Hardy History Association celebrates Hardy’s 126 birthday during meeting

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Hardy History Association held its regular meeting July 2 at the Hardy Civic Center.

The meeting opened with a welcome from President Darlene Wilson and an introduction of the board members who were present for the meeting.

As the last board meeting was not open to the public, Wilson provided an update of the happenings of the meeting.

“Our last board meeting was held June 11 and we talked about the progress of some of the things we’re actively working on such as the walking tour brochures. That is still in progress but as you know, just about the whole world has been put on hold so everything is behind schedule,” Wilson said.

She also said the board had applied for a Sharp County Community Foundation Grant to help print brochures when they were complete.

“I applied and got a confirmation when the application was submitted but we have not heard whether we have been awarded the grant or not,” Wilson said.

The question was asked as to whether or not the brochures would be online. Wilson said there would be an online version, but for those who do not have smart phones, the association also wanted to have hard copies available.

“We are also working on quarterly newsletters which we also plan to have online. It is still in the works but we will not have a second quarter but will have the third quarter,” Wilson said. “The city also held a Volkswagen show June 13 and raffled off a quilt with the proceeds to go to us. We netted $252 dollars from that.”

Wilson said the association had received correspondence and a donation from Wanda Roe . The letter which had previously been printed in a local newspaper was also read concerning the donation in the amount of $10,000 to be used to help further the Hardy History Association History Museum.

“One thing you may have seen are mugs we’ll be selling in the gift shop and vote on your choice. The museum is not open yet but it is in the Ruby’s on Main building where the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce is also located,” Wilson said. “We hope to have it ready by the end of the summer.”

Wilson said for the foreseeable future, the board and regular meetings would be held at the Hardy Civic Center with board meetings to take place at 5:30 p.m. and regular meetings to take place at 6:30 p.m.

Reports were the next items discussed including membership updates, treasurer updates and more.

Jim Best and Patsy Church, the HAA archivists spoke to those in attendance about the happenings of the museum.

“We’re in business thanks to Charles and Darlene. We have a home, items on display and we hope you go by Ruby’s on Main because there are pictures already hung, it’s not complete but they’re there,” Best said.

Best said there had been discussion with area associations about best practices and ways to archive, record keeping, displays and more.

“We learned a lot. Things we didn’t know and we had protocol come from that visit. The archive committee had a very productive working session upstairs at our new location,” Best said. “We define our own archive protocols and systems and worked on those today. We were able to bring in input forms, document and number items we have.”

Best said the museum is ready to receive more items and put an emphasis on yearbooks from the Hardy School being of interest.

Following Best’s update, Wilson took to the podium to talk about the celebration taking place during the evening.

“Nannette [Daugherty] dug up the articles of incorporation for the City of Hardy and they are from July of 1894. This being the July meeting we thought we’d have birthday for the 126 year of the incorporation of the city of Hardy. I wanted to explain why we decided to do that birthday because if you look at the City of Hardy’s logo, it says 1883. It got us do doing our research and Hardy was founded in 1883,” Wilson said. “When we say founded, we determined that was the date the city was named after the railroader James Hardy. It is when president Grover Cleveland, under the Homestead Act, deeded the land to Walker Clayton. We decided to celebrate the anniversary of the articles of incorporation.”

Wilson then read the articles of incorporation which were on file with the state.

Nannette Daugherty, program coordinator for the HHA shared a story of the city council and a law that was once on the books preventing citizens from wearing shorts on main street.

“The city council had passed a law at one time stating no one could wear shorts on main street. At the same time though, the hogs could still run loose in the street and it was an odd combination of rules. So Dr. William Johnson and Hank Norman, paraded around town with their britches rolled up around their knees to protest the ordinance and of course it was not enforced,” Daugherty said. “I’ve made some notes about the days gone by the 1880s and 1890s and what was going on in the world.”

Daugherty then shared some of the happenings such as the creation of the Brandon Addition, changes in the homestead act and more.

The speaker for the evening was Penny Hadley who spoke about the old cemetery in Hardy.

“I’m the secretary for the Hardy United Methodist Church and what got me started was we have a basement full of old boxes. I decided to work on membership rolls and digging through the old records was fascinated. I found a handful of receipts for cows and I thought, why was a church paying out for cows? It was to Fred Carter and he was one of the prominent people in the area,” Hadley said.

She then began to seek out the answers to the bizarre question of – what does a church need with cows?

“I talked to his son [Johnny Carter], and he said the church wanted to donate to a charitable project and at that time the Heifer Project provided cows to people who had nothing to raise for milk and calves. So the church paid Johnny’s father to raise the cows so he could donate them,” Hadley said.

Through this, Hadley discovered there were 11 cemeteries in Hardy only one of which is a city cemetery.

“In doing research, I discovered it was the main cemetery in Hardy and is about 1.6 acres. When the city was laid out in 1883 a 1.1 acre parcel of land was donated by Walker Clayton and he’s buried in that cemetery. It was expanded in 1979 and the Biggers family had donated property for the expansion,” Hadley said. “The original portion of the cemetery was placed on the national historic registry in 2006 and we’ve been digging and have located plot maps. We have lists of names and there is a lot of information you can find about who was buried there and when. We’re doing a lot of technical work.”

Hadley said the part the committee needed the most help with was collecting stories about the people buried in the city cemetery.

“When I was a kid growing up, there was a lady in town who drove an old black sedan. She’d wave at you and if you waved back she’d steer toward you and you had to learn to dodge. There are stories about Aunt T. I’ve heard and people who will tell you she was our town character. Prominent family.. she wandered the town and she’d go in a restaurant and if you left something on your plate she’d ask if she could have what was left on it. These are the kinds of stories... We can go through and point out that we have a cemetery, names and dates, but we want to know about them. We want the family stories, the ones you remember from when you were kids.”

Hadley encouraged anyone who had stories of people from years gone by, to share them. Whether they write it down, share it when the museum is open and have it recorded, email it in or provide by other means.

“Its those kinds of things that make history interesting,” Hadley said. “The stories are what we’re looking for.”

As the meeting continued, stories of the railroad, characters and memories were shared.

The Hardy History Association meets the first Thursday of Each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Hardy Civic Center until further notice.

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