Philemon C. Hardy, a prominent citizen of Cornish Flat, Sullivan County, N.H., well known as the proprietor of the Hardy Remedies, was born in the town of Cornish, March 5, 1840. He is a son of the late Samuel Hardy. His great-grandfather served as a soldier throughout the Revolutionary War, and Mr. Hardy is now in possession of the gun barrel used by that patriotic ancestor in the battle of Bunker Hill. After his death his widow removed to Grantham, N.H., taking with her their ten children, six boys and four girls. She was the first of the name in this section of the State.
Her son Tristram, grandfather of Philemon C., was born in Bradford, Mass., March 29, 1771, but resided in New Hampshire the greater part of his life. He was a farmer, and carried on the trade of chair-maker in Grantham, now called East Plainfield. He married March 18, 1795, Kesia Frazier, who was born March 16, 1779, and died January 10, 1817. Their ten children were: Polly, William, Susanna, Moses, Samuel, Sally, James M., Kesia, Hannah, and Mehitable. Tristram Hardy’s second wife was the widow Polly Rogers, to whom he was married March 12, 1818. There were no children by this marriage. Polly Hardy, born February 24, 1796, married Hosea Churchill on October 8, 1820. She died December 5, 1865, having had no children. William, born October 24, 1797, died December 11, 1878. His first wife was Mary Ball, whom he married on January 17, 1822; and his second was Prudence Carroll, with whom he was united on October 30, 1831. Susanna Hardy, born October 26, 1799, died March 20, 1823, the wife of Independence Gile, a hotel man, named from having been born on the Fourth of July. Moses Hardy, born June 11, 1802, died August 6, 1806. Sally, born January 25, 1807, married Joshua Atwood, March 20, 1826, and died April 25, 1868. She had two children: Susan J., born April 8, 1827; and John, born December 29, 1830. James M. Hardy, born January 11, 1809, died August 28, 1810. Kesia Hardy, born May 11, 1811, was married on March 20, 1836, to John F. Carroll, a cooper and farmer. Her husband died May 5, 1879; and she died April 29, 1886. Some of their children survive. Hannah Hardy, born March 10, 1813, died May 19, 1813. Mehitable, born November 7, 1814, died September 10, 1827.
Samuel Hardy, third son of Tristram, and father of the subject of this sketch, was born October 1, 1804, in Grantham, and was educated in the public schools of that town. He learned the trade of chair-maker from his father, and at the age of twenty-one went to Cayuga County, New York, where he worked at his trade for some years before returning to New Hampshire to be married. When he went back to New York State he was accompanied by his wife. He stayed there ten years in all, and then came to Cornish, where he had extensive farming interests; and in addition to his other labors he began the manufacture of the Hardy Remedies, since so widely known and used. This was in 1836; and Mr. Samuel Hardy continued the business until 1869, when Mr. Philemon C. Hardy and his brother bought it out. Few changes have been made in the original receipts, but the bitters are not now made. The medicines that now bear the Hardy name are: Hardy’s Salve, Woman’s Friend, Hardy Pain Destroyer, and Anodyne Liniment. During the late Rebellion the soldier boys of New Hampshire found a quantity of Hardy’s Salve at Winchester, Va.; and some of them wrote home to their friends that they were going to have him prosecuted for abetting the Confederates in giving or supplying them with medicine which was able to heal or to save the lives of enemies. An old sea captain has told the Doctor that rolls of the salve could be found in every port of South America. It is said to be to-day the oldest salve upon the market and the best known. Samuel Hardy did a very large business; and, besides his extensive advertising through the press of the country and by distributing circulars, he sent out a great many gorgeous carts drawn by fine handsome horses, which were the envy of small boys. He never aspired for political honors, but was always a Republican of the stanchest kind and ever ready to use his influence for the benefit of his party. He was a member of the Baptist Church of Cornish, was exceedingly benevolent and broad-minded, and a friend to every needy or destitute person that chance threw in his way. He was most liberal in his contributions to the church and to every worthy object or cause. His death took place August 7, 1879; and in him the town lost a valuable citizen, and the cause of humanity a noble worker.
Samuel Hardy was three times married: Sally, daughter of Follansbee Carroll, of Croydon, N.H. She was born August 23, 1807, and died April 8, 1838. Her five children were: Follansbee C., Mary Ann G., Edmund, Mehitable, and Tristram. By his union with his second wife, Prudentia Coburn, who was born February 6, 1813, in Vermont, and died December 16, 1847, there were four children, all born in Cornish; namely, Philemon C., Sally, Hannah S., and Charles T. The third wife was Phebe A. Pratt, who had one child, William Wallace. Follansbee C. Hardy, born December 20, 1829, is a travelling merchant, and lives in Worcester, Mass. Formerly he had one of the most famous medicine carts ever put on the road. Except the wheels it was all constructed of glass. He married Delia Pierce, of West Boylston, Mass., on June 17, 1856, and had a family of three children, one of whom is living. Mary Ann G., born September 22, 1831, married Benjamin F. Bryant, of Hartland, Vt., now residing at Hudson, Mass., and has a family of four children. Edmund Hardy, born December 11, 1833, married Lucinda Bailey, December 5, 1855. He died in the army, May 30, 1863. Mehitable, born January 10, 1836, was first married May 4, 1858, to George W. Moore, of Hudson, Mass.; and second, February 12, 1865, to Henry S. Moore, the Postmaster of Hudson. There are no children by either marriage. Tristram Hardy, born March 9, 1838, died September 22, 1839. Sally Hardy, eldest daughter of Samuel Hardy by his second marriage, born November 19, 1841, married Lewis F. Knight, of Cornish, November 30, 1863, and is the mother of five children, four of whom are now living. Hannah S. Hardy, born August 9, 1843, married Albert J. Dyer, of Sutton, Quebec, December 24, 1871. Charles T., born June 1, 1846, married November 15, 1866, Ellen M. Ripley, and until his death, which occurred twelve years ago, May 12, 1885, was associated in business with his brother Philemon. William Wallace Hardy, the only child of the third marriage, born February 6, 1849, is now living at New Haven, Conn. He is in the wholesale cigar business in New York City, is exceedingly energetic and talented, and has accumulated a large fortune. He married December 25, 1875, Sarah J. Tucker, of Redding, Conn., and has one child, a son, Samuel B. Hardy.
Mr. Philemon C. Hardy was educated in the schools of Cornish and in Kimball Union Academy. He worked on his father’s farm until twenty-one years of age, when he began to travel in the interests of the Hardy Remedies. He has continued in the business until the present time, increasing and extending it and managing it most successfully. He is a Deacon of the Baptist church, and, like his father, is charitable and benevolent. Mr. Hardy was married on October 17, 1867, to Linnie J. Dyer, daughter of Daniel Dyer, of Sutton, Quebec. She was born October 17, 1848, and died March 30, 1895. Mr. and Mrs. Hardy had one daughter, Nora A., born August 4, 1879, who died July 5, 1880.