From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hart, Henry

(born: 1840  -  died: 1915) 

Henry Hart, born in Frankfort, KY, was the son of Frederick Hart from Boone County, KY, and Judith Brown from Frankfort. Fourteen-year old Henry Hart moved to Cleveland, OH, and there learned to play the violin. He later lived in New Orleans, LA, where, employed as a violin player, he met his wife, Sarah, a pianist. The couple moved to Evansville, IN, in 1867, where Henry was employed as a barber and also performed as a musician.

Hart formed the Alabama Minstrels in 1872; the group included Kentucky native Tom McIntosh. Hart's minstrels  performed in blackface using burnt cork. By 1885, the Hart Family was living in Indianapolis performing as a family string orchestra. The Harts had five daughters: Estelle, Lillian [who died as an infant], Myrtle, Hazel, and Willie. Myrtle became a concert harpist and toured the United States, billed as the only colored harpist in the world. Hazel, also a musician, was a school principal in Indianapolis. She died in a bus accident in 1935; the Hazel Hart Hendricks School is named in her honor.

For more see Henry Hart in Wikipedia; and "Henry Hart" in Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians, by E. Southern.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Franklin County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Frankfort, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: McIntosh, Thomas "Tom"
NKAA Source: Biographical dictionary of Afro-American and African musicians

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hart, Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed July 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2024-05-18 22:17:53