James S. Harto
(Webster, Massachusetts: 7th May 1870 - 5th November 1933)
Stage name of James S. Harte since 1894. Self-taught. Amateur debut in Webster at age 12, adding vent that same year. Pro since debut at age 14 at Bristol's Curio Hall dime museum, Worcester, Mass., with magic and a side-show illusion. Toured with A Night With the Spirits magic show and several major circuses. Friend of Houdini since 1895. Married Catherine M. Wren in 1901. Then toured his Leon Harto Magic Show (1903) and did more circuses. Wrote Successful Money Making Enterprises (by 1905). Did successful vaudeville crystal gazing act as "Chandra the Mystic". Wholesale magic dealer-prop maker (as "James S. Harto") in Indianapolis since 1905.
In the 1920s he grew increasingly insane from tertiary syphilis. In sanitarium in 1930 when his wife took over management of the business. His effects were auctioned by her in 1944. Bio is Thomas A. Ewing, Two Hartes That Beat As One (1993, 47pp).