Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

WILLIAM MORRIS HARTMAN

This is a brief record of the life of a son of a pioneer in Kansas, who as a child was himself a pioneer and who has a vivid recollection of many things accounts of which have been handed down to the present generation in the history of the "border times." Some of these reminiscences will be more appropriately referred to in the part of this sketch dealing directly with the career of Jonathan Hartman, father of its immediate subject. The life, in Kansas, of Jonathan Hartman. now an old man living in retirement in the consciousness of days well spent, may be said to cover the entire period of the history of modern Kansas, and no one has watched the development of the state with keener interest than he.

William Morris Hartman was born in Platte City, Missouri, November 7, 1851, a son of Jonathan Hartman. one of the real pioneers of Atchison county. Jonathan Hartman was a native of Franklin county, Indiana, born in 1821, a son of Henry and Elsie (Thorp) Hartman. Henry Hartman was born in Bucks county, Pennsylvania, where his father and his father's brother, both from Germany, settled about the time of the American revolution.

When he was twenty-one years old, Henry Hartman sought his fortune in Indiana, where he located and was married to Miss Alice Black, who died leaving children as follows: Levi, who died in Indiana in 1886; Abram, who died at Platte City, Missouri, in 1883; and James, who died in Calaveras county, California, in 1879. By Elsie Thorp, his second wife, he had children named thus: Jonathan; Nancy, who married Davis Johnson and is dead; William, who died at Platte City, Missouri, in 1878; Hannah, who married R. M. Johnson and is dead; Elvina, who is the wife of Dr. B. F. Johnson, of Everest, Kansas and Milton Hartman, who gave his life for the southern Confederacy.

Some time in the '40s Jonathan Hartman moved into Platte county, Missouri, then a pro-slavery hot-bed, where his patience and his patriotism were both many times severely tried. In 1854 he took his family to Port William, an old and in those days prominent point on the Missouri river. While a resident there he was a witness of many of the scenes enacted in "border times" which gave rise to the name "bleeding Kansas," and knew and was known by many of the leaders on both sides of the controversy then being waged on the frontier over the slavery question. His patriotism was deeply grounded and incorruptible. Born in a free state, he was a "free-state" man, and he honored the flag of freedom and encouraged its defenders with his advice and with his active help. He had no sympathy for men who were deaf to treasonable utterances and blind to treasonable actions. He was not one to shield a traitorous hand, and when his brother Milton announced his determination to "fight for the southern Confederacy or see the whole thing sink to hell," he was wounded beyond description. When the war began he gave two sons to the service of the Union cause, one of whom never returned.

William Morris Hartman was five years old when his father removed from Port William to Mount Pleasant township, Atchison county. He gained a primary education in the district school near his home and was a member of his father's household until after he was thirty-one years old. He located on his present farm in 1884, and though not one of the largest farmers in his vicinity is one of the most progressive and successful ones. He is a stanch Republican.

April 4, 1884, William Morris Hartman married Florence A. Good, a daughter of Daniel Good, who came to Atchison county from Buffalo, New York, and was the father of ten children by his marriage to Sophia Myer. William Morris and Florence A. (Good) Hartman have children named Robert M., Nelson, Marie, Willia and Florence A. Their family is an interesting one and their friends are numerous throughout their part of the county. Mrs. Hartman is a woman of many accomplishments and the most substantial virtues, and sympathizes with her husband in his encouragement of all good works for the public benefit. Their home is well known for its hearty hospitality.