Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

Ancestor of  Earline Kaelin

JOHN J. HARDIN- In the legitimate channels of business John J. Hardin acquired the capital which enabled him to spend his last years in retirement from labor. He reached the age of eighty-two and his rest was well merited. He was born in Adair county, Kentucky, November 25, 1820, and came of a family who, many generations ago lived in Ireland, and doubtless was of Scotch-Irish extraction. Stephen Hardin, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Kentucky, and unto him and his wife Mary was born a son, whom they gave the name of Asa, his natal day being November 29, 1795. When Asa Hardin had reached man's estate he devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits, and as a citizen and man he was held in the highest regard. His home was the abode of the old-time southern hospitality, and every guest was made welcome. He married Miss Elizabeth Taylor, who was born in Virginia, February 29, 1790, and was a daughter of James Taylor, who removed to Kentucky, where the family became one of prominence. In the year 1830 Asa Hardin removed with his wife and children from the Blue Grass state to Morgan county, Illinois, where they were residing at the time of the "deep snow," one of the most memorable events in the pioneer history of the state. The houses in those days were small and not well calculated to resist such a snowstorm. The snow fell to an immense depth and lay upon the ground two months, the winter being a very hard one, fraught with trials for the early settlers. In 1834 the Hardin family removed from Morgan to Sangamon county, settling near Island Grove, about twelve miles west of Springfield, and there the parents of our subject spent their remaining days, the father passing away August 22, 1847 and the mother on the 23d of February, 1854. They had six sons and five daughters, all of whom have now passed away. They were: Thomas T., Stephen, John J., Evan, William, Albert G., Nancy J., Sarah F., Mary, Elizabeth and Eliza.

Upon the home farm John J. Hardin spent the days of his boyhood and youth, and through the winter months he attended school at Island Grove. Methods of instruction had not then reached their present advanced state of proficiency, yet Mr. Hardin remembered one of his teachers, a Scotchman who was a capable educator. He was a fine scholar, imparting clearly to others the knowledge that he had acquired, and an excellent disciplinarian as the boys found when they became unruly or neglectful of their studies. After leaving the farm Mr. Hardin entered upon his business career as a clerk in a general store, and in 1873 be was elected to the position of county clerk of Sangamon county upon the Democratic ticket for a term of four years. When that period had elapsed he turned his attention to the abstract business and to real estate dealing, entering into partnership with General O'Hallahan under the firm name of Hardin & O'Hallahan. this connection being maintained until 1900 when Mr. Hardin retired from business. As a real estate dealer he was widely and favorably known, not only in Springfield, but throughout Sangamon county. He negotiated many important realty transactions, was widely conversant with property and its values, and through the careful management of his business affairs and his bonorable methods, he acquired a very handsome competence.

In 1855 occurred the marriage of John J. Hardin and Mrs. Fanny C. Butler, who was then a widow, a daughter of Enos A. Brown. Two children were born of this marriage, of whom but one is living, Edward R., having passed away. The other son, J. Dick, is one of the leading coal dealers of Springfield. Mr. Hardin died August 16, 1903, when nearly eighty-three years of age. His widow and son still live at the old homestead. He was ever known as a reliable, trustworthy business man, and in social relations he manifested qualities which gained for him the good will, confidence and friendly regard of those with whom he was associated. Through almost the psalmist's span of three score years and ten he lived in Sangamon county and events which are to most of us matters of history, known only because they are recorded in writing, were to him matters of memory. He watched with interest the progress and improvement of the county, co-operating as he found opportunity in its upbuilding and he received the veneration and respect which should ever be accorded to one of his advanced years.

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