Descendants of Daniel O. and Florra Moore Harton and their families gathered in Conway for a reunion during the Memorial Day Weekend. They were joined by a few cousins from the Benjamin and Sarah Cole Harton family. In the early 1880’s the Harton families came to Conway from Springfield, Ark. They engaged in the mercantile business and banking and raised large families. There are two large Harton burial lots at Oak Grove Cemetery.
Over the three days of the reunion (May 25-27) more than 110 descendants and their families enjoyed the festivities. On Friday, Kenneth and Ta-Li Spatz were hosts for a picnic at their home on Cadron Ridge.
On Saturday, participants toured houses built on Robinson Avenue by family members. Houses included those of D. O. and Florra Harton, now owned by the Cook family, Moore and Mildred Harton’s house, now owned by the O’Briens, Hardin and Stella Stark’s house, now owned by the Adams family, and the Faber Hicks house, now owned by the Larsons. Later Saturday afternoon, attendees gathered at the home of Chris and Thea Spatz for a pig roast, with the Spatzes and his brother and wife, Harton and Nona Jo Spatz, as co-hosts.
On Sunday, the family spent the afternoon at Worsham Hall on the campus of Hendrix College recording family stories, visiting, and examining Harton memorabilia. Earlier Sunday, Zebdios Agnew, a 10-year-old recently adopted into the Harton family from Ethiopia, was baptized at First United Methodist Church.
In 1890, D. O. and Florra Harton were instrumental in Conway’s drive to relocate Hendrix College to Conway. In subsequent years they sent all 11 of their children to either Hendrix or Galloway Female College in Searcy. At present more than 50 Harton descendents have attended Hendrix. The family recently established the Harton Family Endowed Scholarship at Hendrix to honor the contributions of their ancestors to Hendrix and Conway.
The Harton Family reunion occurs every two to three years. The last time it was in Conway was 1987.