Submitted by: Lou Dyer
Book: History of Bryan County Oklahoma page 309/310
Hart, Harriet- Lavina Tennyson -
article was done by Hazel Gibbard Ward
Harriet Lavina Hart, mother of Emma Gibbard, came to Durant in the early part of 1913 with her daughter and son-in-law, Emma and Frank Gibbard. She made her home with them until her death. Harriet, daughter of George and Emily Wright Tennyson, was born April 25, 1838 in Tennyson Indiana. She spent most of her time helping care for her daughter's family. The children looked to her as a second mother. She accepted her role with grace, never complaining. She was one of the few last Civil War widows who received a monthly pension--$30.00 per month until about 1925, it was raised to $50.00. Due to arthritis, Mrs. Hart was confined to a wheelchair her last two years. She lived poetry, making quilts and knitting. The Gibberts family got their first radio in 1927. Harriet was so interested in the political conventions the following spring, as the Democrats and Republicans chose their respective presidential candidate to run in November, she never missed a session.
Abraham Lincoln with his parents attended the Little Pigeon Baptist Church in Indiana where Harriet's father-in-law was minister. family History tells that Henry Hart was a very fluent speaker, holding his congregation's attention for an hour or more. Young Abe would stand on a stump back of the church with the children gathered around him while he did a very good imitation of "Brother Hart'. Knowing him may have had it's influence as Harriet "leaned" toward the Republicans, but never voted even though women had earned their right to vote eight years before.
In 1874 Harriet, her husband, Henry Thomas Hart, and their children moved from Indiana to Clifton, Texas by wagon train. They traveled the Butterfield Stage line, crossing Muddy Boggy River at Atoka and stopped briefly at Carriage Point located three miles west of Durant. The lush field of waist-high prairie grass that grew all along the way made a lasting impression.
Her husband preceded her in death. Henry Thomas Hart died September 17, 1886 and is buried in the Old Cemetery in Clifton, Texas, Bosque County. Mrs. Hart died November 2, 1929 and is buried in Highland Cemetery on the Gibbard Plot. There is a marker st her grave.
Emma is the daughter of Henry Thomas Hart & Harriet Tennyson granddaughter of Henry Hart the preacher.
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