Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/21/2010 at 15:28:57
Noah Harding, now living retired in Boone at the age of nearly eighty-eight years, is the oldest pensioner of the Iowa division of the Northwestern Railway. He was a faithful and trustworthy employe of that company, standing high in the esteem if his superior officers, and his is highly respected by all with who he has come in contact. He now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs D C Crandell, at No 515 Green street, Boone, and receives that respect which is due to one of his age who has done well life's work.
Mr Harding was born September 11, 1826, on a farm in Rush county, Indiana, his parents being Jesse and Hannah (Burkett) Harding, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of South Carolina, of German ancestry. His parental grandfather was Eade Harding, who served for seven years under Washington in the war for independence. when our subject was only three or four yearas old the family, then consisting of the father, mother and three children, removed to Boone county, Indiana, the trip being made with two horses and a wagon. There the father took up a claim on 160 acres twelve miles from Indianapolis and made his home thereon until his son Noah was eighteen years of age, when he removed to St Joseph county, that state, there acquiring title to a farm of similar size, which he cultivated for two yeras. At the end of thatt time he sold out and returned to Boone county, but subsequently went to Hamiltom county, Indiana, and took up a claim of 160 acres on the Miami reserve, where he and his son Noah hewed the logs and erected a house. The Indians were still living in that loality.The father spent his last days at the home of our subject in Boone county, where he passed away at he age of ninety-two years. His wife also died here at the age of seventy. In their famiy were the following children: Noah, of this review, Lavina, who married Joseph Emler and is now deceased, Elizabeth the wife of John Doty, of Boone county, Nancy who married James Larkins and died in Oklahoma, and Susan who wedded John Larkins and died in the same state.
In early life Noah Harding learned the carpenters trade and worked at this occupation successfully, building mills, houses, barns and other sturctures. In 1853 he removed to Story county, Iowa and on his way there remained one night with the soldiers at Fort Dodge. He then took the trail to Boonesboro. Looking over the land in order to select a homestead. He settled on 164 acres where Story City now stands and subsequently served as its second postmaster and was the first county supervisor from Lafayette and Howard townships. He built the first schoolhouse and the first church there, and also ereted the first railroad bridge in ths township. During the war he operated a mill betwen Collegetown and Ontario, and also drilled a company which was sent to the front. He assisted in the erection of a mill at Marshalltown in the spring of 1863 and September 15, 1863, began to fell and prepare timber for Walker & Blair, contractors, who were building the Northwestern Railway from that point. Mr Harding and a Mr Dye, now deceased had the contract for building the bridge between Nevada and Harding creek, which was named in honor of our subject. Mr Harding assisted in building the fist railroad bridge across the Des Moines river at Moingona, having taken over the sub-contrat from Walker & Blair, and is the only survivor of the first party which crossed that river on a locamotive and the other being W W Walker and John I Blair. In February 1873, he was appointed foreman of the Northwestern shops at Boone, which positon he filled for twenty-nine years, retiring on a pension in February 1902. He was the second man in the city to be retired by his company under the pensions system. As a railroad man Mr Harding enjoyed the full confidence of all who came in contact with him and proved himself trustworthy and faithful. He was just and exacting but he also was kind, sympathetic and ever ready to help those who were in need of this services. For over twenty years he was assistant fire chief in Boone, and even when an old man it was a question whether there were many of the force who could outrun him. He was always first on duty; day or ngiht, summer or winter. He saw the town developed from a small settlement of three houses until it is today one of the flourishing cities of the state and not only did he watch the onward march of civilzation, but he contributed to development and in many ways was instrumental in making possible the properous condition which now prevails here.
On March 1, 1847, Mr Harding married Miss Elizabeth Anderson who died in Indiana in 1852, having borne her husband three children: Mary Ellen who married D C Crandell of Boone, Robert who died in young manhood in Texas and Ann Eliza who died in infancy. In 1853 Mr Harding married Miss Nacy Anderson a sister of his first wife and a daughter of Robert and Catherine (Crum) Anderson. By this union were born the following children: Minerva, who marreid Edward Fisk now of Boone , Christina, the wife of Walter Shropshire, of Omaha,Nevraska, Daniel who died in Oklahoma, and Frances who married Frank Saunders, of Olympia, Washington. Mrs Nancy Harding died in Ontairo, Iowa and Mr Harding now makes his home with his daughter at No 515 Green street. He is revered by all who know him and the city of Boone honors in him a pioneer who came to this state when primitive conditions yet prevailed. He is still alive in mind and body and takes a lively interest in all issues and question of the day.
Mr Harding is a lifeling democrat and was appointed postmaster of Story City by President Buchanan, serving in that postition for eight years. He is a true Christion, yet does not belong to any paritcular denomination, although he always has attended church and has given his support to vaious religious institutions. For years he was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, but after the Civil war only seven members of the lodge returned and the local organization was given up.
1914 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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