Pueblo County, Colorado
Cornelius Joseph Hart

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

Prominent among the citizens who have been identified with the history of Pueblo from its pioneer days, stands the subject of this sketch, who for years has been a leading attorney of the city. During the long period of his residence here, while he has not amassed a large fortune, he has gained that which is yet more to be desired, the esteem and respect of a wide circle of acquaintances, and a reputation as a man of integrity, honor and ability. As a Republican, he has taken an active part in every city, county and state election since he came to Colorado, and his name has been prominently mentioned as a desirable candidate for Attorney General of the state.

At Little Falls, Herkimer County, N. Y., Mr. Hart was born June 28, 1838. When he was six years of age he was taken to Chicago, Ill., by his parents, Joseph and Clara E. Hart, but the town, then very small, was neither pleasant nor healthful. In a short time his father purchased a team of oxen and a wagon, and, with his family, drove through to Rock River, settling near Rockford, Ill., where he purchased a farm. However, he was so troubled by the ague that after two years he sold out and removed to Savannah, Mo. There he carried on a harness business from the fall of 1846 until 1851, when he removed to Holt County, the same state.

The education of our subject was obtained in public schools and in a private academy at Savannah, where he was a student for two years. In 1859 he entered the law office of James M. Patterson, where he read law. At the opening of the war he enlisted as a Private in the Union service and assisted in recruiting the company of which he was a member. He took part in the battles of Lexington, second battle of Springfield, Mo., Turkey Creek and Oak Grove, Mo., and the battle of the Blue. In November, 1863, he was honorably discharged as Sergeant Major. Upon leaving the service he went to St. Joe, Mo. From there, in 1865, he went to Colorado and located at Living Springs, forty miles east of Denver, on what was known as the Cut Off. He kept the Home Station on stage route. The fall of 1867 found him in Pueblo, then a very small town. Here he carried on a mercantile business until 1871, when he was elected Justice of The Peace and police magistrate, continuing in these offices until 1879. During the latter part of his official service he devoted his leisure time to the study of law, and in 1879 he was admitted to the bar, after which he began the practice of his profession. Two years later he was appointed County Attorney and this office he continued to fill until he was elected County Judge in the fall of 1883. As judge he served most efficiently and acceptably, holding the office until 1887. In January, 1888, he was again appointed County Attorney, this time serving until 1893, since which year he has devoted himself to his private practice.

In Forest City, Holt County, Mo., in 1865, Mr. Hart was made a Mason in Forest City Lodge No. 214. Upon coming to Colorado he was the prime mover in establishing Pueblo Lodge No. 17, and was its first master. He is still identified with this lodge, and is also a member of Pueblo Chapter No. 3, R. A. M., and Pueblo Commandery No. 3, K. T., and in 1878-79 served as grand master of the grand lodge of the state.

Just before coming to Colorado Mr. Hart was united in marriage with Miss Mary Bush, a native of New York. They are the parents of three children. The eldest of these, Lorin M. Hart, is an attorney in Denver. The only daughter, Ella, is the wife of Frank E. King, of Monterey, Mexico. The youngest child is Frederick C., a bright lad of ten years.

Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.

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