Henry Clay Hart, M.D.,  now residing on his well-improved farm of 160 acres, situated in section 25, Spencer township, was one of the earliest physicians to settle at Spencerville, where he continued in active practice for many years.  Dr. Hart was born July 19, 1841, at Troy, Miami County, Ohio, and is a son of Levi and Sarah Sewell (Tullis) Hart.  Dr. Hart comes of sturdy American patriot stock, his ancestry reaching directly to one of the signers of the Delaration of Independence.  The father of Dr. Hart was born in New Jersey and was one of th family of seven children.  previous to coming to Ohio he worked as a machinist; but later he became a farmer and died in Ohio in 1865.  He was a liberal man in relation to education and religion and filled an important place in his community.  He was survived until 1886 by his wife, who was born in Virginia.  The family consisted of four children, namely:  Francis C., Dorisa Ann, Henry Clay and John B., the last named deceased in infancy.

Henry Clay Hart grew up on his father's farm and secured his literary education in the schools at Delphos.  He was employed later by a local business house as bookkeeper until he reached his majority, when, in August 1862, he entered the Union Army.  He enlisted in Company F, 118th Reg., Ohio Vol. Inf., at Delphos, and was mustered out at Evansville, Indiana, from the Second Battalion, V. R. C., on July 6, 1865.  For nearly 18 months he had held the position of post adjutant. His health being poor at this time, as employed mainly at detached duty and was proffered an honorable discharge by President Lincoln on this account.  This offer he did not take advantage of and this evidence of patriotism brought him a personal letter from the President, commending him in high terms.

After his return from the army, the young man tried farming for a time, but his health was scarcely robust enough to enable him to make of it a success.  He then turned his attention to medicine.  He prepared for college with a local practitioner, and took a course of lectures in the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, where he was graduated April 23, 1869.  In the same year he took up his residence at Spencerville, which at that time was a village of 300 souls.  He was the third physician to locate here, the late Dr. Campbell and Dr. Rails having come here a short time before.  Dr. Hart practiced here for 20 years and then went to Monticello for two years.  On account of failing health, he then retired to his farm which, when he purchased it, was a tract of dense woods lying along the canal, two and a half miles north of Spencerville.  In addition to being a fertile and productive agricultural property, it is also valuable for the oil that underlies it, 12 wells having been already developed.  Dr. Hart has cleared all this land with the exception of three acres.  The land is well tiled and substantial buildings have been erected.  Dr. Hart lives retired, having excellent tenants to look after his farming interests.

In April, 1889, Dr. Hart was married to Elizabeth Vashti Rathgeber, who is a daughter of Jacob Rathgeber, of Spencer township.  Two years later the Doctor and wife retired to the farm where they enjoy all the comforts and a large number of the luxuries of life.  Mrs. Hart takes great pleasure in her housekeeping and many of the Doctor's leisure hours are passed in his well-equipped library.

Dr. Hart is a stanch Republican and for years as active in party affairs.  He has served in various offices and on numerous boards since coming to Allen County.  During two terms he was a member of the Spencerville Town Council and while on that body was appointed street commissioner.  During his administration much of the east part of town was laid out, and it was Dr. Hart's suggestion that the street east of Pearl should be named "College" street.  For two terms he was a member of the Board of Education, and was chairman of the board when the school building was erected.  For over 11 years he was a member of the Board of Health.  In every way he has been one of the public-spirited and useful citizens of Allen County and is held in general esteem.  He is a member of the local G.  A. R. post of which he has been surgeon.

Dr. Hart is a well-read man and a pleasant conversationalist, whose reminiscences of the early days of his practice in this locality are of a most interesting nature.  In those days he visited his patients on horseback, the only possible way, as his way through cold and storm, often at night, following bridle-paths through the forest.

The Doctor could have built up quite a fortune but he has always given bounteously of his means to all worthy objects.  He has contributed to the erection of all the churches of his neighborhood as well as to their support.