DAVID E. HARDING, deceased, who for more than a half century was a leading business man and manufacturer of Mansfield, Mass., was born there May 6, 1826. He was a descendant of an old Cape Ann family, the founder of the family in America being Edward Haraden, who came from Ipswich, England, to Gloucester. The name is found variously spelled, appearing as Haraden, Hardon and Harding, etc.
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The first of the name on the records in Bristol county, Mass., is David Harding, whose name is on the records of the town of Norton, where he settled in 1750. He married March 20, 1751, Susanna Skinner, and his death occurred April 11, 1792, at the age of seventy-seven years.
David Harding (2), son of David and Susanna, married July 4, 1779, Abigail Atherton, and their children were born as follows:
- David, born May 4, 1780 (died Feb. 4, 1801)
- Amasa, Jan. 25, 1783
- Abigail, April ft, 1785
- Alfred, Aug. 8, 1787
- Simeon, March 22, 1790
- Nathan, Aug. 4, 1792
- Clarence, Oct. 2, 1795
David Harding, the father, was a soldier in the Revolutionary war, serving as corporal in the company commanded by Lieut. Ephraim Grover, Col. Isaac Dean’s 4th Bristol County regiment; he enlisted for service Aug. 5, 1780; discharged Aug. 7, 1780, service four days at Rhode Island on the alarm of Aug. 1, 1780, including two days to return home; mileage to place of rendezvous and home, 80 miles, also allowed, roll sworn to at Attleboro.
Alfred Harding, son of David (2) and Abigail (Atherton) Harding, was born in Norton, Mass., Aug. 8, 1787. He made his home in the town of Norton, which is now Mansfield, and there spent his life, dying there. He married Eliza Pierce, daughter of Obediah Pierce, and their children were:
- Alfred, born Jan. 10, 1819
- Nelson Henry, Nov. 22, 1820
- Eleanor, July 19, 1822
- David E., May 6, 1826
David E. Harding, son of Alfred and Eliza (Pierce) Harding, received his educational training in the public schools of his district. He began work on the farm at an early age, continuing thus until he reached the age of twenty years, when he obtained employment in the straw shop of Dunham & Rockwell, of Norton. In 1842 he worked for John Rogers in his straw works in Mansfield, and in 1865 he became associated with John W. Rogers and Frank Comey under the firm name of Rogers, Comey & Co., Mr. Harding becoming a member of the firm and continuing to be so until his death. In 1882 he reorganized the firm of S. W. Card and became a partner of Mr. Card under the firm name of S. W. Card & Co. In 1893 the company was incorporated as the Card Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of taps and dies. Mr. Harding became treasurer of this concern, which by his keen foresight and good business judgment he built up and made a success.
Mr. Harding took an active part in the public affairs of Mansfield, and was a member of the State Legislature in 1875. He was one of the founders and president for nineteen years of the Cooperative Bank of Mansfield, and was director of the National Bank of Mansfield, being vice-president of the latter for five years. In politics he was a stanch Republican. He was also quite active in the religious life of his community. On April 1, 1866, he joined the Congregational Church and became a devout and faithful worker, giving much of his attention to the Sunday school. His death occurred at his home Feb. 4, 1909, and he was buried in the Spring Brook cemetery, at Mansfield.
Mr. Harding married in Mansfield Frances Emeline Rogers, born May 13, 1837, daughter of John Rogers. They had three children:
- John died young
- Mabel Frances attended the public and high schools of Mansfield, later going to the Wheaton Seminary, at Norton, and Wellesley College. She married Oct. 26, 1881, William Luce Barnes, of New York, and they have two children, Clarence Alfred and William Luce, Jr. Clarence Alfred Barnes, born in Brooklyn, N. Y., was educated in the public and high schools, Brooklyn Military School, Chauncey Hall School and Yale Law School, graduating from the latter in 1904; he spent two years in the law office of Samuel J. Elder, of Boston, and is now an attorney at law in Boston; he married Helen J. Long, of Norwich, Conn., and they have three children, Clarence A., Jr., David Harding and Jane Fenmore. William Luce Barnes, Jr., was educated in the public schools of Mansfield, and graduated from the Chauncey Hall School in 1900, from Hopkinton Preparatory School in 1903, and from Yale College in 1907; he was secretary of the academic department of the Y. M. C. A. in New Haven; in 1908 he entered the Auburn (N. Y.) Theological Seminary, where he was graduated in 1911, and ordained minister of the Congregational Church at Mansfield in May, 1911; he is now stationed in New York.
- Florence Rogers, youngest daughter of David E. Harding, was educated in the public schools of Mansfield, at Lasell Seminary, Auburndale, Mass., and Miss Emerson’s School at Boston. In November, 1900, she married Harry T. Emmons, and they had two children
- Gladys Rogers
- Florence Frances. She married (second) Feb. 19, 1907, William Harrison Furlong, a well-known stock raiser and rancher of San Antonio, Texas, where they now reside.