Judge Hannibal Hart was born 3 Jul 1839 in Quebec, Nouveau France, Canada to Nathaniel and Almira (Pierce) Hart.  Before entering politics, he was a soldier in the American Civil War, enlisting in the 5th Michigan Cavalry, Company I, on 18 August 1862.[1]   He had achieved the rank of Sergeant before he mustered out on 15 June 1864, having been wounded in battle 15 October 1862 but persevering 20 months more.[2]  Judge Hart had made his residence at Otsego, whence he served as County Clerk 1867 to 1869 and County Prosecuting Attorney from 1891 to 1892.[3]  He was an alumnus of the University of Michigan (1890).[4]

He was appointed to complete the term of the 20th Circuit Court judiciary which had been cut short by the death of his predecessor, Judge Dan J Arnold, on 6 April 1892.  He would serve only from 1 June 1892 through the end of December of that year before relinquishing the bench.[5]  Despite the brevity of his tenure as Circuit Judge, it earned him a salary of  $1475.02 – a fair wage for seven months’ work at the time.[6]  In 1896, he represented Michigan at the National Democratic Convention.[7]  He departed this life in 18 March 1900.[8]


  1. Portrait and Biographical Record of Kalamazoo, Allegan & Van Buren Counties, Michigan, Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens, Together With Biographies of All the Governors of the State, and of the Presidents of the United States (Chicago: Chapman Bros., 1892), 364-367.
  2. s.v. Sgt. Hannibal HartFindagrave.com.
  3. Allegan County Officials” (Sep 1972), Kalamazoo Valley Family News Letter 2(1): 49-50; Political Graveyard.
  4. Michigan Alumnus, vol 14 (1907), 260.
  5. Henry Franklin Thomas, A Twentieth Century History of Allegan County, Michigan (Allegan: Lewis Publishing Co, 1907), 548.
  6. Annual Report of the Auditor General of the State of Michigan for the Year 1893 (Lansing, 1893), 27.
  7. Political Graveyard
  8. “Michigan, Deaths and Burials, 1800-1995,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FH8Q-NYJ : accessed 18 March 2010), Hannibal Hart, 18 Mar 1900.

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