Biography of Hon. James E. Hart

Faithfulness is the surest stepping-stone to success. Faithfulness in small things begets confidence in one’s ability to undertake more considerable tasks; and in business life, in professional life, in the church and in public affairs, faithfulness and thoroughness have carried thousands and are carrying thousands up from the day and place of small things to places of higher and still higher responsibility and honor. These thoughts have been suggested by a consideration of the successful career of the man whose name appears above.

James E. Hart, clerk of the district court and ex-officio auditor and recorder of Bear Lake county, Idaho, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, January 17, 1857, descending in both lines from old English families. His parents, James H. and Emily (Ellingham) Hart, were born in England and married there, and came to America and took up their residence in St. Louis, in 1854. They had embraced the faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Mr. Hart had done missionary work in England and France for seven years, under President John Taylor. He had learned the use of the French language and had been sent to St. Louis on account of the goodly percentage of French residents there, and from 1854 to 1857 had charge of a local branch of the church, as its president. He organized a colony for Utah in the year last mentioned, and was naturally chosen its captain. It was joined by others until it became a large party, which required about forty wagons to cross the plains to Utah. Oxen were their draft animals. Besides their provisions and outfit, they had a number of sick, old and weak people, and women and children. For a considerable time after his arrival in Utah Mr. Hart was in charge of a nail factory. Later other interests claimed his attention until his final retirement from active life. He lives near Paris, aged seventy-four years, highly respected by a wide circle of acquaintances. His wife died in 1892, aged seventy-one years. They had six children, of whom James E. Hart was the youngest, and is the only survivor.

Mr. Hart was in the first year of his life when his parents took him to Salt Lake City, and had attained only to the age of six years when the family came to what is now Bear Lake county, Idaho. He was educated in the public schools of Bloomington, Idaho, and at the University of Utah, and was graduated, in 1890, in the law department of the University of Michigan. He practiced his profession three years at Paris and at Logan, with increasing success, and was then called by his church to a mission in the southern states, where he labored successfully for twenty-seven months in Tennessee and for two years of that time was president of the East Tennessee Conference, which embraced forty counties in eastern Tennessee and about the same number in western North Carolina. He directed a very extensive work there, which was signally productive of results, and at its termination returned to Idaho, where he was called to take charge of the Bear Lake stake as the president of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Association, an office which he still holds. For about one year he was in the implement trade at Montpelier, but gave most of his time to farming and stock raising. He was elected to the thirteenth session of the territorial legislature of Idaho and represented the interests of his district ably and most conscientiously. A lawyer of praiseworthy attainments, an able man of affairs, a churchman devoted to all the interests of his church, he is peculiarly fitted to fill the ecclesiastical and secular offices of high responsibility of which he is the incumbent, and he is discharging his duties with success.

July 28, 1881, President Hart was united in marriage with Miss Elmira Beirdneau, of Kentucky ancestry, and a native of Logan, Utah. They have three daughters and two sons: Elmira E., Ermie B., Alta A., James B. and Clifford E. The family home of the Harts is one of the cosiest and most hospitable in the county.



Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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