2010 Reunion

6/29/18

THE PRAIRIE FIRE


Illustration by Ida Liffengren Jansen, Sister of Louise Hullinger


THE PRAIRIE FIRE
Excerpted From “Next Year Country” 
by Louise Liffengren Hullinger

Folks around Draper, South Dakota, still refer to the summer of l930 as a Scorcher. (Folklore has it that you could fry eggs on the rooftops during August of that year!)

The searing sun turned the treeless plains into a tinderbox; the grasses, curled and brown, lay wilting alongside the road; the drouth-stunted weeds crunched underfoot. An idle flick from a cigarette, a careless spark from a running motor, even the hot sun beating down on a chip of broken glass could ignite the vast prairie turning it into a blazing holocaust.

Morning dawned bright and clear. There was an air of tranquility on the day the prairie fire struck. It was barely past noon when the farmer noted the first faint smell of smoke and, could see, in the distance, along the horizon, the shadowy tracings of a fire.

In the moments it took to reach his tractor he exulted in how much easier it was to plow safety furrows with his new tractor than it had been in the past with a team of horses. With a tractor he could maneuver the dried coulees, could easily cross the rough, untamed prairie.

Round and round the scattered farm buildings the farmer plowed, leaving protective furrows of freshly turned earth. Satisfied that his buildings were safe from fire he thought next to protect his winter's supply of cattle food. The furrows were purple-black and deep, so wide an errant fire could not cross.

As he finished fireproofing his own place, he noticed the wind had switched slightly. Shouting to his wife that he was going to plow around the neighbor's buildings, too, he hurried off, in high gear, cutting through the pasture, heading towards the little cottage where an old couple lived.

They were a little old couple, in their late 70's, stone deaf. They wouldn't have heard about the fire, but by this time they would have smelled it, and seen it, and would have had no way to get out of its path.

The wind, which had increased sharply, began whipping the fire along. Scientists can explain how hot air rises and causes movement which is wind; in the course of a prairie fire, fire begets wind, and when the fire gets a good strong toehold, there's very little that can hold it back.

The farmer could see it coming closer, could see the red tongues of fire consuming the brittle, toast-colored grass.

It was about that time that a neighbor lady from the west came to help. She and her young children, ages four through eight, brought two large cream cans full of water. They were prepared to help beat back the fire.

At almost the same time two rigs of men arrived with barrels of water, and heaps of gunnysacks. Leaping out of the trucks they grabbed the sacks, soaked them in water, and frantically began beating at the fire as it raged in front of them.

The neighbor lady, who hadn't waited to search for gunny sacks, grabbed what she could that wouldn't burn readily. She snatched the heavy denim jeans her eight year old was wearing, doused them in water, and began lashing furiously at the fire which by now was frighteningly near.

Moments later several more rigs of men arrived, all with barrels of water. One of the men, an old timer, looked at the highway, a natural barrier to the fire, and reckoned, gravely, that they would have to start a backfire if they were to break this one's force. He'd experienced many fires, and this one was one of the fiercest.

The wind was flogging the fire into a frenzy. The crackling heat provided a backdrop of sound effects for the treacherous wind. Without a backfire, there could be no stopping this fire.

A backfire was built to consume the combustible materials in the path of a fire, so that it would have no place to go, and would be forced to die. There is a trick to it, a technique, and the old man knew it. He and several others huddled together to protect the flame from the onslaught of the wind, nursing their flame along until it was ready.

With the highway as a safety zone behind them, the men worked, coaxing, channeling, directing their fire towards the big one, until there was nothing left between the two fires to devour.

Taming the rampant fire required all the strength the men had, and even after the wind had died down, and dusk had come, they did not dare to leave.

Wiping sweaty arms across their foreheads, sipping what water was left, they sprawled on the charred earth, wishing it might rain. They were exhausted, but so was the fire.

It wasn't until then that they heard the news about the farmer who had gone to plow the furrows around the neighbor's home. When the capricious fire had turned, it had trapped the farmer. He had jumped from his tractor, and ran back through the fire, protected by leather leggings, remnants of his World War I uniform, and his arms, which he used to shield his face.

When he was found he was dazed and incoherent. The neighbors who found him took him immediately to the nearest doctor, thirty miles away. The tractor, in the perverse way of things, was turning circles, as though performing a slow ballet movement. Treatment for burns in those days was vaseline to be slathered on, and gauze bandages. The neighbors transported him, covered him with an apron, and gave him sips of water from a thermos made from a mason jar wrapped in burlap. When they brought him home he was beginning to be lucid.

All that fall neighbors came to help him with the chores, and to haul him to the doctor. The gauze stuck to his burned flesh and tore at the wounds when it was peeled; the odor of rotting flesh left a stench that had to be borne; the days were filled with unceasing pain.

Without the neighbors the work could not have been done. One of them came nightly to do the chores, and to tell tall tales and jokes to make him laugh. He couldn't smile because that caused the blisters on his face to crack and ache, but his big shoulders shook with laughter, and his eyes gleamed.

Winter came, and with the spring, the earth had healed and so had the farmer. The winter snows had blanketed the earth and the melting rains had carried away all traces of the fire that had ravaged it. When the grasses poked through they formed a soft carpet of green. The plowed furrows looked oddly out of place, a vestige, a reminder of things past.

When the gauze and bandages were removed, the fingers were no longer thick from swelling; no longer was there a fear of infection.

When the first green shoots of grain peeked through the ground, the farmer headed into the fields again. His arms were scarred and brown, in stark contrast to the pink-white of his arms above the elbow, where he had always rolled his blue denim shirt sleeves, but his steps were youthful, and plans for the new season began to take form.

It must have been a year later when a magazine salesman found his way to the farmer's home. "Wasn't it somewhere around here," the salesman asked, "where a man got burned trying to plow around an old couple's place?" But the salesman was anxious to sell magazines and didn't wait for a reply. "They say the old couple never realized he was plowing to try to save their place, and I've heard he never told them."

The farmer traded two old batteries for a subscription to a magazine, and shook the salesman's hand when he left.

"Good luck," the farmer said, and added, "Don't bother to stop at the little farm to the east; the old couple who lived there passed on last winter."

....................

The farmer in the story was my father, Helmer Liffengren, of Draper, South Dakota. We had only recently moved to that farm when the prairie fire broke out, and we did not know any of our neighbors well. But, in Dakota, neighbors were a precious commodity, something that one cherished and greatly appreciated.

I have written this story not only to pay homage to my father, but to cite the Rankins, the Dowlings, and the others who helped in our time of great need. I would like to go even farther than that: I should like this story to honor good neighbors wherever they may be. @

This true story was first published in the May/June, 1993 issue of South Dakota magazine under "Remembering."


Louise Liffengren Hullinger


5/27/18

Memorial Day

Remembering all the individuals who died protecting our country, including our Great Great Uncle James Chapin who died in the Civil War.

I took the photo in 2013
Corporal James C. Chapin enlisted in G Company, 15th Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment for the Civil War on October 26, 1861. They fought at Shiloh, Vicksburg, and Atlanta as part of the Army of the Tennessee.

He was veteranized (reenlisted) in December 6, 1863, and promoted to Corporal. He was wounded at Kensaw Mountain, Georgia, on June 27, 1864. He died of his wounds on July 24, 1864 in Rome, Georgia. He is buried in the Marietta National Cemetery.

Corporal James C. Chapin, Milo, Belmont Township, Warren County, Iowa, was the Great Uncle of Pearl Harlan Hullinger. More at:








5/26/18

Our Great Great Grandparents Home



William Morgan Hart


Peter Hart Snr (Revolutionary War Veteran)

Peter Hart Jnr

William Morgan Hart (Blackhawk War Vet)

Missouri America Hart

Minnie Jane Lockridge

Pearl Harlan Hullinger

Clifford Hullinger  














Peter Hart, Sr

b. ca 1740
m. mid 1760's
d. between 1814-1820


Married Dority "Dolly"


Children


Peter Hart (Jr)
John Hart



Peter Hart (Sr.) was born about 1740 and died about 1820 on Prathers Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, now present day Alleghany County, North Carolina. He married in the 1860's to Dority "Dolly" ________ (born about 1745 and died between 1810-1820 in Prathers Creek Ashe County, North Carolina). Peter served in the Revolutionary War in 1781 from Montgomery County, Virginia under Capt. John Cox Company. He was the father of nine (9) children.




William Morgan Hart


William Morgan Hart was born in 1804, Knox County, Kentucky. He was the second child and first son of John Hart and his first wife, Permelia Morgan. He was named after his maternal grandfather, William Morgan. We find that, although he often used his entire name, he seems to have been known quite often as simply "Morgan" Hart.

The area where his parents were living at the time of his birth was located on the south side of the Cumberland River, near where Patterson Creek enters that river. This area was in Knox County at the time Morgan was born, but was taken from Knox to form the new County of Whitley in 1818. William Morgan Hart's children state that their father was born in "Whitley County, Kentucky". This is not pedanticly accurate, as the county was not formed until he was 14 years old, but his parents home was taken into that new county, and he did indeed live in Whitley County, first on Patterson Creek and later on Meadow Creek, for the next ten years, until he married.

William Morgan Hart married his first cousin, Elizabeth Hart, on April 8, 1828 in Whitley County, Kentucky. Elizabeth was born January 7, 1807 Knox County, Kentucky, the daughter of Peter and Hannah (Iahannah?) Poe Hart. Elizabeth's father, Peter Hart, and William Morgan Hart's father, John Hart, were brothers.

Elizabeth's family migrated from Ashe County, North Carolina to Knox County, Kentucky where the John Hart family had settled a few years earlier. Her family stayed only a short time, but are found on the 1807 tax list in Knox County, which leads us to believe that Elizabeth was born while they were living there. Her family returned the next year to Ashe County, North Carolina, where they remained for almost 20 years, before again moving west.

The Peter Hart family is again found on the Whitley County, Kentucky tax lists in 1827. William Morgan Hart would have met the cousin that he never knew that year, and married her the next year. When Elizabeth's family left Kentucky, to move farther west, William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart also moved west, with her family. There is much additional information on Elizabeth Hart Hart's family in the section of this book relating the Peter and Hannah Poe Hart family.

William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart apparently left Kentucky in 1829 or early 1830. We find the couple on the 1829 tax list in Whitley County, Kentucky, but by the time the 1830 census was taken, they are found living in Vermilion County, Illinois, close to other members of Elizabeth's family. We believe that several members of William Morgan Hart's family also left Kentucky and moved to the same general area, along the Indiana and Illinois State line, in those same years. In 1830, the young couple have a daughter, who was probably born the year before in Kentucky. We know nothing of this child, who apparently died young as she is not shown on the next census taken in 1840. In 1831 Morgan and Elizabeth moved farther northwest in Illinois to Putnam county along with other members of her family.

In May 1832, William Morgan Hart enlisted at Hennepin, Putnam County, Illinois, to fight in the Black Hawk war. He was a 2nd Lieutenant in Captain William Haws Company. This confrontation with the Sauk (Sac) and Fox Indians, led by Chief Black Hawk, lasted only a few months in the summer of 1832, at Hennepin, Illinois. We find a record of his [William Morgan Hart's] service at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Included in the file is an application dated 1855 in Mercer County, Missouri, which shows William Morgan Hart applying for the Bounty Land to which he may be entitled under a recent Act of Congress, based on his service in the Black Hawk War. He was issued a Warrant #80817 for 160 acres of land. The records do not show where this land might have been located, and we know nothing more of the disposition of the Warrant or the 160 acres of land. A more complete background of this War in Illinois is found in the section of this book on the Peter and Hannah Poe Hart family.

William Morgan and Elizabeth had three more children, born in Putnam County, Illinois. Nancy Caroline was born in 1832, Hannah Jane in 1834 and their only son, John Morgan was born in 1837.

Elizabeth Hart Hart died soon after the birth of this list child. She died in Putnam County, Illinois. We do not know the exact date of her death, nor where she is buried.

On November 13, 1838, William Morgan Hart remarried in Putnam County, Illinois to Elizabeth's younger sister, Rebecca Hart. She was born December 25, 1816, Prathers Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, also the daughter of Peter and Hannah Poe Hart. She was nine years younger than her sister Elizabeth, William Morgan's first wife. 

_____________

Our Grandmother Pearl Hullinger (Great Grandaughter of William and Rebeccah Morgan Hart) wrote about her Hart ancestors.

From Milestones and Memories published by Pearl Harlan in 1969.  " And now we come to the Harts, who were Pennsylvania Dutch.....  After the revolution, they went to Bucombe County,  NC and then to Kentucky and there were Harts that helped finance Daniel Boone's venture but can't establish their connection to John David Hart, (grandfather of Missouri Hart)   He was born in 1779 and married Nancy Morgan.  They came to Witley County, Kentucky about 1800.  They had nine children: William Morgan (b. 1804)(father of Missouri) , Andrew Peter  (b. 1808),  Thomas James (b. 1815), Tempha (b. 1820), Joseph, Hannah, and John Preston (b. 1825)

   William Morgan Hart was a captain in the Black Hawk war and lived in Putnam Co.  Il.  He married Elizabeth and had three children.  Nancy, Hannah, and John Morgan.  After Elizabeth died, William Morgan Hart rode horseback to North Carolina and married her sister Rebecca.  They were daughters of Peter and Hannah Poe.  The moved to Mercer County, Missouri in 1839.   William Morgan Hart and Rebecca had 9 children.  James Elliot, 1839, (married Anne Lockridge); Missouri America, 1841 (m David Lockridge); Rebecca Kentucky, 1843 (m. William Moss;  Franklin Benton, 1845; Willard P. Hall, 1847; Eliza Ann, 1849, m. Joseph Moss; Virgina, 1851, m. McClaren, Hazeltine or Hazie, 1853, m. Calvin Moss; William 18??-1861.     Much more info in Missouri (Zouri) 

He and Rebecca sold the property that William Morgan had been living on to Rebecca's father, Peter Hart, in 1838 and moved from Putnam County, Illinois farther west to the old Livingston County, Missouri. They are found on the Missouri census in 1840, with the three children from William Morgan's first marriage. Rebecca's parents, Peter and Hannah Poe Hart, as well as other members of Rebecca's family are found living in Livingston County, Missouri in 1840.

The area where the Hart families settled was Layfayette Township, Livingston County at the time they arrived in Missouri in 1839. This area in the northern part of the county was taken from Livingston County to form the new County of Grundy in 1841. Four years later, in 1845, a new county was again formed from Grundy County and the area where the Hart's were living became Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri, which it remains today.

William Morgan and Rebecca Hart's first child, James Elliiott Hart, was born in January 1840, in the northern part of old Livingston County, in an area known as the Goshen Prairie. We have been told that he was the first "white child" born in that sparsely settled area, close to the Iowa State line. Others have told us that he was not actually awarded that "distinction" locally, as his grandmother, Hannah Poe Hart, was full or part Cherokee Indian, making him part Indian and, thus, not considered to be wholly "white". This is not a story we have verified, but do find interesting. Perhaps local historians in Mercer County could furnish more information on what child is "officially" considered to be the first white child born in that county.

In a "History of Mercer and Harrison Counties", published in 1888, William Morgan Hart's son, Franklin Benton Hart, states that his father entered 100 acres in (present day) Mercer County in 1839, when he came to Missouri. He states that his father lived on that land the rest of his life. Land purchases taken from "U.S. Land Sales" Abstract of Sales (in Missouri) do not show a purchase of Federal Land by William Morgan Hart until 1846, when he entered 520 acres at the Plattsburg Land Office. This land was all located in Mercer County, Missouri. Perhaps William Morgan Hart's first land purchase was from a private sale. Franklin Benton Hart goes on to state that his father owned 1500 acres of land in Mercer County at one time, which would certainly have made him a respected land owner in Mercer County.

More children were soon born to William Morgan and Rebecca Hart. They had a daughter, Missouri America, in 1841, Rebecca Kentucky in 1842 and a son, Franklin Benton, in 1844. These three children were born while the area where the family was living was Grundy County. Their last four children were born in Harrison Township, Mercer County, after that county was formed in 1845. Willard P. Hall was born in 1846, Eliza Ann Josephine in 1848, Virginia Lind in 1850 and Hazeltine Hall, their youngest daughter was born in 1852.

William Morgan's daughter Hannah Jane, born in 1834, relates in "Roger's History of Mercer County", published in 1911, that her husband's uncle, Johnny Reeves, and her father were the first settlers of what was referred to as the Goshen Prairie. She states that there were Indians living in that area at the time her family settled there, and Hannah recalls them visiting her stepmother, Rebecca Hart. They were fed and at times would stop for the night at the Hart home, where they slept, wrapped in blankets, before the fireplace.

William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart Hart's oldest daughter, Nancy Caroline, left home before she married and is found on the 1850 census at age 18, living with her widowed grandmother, Hannah Poe Hart in Polk County, Iowa. She married later that year to Joseph S. Neely in Polk County. We have been unable to find this family on census records, and know little of them.

William Morgan Hart's estate settlement, in 1876, states that his daughter Caroline Neely was living in Fannin County, Texas at that time. Caroline's half brother Franklin Benton Hart states in "History of Mercer and Harrison Counties" that Caroline died September 7, 1887, but does not state whether she was still living in Texas. We have tried to find this family with absolutely no success. We find a James Neely, age 24, born in 1856 in Missouri and also a John Neely, age ???, both in Fannin County, Texas on the 1880 census. This is a possibility that these could be Caroline Hart Neely's sons, but have no way of knowing for sure if they are.We do not find Joseph and Caroline Hart Neely in Fannin County, Texas in this year.

William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart Hart's son, John Morgan Hart, is found living at home, at the age of 13 on the 1850 Mercer County, Missouri census. We have been told that he did not get along well with his stepmother and left home at age 16 to "live with relatives" in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa. We do not know of any "relatives" living in Davis County in this time period and do not know if this story is accurate. We have searched for John Morgan Hart on the 1860 Iowa, as well as later, Census both in Iowa and in other states. We have been unable to find him. He is listed in his father's estate settlement in 1876, with his residence given as "unknown". His family did not know where he was, and at one time we felt he might have died at a young age, in another state with no one knowing where his family lived, to notify them. But, recently, we have obtained a copy of an undated letter that we feel was written in the 1950's or 1960's. This letter was written by Mrs. Grace Friede (now deceased) of Chinook, Montana. Mrs. Friede was trying to trace her Hart ancestors, and in talking to the local barber in Chinook, Clarence Hart, she discovered that he was the grandson of John Morgan Hart, and the great-grandson of William Morgan Hart.We have tried to find Clarence Hart, with no success. We are told that he and his family moved from Montana to California, many years ago. It has been a frustrating attempt to find the family of a man who left home in about 1853 and apparently was never again heard from by his family. Yet, he did marry and have children - and his grandson, Clarence Hart had been told that William Morgan Hart was his great grandfather. Perhaps someone will be more successful than we have been, and will be able to find John Morgan Hart in census records and find his family.

We have located the remaining nine children of William Morgan Hart: a daughter from his first marriage and all eight of his children from his second marriage. A record of their families is found here. Some of these accounts relate interesting stories of what the area, in northern Mercer County, was like when this family settled there over 150 years ago. Members of this family are still found living in Mercer and Harrison Counties today.

In an interesting joining of families, four sons of Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss married three daughters and a granddaughter of William Morgan Hart. Joseph Moss was born in 1812, York District South Carolina, the son of Joshua and Jennie Howser Moss. His family moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in 1815. In 1832, Joseph went north to Knox County, Kentucky, where he married Fanny Prichard, who was born in Knox County, Kentucky in 1813. Joseph Moss and his family moved from Kentucky to Mercer County, Missouri in 1840. This family, who was joined to the Hart family by four marriages, came from the same County in Kentucky where William Morgan Hart was born -- and the adjoining County to Whitley County, where William Morgan Hart's parents lived all of their lives. Both families migrated by different routes to Missouri. They both arrived in Mercer County within a year of each other, with William Morgan Hart and his family arriving in 1839 and the Joseph Moss family in 1840. Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss' son William P. Moss married Rebecca Kentucky Hart, their son Calvin married Eliza Ann Josephine Hart, and their son Joseph L. married Hazeltine Hill Hart. These three Hart wives were all the daughters of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca. Joshua Moss married Jennie E. Reeves, the daughter of Hannah Hart Reeves, William Morgan Hart's daughter by his first marriage to Elizabeth.

William Morgan Hart died October 17, 1876 at his home in Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri. His wife, Rebecca, with the help of their two sons, Franklin Benton Hart and Willard P. Hall Hart, continued to live on the farm where she had spent most of her life. Rebecca Hart Hart died there 15 years after her husband on March 21, 1891.William Morgan and Rebecca Hart are buried together in a family cemetery, which was then on their own property. This cemetery is surrounded by a wrought iron fence, and is fairly well taken care of today. It is close to where the town of Goshen was once located. This town, which was once well known in the area, cannot easily be recognized as a "town" today. But the local people can still tell you where it once was.

Thanks to Family Lore for this information.

Information from "Descendants of Peter and Dority Hart, 1740-1995, Virginia and North Carolina and Allied Families", by Ruth Gibbs Hart and Karen L. Cooper, 1996.







Rebecca Hart

Rebecca was born on December 25, 1816, in Prathers Creek, Ashe County, North Carolina, the daughter of Peter and Hannah (Iahannah?) Poe Hart. On November 13, 1838, Rebecca Hart married her sister's widowed husband (and her first cousin), William Morgan Hart, in Putnam County, Illinois. She was nine years younger than her sister Elizabeth, William Morgan's first wife. Rebecca and William sold the property that William Morgan had been living on to Rebecca's father, Peter Hart, in 1838 and moved from Putnam County, Illinois farther west to the old Livingston County, Missouri. They are found on the Missouri census in 1840, with the three children from William Morgan's first marriage. Rebecca's parents, Peter and Hannah Poe Hart, as well as other members of Rebecca's family are found living in Livingston County, Missouri in 1840.

The area where the Hart families settled was Layfayette Township, Livingston County at the time they arrived in Missouri in 1839. This area in the northern part of the county was taken from Livingston County to form the new County of Grundy in 1841. Four years later, in 1845, a new county was again formed from Grundy County and the area where the Hart's were living became Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri, which it remains today.
William Morgan and Rebecca Hart's first child, James Elliiott Hart, was born in January 1840, in the northern part of old Livingston County, in an area known as the Goshen Prairie. We have been told that he was the first "white child" born in that sparsely settled area, close to the Iowa State line. Others have told us that he was not actually awarded that "distinction" locally, as his grandmother, Hannah Poe Hart, was full or part Cherokee Indian, making him part Indian and, thus, not considered to be wholly "white". This is not a story we have verified, but do find interesting. Perhaps local historians in Mercer County could furnish more information on what child is "officially" considered to be the first white child born in that county.

In a "History of Mercer and Harrison Counties", published in 1888, William Morgan Hart's son from his first marriage, Franklin Benton Hart, states that his father entered 100 acres in (present day) Mercer County in 1839, when he came to Missouri. He states that his father lived on that land the rest of his life. Land purchases taken from "U.S. Land Sales" Abstract of Sales (in Missouri) do not show a purchase of Federal Land by William Morgan Hart until 1846, when he entered 520 acres at the Plattsburg Land Office. This land was all located in Mercer County, Missouri. Perhaps William Morgan Hart's first land purchase was from a private sale. Franklin Benton Hart goes on to state that his father owned 1500 acres of land in Mercer County at one time, which would certainly have made him a respected land owner in Mercer County.

More children were soon born to Rebecca Hart and William Morgan Hart. They had a daughter, Missouri America, in 1841, Rebecca Kentucky in 1842 and a son, Franklin Benton, in 1844. These three children were born while the area where the family was living was Grundy County. Their last four children were born in Harrison Township, Mercer County, after that county was formed in 1845. Willard P. Hall was born in 1846, Eliza Ann Josephine in 1848, Virginia Lind in 1850 and Hazeltine Hall, their youngest daughter was born in 1852.

William Morgan's daughter Hannah Jane, born in 1834, relates in "Roger's History of Mercer County", published in 1911, that her husband's uncle, Johnny Reeves, and her father were the first settlers of what was referred to as the Goshen Prairie. She states that there were Indians living in that area at the time her family settled there, and Hannah recalls them visiting her stepmother, Rebecca Hart. They were fed and at times would stop for the night at the Hart home, where they slept, wrapped in blankets, before the fireplace.

William Morgan and Elizabeth Hart Hart's son, John Morgan Hart, is found living at home, at the age of 13 on the 1850 Mercer County, Missouri census. We have been told that he did not get along well with his stepmother and left home at age 16 to "live with relatives" in Bloomfield, Davis County, Iowa. We do not know of any "relatives" living in Davis County in this time period and do not know if this story is accurate. We have searched for John Morgan Hart on the 1860 Iowa, as well as later, Census both in Iowa and in other states. We have been unable to find him. He is listed in his father's estate settlement in 1876, with his residence given as "unknown". His family did not know where he was, and at one time we felt he might have died at a young age, in another state with no one knowing where his family lived, to notify them. But, recently, we have obtained a copy of an undated letter that we feel was written in the 1950's or 1960's. 

This letter was written by Mrs. Grace Friede (now deceased) of Chinook, Montana. Mrs. Friede was trying to trace her Hart ancestors, and in talking to the local barber in Chinook, Clarence Hart, she discovered that he was the grandson of John Morgan Hart, and the great-grandson of William Morgan Hart. We have tried to find Clarence Hart, with no success. We are told that he and his family moved from Montana to California, many years ago. It has been a frustrating attempt to find the family of a man who left home in about 1853 and apparently was never again heard from by his family. Yet, he did marry and have children - and his grandson, Clarence Hart had been told that William Morgan Hart was his great-grandfather. Perhaps someone will be more successful than we have been, and will be able to find John Morgan Hart in census records and find his family.

We have located all eight of Rebecca's children. A record of their families is found here. Some of these accounts relate interesting stories of what the area, in northern Mercer County, was like when this family settled there over 150 years ago. Members of this family are still found living in Mercer and Harrison Counties today.

In an interesting joining of families, four sons of Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss married three daughters and a stepgranddaughter of Rebecca Hart. Joseph Moss was born in 1812, York District South Carolina, the son of Joshua and Jennie Howser Moss. His family moved from South Carolina to Tennessee in 1815. In 1832, Joseph went north to Knox County, Kentucky, where he married Fanny Prichard, who was born in Knox County, Kentucky in 1813. Joseph Moss and his family moved from Kentucky to Mercer County, Missouri in 1840. This family, who was joined to the Hart family by four marriages, came from the same County in Kentucky where William Morgan Hart was born -- and the adjoining County to Whitley County, where William Morgan Hart's parents lived all of their lives. Both families migrated by different routes to Missouri. They both arrived in Mercer County within a year of each other, with William Morgan Hart and his family arriving in 1839 and the Joseph Moss family in 1840. Joseph and Fanny Prichard Moss' son William P. Moss married Rebecca Kentucky Hart, their son Calvin married Eliza Ann Josephine Hart, and their son Joseph L. married Hazeltine Hill Hart. These three Hart wives were all the daughters of Rebecca Hart. Joshua Moss married Jennie E. Reeves, the daughter of Hannah Hart Reeves, William Morgan Hart's daughter by his first marriage to Elizabeth.

William Morgan Hart died October 17, 1876 at his home in Harrison Township, Mercer County, Missouri. Rebecca, with the help of her two sons, Franklin Benton Hart and Willard P. Hall Hart, continued to live on the farm where she had spent most of her life. Rebecca 
Hart Hart died there 15 years after her husband on March 21, 1891. Rebecca and William Morgan Hart are buried together in a family cemetery, which was then on their own property. This cemetery is surrounded by a wrought iron fence, and is fairly well taken care of today. It is close to where the town of Goshen was once located. This town, which was once well known in the area, cannot easily be recognized as a "town" today. But the local people can still tell you where it once was.

________________


One of the Children of William Morgan and Rebeccah was our Great Great Grandmother Missouri America Hart (How is that for a name?).  Her daughter was Minnie Jane Lockridge. Her daughter was Pearl Hullinger. Her son was Clifford Hullinger.

____________________



Our Great Great Great Great Grandmother, mother of Rebeccah Hart, reported to be part or all Cherokee.

Parents
Spouse
Children
Unknown Poe
Unknown
William H. Hart
Mathias Hart
 John Hart
Elizabeth Hart
Polly Hart
James Hart
Henderson Hart
 Rebecca Hart
Jenny Hart
Eliza Hart
America Hart
Cyrus Hart (possibly)
Hugh Hart (possiblly)

Hannah was born 1780. Family tradition says that she was of Cherokee descent. She may have been the daughter of William or Henry Poe of Ashe County, and Matthias Poe of Ashe County may have been her brother.

Hannah and Peter Hart (Jr.) probably married just prior to 1800. They lived Ashe County, NC, according to the 1800, 1810, and 1820 censuses; Vermilion County, IL, in 1830; and in Putnam County, IL, 1832-1839. They went to what is now Mercer County, MO, in 1839; Peter died there in 1842.

Hannah later moved to Polk County, IA (1850 census) and then to Warren County, IA (1860 and 1870 censuses) and died there in 1871/72. She probably is buried in Linn Grove Cemetery

Hannah was the mother of between 11 and 13 children.

____________________

From "Memories and Milestones"
Written by Pearl Harlan and John Hullinger


Lockridges and Harts


Now it is time to backtrack and tell of the early Lockridges and of the Harts, who were Grandma Lockridges family. The Lockridges came from Staunton, Virginia. Samuel Lockridge was born in 1809 and married Mary Poole in 1832, when she was 20 and he, 24. I have her picture when she was a very old lady, holding a Bible, and I have the identical Bible in the picture. Minnie said she always wore a black silk apron and a white starched cap, just as the picture shows.


They moved in 1834 to Henry County, Indiana, and in 1838 to Brown County, where they lived for 16 years. They had nine children and it seems as if most of them were born there. My grandfather, David, was born in 1840. He was the fourth child and was 13 when they came to Warren County, Iowa, in 1853, Their children are: William, born in 1834, James 1836, Jacob 1838, David 1840, Lucinda (Simmons) 1842, Elizabeth Ann (married James Elliott Hart) 1844, Mary Jane (Perkins) 1846, Catherine (Davidson) 1848, and Susanna (Leap) 1850.


"Uncle Huff" Perkins was Mary Jane's teacher at "Brush College," a country school that someone with a sense of humor must have named. He married his pupil and later went on to teach Minnie. I went to school there for a short time and was taught by one of his daughters. I can remember the 23rd Psalm she taught us.


David said when they came from Indiana they had their choice of land as they were early settlers. They had no experience with prairie land and thought it was no good if trees didn't grow, so they chose the rough timber land along the river which was much poorer soil besides having to be cleared.


Samuel set up a saw mill and cut lumber. He was killed at the mill, March 17, 1866. The family never forgot and on St. Patrick's Day my grandmother would tell us the story of how he knew there was a crack in one of the wooden pulleys but thought he could finish the day with it. But it broke and the belt killed him.





Harts Were Pennsylvania Dutch


And now we come to the Hart's, who were Pennsylvania Dutch, as were the Hullingers. After the Revolution they went to Buncombe County, North Carolina, and then on to Kentucky as soon as possible. There were Harts in Boonesboro with Daniel Boone, but as yet I cannot connect the Nathaniel Hart and Thomas Hart, who helped finance Daniel Boone's venture, with the John David Hart who is definitely my great great grandfather.


He was born in 1779 in Buncombe County, North Carolina, and married Nancy Morgan. They came to Whitley County, Kentucky, about 1800. They had nine children: William Morgan (born 1804), Andrew, Peter (born 1808), Thomas, James (born 1815), Tempha (born 1820), Joseph, Hannah, and John Preston (born 1825).


The date is right so that William Morgan is surely my Grandma Missouri Hart Lockridge's father. He was a captain in the Black Hawk war and lived in Putnam County, Illinois. He was married to Elizabeth Hart. They had three children: Nancy (Neely), Hannah (Reeves), and John Morgan. I have heard of all these and think I have seen John Morgan, who would have been my grandmother's half brother.


After Elizabeth died, so the story goes, William Morgan Hart rode horseback to North Carolina and married her sister, Rebecca. They were daughters of Peter and Hannah (Poe) Hart. I never heard if she rode back with him on a horse but have always wondered. I think it likely as that was wild country in those days, and roads and Indians were not good.


They moved to Mercer County, Missouri, in 1839. Their first child is said to be the first white child born in that county, which joins the Iowa line. They were 25 years earlier than the Hullingers and about 25 miles south of where the Hullingers settled in Iowa. And so the Hart and Hullinger families came together again after leaving Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They are difficult to trace as both had outrageously large families and used the same names over and over.


Morgan and Rebecca also had nine children: James Elliott, born 1839 (married Anne Lockridge), Missouri America, born 1841 (married David Lockridge), Rebecca Kentucky, born 1843 (married William Moss), Franklin Benton, born 1845, Willard P. Hall, born 1847, Eliza Ann or Josie, born 1849 (married Joseph Moss), Virginia or Jennie, born 1851 (married McClaren), Hazeltine or Hazie, born 1853 (married Calvin Moss), William, born 18?, died 1861.





Two Little Girls, "Kainy" and "Zouri"


Here with the Harts, I am lucky again, as Grandmother Missouri America told me many tales. They called her Zouri and her sister, Rebecca Kentucky, was called Kainy. Wasn't that terrible for two pretty little girls to have such names? Grandma was ashamed of hers. I will call her Zouri after this. She said her father couldn't read or write but he could do arithmetic and figure interest in his head; also that he used to stake people who were going to California in the Gold Rush and it must have paid off for at one time he owned 1500 acres of land. During the Civil War, when there was trouble in Missouri she saw him take a pan (she showed me the size) heaped up with gold pieces and took it out to bury. She didn't know where, or if it was ever found again. She said they were "Secesh" which meant they were for the South, and that the boys and girls in the country rode white horses in "torchlight parades" at political rallies. If they ever owned slaves it was not very many, but she mentioned good horses. I have heard he had a race track on his own land and that they kept the horses hidden in the timber to keep them from the Yankee soldiers. I think from history they were not really soldiers in that part of Missouri, but outlaws posing as Army. They would come and stack their guns in the yard and order meals to be cooked. They caught her brother, James Elliott, and strung him up to a tree and threatened to hang him if he didn't tell where the horses were. They would pull him up on his toes and then let him down but still he did not tell, so I heard, and for some reason they let him go. If ever you go to that country you can see it was a good place to hide.


Grandma said that her father wouldn't allow the girls to wear hoops so they would make hoops out of hickory branches or whatever and hide them in the timber and after they left the house on the way to the party, they would don the hoops and he didn't know.


He hired a teacher for his girls, what they called a Dame school, but I don't know how long Zouri went. She could read and write, though not too well. They didn't believe in wasting time that way and looked down on people who did.


They had built a big house for its day with two stories and two balconies with walk-out doors upstairs. I have seen the house when part of the balconies were there and it was very impressive. Now the timber has grown so thick that the house can scarcely be seen. I imagine it was after the hanging episode took place 'that they decided to move north into Iowa in 1863 and the gold was buried. They located a mile or two from the Lockridges, just south of Des Moines, and stayed there until the war was over. Grandfather David was in the war, fighting for the North and was discharged in March, 1863, and they were married October 24, 1865, so they had not met before he went to war. The war was over in '65 and the Harts were getting ready to go back to Missouri. Grandma Zouri said her mother tried to talk her out of the marriage, saying she would be left up in Iowa alone and she answered, "We will probably be in Missouri before you are," and she knew they wouldn't. So she stayed in Iowa. It wasn't long until a railroad was built from Des Moines to Cainsville, a few miles from the Harts, and she told me how she took the little girls, Minnie and Josie, and went to visit her folks "all by herself." It was still exciting to her when she told me and I thought what a marvelous thing it would be for a woman to be able to do a thing like that in those days. A man "spoke" to her, but she answered coolly and with dignity, so it was all right.


When Minnie was 14, they visited another time, 1883, and we were privileged to take her back there in 1964 far the first time, 81 years later, when she was 95. She could remember being there and went into the old house, but said her memories were better than the reality.


I think David and Missouri had a real romance and a happy life. I lived there quite a lot and always felt that way. They had five living children: Lee, born 1866, Minnie (Harlan), born 1869, Josie (Leggett), born 1871, Villa (Wheeler), born 1880, and Jennie (Bland), born 1885. They had a comfortable home on the Iowa farm.


Milk, Honey and Fruit Trees


Grandpa David kept bees and harvested a lot of honey. He had many kinds of fruit trees and was always planting more and did some grafting of apples. I remember picking big pails of blackberries and there were strawberries and plums. He liked Jonathan apples and had quite an orchard of them and as I remember it, I have never tasted any as good as those. There were cows to milk and the milk was strained into crocks and put in a cave. The cream was skimmed every morning and then it had to be churned and the butter made ready to sell. That was the grocery money for things that had to be bought. They traded eggs, too, to the stores. All the farms of that day were like that and it was a very comfortable pleasant life in spite of the work.


Grandma was never very well, but she was a good supervisor and things always went smoothly. David was like a clock for dependability and I never remember hearing a cross word from him. I was a special grandchild, or so they made me feel, and when I went back to visit them on their 60th wedding day with Clifford and Maribee, Grandma came around and told me, "Now, let them have everything they want and do just as they please and you won't have a bit of trouble." And as I look back, I think that was the system they always used. My memories of them are so many, it is hard to stop. Ask me what you would like to know before it is too late.



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Hart Family Cemetery, Mercer County, Missouri.

History:
The "Hart Family Cemetery" is a small, sub-quarter-acre plot on what was once the farm of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca Hart. William and Rebecca Hart moved to what is now Mercer County (then Livingston County), Missouri in about 1838, and were among the first settlers of the "Goshen Prarie."
The cemetery was first used in 1854, to bury their 11 year-old son, William O.B. Hart. His grave, William (Sr.)'s grave and Rebecca's grave are surrounded by a black, iron fence; there is a (mostly collapsed now) barbed-wire fence that marks the boundaries of the cemetery.

The cemetery had been maintained, over the years, by one of their granddaughters, Josephine ("Josie") Hart Thomas. This task has now been taken up by her children, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and at least one great-grandniece.
The two large stones in this cemetery (William's and Rebecca's) were toppled by a tornado that swept through the area in 1990 or 1991, snapping Rebecca's stone in two. The stones were later repaired and placed back on their pedestles by two of Rebecca's great-grandsons, Hall and Raymond Hart, and Hall's son Spencer.
"We have a friend who has a tombstone business in Littleton, New Hampshire, and he sent us the epoxy he uses to repair stones. So Hall, Spencer, and Raymond took the tractor, rope, etc., out one weekend and worked, raising the top part of the stone high enough, applying the epoxy, and setting the stone where it belonged on the bottom part. It was quite an undertaking but very worthwhile." (Mary Hart, wife of Hall Hart.)
Phil Stewart has posted a table listing of this cemetery, which can be useful when scanning who is buried here. If you have any questions or comments about this cemetery, please feel free to drop me an e-mail.
Hart Cemetery mapAn approximate map of the Hart Family Cemetery, located on what was once the farm of William Morgan Hart and his second wife, Rebecca Hart.
The solid line around the perimeter of the cemetery represents a barbed wire fence which is now (1997) nearly collapsed along the south side. The dashed line on the perimeter represents where the barbed wire fence once was; this was removed during one of our cleaning visits (summer, 1991) to make a suitable entrance.

1. Headstone of Rebecca Hart Hart

This weathered marble stone is about 8 feet tall, in the form of a tall, narrow obelisk on a pedestal. There is a carving of clasped hands over a Holy Bible. The enscription reads:

REBECCA
wife of
WILLIAM M.
HART
DIED
Mar. 21, 1891
AGED
76Y. 2M. 14D.

(on the base): Dearest children - Farewell. Be ____ of good comfort, be of one mind. Live in peace and the God of love and peace shall be with you.
This stone was broken about 5 feet from the ground by a tornado that swept through the area in 1990 or 1991(it appears that a section of aluminum siding from a barn that was destroyed snagged on the stone and gave the wind purchase; such a piece of aluminum siding was found, bent, at the northern border of the cemetery, at the edge of the trees there.)

2. Headstone of William Morgan Hart

This weathered marble stone is about 8 feet tall (a little taller than Rebecca's stone), in the form of a tall, narrow obelisk on a pedestal. There is a carving of clasped hands over a Holy Bible. The enscription reads:

WILLIAM M.
HUSBAND OF
REBECCA HART
DIED
OCT 17, 1876;
AGED
72Y. 4M. 12D.

(on the base):M.B. Root, Ottumua, Iowa
(on the base):
Dearest husband thou hast left us.
Here thy loss we deeply feel.
But as God that hath bereft us,
He can all our sorrows heal.
This stone was toppled by the same storm that broke Rebecca's stone (it appeared that Rebecca's stone struck this one, removing a large chip about the size of a half-dollar.)

3. William Hart

This weathered marble stone is a rectangular tablet, no more than about 18 inches high. It reads:

William O.B.
Son of
W.M. & R. Hart
DIED
Aug. 1854
11 Yr & 10 d's.

This stone was narrowly missed by his father's stone when it toppled.

4. Infant

This weathered marble stone is about a foot high. The enscription reads:

INFANT
Dau. of
J.E. & Elizabeth
HART
died
May 2, 1872
Note: J.E. was James Elliott Hart, son of William Morgan Hart and Rebecca Hart.
This stone was broken off at the ground in the same storm that broke Rebecca's stone and toppled William's. It had been set in concrete before, probably by Josie (Hart) Thomas. A new concrete brace was built by David Hughes, great-great-grandson of Rebecca and William Hart, on August 2, 1991.

5. Ada Reeves

This weathered marble stone is a little over a foot high. The enscription reads:

ADA
Dau. of
J&H REEVES
DIED
Apr. 6, 1864
AE 8ms. & 1 dy.
Ada was the granddaughter of William Morgan Hart, being the daughter of Hannah Jane Hart (daughter of Elizabeth Hart, Williams first wife) and John Reeves. She had a twin sister, Ida.

6. footstone

A very short marble footstone, with the enscription "R.H."

7. footstone

A very short marble footstone, with no enscription.

8. footstone

A very short marble footstone, with no enscription.

9. footstone

A very short marble footstone, with the enscription "I.H."
10. broken stone
Two pieces of broken flat stone, with no legible markings.
11. flat stone
One flat stone, with no legible markings.
Wayne Walton Hughes found an early, type-written listing of the gravestone inscriptions for the Hart Family Cemetery (probably by Hall and Mary Hart, "many, many years ago"). This earlier listing does not show William O.B.'s gravestone, and lists three additional gravestones not visible in 1991:
Licurgus, son of J&H Reeves
died Nov. 27, 1866
age 7 mos 6 da
(Licurgus was a brother of Ada Reeves.)
_. Arilda, dau of J. P.
& N. King
died Oct. 19, 1861
age 1 yr 5 mos 2 da
J. C. William (or Williams)
age 9 yrs

Our Thanks to 


For much of the information about our Hart Ancestors