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

Hart, Henry

(born: 1840  -  died: 1915) 

Henry Hart was born in Frankfort, KY, the son of Frederick Hart, from Boone County, and Judith Brown, from Frankfort. Henry Hart moved to Cleveland, OH, when he was 14 years old and there learned to play the violin. He later lived in New Orleans, where he was employed as a violin player and where he met his wife, Sarah, a pianist. The couple moved to Evansville, IN, in 1867, where Henry Hart 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 were 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, a Wikipedia website; 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.


Cited in this Entry

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

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hart, Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 22, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-10-10 20:01:25