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Collection Title: Hardy (William H. and Sallie J.) Papers

Collection Number: M380

Dates: 1860 - 1972

Volume: 1.6 cu. ft.

Provenance: William H. Hardy, Sallie J. Hardy, Mrs. Edith Lester, Judge Robert G. Evans, Patricia M. Finley, and WDAM-TV.

Donor: The bulk of the collection was donated by the living grandchildren of Mattie Hardy Lott, daughter of W.H. and Sallie Hardy, (including Mrs. Margie Myrick, Mrs. Martha Albritton, and Mrs. Edna Lott Franklin) in 1999. Items donated by Martha Albritton, Edith Lester, and Judge Robert G. Evans were added in 1999 and 2000.

Copyright: This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical/Historical Sketch:

William Harris Hardy, founder of the Mississippi cities of Hattiesburg, Gulfport, and Laurel, was born in Todds Hill, Alabama, on February 12, 1837. He attended Town Creek Academy and Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. After three years at Cumberland, Hardy became ill with typhoid pneumonia and was forced to return home. Shortly thereafter, he traveled to Jasper County, Mississippi, to visit his father’s cousin, James Hardy. While he was there, the local Methodist Church offered him $900 a year and a new building to start an academy.

Hardy decided to remain in Mississippi and start the school, and in 1855, he founded the Sylvarena Academy in Flowers, Mississippi. The academy flourished until the end of World War II, but Hardy taught there only one year. After leaving Sylvarena Academy, he decided to enter the legal profession and, in 1856, he moved to Raleigh, Mississippi, where he took and passed the bar examination. It was there that he began his successful law career.

In the Fall of 1859 Hardy met his first wife, Sallie Ann Johnson, at the annual State Fair in Jackson, Mississippi. Miss Johnson was born in Gallatin, Tennessee, on July 21, 1843, the daughter of Thomas H. Johnson and Ellen Weaver Johnson. Captivated by her beauty, Hardy later said he fell in love with her at first sight. They were married in Brandon, Mississippi, on October 10, 1860, and six children were born of the union: Mattie, Willie, Ellen, Elizabeth, Thomas, and Jefferson Davis.

Hardy joined the Confederate Army in 1861 at the start of the Civil War. With the rank of Captain, he led Company H of the 16th Mississippi Regiment and fought under the command of General Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He became ill with a gastric ulcer and returned home in 1865, to resume his legal practice in Raleigh.

In 1872, a sickness diagnosed by doctors as "Malignant Malaria" was rampant in Paulding, Mississippi, where the Hardys were then living. In the course of helping others afflicted with illness, Sallie Hardy contracted the disease. In spite of all medical efforts, she died on September 16, 1872.

After Sallie's death, Hardy moved to Meridian, Mississippi, and set up a law office. While visiting Mobile, Alabama, he met his second wife, Miss Hattie Lott, a native of Mobile, Alabama. William and Hattie were married in 1874, and she moved to his Meridian home and began to rear the Captain’s orphaned children. They later had three children of their own: Lena Mai, Lamar, and Toney. Hattie died unexpectedly on May 18, 1895, at her home in Meridian.
On June 14, 1900, Captain Hardy married his third wife, Ida V. May, of Jackson, Mississippi. He and Ida were the parents of three sons: William H. Jr., Hamilton Lee, and James Hutchins.

In the 1880s, Captain Hardy became involved in establishing railroad lines through the state. In 1881, he was responsible for establishing the line between New Orleans and Meridian, with the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad Company. Hardy chose and named the sites where stations would be established, thus establishing the cities of Hattiesburg and Laurel. In 1887, he became President of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad Company and established the railway station that became known as Gulfport.

Captain Hardy began a career in public service in 1895, when he was elected to the Mississippi State Senate. While there he served as chairman of the Committee on Corporations and the Finance Committee. He introduced a bill to remove the penitentiary from Jackson, Mississippi, and to construct a new Capitol on the old site. In 1905, he served as circuit court judge for district two in Mississippi, and when the district was split in half, he accepted the Coast district in 1906 and was judge there until he retired at the age of 72 in 1909. He spent the remainder of his life as an attorney in a firm he had with his son, Toney, in Gulfport. Captain Hardy died of a heart attack at his home in Gulfport on February 17, 1917. He is interred in Gulfport.

Sources:

Fike, Claude E. “William H. Hardy: An Extraordinary Life,” The Hattiesburg Story: 100 years of Growth. Hattiesburg: Hattiesburg American, 1982.

Hardy, Toney. No Compromise With Principle. New York: American Book-Stratford Press, Inc., 1946.

Scope and Content:

The William H. and Sallie J. Hardy Papers consist of original and duplicate correspondence, photographs, video tapes, newspaper clippings, scrapbook pages, and memorabilia (including a pair of white leather ladies’ dress shoes believed to be Sallie Hardy's wedding shoes).

The bulk of the collection is a three-ring binder of 66 original letters dated 1860-1881, most of which were written by Captain William Harris Hardy to his first wife, Sallie Ann Johnson Hardy, during the Civil War. The letters, written between 1861 and 1865 from bivouacs and battlefields, were carefully preserved, along with other personal mementos, in a small trunk by their eldest child Mattie (Mrs. W.S. Lott). There are also two spiral-bound books containing photocopies and typescripts of the letters.

Scrapbook pages include several articles about the Paulding courthouse burning to the ground. Other articles are about W.H. Hardy, Lamar Hardy, and Mrs.W.S. Lott. Also included are articles that pertain to Hardy’s work in establishing the railroad through Hattiesburg and about the Hardy Bust dedication in Gulfport in 1929. There is also a photocopy of Famous Southern Recipes, compiled and edited by Mrs. W.S. Lott. A booklet titled SCRAPS, The Official Publication of the Office of the United States Attorney, Southern District of New York (January 1939), is significant to the collection because of an article about Lamar Hardy, son of William H. and Hattie L. Hardy.

Two VHS video tapes document the November 5, 1999 presentation of the William H. and Sallie J. Hardy Papers in the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room, McCain Library and Archives. A selection of photographs also depict the presentation. Other photographs in the collection portray various members of the Hardy Family and the gravesites of Sallie Ann Johnson Hardy, Temperance Toney Hardy, R.H. Hardy, and Margaret Hardy Evans.

Other Finding Aids:
Box and Folder List
Photograph Log

Related Collections:
M182: Hardy (William H. and Hattie L.) Papers

Box and Folder List

Box 1  
Folder 1 VHS Tapes of Hardy Letters Presentation: November 5, 1999
Folder 2 Photographs of Hardy Letters Presentation: November 5, 1999
Folder 3 Duplicates of scrapbook pages (Originals in Map Case)
Folder 4 Scrapbook pages and newspaper clippings: William Harris Hardy
Folder 5 Scrapbook pages and newspaper clippings: Lott Women
Folder 6 Famous Southern Recipes, compiled and edited by Mrs. W.S. Lott
Folder 7 SCRAPS: January 1939
Folder 8 W.H. Hardy Funeral Papers
Folder 9 Photographs: W.H. Hardy, Mattie Hardy Lott, and Sallie Ann Hardy
Folder 10 Photographs: Gravesites of Sallie A. Hardy, Margaret E. Hardy, and Temperance L. Toney
   
Box 2  
Item 1 Original Correspondence between William H. Hardy and Sallie J. Hardy (1860 - 1881)
Item 2 Booklet: "Civil War Letters of William Harris Hardy to Sallie Johnson Hardy"
Item 3 Booklet: More Civil War Letters of William Harris Hardy to Sallie Johnson Hardy"
   
Box 3  
Item 1 Framed photograph of Sally A. Johnson Hardy (color, 4 x 5)
Item 2 A small metal box containing a pair of wire eyeglass frames
Item 3 A gold epaulet (possibly from W.H. Hardy’s Confederate uniform)
Item 4 Two curved shoulder pins (possibly from W.H. Hardy’s uniform)
Item 5 A pair of eyeglasses and case (probably Mattie Hardy Lott’s)
Item 6 Copy of The Spectator, 1853, with inscription by W.H. Hardy
   
Box 4 A pair of white leather ladies’ dress shoes (possibly Sallie Ann Johnson Hardy’s wedding shoes.
   
Oversize Materials in Map Case
Folder 1 One photocopy of Hardy Family Reunion, 1920, persons identified
Folder 2 Ten pages from a scrapbook compiled by Mattie Hardy Lott
Folder 3 The New York Herald newspaper, featuring Abraham Lincoln’s assassination (April 15, 1864); article from The Meridian Star,"History: 'Hardy" Endorsement -- No Hardy County" (February 27, 1972)

Photograph Log

M380-1 Mrs. Martha Albritton
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Martha Albritton, Mrs. Martha Tatum, and D.W. Tatum at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-2 Mrs. Martha Albritton Interviewed
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Martha Albritton being interviewed by Kelly Higdon Foster from WDAM-TV at the Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-3 William Harris Hardy Descendents and Guests
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Descendants of William Harris Hardy and other guests at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-4 Looking at Artifacts
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Mrs. P. E. Smith, Sr., and Mrs. Rebecca Wells Seay. On the far right are Bill Sutley and Dr. Bobs Tusa at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-5 Looking at Artifacts
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999 (Box 1, Folder 2).
  Mrs. Margie Myrick, Mrs. P. E. Smith, Sr., Mrs. Edna Lott Franklin, and Mrs. Katherine McCarthy looking at artifacts at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-6 Dr. Bobs Tusa Being Interviewed by WDAM-TV
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Dr. Tusa is interviewed at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-7 Mrs. Martha Albritton
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Mrs. Martha Albritton responds to Mayor’s Proclamation at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library. Standing next to pillar is Joe Townsend, Chief Financial Officer, City of Hattiesburg, representing the Mayor. Seated is Mrs. Margie Myrick. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-8 Mrs. Margie Myrick
  3 ½ x 4 ¼ Color Nov. 5, 1999
  Mrs. Margie Myrick responds to the Mayor’s Proclamation at Hardy Letters Presentation in McCain Library, as WDAM-TV cameraman, and Mrs. P. E. Smith, Sr., listen. (Box 1, Folder 2)
M380-9 Gravestone of William Harris Hardy in Gulfport, Mississippi
  4 x 6 Color undated
  (Box 1, Folder 8)
M380-10 William H. Hardy Bust in Gulfport, Mississippi
  4 x 6 Color undated
  (Box 1, Folder 8)
M380-11 The S. S. African Comet
  3 ¾ x 5 ½ Color undated
  Postcard with inscription, "The one named Wm. Harris Hardy is like this." (Box 1, Folder 8).
M380-12 Mattie Hardy Lott
  1 ½ x 3 ½ B & W undated
  Mattie Lott standing in front of a house. Inscription at bottom of photo says: “The house where my father was born.” (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-13 William H. Hardy and Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hardy
  4 ½ x 3 B & W undated
  (Box 1, Folder 9).
M380-14 Unveiling of William H. Hardy Bust in Hattiesburg, Mississippi
  4 ½ x 3 ½ Color 1984
  Michelline Hardy Clagett watches as a bust of her grandfather is dedicated. (Box 1, Folder 9).
M380-15 Carte-de-visite of William H. Hardy
  6 ½ x 4 ½ B & W ca. 1860
  Formal head and shoulders portrait. (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-16 Carte-de-visite of William H. Hardy
  4 x 6 ½ B & W ca. 1870s - 1880s
  Formal head and shoulders portrait (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-17 Photo of William H. Hardy Portrait
  4 x 6 Color undated
  The life-size portrait hangs in the Gulfport City Hall. (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-18 Sallie Ann Hardy
  4 ¼ x 5 ½ Color ca. 1860s
  Formal head and shoulders portrait. (Box 1, Folder 9. Framed copy in Box 3).
M380-19 William H. Hardy and Grandchildren
  8 ¼ x 11 B & W ca. 1912
  William H. Hardy with great grandchildren, William Hardy Lott and Laura Green Lott, in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-20 William H. Hardy’s 80th Birthday in Gulfport, Mississippi
  8 ½ x 11 B & W Feb. 12, 1917
  Left to right, 1st row: Ida Hardy, W.H. Hardy, Mattie Hardy Lott, son of Ida and W.H.H.; 2nd row: Mabel Hardy, Lizzie Hardy Huey, Jeff D. Hardy, Lamar Hardy; 3rd row: Edwin Huey, Blanche Hardy, Toney Hardy, Lena Mai Hardy McDonald. (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-21 Carte-de-visite of Jefferson Davis
  5 ¾ x 7 Sepia undated
  Formal head and shoulders portrait (Box 1, Folder 9)
M380-22 Sallie A. Hardy’s Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi: Full View
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-23 Sallie A. Hardy’s Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi: Close-up View
  3½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative available on strip 1, #7. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-24 Sallie A. Hardy’s Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi: Partial View.
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 1, #8. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-25 Temperance L. Toney's Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 2, #9. Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-26 Temperance L. Toney's Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi: Close-up View
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 2, #11. 2 copies. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-27 Margaret Elizabeth Hardy's Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative available on strip 2, #11. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-28 Hardy Gravestones in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Gravestones of Sallie Ann Hardy and Temperance L. Toney. Negative is available on strip 2, #12. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-29 Hardy Gravestones in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Gravestones of Sallie Ann Hardy and Temperance L. Toney. Negative is available on strip 3, #9. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-30 Hardy Gravestones in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Gravestones of Sallie Ann Hardy and Temperance L. Toney. Negative is available on strip 3, #10. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-31 Hardy Gravestones in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Gravestones of Sallie Ann Hardy and Temperance L. Toney. Negative is available on strip 3, #11. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-32 Hardy Cemetery in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 3, #12. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-33 Sallie Ann Hardy Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 1, #8. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-34 Gravestone (unidentified)
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-35 Hardy Gravestones
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Gravestones of Sallie Ann Hardy and Temperance L. Toney.(Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-36 Jack Blackwell
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Mr. Blackwell is standing next to Sally Ann Hardy’s gravestone. (Box 1, Folder 10).
M380-37 Sallie Ann Hardy's Gravestone in Paulding, Mississippi
  3 ½ x 4 ¾ Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 1, #6. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-38 Gravestone (unidentified)
  4 x 6 Color 1999
  Negative is available on strip 2, #10. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-39 Gravesite of Sallie Ann Hardy in Paulding, Mississippi.
  8 x 10 Color 1999
  Two images on a single sheet of photo paper. (Box 1, Folder 10)
M380-40 House in Paulding, Mississippi
  2 x 3 B & W undated
  Inscription says: “House where my mother died." Probably the home where Sallie Ann Hardy died. (Oversize Folder 2)
M380-41 Gravestone Surrounded by Wrought Iron Fence
  2 ½ x 3 ½ B & W undated
  Inscription on back says, “My mother’s grave and the monument -Paulding, Miss. Probably the gravestone of Sally Ann Hardy. (Oversize Folder 2).
M380-42 Jail at Paulding, Mississippi
  2 ½ x 3 ½ B & W undated
  Inscription on back it says, “Jail in Paulding over 100 years old.” (Oversize Folder 2).
M380-43 William H. Hardy Bust in Gulfport, Mississippi
  3 x 4 B & W 1929
  (Oversize Folder 2).
M380-44 William H. Hardy Bust in Gulfport, Mississippi
  5 x 3 ¼ B & W 1929
  Bust covered with American flag, prior to unveiling (Oversize Folder 2).


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