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Edward Studley Hart, who died May 10, 1921, occupied one of the finest homes in Webster Groves. For many years he ranked with the leading printers of St. Louis and his service as mayor of Webster Groves and as the promoter of many public interests well entitled him to the high esteem in which he was held. His was indeed a well spent life and as the architect of his own fortunes he builded wisely and well. A native of Mississippi he was born in Carrollton, March 9, 1855, his parents being Charles C. and Olivia (Studley) Hart. In the acquirement of his education he attended the common schools of Shawneetown, Illinois, his parents having removed to Logan, Ohio and then to Illinois. He passed through consecutive grades becoming a high school pupil and after his textbooks were put aside he entered upon an apprenticeship to the trade of compositor under R. P. Studley & Company in 1871. This firm was established in 1853 and Mr. Hart continued in active connection from 1871 until 1919, or for a period of forty-eight years, at the end of which time he retired from active business to enjoy in leisure the fruits of his former toil. He made steady advancement in his business career, became a member of the firm in 1876 and was elected the president and treasurer of the company upon its incorporation in 1905. The company engaged in business as manufacturing printers, bookbinders and lithographers and through the assistance and later under the guidance of Mr. Hart a business of extensive proportions was built up. He also became the first vice president of the Bank of Webster Groves, and was everywhere recognized as a man of sound business judgment, keen sagacity and unfaltering enterprise and the most envious could not grudge him his success, so creditably was it won and so honorably was it used.
On the 8th of May, 1898, Mr. Hart was united in marriage in Webster Groves to Miss Florence Bate and to them were born three sons and a daughter: Edward S., Jr.; Elizabeth; Robert Page; and Donald Bate. A daughter of a previous marriage, Margaret, married H. M. Patton and lives in Webster Groves.
Mr. Hart became a member of the St. Louis Typothetae and was long identified with the Masonic fraternity, in which he had become a Knight Templar in the York Rite and a Consistory Mason in the Scottish Rite. He was also a member of the Mystic Shrine. His religious faith was that of the Congregational church and his political belief was that of the republican party. For seven years he filled the office of alderman of Webster Groves and for an equal period was mayor of the city. Under his administration the electric lights and water and sewer systems were installed, sidewalks were laid and the little village of twenty-five hundred grew to a thriving city of eighty-five hundred, peopled by a class of progressive men who were attracted to the beautiful suburban city as a desirable location in which to reside. It has been the home of many of the most progressive and successful business men of St. Louis, Including Mr. Hart, the man whom his fellow townsmen delighted to honor as their “first citizen” for seven years.