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HART, RICHARD MEREDITH

HART, RICHARD MEREDITH (1811–1864). Richard Meredith Hart, early settler, soldier, and cattleman, son of Josiah Hart, was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, in 1811. He moved to Texas about 1833 by way of Arkansas, where he married Mary Riley in 1831; they had six children. He lived in a part of Red River County that later became Fannin County. Meredith was mustered into the Texas militia on July 20, 1836, serving in a cavalry company commanded by his brother, John Hart. He was discharged on October 20, 1836. He served in the Texas Rangersqv from March 16 to September 16, 1839. He received a headright certificate for one league and one labor of land. For his service in the Texas army he received 320 acres. For tax purposes in 1840 he reported owning 1,280 acres and twenty cattle in Fannin County and 1,090 acres under survey in Red River County. Hart became a cattleman with operations in Hunt, Navarro, Erath, Comanche, and Johnson counties, selling stock at Fort Belknap and other army posts. His main route to market was overland to Shreveport and downriver to New Orleans. When Hunt County was organized in 1846, he was one of its commissioners. In 1855 he bought two sections of land in Johnson County, and on Mustang Creek a mile from what is now Rio Vista he built a two-story frame house, which was later landmarked by the Texas State Historical Survey Committee (which became the Texas Historical Commissionqv). After his first wife's death he married Cassandra Wilkins, and they had three children. Hart lost most of his holdings during the Civil War. He died in December 1864 and was buried near his Johnson County homestead.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 
A. J. Byrd, History and Description of Johnson County and Its Principal Towns (Marshall, Texas: Jennings, 1879). Fannin County Folks and Facts (Dallas: Taylor, 1977). History of Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1896; rpt., St. Louis: Ingmire, 1983). Rex Wallace Strickland, "History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836–1843," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 33, 34 (April, July 1930).
Weldon Hart

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Handbook of Texas Online, Weldon Hart, "Hart, Richard Meredith," accessed August 29, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhaaj.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.