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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sonoma County


Henry Andrew Hardin

Intimately associated with the stock-raising interests of Sonoma county is Henry A. Hardin, who is the owner of a fine stock ranch near Sonoma which he rents to a tenant, being himself retired from active business cares and with his wife is enjoying the comforts which their combined efforts for many years have made possible. Since leaving the ranch they have made their home in Petaluma, at No. 220 Seventh street.

A native of the south, Mr. Hardin was born in Oldham county, Ky., February 13, 1833, but his recollections of his birthplace are dim at best, as when he was a small boy his parents removed with their family to Johnson county, Mo. There he gained a modest education in the country schools of the locality of his home, and when not in attendance during the short term, was employed on the home farm and also worked on a carding machine in preparing wool for market. He found this work rather uninteresting and monotonous after hearing of the larger prospects which the west had to offer, and when he was only nineteen years old he decided to take his future in his hands and come to the Pacific coast country. There were fifteen wagons in the ox-team train with which he set out from Missouri in 1852, and it was six months and twelve days before they arrived in California. The records do not state that they were molested by the Indians, but a foe of even greater danger attacked them in the form of cholera, from which a number of the party died. The journey finally completed, Mr. Hardin came direct to Sonoma county and near Sebastopol succeeded in securing work on a ranch. Later, in the same locality, he bought out a squatter and fenced in about four hundred acres, which he stocked with cattle and sheep, carrying stock-raising and dairying there for about ten years, or until the land title was settled. He then went into another section and bought five hundred and forty acres, which he utilized as he had his former tract, cattle and sheep raising and dairying, remaining on the ranch altogether for fifteen years, during which time he added to the size of the ranch by the purchase of two hundred acres of adjoining land. Subsequently he disposed of a portion of this acreage. In 1872 he bought eight hundred head of cattle that his brother had brought from Texas, meeting them at the forks of the Platte river, and from there he drove them to Nevada and sold them the following year. Returning to California, he stopped on his home place and in 1876 disposed of it and bought two hundred acres of land near Lakeville, upon which he located and made his home for the following nineteen years, selling it at the end of this time and purchasing in its place the fine stock ranch of land in the county owned by one person, comprising twelve hundred and forty acres. At one time, for about six years, he ran about six thousand sheep in Monterey county, on the Salinas river, making his home in Sonoma county during that time. For many years after purchasing his present property Mr. Hardin superintended it personally, but for sixteen years the active management of the property has been in the hands of a tenant, and since retiring from business he has made his home in Petaluma. He has a personal and kindly interest in his home town, the growth of which he has watched from a straggling village, and he has always favored the maintenance of churches and good schools, and has served on the boards of both as a trustee for many years. He has always supported the movements put forth that have been for the upbuilding of the county and advancement of the social and moral interests of the citizens.

The first marriage of Mr. Hardin, in 1856, united him with Miss Mary E. Leard, a native of Illinois. Five children were born to them, but three of the number are deceased, Josephine, Robert H. and Andrew. Those living are Paschal H., a resident of Petaluma, and Rosetta, the wife of Judge N. J. Barry, of Reno, Nev. Mr. Hardinís second marriage occurred in 1869 and united him with Miss Martha M. Veale, also a native of Illinois. Five children were born of this marriage also, as follows: Dr. A. E. Hardin, who is practicing his profession in Washington; Ella Irene, the wife of Thomas Worth, of Sebastopol; Julia, the wife of Edwin Gregory, a rancher of Petaluma; Sara, the wife of J. Benson, the owner and manager of a ranch near Petaluma; and Mrs. Ida Jane Corbin.

History of Sonoma County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: Tom Gregory
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1911)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011