Pages 725-727, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




COLONEL HARDING, for thus he is known among his friends, is a leading farmer of Woodson County and an honored veteran of the Civil war whose loyalty to the Union cause was manifest by his bravery on many a battlefield of the South. He was born in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, on the 14th of August, 1831, and is a son of Henry Harding, a native of Exeter, Luzerne County, born in 1802. The paternal grandfather, John Harding, Sr., was the sole survivor of the Indian massacre in the Wyoming valley. A native of Massachusetts, he became one of the early settlers of Luzerne County and there bore his part in reclaiming the wild land for purposes of civilization. He made farm-


ing his life work, following that arduous task amid the forests of his adopted state. He married a Miss Jenkins, and in their pioneer home they reared their large family, of whom Henry Harding was the youngest.

The father of our subject also became a farmer and was very successful, leaving a valuable estate at his death. He supported the Whig party and was recognized as a local political leader, his opinions carrying weight in the councils of his party. He was always a great student of the Bible and had a firm belief in the life beyond the grave and that he should enjoy that life. He married Sarah Montanye, who died in 1889, at the age of eighty-four years. Their children were: Henry M., assistant judge of the circuit court and a resident of Wyoming County, Pennsylvania; Isaac, who is living in the Yosemite valley of California; John, of this review; Amy, wife of Clinton DeWitt, of Pittston, Pennsylvania; Fannie, wife of Jerry Worral, of San Francisco, California; Mahala B., widow of Punderson Miller, of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania; Lucy, wife of William Weatherbee, of Exeter, Pennsylvania; M. Adelia, wife of Dr. M. H. Everett, of Lincoln, Nebraska.

In his early boyhood John Harding was a student in the country schools and later attended the Wyoming Seminary of the Wyoming Valley, completing his education in the New York Conference Seminary. He left that institution to go to Lee County, Illinois, where he engaged in teaching at intervals for several years. He resided in Wyoming township, Lee County, and there remained for twenty-six years, devoting his time to educational work and merchandising. In 1859 he returned to Pennsylvania, where he again followed teaching at intervals also spending some time as a salesman in mercantile establishments.

In 1863 Mr. Harding was employed with an engineering corps at Washington, D. C., and the following year he returned to Luzerne County, where he was drafted for service. He paid three hundred dollars commutation money, and immediately afterward was commissioned second lieutenant in the recruiting service. He recruited seventy-two men, had them mustered in and was then commissioned first lieutenant of Company G, Two Hundred and Tenth Pennsylvania Volunteers, with which command he joined the Fifth Corps on the 15th of September, under General Meade. Lieutenant Harding participated in the battle of South Side Railroad, October 28, 1864, and of Hatcher's Run, in February, 1865. At the latter he was shot through the right elbow. On the 18th of May, 1865, he received an honorable discharge, and was mustered out under general order, No. 82, and special order, No. 238. He participated in the Grand Review in Washington and then returned to his home in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, the last of May, 1865.

The following fall Mr. Harding returned to Wyoming township, Lee County, Illinois, where he was engaged in general merchandising, and in


the lumber business, following those pursuits until 1884, when he was induced to come West where land could be obtained cheaper. Making his way to Woodson County, Kansas, he purchased section fifteen, Center township, and has since devoted his attention to the raising and shipping of stock. He is one of the leading representatives of the business in this part of the state and through the prosecution of his labors is winning a high degree of prosperity.

On the 1st of January, 1867, Colonel Harding was united in marriage to Miss Minnie T. Bostic, a daughter of William Bostic, who was originally from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Her mother bore the maiden name of Susan L. Atkinson, and their only child is Mrs. Harding, who by her marriage has become the mother of seven children: Affa E., wife of Oscar Fullington, of Yates Center; Harry, at home; Ethel A., a student in the Kansas State Normal school; Mabel F., wife of W. A. Taylor, of McPherson, Kansas; Minnie D., James T. and John M., who are with their parents.

In his political views Colonel Harding has always been a stalwart, enthusiastic Republican, very zealous in support of the party. He cast his first vote for Winfleld Scott, his second for John C. Fremont and since that time has never failed to vote for each Republican candidate for the presidency. He is a leading citizen, influential in the ranks of his party, and is ever ready to give his co-operation and aid to measures which have for their object the general good. He is today as true to his duties of citizenship as when he followed the starry banner through the South.

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