Hart, Alphonso

Attorney, Newspaper Owner and Editor, Ohio State Senator, United States Representative, Ohio Lieutenant Governor

Birth: July 4, 1830, Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio
Death: December 23, 1910, Washington, DC
Burial: Maple Grove Cemetery, Ravenna, Portage County, Ohio
Find a Grave memorial

Published Biographies

From William A. Taylor, Ohio in Congress from 1803 to 1901, with Notes and Sketches of Senators and Representatives and Other Historical Data and Incidents (Columbus, Ohio: The XX. Century Publishing Co., 1900), p. 278:

ALPHONSO HART. Alphonso Hart of Hillsboro, Highland county, was born in Vienna, Trumbull county, Ohio, July 4, 1830. He was educated in the common schools and at Grand River institute, Austinburg, Ohio. He read law and was admitted to the bar in 1851, and became a distinguished attorney, and is still in the practice.

He was assistant clerk of the Ohio house of representatives in 1854. From 1854 to 1857 he was editor and proprietor of the Portage Sentinel at Ravenna, Portage county, and a recognized leader of the Republican party. He was elected prosecuting attorney of Portage county in 1861; was re-elected in 1863, and resigned in 1864 to enter the senate of the state. He was again elected to the state senate in 1971. In 1872 he was chosen a presidential elector at large on the Grant ticket. He was elected lieutenant governor of the state in 1873, and served one term.

In the meantime he had removed to Hillsboro, and in 1882 he was elected to the Forty-eighth congress from the Twelfth district, composed of Highland, Pike, Ross, Brown, Clinton and Fayette counties. He served by one term. In 1889 he was appointed solicitor of the treasury by President Harrison, and discharged the duties of that important office with signal ability.

From History of the Republican Party in Ohio, ed. Joseph Patterson Smith (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1898), Volume 1, pp. 321-22:

Alphonso Hart, Lieutenant Governor, was born July 4, 1830, in Vienna, Trumbull County, Ohio. His father’s family came to Ohio from Connecticut. Alphonso enjoyed the usual advantages of the country youth in the public schools until the death of his father in 1844. He was then bound out to a farmer for three years, but at the end of seven months started out alone. By laboring and teaching he maintained himself at the Grand River Institute in Ashtabula County, also studied law and was admitted to the bar, August 12, 1851. He removed to New Lisbon, Columbiana County, remaining two years, and was then elected Assistant Clerk in the lower branch of the General Assembly of the State. The same year he purchased the Portage Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper at Ravenna, where he edited until he sold the plant in 1857. He resumed the practice of law in Ravenna and in 1861 was elected, on the Republican ticket, as Prosecuting Attorney of Portage County; he was reelected in 1863, but resigned in 1864 to take a seat in the State Senate. He was not a candidate for reelection until 1871, when he was again chosen Senator. In 1872 he was a Presidential Elector at large and, in 1873, was elected Lieutenant Governor by the Republicans. In 1874 he removed to Cleveland and in 1878 to Hillsboro, Ohio. In 1880 he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and the same year was nominated for Congress from the Seventh District, but was defeated. In 1882 he received the Republican nomination for Congress in the Twelfth District and was elected, but was defeated for reelection in 1884. He was appointed Solicitor of Internal Revenue in 1888 by President Harrison, but was removed for political reasons by President Cleveland in 1893. At present he is a practicing attorney in Washington, District of Columbia.

From W. Darwin Crabb, Biographical Sketches of the State Officers, and of the Members of the Sixteenth General Assembly of the State of Ohio (Columbus: Ohio State Journal Book and Job Rooms, 1872), pp. 25-26:

ALPHONSO HART represents the Twenty-sixth Senatorial District, composed of the counties of Summit and Portage. He resides at Ravenna. He was born at Vienna, Trumbull county, Ohio, July 4, 1830. His parents were from New England. His father died in 1844. The subject of this sketch had already obtained a fair knowledge of the common branches of an English education. In 1846, and during the following four years, he attended school at Grand River Institute, in Ashtabula county, Ohio, receiving, while there some instruction in the sciences, mathematics and languages.

After leaving the Institute he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1851. He practiced law until 1854, when he became the editor of The Portage Sentinel, a Democratic paper, in which business he continued for over three years, when he returned to the practice of his profession.

At the breaking out of the Rebellion, Mr. Hart became identified with the Union movement and has ever since acted with the Union Republican party.

In 1861 he was elected Prosecuting Attorney for Portage county, and, in 1863, was re-elected. In 1865 he resigned that seat, to accept a seat in the Senate of Ohio. Since the close of his official term, as Senator, he has devoted himself mainly to the work of his profession.

He was married, in 1856, to Miss Phebe Peck, of Warren, Ohio. His wife died in 1868.

Mr. Hart was re-elected to the Ohio Senate in the fall of 1871. He is Chairman of the Judiciary Committee[e], and the Committee on Privileges and Elections. He is also a member of the Committee on Railroads and Turnpikes; on Corporations other than Municipal; on Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphans’ Home, and on Universities and Colleges.

Mr. Hart is an able and successful lawyer, and ranks high as a political orator.

Updated 8/13/2020