– 1841-1893 –
E. Kirke, only son of Elizur Hart, was born in Albion, New York, April 8, 1841, and died there February 18, 1893. He was educated in the public schools and Albion Academy. After completing his studies he spent two years, 1856-58. in Adrian, Michigan, and Alton, Illinois, joining, at the latter place, General Harvey’s expedition against the Mormons. Returning to Albion, he became in February, 1860, bookkeeper in the newly established Orleans County Bank, of which his father was president. He continued until 1865, when he became teller of the newly organized Orleans County National Bank, that superseded the state bank. After the death of Elizur Hart, Joseph M. Cornell succeeded him as president, Mr. Hart advancing to cashier. In July, 1890, Mr. Cornell died, and Mr. Hart was elected president, a position he held until his death, having been connected with the bank thirty-three years. In 1882, with George Elwanger, he founded the Rochester (New York) Post Express, was president of the company for several years and a principal stockholder until late in 1891. He was also a director of the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company. He gave much time to the public service of his town, village and state. Originally a Republican, he was elected in 1871 a member of the house of assembly, serving on the committees of ways and means and on banks. In 1872 he became identified with the Liberals, and supported Horace Greeley for president, ever afterward acting with the Democratic party.
In 1876 he was nominated for congress by the Democrats of the Thirtieth Congressional district, comprising the counties of Orleans and Monroe. This district had a normal Republican majority of four to five thousand, but Mr. Hart was elected by nearly one thousand majority. He served while in congress on the committees on banking and currency and revision of the laws, making a creditable record and forming warm friendships with leading statesmen of both parties. In Albion he was for many years village trustee, member of the board of education, commissioner of beautiful Mt. Albion cemetery (where he is buried) : was instrumental in giving the village electric lights ; and was the first president