11 October 2015

Sunday’s Obituary: David Hartman

David Hartman was a former sheriff in Lancaster County. He was also instrumental in establishing what is now known as Millersville University and owned a lumber business. He lived, for most of his young years, in Clinton County, returning to Lancaster when he was 18. It was in Lancaster that he married Miss Miller. He died on 10 October 1881 at his home on North Queen Street. He was 79 years old. 

His obituary reads:

David Hartman, ex-sheriff of Lancaster county, and one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens, died this forenoon at his residence No. 438 North Queen Street, in the 79th year of his age, after an illness of about two weeks, brought on by overexertion during a long journey to the West, which he and E.M. Schaeffer made a few weeks ago in the interest of the estate of John S. Gable, deceased, of which they were executors. 

Messrs. Hartman and Schaeffer left Lancaster during the latter part of August and proceeded direct to Iowa, where Mr. Gable had large tracts of valuable land. They traveled through five or six counties, often traversing very bad roads, by private conveyance and in very inclement weather. Mr. Hartman was indefatigable in his labor of examining titles, making surveys of the various properties, examining and satisfying mortgages, paying accrued taxes and in some cases making arrangements for the lease or sale of some of the properties. His arduous duties, continued for a month, under trying circumstances, together with a change of climate, diet and water, at last began to tell upon his health, and he was attacked with dysentery about the time he had concluded his labors, but his case was not considered serious until he had reached Chicago on his return home. On reaching Fort Wayne he was so seriously ill that Mr. Schaeffer thought he had better stop there to recuperate, but Mr. Hartman, as if foreseeing what the end would be, insisted on continuing the journey home. He reached Lancaster on last Thursday week, and though he received the most unremitting attention from affectionate relatives and friends, and of distinguished physicians, he gradually grew worse, and died this morning as above stated. 

Mr. Hartman was born in Lancaster county, Pa., on the 13th of December 1832. In early life he removed to Clinton county, where he remained until he was about 18 years old. Returning to Lancaster county he married a Miss Miller, sister of the late Tobias Miller, and opened a fulling mill in East Hempfield. Entering into political life he took an active part in local, state and nationally politics. In 1842 he was nominated by the anti-Masonic Whigs as their candidate for sheriff, but was beaten by John Ehler, who ran as an independent, and was supported by the Democrats. In 1845 Mr. Hartman was renominated and elected by a large majority, serving for three years and having to perform the disagreeable task of hanging John Haggerty, the murderer of the Fortney family. 

About the time of his election to the shrievalty Mr. Hartman removed from East Hempfield to Lancaster, and resided here until the time of his death. After the expiration of his term as sheriff Mr. Hartman entered into the lumber trade, which he carried on successfully for many years. He was also an active worker in opening and improving the East Chestnut street tract, formerly known as the “Common,” and at the time of his death he was the largest owner of that valuable property. He was one of the most active workers in the establishment of the state normal school at Millersville, and was a member of the board of trustees at the time of his death. He was also a director of the Home Mutual fire insurance company, and a trustee of the Duke street Methodist Episcopal church. He was an enumerator of the United States census for this city in 1850 and 1870, and he was a member of the Lancaster school board for nearly a quarter of a century – being the oldest member of the board except Christian Zecher.  

In all his relations of life, whether public or private, Mr. Hartman was earnest, active, intelligent and honest, and he had the entire confidence of all with whom he had intercourse. As a husband and father he was kind, affectionate and indulgent; as a neighbor and friend, courteous, genial and obliging, and as a private or public officer true to his trust; dying, it may be said, in the discharge of duties imposed him by an old and esteemed friend. 

Mr. Hartman leaves a wife and five children – three sons and two daughters. One of the latter, Miss Annie, has long been a teacher in the Millersville normal school; the other, Mary, is the wife of Luther S. Kauffman and resides in Denver, Colorado. Of his sons, David is business manager for John Best; Samuel L. (sic) is an agent; and Harry H. is a civil and mining engineer in Houtzdale, Clearfield county, Pa. All are now in the city except Mrs. Kauffman. 

The Daily Intelligencer. (Lancaster, PA), 9 October 1881. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. 

Sunday’s Obituary is a genealogical prompt of GeneaBloggers. 
© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015

Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.