More on Thomas Hardin

I’ve wasted enough time that I should spend doing money work on Thomas Hardin. For now, at least. I have learned a few things in the meantime. The Elic White/Thomas Hardin was a different dude. There were lots of Hardins in the West Virginia/Kentucky region (there’s even a Hardin County) at the time, and quite a few folks moving west from the over-harvested forests back east to the virgin ones in the Pacific Northwest. The two Thomases with Comforts were probably some kind of cousins, and both lines kept the alternating generations of sons getting the recurring family names thang. Plus, different branches of Hardins were marrying and shooting different branches of Blankenships throughout the region at the time. It looks like Elic White lived a normal life after the episode which sent him to Oregon; the Thomas Hardin who shot my gg grandfather was a bad bad dude through and through.

When I wrote the previous post I wasn’t sure about the Bateman shooting/robbery in 1901. That really was our guy. One of the newpaper articles about the triple murder/suicide discusses the Bateman episode and tells how TH’s father and step father secured a pardon for him after only part of his sentence had been served.

A few of the articles about TH mention multiple wives, with some of them dead under suspicious circumstances. I haven’t been able to track them down. As I said, there were lots of Hardins and several Thomas Hardins in the area at the time. Several of them got married. But none of the documented marriages seem to be THAT Thomas Hardin. It’s likely that he didn’t document his conquests, but it’s also possible that the newspaper accounts exaggerated his nastiness.

There are also report that he torched a family member’s home, with several people narrowly escaping from the burning building. I can’t find a trace of that in the newpapers of the period.

The circumstances of his marriage to 12 year old Rosa Belle Smith seem really nasty, too. The newpaper accounts of the murder mention assault, possible drugging, kidnapping, etc. But details are hard to come by. Rosie’s father died in 1906. Did TH have something to do with it? I do not know.

Most of the articles about TH are on his page in the genealogy part of my site.

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