John Earle Hartridge was born in Madison County, Florida, in 1851. His father was the lage Doctor Theodore Hartridge, a native of Savannah, Georgia. Of him it has been said: "Doctor Hartridge was a man of noble and generous impulses, and broad and boundless benevolence. To him the burdened hearat could pour out its sorrows, and distress prefer its suit, and many, very many, of the poor and distressed of earth have been made to rejoice because of timely assistance received at his hands. He was held in the highest estimation by all classes of the peoole, and of him it can be truly said that every place wa made better by his presence, as he invariably commanded the most profound respect and inspirted unabounded confidence." Mr. Hartridge's mother was Miss Susan Livingston, of South Carolina, who still survives -- a woman of rare Christian virtues, and just the mother to bring up owrth sons to useful citizenship. Doctor and Mrs. Hartridge moved to Jacksonville when their son was a child, and this City has been his home since, save during the Civil War. He entered the University of Georgia, and won the sophomore medal in 1871, and graduated as anniversarian in 1873, that being the highest literary honor in the literary societies.
He has continuously practiced law in the City of Jacksonville since his admission to the bar.
He was elected to the State Senate on the Democratic ticket in October, 1894. He has canvassed the State in behalf of the Democratic Party in every campaign since the Tilden campaign of 1876-76.
During the dark days in Florida, when political feeling ran high, and the people were being arrested all over the State, and being brought to Jacksonville for trial in the United States Court, Mr. Hartridge defended them without reward, or the hope thereof, and his father, whose acquaintance was large in the State, was invariably the bondsman of all Democrats arrested for political offenses.
In 1888 Mr. Hartridge was appointed by President Cleveland United States Judge for the Northern District of Florida, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Hon. Thomas Settle. Republicans being in the majority in the Senate, and Mr. Harrison having been elected to succeed Mr. Cleveland at the time of Mr. Hartridge's nomination, he was refused confirmation. The appointment wa subsequently given to Charles Swayne, of Pennsylvania, who had lived in FLorida only a short time. He has served Jacksonville as City Attorney, and was appointed Commissioner to the Paris Exposition, but did not attend. Mr. Hartridge is an orator of great force and eloquence, which has been used with powerful effect on his auditors, whether in Court, on the hustings, or in the Senate Chamber. He was married in September, 1880, to Miss Susan Fatio L'Engle, yougest daughter of F. F. and Charlotte J. L'Engle, of Jacksonville. They have four sons: Julian, John Earle, L'Engle and Theodore. Their residence in Riverside, recently completed, is one of the handsomest in the City.