GEORGE SCOTT HART was born in the City of Pittsburgh, Penn., on the 29th of July, 1824. He was the son of John and Susanah (Barr) Hart, both of whom were descended from Scotch-Irish ancestry. When the subject of this notice was but four years old, the family removed to Burgettstown, Washington Co., Penn, and four years later settled at Washington, Penn. In the latter town George grew to manhood, and in it spent the remainder of his life. He received his primary education in the private schools then in existence, and in 1838 he entered the Washington College, in the same town, as a student, from which institution he was graduated in the class of 1842, when he had scarcely entered his nineteenth year. Several of his classmates rose to places of high distinction. Among them were Caleb Baldwin, who became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Iowa; J. Kennedy Ewing, afterwards President Judge of the Fourteenth Judicial District of Pennsylvania; Rev. Franklin Moore, an eminent as well as eloquent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
After leaving college the subject of this notice was engaged in teaching for two years, one as a private tutor in Accomac county, Va., and one in the public school at Prosperity, in Washington county, Penn. Afterward he entered the office of John L. Gow, Esq., a prominent lawyer of Washington. Penn., as a law student, and in August, 1846, after due examination, he was admitted as a member of the Bar of Washington county. The same year he was appointed Deputy Attorney General, to fill a vacancy. When that office afterward became elective, he was nominated for the place by the Democratic Convention, and at the ensuing election obtained a majority of the votes cast, and was commissioned for the full term of three years. During his term of office several very important criminal trials took place, in all of which it was demonstrated that he was an able and fearless prosecutor.
In May, 1853, he acquired an interest in the Washington Examiner, a weekly newspaper, and for three years he was its principal editor. Tiring of journalism, he disposed of his interest in the newspaper in 1856, after the close of the Presidential campaign, and thenceforward until his fatal illness his time and energies were devoted to his chosen profession. In 1876, without opposition, he was nominated for the office of President Judge of the Twenty-seventh Judicial District of Pennsylvania, by the Democratic Convention, and the Convention's action was ratified by the voters of the District at the general election held in November of that year. He was duly commissioned, and served for a term of ten years from the first Monday of January, 1877. Judge Hart also served, previous to his elevation to the Bench, as a member of the School Board of Washington for some twelve years, more than ten of which he acted as Secretary.
After the death of his father, in 1859, Mr. Hart assumed the headship of the family, caring, and abundantly providing, for his mother during her declining years. By his unselfish exertions and personal sacrifices, the old home was saved for his brothers and sisters, and they remained together until circumstances brought about changes in the family circle. He was the family counselor, mentor and friend, and his chief aim through life was to make them happy.
Such is a brief sketch of the life of a good man. He died at his home, near Washington, on the fifth of May, 1888, surrounded by grief-stricken relatives and several of his sorrowful neighbors. Two days after his body was laid away by the side of kindred dust in the Washington Cemetery, to await the resurrection of the just.
Text taken from page 13 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed March 1997 by Neil and Marilyn Morton of Oswego, IL as part of the Beers Project.
Published April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.
[ [Back to Beers Table of Contents] [Back to Beers Project Page]