Contra Costa County












         Comparatively few of the men influential in professional and commercial affairs in Antioch have been identified with the town for a longer period than has Mr. Hartley, whose residence here dates from 1880, and who during the intervening period has risen from poverty to independence, from obscurity to influence.  The profession of law, in which he has engaged since becoming a resident of Antioch, is one for which his talents especially qualify him.  In its practice he has been resourceful and capable.  While conducting a general practice he has made a specialty of probate law.  With the ambitious spirit characteristic of him from childhood, he has never been satisfied with knowledge previously acquired, but has ever striven forward, seeking to broaden professional attainments and general information.

     At the family home on the Great Kanawha river, near Charleston, in that part of the Old Dominion subsequently known as West Virginia, Mr. Harley was born September 19, 1850, being a son of Thomas B. and Susan (Carder) Hartley.  In early boyhood he had two great desires.  The first was to see the state of California.  The second was to enter the fraternity of Masons.  These two wishes were gratified in his early manhood.  When twenty-one years of age he was initiated into the Blue Lodge of Masons in Virginia and ever since then has kept up his warm interest in the order.  At the age of twenty-three years he made his first trip to the Pacific coast.  Previous to leaving the east he had taught four terms of school, and after coming to California he was engaged as a teacher in the Humboldt county schools for two terms.  On his return to his eastern home he took up the study of law, and at the expiration of the required course of study was admitted to the bar.  Immediately afterward, in 1880, he came a second time to California and this time opened an office at Antioch.  His entire capital consisted of $60, but he had youth, health, energy and a fearless spirit, and it was not long until his practice made him self-supporting.  From that time he began to save.  The town has been benefited by his success, for he has not only erected a comfortable residence, but also in the fall of 1892 built a two-story brick structure, with stores on the first floor and offices on the second.

    For six years after coming to Antioch Mr. Hartley engaged in practice alone, and then for a time was associated with Hon. J.P. Abbott, but more recently has been alone in practice.  In politics he is a Democrat, enthusiastic in the advocacy of party principles, yet conservative and thoughtful. He was appointed city attorney several times and since 1899 has also held office as justice of the peace, in which position his thorough knowledge of the principles of law has proved a most invaluable  aid.  Education, as rendered possible by the public-school system, has in him a stanch supporter.  Through his able service as school trustee he has been a contributor to the improvement of the schools and the raising of the standard of education rendered possible by the selection of efficient instructors and first-class text-books.  Shortly after his arrival in Antioch he united himself with the Masonic Lodge of this place, of which he was chosen master for two terms.  Furthermore he is connected with the Eastern Star at Antioch, of which he has acted a patron for six terms, and in addition he has been honored with the office of grand patron of the Grand chapter, Order of Eastern Star of California.  His wife shares with him the esteem of acquaintances, was Miss Annie J. Power, a native of St. Louis, Mo., and a daughter of Philip and Anna (Durack) Power, her father at this writing being engaged in the drug business in New York City.  Born of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hartley are three children, Orma, Elva and Homer.  The older daughter was graduated from the Antioch schools in 1904 at thirteen years of age completing the course of study not only at an exceedingly youthful age, but also with credit to herself and her teachers.



Transcribed by Louise E. Shoemaker,   March 23, 2015.     

ญญญญSource: History of the State of California & Biographical Record of Coast Counties, California by Prof. J. M. Guinn, A. M., Pages 457-458. The Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904.

2015  Louise E. Shoemaker.






Contra Costa County Biographies

Golden Nugget Library