William harden

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MAY 24, 1991


William Harden was born on November 11, 1844 in Savannah, Georgia to Judge Edward Harden and his wife, Sophia. At age 16, before he finished his education at Chatham Academy, he joined the ranks of the Confederacy as a telegraph operator in the Signal Corps. In 1866, he started work as the assistant librarian of the Georgia Historical Society. In 1869, he was elected librarian and retained that position throughout his life. Harden worked many years as county treasurer and was a charter member of the American Library Association which organized in 1876. Mary Davenport became his wife in 1879. Harden wrote A History of Savannah and South Georgia in two volumes and Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life. in 1931, he became major general of the Georgia Confederate Veterans. He died on January 4, 1936.

Savannah has had its fair share of history—making individuals, and these individuals have received their fair share of praise. Monuments have been erected in honor of Nathaniel Greene, James Oglethorpe, and Tomochichi. lhe a— aforementioned heroes are merely a few examples of the numerous individuals of Savannah who have received historical acknowledgement. However, society rarely pays tribute to the citi­zens who dedicate their lives to compiling and preserving the history that makes Savannah one of the historical cities of the South. William Harden is an excellent example of this type of academic guardian. He was the epitome of Southern pride
that at its height manifested itself in the battle to preserve the confederacy.1 Harden displayed an extraordinary intelli­gence and a great love for Savannah’s history. Both of these traits were the key factors that led him to be a keeper of the knowledge of the South, and in this capacity he worked for six­ty—six years as the elected librarian of the Georgia Historical Society.2 As the librarian, he was not only a keeper of the know­ledge but also a contributor of the knowledge.

William Harden was born to Judge Edward Jenkins Harden and his wife, Sophia Helen Maxwell, on November 11, 18447 His long life span began in a house that bordered on the edge of the his­toric district. It was located on the corner of Bay Street and West Broad Street.4 The house was known as the Gibbon’s House. It Was named after William Gibbons, the former owner who decided to give up his Southern home in Savannah for his Northern home in

New Jersey.5 Gibbons needed someone to handle his business affairs in Savannah and the business affairs of his plantation that was 4est of Savannah known as White Hall. He chose Harden’s mater­nal grandfather, Colonel John Maxwell, to do the job.6 Colonel Maxwell, who had been living on a plantation known as Belfast in Bryan County, reluctantly moved his family to Savannah and into his business partner’s former house. The colonel did not want to abandon his business interests in Bryan County, but, apparently, Gibbons convinced him that the business arrangement would be very beneficial.7
When William Harden was one year old, his parents moved to a place known as Cassel Row and lived in building number fives Harden describes his preschool days as being quite normal: ”All I can re­member in my relation to the house on Cassel Row until my school days began is that my life was about as happy as that of any child with fond and indulgent parents.”9
William Harden’s formal education began in 1849 with Miss Elizabeth Church in her school located on the corner of Broughton Street and Abercorn Street.10 Miss Church had a fine reputation as a teacher:
Miss Church taught boys of this city who afterwards became prominent as professional men and merchants. I have never heard anything said of her except in the way of commendation and praise.

In 1854, when Harden’s father believed that William was ready for classical instruction, he sent him to the newly built Massie School.12 Upon completion of the curriculum, he went on to

Chatham Academy in 1859.13 He was an outstanding student. He was very eager to acquire knowledge: ”Again, in certain of my studies I wanted to learn all that was possible to acquire in as short a time as possible.”14 He was far ahead of his peers in the course of study. Because he performed well academically, many times the teacher would assign him the role of class tutor, In his memoirs he recounts the humorous story of how one tutorial lesson ended:

One day a friend named Burroughs obtained per­mission to move over to my side to discuss a ques­tion with me, but after getting what he desired he lingered at the desk and, for want of a more in­teresting topic to talk over, suggested the origin of family names and asserted that mine meant the habitat of rabbits or hares, insisting that the abode of the hare was a den. I denied that rabbits lived in dens, and when he inquired of me where they made their homes, I promptly replied tin burrows. This retort, ofcourse, produced an explosion of laughter, and we were both reprimanded for making a noise, with added punishment of demerits for bad conduct. After school was dis­missed my teacher called me to the platform and asked me why I had departed from my usual quietness during school hours. Upon learning the story, he said it was so good he would cancel the demerits. 15

Unfortunately, William Harden did not complete his educa­tion because of the Civil War. At the age of sixteen, he left school and enlisted in the ranks of the Confederacy.16 He was a private in Company F of the 54th Regiment for two years.17 Afterwards, he trained in Augusta to be a telegraph operator.18 It is ironic that he would be designated this role because as a small child he wanted to be a telegraph operator:
While a schoolboy, another matter which excited my ambitious inclinations was the invention of the magnetic telegraph by Morse. The invention was made during my infancy and, as soon as I was old enough to understand how wonderful it was, it became one of

the greatest desires of my life to become a telegraph operator. 19

As part of the Signal Corps, Harden served the Confederacy well. After he helped in the evacuation of Savannah in December of 1864,20 he worked in Charleston, South Carolina until its evacuation in February of 1865 when he intercepted a message from the president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, to General Hardee, a commander of Confederate forces in Charleston. This mes­sage was deciphered after much difficulty because the “keyword” that was given to help decipher the message was the incorrect on&. However, Harden, along with the help of another telegraph opera­tor, John Elliot, discovered that “come retribution” was the “keyword” instead of “complete victory’K2 This is the message that warned Charleston that Sherman’s troops were dangerously near:

Richmond, Va.

February 14, 1865

General W. J. Hardee, Charleston, S.C.,
Your dispatch of the 12th received today. The enemy may, and probably does intend to attack Charleston, but it is by no means manifested by pre­sent operations. It is proper under the view presented to remove whatever is not needful for the defense of the place, and then to postpone evacuation as long as prudent. If General Beauregard can beat the enemy in the field, the course herein indicated may preserve the city and harbor for future use, and save us the pain of seeing them pass into the hands of the enemy. General Beauregard and yourself are so well informed of the con­dition of the armies and practicality of routes that I must leave you to the free exercise of your judgment. It however, seems to me that the bridge over the Santee can be defended against a boat expedition up that river without materially interfering with other operations, and a movement by the enemy overland from Bull’s Bay is hardly to be anticipated, 23

(signed) Jeff’n. Davis.

Another successful mission happened when Harden intercepted

A message in Timmonsville, South Carolina from Florence, South Carolina, stating that Sherman’s troops were on their way to cut off communication between Florence and Sumter, South Carolina, by tearing up the railroad. 24 Harden informed the conductor of the


next train on the way to Florence of Sherman’s intentions. Be­cause of the warning, Harden prevented the train and its passengers from being intercepted by Sherman’s troops:

On rounding a bend in the road, we discovered ahead of us a large party of Sherman’s troops, some of them calvarymen and some artillery­men, actually engaged in tearing up the track. But for the fact that the engineer was forewarned, the train and all the passengers would have been cap­tured. 26

As soon as Sherman’s troops saw the train, they fired on it, rbut the train quickly reversed its direction and escaped. This episode occurred near the end of the war in March of 186570n May 9, 1865, Harden was discharged from military duty and went to

Tallahassee, Florida where his family stayed as refugees, probably

until the end of the war was formally declared.

William Harden found employment in Jacksonville, Florida as

a telegraph operator. In 1866, he returned to Savannah and con— 30

7tinued his work as a telegraph operator temporarily. Afterwards,

he worked as a clerk in the law offica of his father. One might

predict at this point that William Harden would follow in his father’s footsteps with the pursuit of the legal profession. In­deed, William Harden did emulate his father. Judge Harden served as the judge of the Confederate State District Court of Georgia and he was city attorney before the war, a position he resumed


8fter the war ended. Harden was admitted to the Georgia Bar in
an achievement that was probably bittersweet because of his
father's death in April of the same year. On November 15, 1877, William Harden was appointed united States Commissioner, United

States’ District Court, for the Southern District of Georgia. On

july 5, 1882, William Harden was appointed assistant county treasurer

and lat& was promoted to county treasurer. William Harden was

even elected to the House of Representatives, serving as a Demo— 36

crat, from 1900 to 1905. Thus, William Harden’s law career was

just as successful as his father’s law career.
William Harden’s tenure as the elected librarian of the
Georgia Historical Society began in 1869 after he held the position


of assistant librarian for three years. His father was responsible

for acquiring the position of assistant librarian for his son who

yas twenty—two years old at that time. William Harden found out a— bout the vacancy of the position when his father informed him that the members of the society wanted him to be the assistant librarian

at his father’s suggestion. Harden did not see the position as one that would conflict with his other job of working in his father’s law office of Harden and Levy because the designated hours of em­ployment at the library began one hour after the work day with

his father ended. His father was quite pleased with his son’s ac­ceptance of the position as Judge Harden was also a member of the


Organaization. As a matter of fact, Judge Harden was the presi— 41

dent of the Georgia Historical Society in 1867 and 1868.
As mentioned earlier, William Harden did not finish school.
However, he felt that his career as a librarian was the continua—

tion of his academic education. When he became librarian, he took on a role that was highly regarded in the community. This ffole can be defined as one that revolves around the preserva­tion of the history of Georgia and the dedication to the disper­sal of the knowledge of that history to places not only in

Georgia but also to regions outside of Georgia. It was a tradition

that began with the founding of the Georgia Historical Society in 1839 by Israel Keech Tefft and Dr. William Bacon Stevens:
The splendid autographical collection of

I. K. Tefft, Esq., with the many valuable docu­ments in his possession pertaining to the colonial and revolutionary history of Georgia, suggested the importance of such a society, and it was im­mediately determined by Mr. Tefft and Mr. Win. B. Stevens to proceed without delay to its founda­tion... 44

the appreciation of William Harden’s services as the librarian of the Georgia Historical Society was duly noted on a national level when in 1876 he was invited to become one of the charter
members of the American Library Association which was in the process


of being organized. Harden accepted the invitation, but he was

unable to attend the first meeting because he was sick with yel­

46 47

low fever. He was enrolled as charter member number 55. The chief founder of the organization was Nelvil Dewey, the man who
made the library system more organized with the discovery of the

Dewey Decimal System. Another notable member was Frederick Poole.

He is known for his Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature.49 William Harden was a responsible librarian. He made sure that
the Georgia Historical library was equipped not only with Georgia publications of a historical nature but also with information

dealing with historical issues outside of the local history. When Robert Winthrop, president of the Massachusetts Historical society and former speaker of the House of Representatives in the united States Congress, visited Savannah, he was delighted to discover that the Georgia Historical Society also had most
the publications of the Massachusetts Historical Society:

of He

visited our library and at a meeting of the Massachusetts Histori­cal Society shortly after his return to Boston, he mentioned the fact that he had called at our library and was gratified to find that we had a nearly complete collection of his Society’s publications.
True to the nature of the existence of the Georgia Historical Society, Harden also disseminated information. In December of 1696, he sent Dr. William Burroughs a copy of a letter written by John Berrien, the first president of the Georgia Historical Society, and he also sent him a copy of an original letter of Nicholas Anciaux to Edwari Telfair. From the tone of the letter, Harden seemed excited about passing the information along to Dr. Bur­roughs:
Savannah, Ga., December, 1896,
My Dear Willie:

I take pleasure in sending you herewith

a copy of the letter of Major John Berrien, printed in the American Historical Record.

When you come to Savannah again I will show you a paper which will I think, interest you. It is an original letter of Nicholas Anciaux to Edward Telfair in regard to the sale of some rice and tobacco on Mr. Telfair’s account.

The following is a copy of it.
Savannah, Ga., August 26th, 1795.

Sir: —I shall send Sunday, by carpenter, the

six barrels of rice to New York, according to your

desire, to M. Peter Schermerhorn, as I have sold two——one at five dollars & one at 4 & 50c. I have sold also your tobacco at 4d. GSc.& your corn at 3 for 62 1/2c. I will deliver 100 Ts. corn to Mr. Th. Gibbons and the remainder I will deliver to your overseer.

I am

Sir, your most obedient ser’t

N'as Anciaux

Excuse my half sheet of paper. I had not taken

any notice till my letter was finished.

The original is the property of the Georgia

Historical Society. With the compliments of the season, I am

Faithfully yours,

Win. Harden. 51

Articles were also sent to the Georgia Historical Society. The following message is included in Harden’s letter of apprecia­tion of several articles donated to the society by Rosa Eur— roughs in February of 1935:
The society begs to acknowledge receipt, with grateful thanks, of your gift of three photo­graphs, framed, relating to John Macpherson Berrien, namely: a badge of the First Poetry and Musical Society of Savannah; the eagle of the

Society of the Cincinnati; and a composite photo­graph of the Savannah Dragoons. 52

The previous mentioning of the name Telfair brings one to the point in Harden’s library career that relates to his being
a part of the Georgia Historical Society’s management of the


Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences. When Mary Telfair, owner

of the academy, died, there was a fight between two sides of her family, the Jones’ heirs and the Wetters’ heirs. The fight be­gan in the Superior Court of Chatham County as to the rightful

heirs of the will. It took more than seven years and the help
of the Supreme Court of the United States to decide that the


Jones’ heirs were the rightful heirs of the will. The Georgia

Historical Society subsequently became the trustee of the aca— 55

dewy and managed it until 1920. During the society’s management

period, Harden served as the custodian and treasurer of the aca— Members of the community enjoyed the publications of the
Georgia Historical Quarterly, a magazine published by the Georgia


historical Society beginning in 1917. Harden was the editor


of the magazine from 1917 to 1920.

The publication of the magazine was not the only arena of
publication in which Harden participated. Yielding to the gen­tle coaxing of individuals who knew be had an incredible memory of events and inventions that changed the face of the South forever, Harden wrote a book in two volumes entitled A History of Savannah

59 60
and South Georgia. The book was published in 1913. In the volumes he covered every notable historical event relating to Savannah

and the state of Georgia. Harden began his book with not only the
grigin of Savannah as a city but also the origin of the name


Savannah. The topics discussed also included the friendly re­lationship of Tomochichi with the founder of Savannah, General


James Oglethorpe. He also talked of how that friendship led the

people of Savannah to honor the indian upon his death by burying
him in the center of town with a memorial of appreciation in the

form of a pyramid of stone that was placed over the grave. Harden

also talked of the eventual hostilities of the Georgia colony a— gainst the absolutist power of England and of the writing of the

ffirst constitution of Georgia on February 5, 1777. The writing of this constitution was very indicative of the frustration the colonists felt concerning the abusive power of the royal crown.
Hacden wrote of how Archibald Bulloch was the head of the rebel— 65

lious Georgia colony. The writing of the consitution came on the


heels of the ousting of the last royal governor, James Wright. In

his book, Harden addressed the causes of the American Revolu­tionary War.67 In later chapters he went on to discuss the new in­68

dependence of the Georgia colony from England. Other wars, in-

69 70 71

cluding the War of 1812, the Mexican War and the Civil War were discussed by Harden who presented the string of events leading up to each military confrontation.

Harden also touched upon the yellow fever epidemic in


Savannah and the devastating fire of 1820. He also included in­formation about the shipping disaster that was equivalent locally to the sinking of the Titanic when one thinks of the lives that were lost when the steamship Pulaski sank, killing between 160
and 170 people who were prominent citizens of Savannah and

Charleston. It is a wonder why there are not numerous books writ—

ten about the tragic mishap of the steamship that met a horrible end upon leaving Charleston on the way to a northern destination.
Information concerning the first telegraph dispatch after
lines were laid between Savannah and Augusta was also included in

the publication. Harden dealt with the fact that the first dis­patch did not meet with much publicity. This is surprising when

one thinks of the huge role the telegraph has played in the re­laying of secret messages in military situations. The very first

message was from Augusta in March of 1848:
From our correspondence in Augusta we last evening received the following dispatch dated:

Charleston, March 21— The cotton market is at a stand. The sales to­day are only 50 bales, at 6 1/2 @ 7 3/8. 75

Ofcourse, Harden addressed the origin of the Georgia Historical
Society, writing about the important individuals who were linked

with the organization. TheAtopic dealt with the organization, as a
matter of fact, for William Harden’s last topic that he wrote a— 77

bout dealt with his family and himself. Therefore, the topic of
the organization would appear again. One may be so bold as to say that the name William Harden is synonymous with the name Georgia Historical Society. A History of Savannah and South Georgia is truly a great contribution to historical literature.
William Harden also wrote his memoirs, Recollections of a

L2n2 and Satisfactory Life. This book dealt with his childhood,
his military experiences, and his activities with the Georgia Historical Society. It can also be looked upon as the condensed version of the military, scientific and architectural history of Savannah shortly before, during and after the Civil War. The book also gives biographical sketches of notable citizens that

lived in Savannah during Harden’s long life. He was ninety years

old when his memoirs were published in 1934. The book was also writ­ten as a result of the coaxing of community citizens who wanted Harden to make use of his excellent memory so that everyone could benefit from his knowledge.81 On Harden’s eightieth birth—

his co—workers applauded his memory and his long years of service to the xibratY by giving him a token of their appreciation to commemorate Harden’s
fifty years of service: “Mr. Harden was presented with a beautiful arm chair,

frofl an antique model, upholstered in brocade.”82W. W. Cordon, president of the Georgia Historical Society in 1924, gave the address of presentation. The fol— lowing is a large part of that address:

We believe that with over forty years of continuous— service you hold the record as librarian in the United


We have therefore adopted your eightieth birth— day as a suitable occasion for the society to acknow­ledge to you formally how much it appreciates your in— telligent work, your seal for advancement, your extra­ordinary memory of its history and its possesions, and your uniform devotion to its welfare.

And upon this anniversary of Armistice Day, har— binger of peace and good will, and upon this your birth­day with its eighty—year retrospect of a long and well— ordered life, the Georgia Historical Society desires to present to you a small token of its esteem so as to make this day a record for all time of your faithful and honorable service. 83

When Harden was interviewed on the subject of his longevity shortly before

his ninetieth birthday, he told everyone the secret to living a long life. He
said that his longevity can be attributed to “the living of a clean and evenly— adjusted life.” 84
William Harden’s activities relating to the Georgia Historical Society were incredibly outstanding, but the most unbelievable part had to do with his ac­tivities outside of the ones that were already mentioned. It is truly amazing to

note that in addition to being librarian at the Georgia Historical Society for SiXty—six years, Harden was also the librarian of the Savannah Public Library


for thirteen years. He was also a member of the American Antiquarian Society,


the American Historical Association, the National Geographic Society, the Society

of the Cincinnati at Savannah, 87 and in 1891, he helped organize the Society of the

Sons of the Revolution.88
Harden’s link with the military did not cease with the end of the Civil
war. He was very active in veteran affairs. He was the commander of Camp 56 of
the united Confederate Veterans. 89 In October of 1929, he was elected brigadier of the south Georgia Brigade of the United Confederate 90

seneral Veterans, and

two years later he was promoted to the rank of major general of the Georgia

tivision of the United Confederate Veterans.

Although Harden wrote his memoirs, he did not write about anything concern— Ing his marriage. lie simply dedicated the book to his wife It is known that her

name was Mary Elizabeth Davenport and that Harden married her on December 11,

92 93

1879. It is also known that her occupation is recorded as housewife. She was born on March 17, 1844 to Benjamin Rush Davenport and Mary Elizabeth Jenkins.94

The marriage ended after forty two years with her death on August 17, 1921 at

2:30 p.m. She succumbed to intestinal toxemia with the contributory cause being

- 96

chronic nephritis a kidney—related disorder. When William Harden was interviewed

concerning his longevity, he commented on the happiness his marriage
brought him: “ I consider the greatest happiness of my life to be the forty—two

years of perfect companionship with my wife.” There was no record found of child— ren resulting from this marriage. 98

At the ripe, old age of ninety—one, William Harden died of a heart attack at

6:10 p.m. on January 4, 1936. The cause of death is listed as uremia with the


contributory cause being nephritis myocarditis. Fox and Weeks funeral home pre— 101

pared the body for burial. Funeral services were held at the First Presbyterian

Church where he had been an elder since 1876. Many of his friends were in at— 103

tendance. He was laid to rest on January 5, 1936 with a Confederate flag draping

his casket in Bonaventure Cemetery. A second memorial service was held at this

location, also:

Burial was in Bonaventure Cemetery. The simple services of the Confederate veterans were conducted

there. Dr. Thomas Clay read the eulogy, and Taps were

blown by a bugler. 105

Regretfully, it must be reported that Bonaventure Cemetery could not produce
a record of William Harden’s burial at the cemetery. His name is not in the cemetery index where it should be located. 106 It is hard to believe that a man who was so outstanding in the community would be so insulted in death as to have a ceme— tery records’ keeper not only fail to record properly his burial in the appropriate source but also to leave his name completely out of the record book so as to lead people to believe that William Harden’s body was not even near the place. Only the feeble-minded could forget to record the death of such a fine man. It is a justifia— abl reason to become incensed because of the laxity of the situation.
William Harden’s will was entered into the Probate Court on July 8, 1912. 107 In this will he left all of his estate to his niece, Nanine Amietta Bradley. 108 his wife outlived him she would have received all of the inheritance. 109 His niece was appointed the sole executrix of his last will and testement. 110 On July 17, 1935, Harden wrote a codicil to his will making it “obligatory” that his nephew William Harden, the son of his brother, the late John Harden of Abbeville, South Carolina, receive his Mtch and seal ring.
The property in his estate was not specified, but a large part of it was probably the land he owned. Harden purchased land from various grantors. on June 23, 1888, Harden purchased Lot 11 of Marshall Ward from Thomas Gadson.112 It was land that bordered Duffy Street. On July 25, 1888, he purchased land from Joseph Whatley, Lot 3 from the Barrington King subdivision and Lots 35 and 36 that were near an East ?earl Street. 113 June 21, 1892, he purchased land from the Jasperville Land Improve— flent Corporation, specifically Lot 3 in Cohen Ward bordering on Fox Street. 114 Lastly,

1j8tden purchased Lot 36 of Stephens Ward from a Mr. McGowan in 1885 for $1,250. It assumed that the deeds to these land purchases were a part of Harden’s estate because on each of these deeds it says the property could be assigned to his heirs.
A great attempt was made to locate the deed to the house where he died, 226
westPresident Street. 116 However, the attempt was very unsuccessful. The grantee books that,covered the period of his life were not useful. The ward files which are in the library Si the Superior Court of Chatham County also failed to disclose useful information. A 1953 map of Savannah showing which ward the street would have been in was used, but it was to no abail. 117 Therefore, the tentative conclusion was reached that, though unlikely, the property could have belonged to someone else. A trip to the tax assessor’s office equipped with the street address also proved futile be­cause it appeared on the computer that the section of town that William Harden lived in had been replaced by commercial buildings. A question was asked concerning whether or not the direction, west, was a typographical error. However, when one sees the given direction in city directories and obituaries, one is very hard pressed to come to the conclusion that the given information is incorrect. Thus, the owner of the house remains a mystery to the researcher.
In conclusion, it should be reiterated that William Harden was, indeed, a man who was priceless in the community. His great love of history and the South combined to produce a person who was a keeper and protector of the knowledge of the South but one who shared the knowledge with anyone who expressed a desire to learn it. lie was not only the librarian of the Georgia Historical Society, but he was also a man Who helped his community militarily, legally, and politically. He was a shining ex­ample of self—actualization. A newspaper reporter said it best when he reported on Harden on the eve of Harden’s eighty—sixth birthday: “ Mr. Harden has been zealous in every undertaking he has followed.” 118


The information in this research project should not be viewed as the

final word on the man known as William Harden. There are many links in his
life’s chain that are missing. This research project is wrought with assump— Ctions and suppositions. It was learned a long time ago that history is made

of little series of truths and that its dangerous to present absolute truths,

for history is given to severe interpretation and a constant uncovering of new knowledge that could knock one’s absolute presentation into an abyss of mockery. Therefore, please know that this history is not carved in stone. The
information obtained has been documented. However, sources are not infallible, and i{ knowledge is uncovered in the future that conflicts with the message presented on the previous pages, the researcher stands corrected.
If more time was allotted, it is believed that a personal interview of a descendant could be obtained by traveling to Bryan County, Abbeville, South Carolina, and Florida. An attempt was made to trace the genealogy through Harden’s niece, Nanine Amietta Bradley. However it was discovered that she is not a blood relative but the niece of his wife. In spite of this finding, because she meant enough to him to leave his whole estate, except for the watch and the seal ring, it would be wonderful to find a person who was her descendant. It was discovered that her father was Richard Davenport, so the Bradley name is apparently a married name. However, upon perusal of the marriage index of Chatham County, I could not find a record of her marriage, and, because the husband’s name was not known, it could not be discovered from the Bureau of Vital Statistics whether or not she had any children born in Chatham County. She died in the year 1940, but a record of a will could not be found. If one was found, it could

been used for genealogical purposes. Ofcourse, she died four years after her uncle so maybe that had something to do with the absence of a will. In any
event, a descendSnt of Nanine Bradley would definitely be pursued. Maybe the answer

to the question of the ownership of the house on President Street could be

dkscovered when this person is found.

As far as the matter of the absentee cemetery record, the cemetery will be

combed from end to end in the search for Harden’s grave. It is really a shame that
this inept recordkeeping prevented the researcher from surveying the site of the grave to determine if other family members were buried near him. It was un­doubtedly a genealogical stumbling block. When the grave is found, it will be interesting to see if the discovery will lead to an exfremely late entry in the record books at Bonaventure Cemetery of William Harden’s name or whether indif­ference will rule. It is hoped that the former occurs.
En closing, it should be mentioned that the experience of researching the life of William Harden has at times been extremely frustrating, but it was nothing short of exciting and very rewarding, because that excitement provided an in­spiration to continue the pursuit of historical knowledge in all its many forms.

1 Harden, William, Notarized Statement of Military Service, Georgia Historical Society, 23 April 1926, Collection 363.
2 “ William Harden Dies at Age of 91,” Savannah Morning News,
5 January 1936, section 2, 16.
3 Harden\ William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life, (Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 7.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
7 Ibid.
8Thid., 8.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid., 40.
12 Ibid.
13Ibid., 41.
14Ibid., 43.
15 Ibid.
16 “ William Harden Dies at Age of 91,” Savannah Morning News,
5 January 1936, section 2, 16.
17 Harden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life, (Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 105.
18Ibid., 106.
19 Ibid., 43—44.
20Ibid., 108.
21 Ibid., 112.
22I1,id., 112—113.
23 Ibid.

24Ibid 114.


2SIbid., 115.
29llarden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 2, (Chica’go and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 1084.
32Ibid., 1085.
33Ibid., 1084.
37” william Harden Dies at Age of 91,” Savannah Morning News,

5 January 1936, section 2, 16.

38liarden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life, (Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934),128.
41Harden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 2, (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 1085.

Ibid., 1084.

43liarden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life, (Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 131.
44Harden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 11, (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company), 341.
45liarden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life, (Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 132.
46Ibid., 133.
47Ibid., 132.

‘t 49Ibid.

5lHarden, William, Letter Harden Wrote to Dr. Burroughs, Georgia Historical Society, John MacPherson Berrien Papers, Collection 67, box 2, folder 3.
52Harden, William, Letter Harden Wrote to Rosa Burroughs, Georgia Historical Society, John Macpherson Berrien Papers, Collection 67, box 2 folder 6.
53Hardefl, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life,
xsavannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 130.


S6liarden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 1, (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 1084.


Harden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life,

(Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), 131.

Harden, William, Biograhical Sketch in Manuscript Index Papers,

Georgia Historical Society, Collection 363.
William Harden Dies at Age of 91,” Savannah Morning News, 5 January 1936, section 2, 16.
56Harden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 1, (Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 1.


Ibid., 93.
63Ibid., 102.

64Ibid., 193.

66Ibid 145.
67lbid., chapter 16.
68Ibid., chapters on wars.


71 Ibid.

72Ibid., chapter on notable events.
73 Ibid.
74 Ibid. , 391.
75 Ibid.
76 Ibid., 341.

77 Ibid, volume 2, 1083—1086.

78 “ William Harden flies at Age 91,” Savannah Morning News,
5 January 1936, section 2, 16.
79 Harden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life,
Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), chapter 1.
80 “ William Harden Dies at Age 91,” Savannah Morning News, January 1936, section 2, 16.
81 Harden, William, Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life,
Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934), preface.
82 “Georgia Historical Society Thanks William Harden,” Savannah Morning News,

2 Nowember 1924, column 3.


84 “ General Harden Gives Clean Living as the Key to Happiness,” Savannah News, 29 october 1934, column 2.

85 Harden, William, A History of Savannah and South Georgia, volume 2, :Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913), 1084.
86 Ibid.
87 Ibid.


“William Harden Dies at Age of 91,” savannah Morning News,

January 1936, section 2, 16.
89 Ibid.
91 Ibid.
92 Index to Marriages, H—C, 1806—1950, B—282, Probate Court, Chatham County Courthouse.


Mary Harden’s Death Certificate, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 2011 Eisenhower

31406.; Compendium of Georgia,

trive, Fourteenth Census of the United States, State Co

(Washington Government Printing Office, 1924), 15.

Mary Harden’s Death Certificate, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 2011 Eisenhower Drive, 31406.

96 Ibid.
97 “ General Harden Gives Clean Living as the Key to Happiness,” Savannah Morning News, 29 October 1934, column 2.
98 Birth Register, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 2011 Eisenhower Drive, 31406.
99 william Harden’s Death Certificate, Bureau of Vital Statistics, 2011 Eisenhower Drive, 31406.

100 Ibid.

101 Ibid.
202 “ William Harden Dies at Age 91,” Savannah Morning News,

5 January 1936, section 2, 16.

103 “ Scores in Tribute to William Harden,” Savannah Morning News,

6 January 1936, column 2.

104 Ibid.
105 Ibid.

Bonaventure Cemetery Index, Bonaventure Cemetery, Bonaventure Road.

107 William Harden’s will, Probate Court, Chatham County Courthouse; Index to EstatesfEstates, A—Z) 1742—1955, Court of Ordinary Chatham County.

108 Ibid.

109 Ibid.

110 Ibid.



Index to Deeds, 1795—1910 6J, 317. Superior Court Library, Chatham County Courthouse.

113 Ibid, 6K, 261.

114 Ibid, 7fl, 162.
115 Ibid, SS, 183.


Pettus Savannah Directory, 1936, Probate Court, Chatham County Courthouse.

117 Map of Savannah, Superior Court Library, Chatham County.
William Harden’s 86th Natal Day,” Savannah Morning News, 10 November 1930.


Harden, W. Recollections of a Long and Satisfactory Life.

Savannah: Review Printing Company Press, 1934.

Harden, W. A History of Savannah and South Georgia.

volume 1. Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913.

Harden, W. A History of Savannah and South Georgia.

volume 2. Chicago and New York: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1913,

Harden, W. l4etter to Dr. Burroughs. Georgia Historical Society, Collection 67.

Harden, 14. Letter to Rosa Burroughs. Georgia Historical Society. Collection 67.

garden, W. Notarized Statement of Military Service. Georgia Historical Society. Collection 363.

Harden, W. Biographical Sketch. Georgia Historical Society. Collection 363.
Savannah Morning News. 5 January 1936.
Savannah Morning News. 12 November 1924.
Savannah Morning News. 10 November 1930.
Savannah Morning News. 6 January 1936.
Savannah Morning News. 29 October 1934.
Fettus’ Savannah Directory. 1936. Probate Court. Chatham County.
Index to Estates . A—Z 1742—1955.Probate Court. Chatham County.
Index to Deeds, 1795—1910. Superior Court. Chatham County.
Birth Register. Bureau of Vital Statistics.
Mary Harden’s desth certificate. Bureau of Vital Statistics Chatham County.
1953 Map of Savannah. Superior Court. Chatham County.
Fourteenth Census of the United States, State Compendium of Georgia. Washington:

Government Printing Office 1924.

Endex to Deeds, 1911—1926. Superior Court. Chatham county.
Endex to Deeds, 1926—1944. Superior Court. Chatham County. William Harden’s will. Probate Court.Chathain County.
William Hardents death certificate. Bureau of Vital Statistics. Chatham County.

Bonaventure Cemetery Cemetery Chatham County.

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