Born in Lawndale, Illinois, in 1882, James “Jimmie” Michael Hart was initially reared in Atlanta, Illinois.  His Irish-born father worked for the Chicago and Alton Railroad.

Since early youth he contributed verse to the Pantagraph and other Illinois newspapers.  A collection of his early poems was published as Shamrocks and Roses. He also penned a series of narrative poems dealing with Lincoln’s activities in Central Illinois towns.

The collection contains newspaper articles about Hart, poems (mostly published in newspapers), and two scrapbooks of his poems.