|Frank Hartt was born March 23, 1890, in Stillwater, Minnesota; he died December 28, 1969. Frank was single; he never married.
Memories by Allan C. Hartt of Washington State
Uncle Frank was a character. He and Uncle Paul were bachelor brothers. When I first knew them, they were living in a small rural house on twenty-acres on the outskirts of Manitou, near South Tacoma. They cut firewood for a living. Their place was called “The Jungelow.” They had piped water from Manitou, but no sewer or septic system. They had a “backhouse” (one-holer) about 50-yards from the house. They had no water heater and kept hot water in a large pan on a large wood cook stove. The sink was wood and had no drain. After washing dishes, the hot soapy dishwater was whooshed from the dishpan out to the chicken yard (about 30 feet from the house), so the birds could glean the bits of leftovers.
They had a barn, cows, horses, a garden, and fruit trees. Uncle Paul was a good mechanic and kept their old trucks going for their fuel business. They leased land from Weyerhaeuser Timber Co., then fell, sawed, and split the reject trees and delivered them to Tacoma and Manitou at $6.50-per-cord in two-cord lots. For about thirty years, they supported themselves this way. They bought their clothes from Salvation Army outlets and always looked OK at church in fair fitting suits and hats. They sold milk and eggs and did plowing with their horses.
Early on, I recall Frank, Paul, and Katherine teaching Sunday school in the Tabernacle Sunday School. It was a large plain barn like building in South Tacoma about eight blocks south of Grampa Hartt’s home at 5616 S. Warner. It had a main room with plain wooden backed benches, which would seat about 100. Then, there was a balcony with two or three Sunday school rooms above and two or three below. Uncle Frank was the teacher of my boy’s class on the two or three occasions we visited. Uncle Paul taught adults and Aunt Katherine taught a girl’s class. Grampa Hartt was usually the speaker, but he had visitors speak when available. I believe that Grampa Hartt rented the building and he had installed the sign on the roof. He also emptied the “honey bucket” which served as a toilet in the dark dimly lit basement dug out perhaps 10’x15’. Frank and Paul furnished the wood for the church stove and helped William Charles with the maintenance of the building and yard. After Sunday school and the morning Bible session about 10 to 15 people stayed for the Lord’s Supper. When William Charles was no longer able to continue the ministry, the Lord’s Supper was held in the home of William Charles Hartt.
Paul and Frank were known throughout the South Tacoma/Manitou area by young and old. They gave wood and farm products for the needy. Also, husky youths were hired to assist in the woods. Several youths, both boys and girls, came to the Lord through Frank and Paul’s contacts either through Sunday school or association on the farm. Daily devotions were first in their lives. They were faithful in the local Presbyterian Church in later years. During WW II, Paul served in France, as a cook. Frank also served but all stateside. He told me he would have stayed in had he not been a Christian.
When I stayed and worked for Paul in the woods, this was the schedule: Up at 5:45 a.m., put on water for the cereal, have individual Bible reading in set locations. Meet with Frank or Paul to share a brief reading and application. Prayer – each of us kneeling at our chairs. Then, to the kitchen to have breakfast. We always had oatmeal, eggs, hash browns, toast, and jam. We then made our lunch, cleaned the dishes, and off to the woods. Uncle Frank had to stop heavy work due to a back injury; so, Paul hired help with the woodcutting the last ten-years or so.
Frank had a crush on a young woman many years his junior, Tillie Bloom, of South Tacoma. Her parents ran a restaurant. She was saved at Tabernacle Sunday School. She showed a real interest in serving the Lord. So, Frank paid her way to attend Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. I believe this was for only one year. Tillie returned and married Johnny Ray, another Tabernacle alumnus. Paul had an interest in Ruth O’Neill for several years, but I heard, through my mom, that Paul felt that his income and lack of education (fourth-grade) were such that he really had little to offer a woman. So, he remained a bachelor and we’ll never know Ruth’s feelings for Paul. Paul died in a Veteran’s Hospital in Seattle, at age 71, of Hodgkin’s disease. My first wife and I visited him during his last days. He asked me to look up 1 Thess. 4:13-18 and read it. I did so and he said he wanted to have his finger at that page in his Bible when he was called “HOME.” He died peacefully shortly thereafter.
Uncle Frank was a character to the last. He transferred his property to Moody Bible Institute for an annuity arrangement and lived on the income for his last six to eight years. In 1969, Uncle Frank traveled, visited, and finally died peacefully while visiting his nephew, Dick Hartt, Roy’s second oldest, in Pasadena, California.|