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THOMAS MORRIS HARDY, The prosperity and advancement of a community depend upon the social character and public spirit of its members and in every prosperous town or country center may be found citizens who take leadership and give their energies not atone to their well being but to the things that make better and fuller life for all, Such a citizen at Pendleton has Mr. Hardy been recognized for many years. Lieutenant Hardy was a soldier of the Civil war, was in early life a teacher, from that became actively identified with farming, and for the past twenty-five years has been best known as a banker, being now president of the Pendleton Banking Company, His success in business has been accompanied by equal public spirit in affairs, and it was due to his generosity and energetic work that the town of Pendleton now possesses its excellent public library, and institution which is having a large influence in the culture of the local 3itizenship, and in future will continue to exert a great uplifting force in this community.
Thomas Morris Hardy was horn in Fall Creek Township, Madison County, February 4, 1840, He best represents one of the old families, a family that became identified with this historic vicinity of Madison County, not far from the time when the first permanent settlements were planted, and the name has always been borne with dignity and usefulness since it was first known in this locality. His parents were Neal and Elizabeth R. (Frissel) Hardy, Neal Hardy, the father, was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, November, 1802, and his wife, a native of the same vicinity, was born in 1808, Both were reared, received their education and were married in Philadelphia, and shortly after their marriage came west, making the journey in a one horse wagon until arriving in Fall Creek Township, where the father entered eighty acres of land from the government, This homestead, selected from the midst of the great wilderness which at that time extended over nearly all eastern Indiana, the father cleared up and gave his industry and management to the estate throughout the rest of his life, His death occurred in November, 1869, while his wife survived until July, 1888, The mother was a member of the Society of Friends, and the father was an attendant of the same church, though he was very liberal in his religious views, and contributed and supported church and benevolence with little regard for denomination. His particular interest its community affairs was in educational matters, and for some ten or twelve years he acted as Township trustee of Fall Creek Township and gave some very efficient service in administration of all local affairs, with particular reference to the upbuilding and improvement of the local school system, Among the citizenship in his time in Fall Creek Township he was recognized as one of the strongest men of the vicinity, In politics he was a Republican after the formation of that party, He was affiliated with the Odd Fellows Lodge, He and his wife were the parents of eight children, and three are living in 1913, as follows: Thomas Morris; Eliza A., widow of John R. Boston; and Sarah K., wife of Joseph D. Kinnard.
Thomas Morris Hardy was reared on the old homestead in Fall Creek Township, received his education in one of the early schools of this locality and after attending the district school went to the Pendleton Academy for six months, Then in 1862, at the age of twenty-two, he enlisted in Company A of the Sixteenth Indiana Infantry, and was with the army during its great campaign down the Mississippi Valley.
He was in the Vicksburg Campaign and was twice wounded. At his enlistment he went in as a private and for meritorious service was promoted to lieutenant after the Battle of Arkansas Post. He was mustered out at the conclusion of three years’ military duty with this rank. After his return as a veteran soldier he spent three years in Illinois as a teacher and farmer, and then returned to the old homestead where he continued as a teacher and farmer for some eight or ten years, In 1890 Mr. .Hardy, in association with E. P. Rogers, became connected with the Pendleton Banking Company, and has since acquired a half interest and has been president of the company since 1905, This is one of the strongest private banks of Madison County, and the company enjoys high standing throughout all the territory tributary to Pendleton.
Lieutenant Hardy was married September 28, 1865, to Margaret J. Wilson, who was born in Madison County, November, 1839. Mrs. Hardy received her education in the public schools of this County, and was a valuable companion to her husband and greatly beloved in all social circles. After nearly forty-four years of happy married life she passed away on August 22, 1909. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy had no children of their own, but they reared five under the protection and influence of their own roof, giving them good educational advantages and the best of influences for their preparations to meet the larger duties and responsibilities of life. One of their children now keeps house for Mr. Hardy.
Lieutenant Hardy is a member of the Friends church, is affiliated with the Grand Army Post No. 230 and the Loyal Legion of Indiana, He has for many years been a supporter of the Republican party, but in the last campaign of 1912 gave his vote for the new Progressive party. He donated the lot on which the Pendleton Public Library now stands, and this donation was at the time absolutely essential to the success of the library enterprise, since the necessary endowment could not have been secured without this generosity on his part, He has served as president of the Library board since its organization in 1909 and has devoted much time to the success of this local institution.