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Washington County 'Little Washington' Pennsylvania
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Washington Weekly Democrat

Article from The Washington, Pa. Daily Reporter newspaper, Washington Co., Pa., Oct. 19, 1903, p. 2:

"The Death of Editor Hart - He Was the Victim of a Stroke of Paraylsis. [caps] Veteran of the Civil War. [caps] - Alexander Hart died Saturday afternoon at 2:40 o'clock at his home, 142 South College street, from the effects of a paralyetic stroke which he suffered while sitting at his desk in the office of the Washington Democrat Friday evening a few minutes after 5 o'clock. Mr. Hart had been in somewhat poor health since last winter, when he attended court in Pittsburg [sic]. After returning from that city he had an attack of acute indigestion, from which he was much enfeebled for some time. Gradually, however, he seemed to regain his health, until several weeks ago, when he suffered a second attack of the same trouble. He had not fully recovered his strength before the final stroke came.

Mr. Hart was born in Washington on March 17, 1839, and was therefore in the sixty-fifth year of his age. He was a son of John and Susannah Hart, who located near Burgettstown about the year 1830, having come from the neighborhood of Pittsburg [sic]. In 1833 Mr. Hart's people removed to Washington and first resided on the site of the A. B. Caldwell property, opposite Washington and Jefferson college, where the elder Hart followed his trade of potter. After living there about two years the property at the corner of Maiden and college streets was purchased, and there John Hart conducted a pottery until 1859, when he died. Mrs. Susanna Hart died October 19, 1872. The family continued to reside in the same property until 1882.

One of 13 Children - There were born to John and Susanna Hart 13 children, of whom but three are now living: Mrs. Fannie Ryder, widow of the Rev. David L. Ryder, of Hollidaysburg, Pa.; Miss Susan D. Hart and Mason Hart, all three residing in Washington at the present time. Other members of the family were the late George S. Hart, president judge of the Washington county courts from 1876 to 1886; William Hart, who died in Washington in 1891; Robert Hart, who died in Texas about 1880, and Miss Rebecca Hart, who died December 23, 1902, from the effects of a fall on the pavement while on her way to the West Side school building to hear Capt. [R. ?] P. Hobson lecture.

On September 1, 1881, Mr. Hart was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Moore who at that time made her home with her brother-in-law, Dr. George W. Roberts, of Washington. The wedding occurred at the Roberts home and the ceremony was conducted by the late Rev. Dr. James I. Brownson, pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Washington at that time, assisted by the Rev. W. E. Oller, now located at Butler, Pa. Of that union four children were born, as follows: F. R. Hart, a clerk in the B. & O freight office at this place; Margaret M. Hart, a stenographer of Washington; Harry McK. Hart and George Scott Hart, all of whom are at home with their mother.

A Civil War Veteran. After receiving a public school education Mr. Hart entered the employment of the late Colin M. Reed and was there when the war between the north and south was declared. He enlisted in Company K. Eighth Pennsylvania Reserves, whose first captain was Alexander Wishart, now residing in Pittsburg [sic]. The company was known as the 'Hopkins Infantry,' in honor of the late Col. William Hopkins, who rendered valuable assistance in the organization of the company.

Mr. Hart was mustered in June 22, 1861, as a private. He was soon promoted to first sergeant, then to, first lieutenant and was mustered out with the company on May 24, 1864, having participated in every engagement with his company. Among his comrades were A. B. Eagleson, of Canton township, now occupying the position of county engineer; Nelson R. McNeal, Cumberland road commissioner for Washington county, of Claysville; M. L. A. McCracken, the well known attorney of Washington now retired, and George W. Brice, of Washington. 

Mr. Hart and Mr. Eagleson occupied the same tent throughout the war. When Capt. Alexander Wishart was wounded at the battle of [Gaine's ?] Mill. Mr. Hart and G. W. Brice carried him from the field of battle and started back to the Chickahominy river with their disabled leader. The distance was almost three miles, and the journey was made under the most difficult and trying  circumstances the three being under fire throughout the trip, part of which was made with Capt. Wishart lying astride a horse with his arms locked around the animal's neck. The balance of the way was made with the use of a stretcher. Capt. Wishart was the first member of Company K. to receive a rebel bullet in that battle.
Was Deputy Recorder. After returning to Washington, Mr. Hart taught school for several terms, until the election of the late John P. Charlton to the recordership [sic] of the county, with whom he served as deputy throughout his term.

From the expiration of Recorder Charlton's term until 1875, Mr. Hart was engaged at different occupations. In that year he became connected with the now defunct Review and Examiner, at that time owned and edited by Swan and Ecker. Mr. Swan died in 1876 and Mr. Hart remained with the paper until it was sold by A. H. Ecker, as surviving partner, to the late Andrew Hopkins, in 1877.

In April, 1878, Mr. Ecker founded the Washington Weekly Democrat, with which Mr. Hart connected himself as associate editor. He continued in that position until February 29, 1881, when Mr. Ecker died. Mr. Hart conducted the paper for the estate for several months, when he and John T. Charlton, who had been foreman of the composing department from the paper's founding, purchased the plant and good will. The firm published the Democrat until 1895, when Mr. Charlton retired and John Foster, Mr. Hart's present partner, bought a half interest in the establishment.

Honorable Military Record. Capt. Hart, which title he bore by courtesy among his comrades, who knew his sterling worth as a man and a soldier, had an honorable war record, and to his may be added that of his brothers William, Robert and Ma_en, who also saw valiant service, Robert having served in a regiment from the Golden State. Capt. Hart never lost an opportunity to aid an unfortunate comrade either in the trying times from '61 to '64, or during the long stretch of years since the conflict ended.

Member Union Veteran Legion. Although Capt. Hart had always taken a keen interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of all old soldiers, he had never attached himself to any of their fraternal organizations until a short time ago, when he joined Encampment No. 1, Union veteran Legion at Pittsburg [sic]. Among his associates in the lodge are Capt. Alexander Wishart, Capt. Milton Ray, S. L. Wilson, Charles W. Carter, Hon. J. C. French and a number of other veterans from Washington county. Capt. Hart was elected a delegate to the national encampment of the U. V. _. at Dayton, O., last week, which he was not to attend by his physician. Although he had been a member of the order for a comparatively short time his election as a delegate was made by his comrades as a mark of the great esteem in which they held him.

Mr. Hart had served several years as a director in the public schools of Washington and at the time of his death occupied that office. A portion of the time he served as director he was president of the board and was never too busy to give time and attention to the needs of the school district. He took the keenest interest in the conduct of the schools, had the highest confidence of the constituency which elected him, and was always sought for his advice before any important was put under way."

NOTE: Editor from about 1878?

[This article mentions members of the Hart family, above.]

Article from The Washington, Pa. Daily Reporter newspaper, Washington Co., Pa., Fri. Dec. 28, 1928, p. 19: [On page with "Classified Counter" Banner.] 

"Harry E. Hastings, residing near Eighty-Four, recently found among some old papers in his home a copy of the school report of his aunt, Miss Annie Hastings, afterward Mrs. Hurrah, and now deceased, for the Washington school term of 1868-69. The report blank is headed: [colon, but then begins new paragraph]
'[quote] Monthly School Report, for the term commencing August 31, 1868. Washington Union and High School, Washington, Pa. This report gives an account of the Attendance, Progress and Conduct of your daughter Annie during the month just ended.' [end quote]

One part of the blank provides for reporting number of days attended for the month and for the term, the progress made, and fault marks received. Another section provides for reporting the standing of the pupil in the various studies from month to month. The branches listed are reading, writing, spelling, composition, mental and written arithmetic, grammar, geography, geometry, algebra, Latin, book-keeping, history, U. S. physiology, philosophy, familiar science, astronomy and Bible.

Miss Sue Hart was the teacher of the room which Annie Hastings attended. Many of the older residents of the city will remember her and her sister, Miss Rebecca Hart and Mrs. Fanny Ryder, and also their brothers, William Hart, Judge George S. Hart, and Mason Hart. Their home at that time was at the corner of Maiden and College streets [sic], where the McKeown hose, now the property of a college fraternity, was afterward built. The report card for the nine months was signed nine times by John C. Hastings, whose hardware store in the public square will be remembered by the older residents of the city. This store, later conducted for years by his son, W. P. Hastings, occupied the site of the present men's wear section of the Caldwell store, opposite the court house [sic, no caps].

An explanatory paragraph attached to the report card reads: [double quotes] 'A report will be made on this sheet for each month during the session. Sixty credits are given for a month's perfect recitation. Each failure deducts one credit, and each absence three. Hence No. 60 denotes the highest standing and No. 1 the lowest. Twelve fault marks in one month will subject the offender to public reproof, in the presence of the school; twenty-four fault marks, to suspension; and one hundred fault marks in any term, or part of a term, will subject the offender to report to the board for expulsion. If there is anything unsatisfactory in the report, please call upon us for an explanation. Scholars are expected to prepare some of their lessons at home. Parents are earnestly requested to require regularity in attendance. That we may know that this has received your attention, please sign your name above to each month's report. We will be pleased to have you call at any time and see the school. - W. J. Wilson, Superintendent of Union and Principal of High School.' [end double quotes]

Annie Hastings was evidently a very good pupil, for as a rule she is given the full sixty credits for perfect recitation, sometimes falling below in reading and spelling. In 'progress' also she is usually credited with five points, and when she fell below that figure it was because of absences; and very few fault marks are set down against her."

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