Holding the responsible position of postmaster at Nezperce, where he is in every respect popular and efficient, the subject of this article is also the owner of fine real estate, which he took as a homestead, and now rents.
William D. Hardwick was born in Missouri, on March 15, 1844, being the son of Noah J. and Catherine (Rhoades) Hardwick, natives of Kentucky and Marion County, Missouri, respectively. The father was born in 1818, migrated to Missouri and at the breaking out of the Civil War he enlisted in the Forty-fourth Missouri Infantry. At the battle of Nashville, under Thomas, he was taken sick and died in St. Louis, on January 13, 1865, having served almost through the entire struggle. The mother died when our subject was thirteen. Her parents were natives of South Carolina, her mother dying at the age of one hundred and two years. This aged lady was named Barbara Cochran Rhoades, was of Irish descent and married a descendant of the Dutch in Pennsylvania.
Our subject remembers but little of his father’s relatives, except the brothers were men of prominence in Missouri. He received a common school education, stepped from the parental roof when fourteen, and when barely seventeen, he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-third Missouri Infantry, under Captain J. T. Dunlap and Colonel J. T. Tindall. He served four years and one month, participating in the battle of Shiloh, where he was captured and suffered terribly in the awful war prisons of that time, being mostly at Macon, Georgia. After that, he was exchanged and went with Sherman to the sea, participating in the conflicts there encountered. He went into the war as a private, was promoted to corporal, then to sergeant, and later was elected captain, but the war closed before he was able to act in that capacity.
Following the war, Mr. Hardwick attended high school in Iowa for one year and then turned his attention to teaching, having taught in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Washington. From 1870 to 1892 Mr. Hardwick was in Kansas, being occupied as an educator, farmer and merchant. Then he came to Pullman, Washington, operated a boarding house and taught school. His children were educated in the college at Pullman. The day of the opening of the reservation, Mr. Hardwick filed on his present farm, it being one of the best in the vicinity of Nezperce. He was without capital then and he gave his attention to farming, freighting and so forth until he has accumulated a fine holding. He was appointed postmaster on June 4, 1902, and took the office on July 1, and he has made a commendable record.
On April 19, 1867, Mr. Hardwick married Miss Joanna Smith, a native of Scotland, the nuptials occurring in Mercer County, Missouri. On May 24, 1868, she died from the dread disease, consumption. On May 9, 1869, Mr. Hardwick married Martha H., daughter of Zachariah and Martha (Hutchison) Rhoades. The father was born in Kentucky, in 1811, and died in 1856, having been a farmer. The mother is a native of Tennessee, and now lives in Fontana, Kansas. Mrs. Hardwick was born on October 3, 1846, in Illinois. She has two brothers, Andrew J. and Elijah B., residing in Miami County, Kansas; also one sister, wife of Horatio H. Quincy, in the same County. Mr. Hardwick has two brothers, George E., residing in Idaho County; Thomas J., a preacher for the United Brethren church in Whitman County, Washington. Mr. Hardwick has five sisters, Emily J., widow of E. L. Garriott, residing in Idaho County; Barbara C, wife of David M. Sanders, in Whitman County; Sarah E., wife of John Rhodes, in Indian Territory; Rebecca A., wife of Alfred R. Williams, in Gray County, Kansas; Sina A., wife of William J. Brittain, in Neodesha, Kansas. To Mr. and Hardwick and his faithful and estimable wife there have been born four children, Andrew B., about to enter Leland Stanford University; Thomas I., a truck farmer near Wallace, Idaho; William N., now assistant postmaster at Nezperce, about to enter the law department of Leland Stanford; Emma J., wife of Henry H. Pogue, the County surveyor of Idaho County, with residence at Grangeville.
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Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903