Biography - William Hardy

WILLIAM HARDY. One of the pioneer settlers in Central Illinois who has lived to see the country change from an aspect of wild, uncultivated beauty to that of one of the most productive agricultural regions of the Union, resides on a fine farm on section 36, of Ridge Township, Shelby County. Mr. Hardy was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 1, 1820, and is a son of Thomas and Nellie (Dutton) Hardy, natives of Maryland and Delaware. Each bad emigrated to Fairfield County, Ohio, in early life when the country was new and laborers few. There they met and married.

In 1836 our subject's parents removed to Illinois, locating in Tazewell County, where they rented land which they operated for two years. They then came to Shelby County, in the spring of 1839 and settled in Ridge Township on section 25, where the father entered eighty acres of land. He also pre-empted eighty acres of timber land in Okaw Township, where he resided for the remainder of his life.

Our subject's mother died in 1855, a victim of the cholera, which was at that time epidemic. Her husband followed her in 1858. They reared a family of nine children, two of whom died in infancy: Jesse S. died in Shelby County; he married Priscilla Ward and left a wife and three children, one of whom is now living in Kansas. Polly married John Howlet and resides at Charleston, Ill. Sarah is the wife of James Boys, and resides in Ridge Township, as does also Thomas. George W. makes his home in Hutchinson, Kan. Abigail first married Jacob Leech and on becoming a widow she again married John Cook and at present resides in Iowa. Elizabeth is the wife of George W. Boys, and lives in Ridge Township. Henry H. resides in Medicine Lodge, Kan.

The original of our sketch is a farmer born and bred. He remained under the parental roof until he reached manhood when he was married to Amanda H. Davis, a daughter of Joshua Davis. She was a native of Shelby County, where she was born in June, 1836. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy are the parents of six children, whose names are Leah, Mary, Thomas, William. Maud and Florence. Before his marriage our subject had purchased the land upon which he afterward settled and has since resided on it. He is now the owner of two hundred and five acres of finely cultivated land, upon which a choice variety of grains, fruits and vegetables are raised. The place bears good buildings and many of the improvements both in science and agriculture are applied to make the farmer's life less one of drudgery than formerly.

In early life Mr. Hardy learned the trade of a carpenter, which business he pursued for some time, never, however, giving up his agricultural work entirely. Politically our subject is a follower of the Republican party, and he has been for a long time School Director of his district. Mrs. Hardy is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and both she and her husband are looked upon as being representative people in the township. Affable, kind hearted and hospitable, they are examples and types of the best agricultural class in the state.

Extracted 26 May 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 552-553.

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