natural ability, who has had good educational advantages, and has improved his mind by extensive reading, observation and travel.  He studied law at the Cleveland Law school; but his health failing he has never entered upon its practice.  In politics he is a Republican.  At the age of fifteen years he united with the church of the Disciples, of which he is still a constant member.  He is known and respected in business circles for his integrity of character.  He is the owner of considerable real estate in Trumbull and Mahoning counties, and in other parts of the country.
     Harriet Eliza Hart, granddaughter of Bliss Hart and his wife Sylvia (Upson), and daughter of Oliver Elizabeth Hart and his wife, Susannah White (Danforth), early evinced a love of learning, and an aptitude for the acquisition of knowledge.  With a miser's greed she sought knowledge, and eagerly devoured the contents of every book or newspaper which fell into her hands.  She especially delighted in books of poetry, history, and biography.  She was diligent and painstaking while in school, and always stood at the head of her class.  At an early age she contributed to the press both prose and poetry.  It is related as an instance of her readiness with the pen, that a leading member of the Mahoning county bar, having read an article in one of the newspapers dated at Brookfield, under the signature of H., inquired of a friend of his, whose home was in Brookfield, what legal gentleman they had in their town capable of writing such a paper as the one published in last week's Review?  His friend informed him that the author of the contribution was Miss Hart.  The president of a college where she studied, says in speaking of her: "She possesses a mind of the highest order, as to powers of reading and forcible elegant, persuasive expression.  I feel sure that providence calls her to serve her generation and age in some needed work, where her superior culture and deep sympathy with a needy can be brought into active daily recognition."  She is an active temperance worker, and occupies advanced ground upon all questions relating to the uplifting of humanity.  True to her convictions, she permits no lion in the way to turn her aside from duty's path.  Doing with her might what her hands find to do, she will go on her way, laboring for the advancement of every good cause, until death shall crown her victor.
     Orenus Hart, the oldest of the ten children of Bliss and Sylvia (Upson) Hart, married Sabra Lewis in Connecticut.  They had five children, viz.:  Charles (deceased), Robert S., Blucher B. (deceased), Adeline (deceased), and Henry, who died in Andersonville prison.  Orenus Hart was born in 1785, and died in his eighty-sixth year.  His wife died at the age of eighty-nine in November, 1877.
     Robert S. Hart, only living representative of the family of Orenus Hart, was born in Burlington, Connecticut, June 29, 1814.  In 1838 he married Mary Ann Christy, a native of New Jersey.  She died in 1871, leaving seven children, six of whom are now living - Orenus, born 1839; Seth, born 1842; Dennis B., born 1843; John, born 1850; Florence (Forward), born 1852; George, born 1853; Emeline, born 1854, died 1880.  Emeline married Samuel Seaburn, and left one child, a daughter.  The children are all married.  All live in Brookfield except Dennis B., who resides in Portage county, and Florence in Wayne county, Iowa.  Mr. Hart served three years as justice of the peace.  His son Seth was in the One Hundred and Fifth Ohio volunteer infantry, and was under Sherman during his march to the sea.  In 1873 Mr. Hart married Mrs. Mary E. Scovill, nee Roberts, a native of Vienna.  Mr. and Mrs. Hart belong to the Disciple church.  Mr. Hart recalls the manner of the journey from Connecticut to Brookfield.  His father and his uncle Bliss journeyed with ox-teams, and were six weeks upon the road.  They came via Albany, Buffalo, Erie, Meadville, and from Kinsman down the first range of townships to Brookfield.  His father taught school at the center in the winter of 1822-23, in a small frame school-house which stood on the present site of the Disciple church.  The scholars sat on benches made from slabs.  This was the only school in Brookfield at that time, and between fifty and sixty scholars attended it.
     Chauncey Hart, the eldest son and Ard and Millicent (Roberts) Hart, was born in Burlington, Connecticut, June 9, 1802.  He married in Burlington, Dec. 17, 1823, Millessendra Hart, daughter of Bliss Hart, born in Burlington Dec. 17, 1803.  They removed to Trumbull county, Ohio, in 1825, and settled in Vienna township, where they resided about seven years.  Subsequently they resided in Hartford for a time, but in the spring of 1835 they located in Brookfield, where he lived until his death, Sept. 18, 1844.  Mrs. Hart afterwards be came the wife of Samuel Baldwin and resided at Ravenna, Portage county, Ohio, surviving the death of her second husband.  Chauncey and Millessendra Hart were the parents of the following named children:  Helen M., born Aug. 17, 1824, now wife of Henry H. Long, residing in Hubbard; William E., born Apr. 9, 1826, residing in Cleveland; Alphonso, born July 4, 1830, a lawyer, residing at Hillsborough, Ohio - ex-State Senator and ex-Lieutenant governor of Ohio; Orlando born July 9, 1832, residing at Ravenna; Edgar L., born Apr. 13, 1825, a merchant of Cleveland.
     William E. Hart remained on the farm until eighteen, taught school and was employed as clerk in a store until 1852, when he began a general mercantile business at Newton Falls.  Remained there until 1866, doing a prosperous business, and removed to Cleveland.  In the spring of 1868 he engaged in the wholesale grocery business under the firm name of Thompson, Hart & Co.  He continued in that business until 1875, when his impaired health compelled his retirement from business.  He married in 1852 Miss Rachel H. Wheelock, born in Portage county, and has a son and a daughter - Frank W., born Sept. 9, 1853, a member of the firm of Hart & Co.; and Clara A., born Dec. 2, 1857.
     Edgar L. Hart was educated at a private school in Youngstown, where he resided with his mother until 1850; taught school two years (from fourteen years of age to sixteen).  In 1852 he entered the employ of his brother, William E., in the dry goods trade at Newton Falls.  He was then a student at Bryant & Stratton's Commercial College, Cleveland, taking a full course and acquiring a practical knowledge of mercantile business.  He then entered the employ of H. S. Day, of Ravenna, where he remained until 1860, when he went to Cleveland and engaged as salesman for Morgan, Root & Co.  After the establishment of their wholesale house he became a partner in the millinery and notion department, which connection he retained until January, 1881.  He then formed a partnership with F. W. Hart and A. Van Tuyl and purchased the millinery branch of the business, erecting the building on Bank street, 48 to 50, where they are now located.  This is probably the most extensive house for the sale of millinery, silks, and fancy goods in the State, a business of half a million dollars per annum being transacted.  Mr. Hart is unmarried.


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