Bertrand M. Hart, M. D. Biography


This biography appears on pages 807-808 in "History of Dakota Territory" by George W. Kingsbury, Vol. V (1915) and was scanned, OCRed and edited by Maurice Krueger,


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Dr. Bertrand M. Hart is a successful physician and surgeon practicing at Blunt and is also engaged in the drug business there. He was born at Beloit, Wisconsin, November 19, 1876, and is a son of George D. and Lucy (Tuxtberry) Hart. The father was born in the southern part of New York on the 29th of May 1846, and the mother's birth occurred in northern Pennsylvania, June 6, 1849. In early manhood George D. Hart followed the butcher's trade but after removing to South Dakota in 1892 he engaged in farming near Doland, Spink County, until 1902, when, feeling that he had accumulated sufficient of this world's goods, he retired from active life and removed to Beloit, Wisconsin, where he is still living. During the Civil war he served in Company F, Seventeenth Wisconsin Regiment, and was at the front for three years. He was wounded and for some time was confined in a hospital. To him and his wife, who is also living, were born fourteen children, of whom the subject of this review is the fifth in order of birth.


Bertrand M. Hart received his secondary education in the high school at Webster, South Dakota, and after leaving that institution attended the school of pharmacy of the State Agricultural College at Brookings, South Dakota, from which he received the Ph. G. and Bachelor of Science degrees. Having decided upon the medical profession as a life work he continued his study in the medical college of Northwestern University in Chicago and in 1905 received his M. D. degree. Since that time he has taken a number of post-graduate courses as he realizes the necessity of constant study if he is to keep abreast of the advancement in medical science. His has been a life of intense activity and the educational advantages, which he has enjoyed, have been won by his own labor. When but seven years of age he began herding cattle for a neighbor five miles from home and was so engaged until he was thirteen years old. He then worked as a farm hand and for three seasons drove horses for a threshing outfit. When sixteen years of age he was employed on a ranch and thus earned the money, which enabled him to attend the high school at Webster. Each year for eleven years he spent from nine to eleven months in school and earned every penny of the money with which to pay his expenses, receiving no assistance whatever and never borrowing. Following his graduation from medical college Dr. Hart located in Blunt and in the intervening years has built up a large and lucrative practice and has also gained the complete confidence of his colleagues. He is at present serving as surgeon for the Northwestern Railroad. He is also engaged in the drug business in Blunt and the same good judgment and energy, which enabled him to pay, his own way through school have gained him a gratifying measure of success in business. He believes firmly in the growth and prosperity of the state and has invested in South Dakota land, owning a valuable farm adjoining Blunt and also considerable land southeast of the town.

Dr. Hart was married on the 19th of November 1907, to Miss Edna Church Shearer, a native of Tipton, Iowa. Her parents, John and Sarah Ellen (Church) Shearer, were born respectively in Edinburgh, Scotland, December 2, 1828, and in Muscatine, Iowa, November 24, 1841. The father, who was a miller by trade, immigrated to the United States when nineteen years of age and located at Tipton, Cedar county, Iowa. He continued to reside there until 1883, when he came to South Dakota with his family and located upon a homestead near Highmore, where he still resides. He has followed general farming and has gained a competence. Mrs. Hart, who is the seventh of the eight children born to her parents, received a liberal education. She was graduated from the high school at Highmore and subsequently entered the South Dakota Wesleyan College at Mitchell, which conferred upon her the degree of Bachelor of Arts on the completion of the prescribed course. To Dr. and Mrs. Hart has been born a son, Maynard Sterling, whose birth occurred on the 14th of February 1910. The Doctor is a republican and is serving as vice president of the county board of health. He is a member of the Fourth District Medical Society and the State Medical Society and a life member of the Surgeons Club of Rochester, Minnesota and fellow in the American Medical Association. He is quite prominent in local fraternal circles as he belongs to the Masonic lodge and to the Mystic Shrine as well. He has served as master of the blue lodge and is patron of the local chapter of the Eastern Star and associate grand patron of the Eastern Star of South Dakota. His life has been characterized by unusual determination and enterprise and he has carried forward to successful completion everything that he has undertaken. He is recognized both as a skillful physician and as an efficient businessman and is one of the valued citizens of Blunt.