Howdenshire History

Goole's commercial life: H. C. Ferdinand Hartmann and wife Emma Louisa Hartmann (nee Smith)

Goole History > Goole People & Families > H. C. Ferdinand Hartmann & Emma Louisa Smith


N.B. Mr Henry Charles Ferdinand Hartmann was generally referred to as Ferdinand Hartmann, rather than Henry. Every mention of him in Mrs Hartmann's diaries refers to "Ferdinand".

You can also view the obituary of Henry Charles Ferdinand Hartmann's wife, the former Emma Louisa Smith.


From the Goole Times, Friday, 5th Dec 1924:


We regret to record the death which occurred on Wednesday in his 82nd year of Mr H.C.F. Hartmann, J.P., of North Street, Goole. For many years Mr Hartmann had been prominently associated with the commercial life of the town and had done much to build up the trade of the port. He had, however, for several years been living in retirement, and for the past year had not been seen about town, having been confined to the house. On Tuesday night he had a seizure and passed away on Wednesday morning.

Mr Henry Charles Ferdinand Hartmann, J.P., was born at Wiesbaden, in the independent Duchy of Nassau, in the year 1843, his father being a musical artiste and conductor of some note and a friend of Wagner and other eminent composers.

Mr Hartmann was destined for a commercial career and having acquired a good knowledge of foreign languages he went, at the age of nineteen, to Holland and shortly afterwards came to London. Very soon afterwards he got into touch with Mr Houson, of the firm of Cogland and Co., ship owners, of Goole, and came to Goole in the service of that firm as foreign correspondent. He has been a citizen of Goole ever since - a period of over sixty years.

After a few years the firm of Cogland and Co. ceased business, and Mr Hartmann entered the service of the Goole Steam Shipping Co. Some years later he started business on his own account as a shipper and ship broker. At first he devoted himself mainly to the import of provisions from the Continent and he established a large connection in the country and on the Continent. Later he became an agent for the import of dyewoods from the West Indies and South and Central America, and this business developed to such an extent that in course of time he became one of the largest importers of logwood in England. He was undoubtedly one of the chief pioneers in the development of the trade in Goole and the numerous barques which came here to his orders with logwood formed a large part of the trade of the port.

For twenty-five years he has been a member of the Goole Chamber of Commerce and Shipping and was elected a life member ten years ago. He was a past president of the Chamber.

Appointed by the Board of Trade to represent Goole on the Humber Conservancy, he retained the position until the end of the year 1914. He took an active part in the work of that statutory authority for the control of the River Humber, and ever showed a desire to advance schemes for the judicious improvement of the river for navigation purposes.

Mr Hartmann married Miss Smith, a Goole lady, and they celebrated their "golden wedding" a few years ago, but soon afterwards Mrs Hartmann died.

Of responsibilities in connection with the civic life of the town Mr Hartmann has taken his share. For nine years (until the dissolution of that body under the Act of 1902) he was a member of the Goole School Board and was chairman of the Board for three years.

He was enrolled on the Commission of the Peace for the West Riding of Yorkshire in 1894 and was up to the war most assiduous in his attention to his magisterial duties, sitting with regularity, almost daily, on the Goole Bench. For about five years he was chairman of the Bench.

Mr Hartmann was a generous and ardent advocate and supporter of religious educational and temperance work in Goole and district, a liberal contributor to all local charities, and his private benevolance and philanthropy were exercised on a large scale.Though not British born, he became naturalised in this country over 40 years ago.

Mr Hartmann enjoyed, to a remarkable degree, the respect and esteem of all classes of residents in the district.

The deceased gentleman was one of the first directors of the Goole Times Co., Ltd., and was chairman for some years, but transferred his interest some time ago.

The funeral will take place to-morrow (Saturday), leaving the house at 11-30.




From the Goole Times, Friday, 19th July, 1918:


It is our melancholy duty to record the death of Mrs Hartmann, wife of Mr H.C.F. Hartmann, J.P., of Belle Vue House, Goole, which occurred on Friday morning at a nursing home at Leeds. Mrs Hartmann was out of doors, following her usual active life, so recently as the previous Saturday, but she became suddenly ill later in the evening, and as no improvement occurred next day, Dr Cass, her medical adviser, was called in. Despite his best attention and careful nursing, her condition failed to improve, and Dr Thompson (of Leeds) was summoned to advise in consultation with Dr Cass. He recommended the patient's immediate removal to a nursing home in Leeds for an operation to remove the cause of the trouble which was intestinal. Mrs Hartmann was conveyed to Leeds on July 11th and the operation was performed about 5-30 p.m. She never rallied after the operation and died about seven o'clock next morning.

The news of Mrs Hartmann's death caused profound regret among all classes of people in the town, with which she had been identified from birth, and of which she was one of its most loyal, useful and highly respected citizens. Despite her age she was a most active woman and her manifold services to the town and its inhabitants, her charitable gifts, her high ideals, her cheerful disposition and her generous hospitality all contributed to make her a much beloved and valued inhabitant. She had a very wide circle of acquaintances among all classes, her heart overflowed with sympathy for the suffering; she delighted in "doing good by stealth" and she was an ardent supporter, both by work and gifts, of many admirable movements and causes. She was a staunch upholder and defender of the credit of Goole and a true lover of her native town, the remarkable growth of which, in her own lifetime, was a subject of which she spoke with pride and satisfaction. She was indeed a real "Goole Worthy" and her removal by death will be a great loss to the town and district. To Mr Hartmann, in his unspeakable sorrow, the deepest sympathy is extended by all ranks of local society.

Emma Louisa Hartmann was born on March 23rd, 1842, and she was thus in her 77th year. She was the eldest daughter of the late Mr James Smith, who lived in East Parade and carried on business as a ship's smith at Barge Dock Side. Mr Smith was a much respected local tradesman in the early days of Goole, and is remembered by a few of the oldest inhabitants as an active temperance worker and a leader of the local United Methodist Church. Mrs Hartmann's great-grandfather was the famous Admiral de la Motte, who commanded the British fleet at the naval Battle of Copenhagen. The eldest of a family of eight children, three of whom died young, Mrs Hartmann was bereaved of both her parents, within a few weeks of each other, in the year 1864, [this is not correct; her father died in 1868] and thus had thrown upon her the cares of the up-bringing of four younger brothers and sisters, a responsibility which was shared with her by Mr Hartmann, to whom she was married on July 18th, 1864, fifty-four years ago.

Mr Hartmann had then lived in the town for some years, having come to Goole as a foreign correspondent for the firm of Messrs Watson, Cunliffe and Co., the predecessors of the Goole Steam Shipping Company, for whom he was subsequently a departmental manager until he commenced business on his own account as ship broker and ship owner. Mr and Mrs Hartmann lived in the same house in East Parade until 1905 when they removed to Belle Vue House in North Street. In his early business career, Mrs Hartmann was of great assistance to her husband, taking an intelligent interest in its conduct and rendering help in many directions. It was she, who, in later years, suggested that he should acquire an interest in the Goole Times newspaper and when this journalistic property was sold by Mr Gardiner in 1891, Mr Hartmann became chairman of the Company which took it over - a position he still retains. Mrs Hartmann took a great interest in the conduct of the paper and, when a costly new plant was obtained some years ago, she performed the ceremony of starting the new machinery and printing the first newspaper produced by it.

Following her father's example, Mrs Hartmann associated herself in very early years with the local United Methodist Church. She became a Sunday School teacher and subsequently held many other offices, including that of leader of the church. She was, indeed, the first woman to be appointed to the latter position. Throughout her life, she continued to be a staunch adherent and generous supporter of the church and all its auxiliaries, and her presence, her counsel and support will be missed there, perhaps more than anywhere else outside her own home. She worked very hard and gave generously for the annual bazaars held in connection with the church. She was a fluent speaker on public platforms and often rendered service in that capacity, although her personal preference was for quiet work in the background. She was elected as representative of the church on the Goole Free Church Council and took a keen interest in its work and was a regular attender at its meetings.

Mrs Hartmann was also deeply interested throughout her life in temperance work. A convinced believer in the benefits of total abstinence, she did a great deal by precept and example to forward that cause. She was one of the earliest members of the "Sons of Temperance" when a branch was formed in Goole; she was also a "Good Templar" and a consistent leader of and worker for the British Women's Temperance Association. When "Local Option" was a "live" political question, Mrs Hartmann, with her husband, threw herself heart and soul into work for the support of that movement. There was a split in the ranks of the local Liberal Party and when Osgoldcross Division was contested in 1895 by Mr C.H. Roberts and in 1900 by Dr V.H. Rutherford as "Local Option" candidates, they had no keener supporters in those elections than Mr and Mrs Hartmann. Indeed Mrs Hartmann's house practically became the headquarters in 1895 of the supporters of Mr Roberts and Lady Carlisle and other members of his family stayed there for some time. Mrs Hartmann has since been an active supporter of Sir Joseph Compton-Rickett, the present member for Osgoldcross (and Paymaster General).

She was interested in the advancement of education and when the Goole Secondary Education Committee was formed she was elected a member and one of the Governors of the Goole Secondary School - a position she held until her death.

Mrs Hartmann had literary tastes and was a great lover of poetry which she could quote freely. She was herself the composer of a number of poems. In earlier life she travelled a good deal throughout the British Isles and had visited Italy, France and other Continental countries.

An early riser - she would often be about her household duties by six o'clock in the morning - and a person of very frugal tastes and habits, she nevertheless delighted to dispense a liberal hospitality, and often entertained distinguished visitors to the town as well as local friends and acquaintances. On one occasion an Indian Prince was numbered among her guests. Her philanthropy, exercised in a quiet way, made her beloved by the poor of the town; and no tale of sorrow and suffering failed to touch a responsive chord in her heart and to elicit practical sympathy.

In addition to the organisations we have named, she was associated with many other local societies and her activities for a woman of her years were remarkable. She had no children of her own, but a large family circle of nephews and nieces will miss her greatly, as also will the bereaved widower from whom she was, in life, almost inseparable.

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