HARDIN, who is engaged in merchandising in Mason, has for thirty-seven years been prominently connected with the
interests of this community. He was born in Washington County, Ind., near Hardinsburgh, September 18, 1818. His
father was John Hardin, and the paternal grandfather bore the same name. The latter moved with his son to Indiana,
where he and his wife died. The father of our subject was a native of Burke County, N. C. When he was about twenty
years of age he removed from that State to Indiana, where he followed farming. He lived in Washington County, and
became a large stock dealer, making a specialty of the breeding of horses. Mr. Hardin married Miss Ellen Colclasure,
who was born in Shelby County, Ky., and was a daughter of Abraham Colclasure. Her father was a native of Germany.
He emigrated to this country, for a time was a resident of Kentucky, and afterwards became a farmer of Indiana,
where his last days were spent.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Hardin was born a family of eleven children, seven sons and four daughters, all of whom grew
to mature years, were married and had families of their own. In order of birth they were as follows: Stephen; Abram,
now deceased; Elisha; John, now deceased; Aaron T.; Jacob M.; Leander; Susan and Abbie Adeline, also deceased;
Sarah E. and Mary E. Sarah was twice married. She became the wife of Moel Wood, by whom she had two children, yet
living. After his death she married Joseph Gibson, but he is also deceased. She makes her home in Mason. Mary became
the wife of Jefferson Crane, who died leaving five children. She is now Mrs. Rhodes, and resides with her husband
in Knoxville, Iowa. The father of this family came to Mason in 1864 and made his home with his children and grandchildren
until his death, which occurred in February, 1884, in the eighty-ninth year of his age, at the home of his son,
Stephen. His wife was called to her final rest about eleven years previous, dying in 1872. They were both members
of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
Stephen Hardin, the subject of this sketch, was reared to manhood upon his father's farm. He acquired his education
in the district schools of Washington County, Ind., after which he engaged in teaching in that community. On the
9th of March, 1841, he was joined in marriage with Miss Mary, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth (Barnet) Stalcup,
the former a native of North Carolina, and the latter of Kentucky. Six sons and four daughters were born of this
union. Elizabeth E., the eldest, is the wife of Andrew Nelson, a carpenter residing in Mason. They have five children
living: William M., who is a switchman in the railroad yards at Cairo, Ill., and married Florence E. Bowling, by
whom he has one child, Blanche E.; Jennie, Mrs. Irey, whose husband is a farmer of Mason Township; Mary, wife of
William O'Donnell; and Sophrenus H. and Stephen H. John S., the eldest son of Stephen Hardin, our subject, enlisted
for the late Civil war in August, 1861, as a member of the Thirty-eighth Illinois Infantry, but soon contracted
disease and died in October of the same year. Jane A. is the wife of Morgan Cavanaugh, of Kepley Springs, Mason
Township. Susan A. died in infancy. Peter B. married Sina Baker, and resides in Edgewood, Ill. Leander M. married
Miss Sarah E. Debolt, by whom he has four children, Ora, Earl, Stephen A. and John, and resides in Mason. Sarah
E. is the wife of John C. Martin, of Mason, and they have five children living: Maud, Gertrude, Ethel, Nina E.
and Grace F. Levi married Miss Nora Leith, and his wife died in February, 1890. They had four children, two of
whom are yet living: Jessie F. and Charles C. John S., the second of that name, married Miss Minnie Vandeusen,
and they have two children, Andrew and Mabel. He is station agent and telegraph operator at Clifford, Ill. The
other child of the Hardin family, a son, died in infancy.
Mr. Hardin, our subject, removed from Indiana to Clay County, Ill., in 1843, and resided near Bible Grove until
1856, when he came to Effingham County, Ill. Taking up his residence at Mason, he has since made it his home. During
the greater part of his life he has followed the occupation of farming and Stock-raising, but has now retired from
that business and is engaged in merchandising. In connection with his son he owns about one hundred and fifty acres
of land in Union Township, and also has sixty acres of timber land about three miles from Mason, while within the
corporate limits of the village he owns fifty acres of good land, upon which is situated his pleasant home, one
of the best and most desirable residences in the town.
When Mr. Hardin first came to Illinois, the locality in which he settled was all wild and unimproved, and he bore
all the experiences and privations of pioneer life. He was obliged to haul his flour from St. Louis by wagons,
and ten days were required to make the round trip. During his residence in Clay County he served as Sheriff from
1850 until 1852. He has held various offices of honor and trust in Effingham County, and in 1858 was elected Representative
to the Illinois General Assembly, of which he was a member for two years. He is serving as Justice of the Peace,
which office he has held for six years. In all his public duties he has been true to the trust reposed in him,
and has, therefore, won the commendation of all concerned. He exercises his right of franchise in support of the
Democratic party. For thirty-seven years Mr. Hardin has been a resident of Mason, and is one of the substantial
and highly respected citizens of Effingham County. In his business career he has met with success, gaining a comfortable
competence through his own industrious and well-directed efforts.
and Biographical Record of Effingham, Jasper and Richland Counties Illinois, Containing Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens, Governors of the State, and the Presidents of the United States. (Chicago:
Chapman Brothers, 1887), p. 223. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.