Gen. William Giles Harding

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William Giles Harding

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Death: Died in Belle Meade Plantation, Davidson County, TN
Immediate Family:

Son of Gen. John Harding and Susannah Harding
Husband of Mary Selene Harding and Elizabeth Irwin Harding
Father of John Harding; Selene Jackson and Mary Elizabeth Jackson
Brother of Amanda P. McGavock and Elizabeth V. Clay

Managed by: Private User
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About William Giles Harding

William Giles Harding (1808–1886) was an American heir, Southern planter, horse breeder and Confederate Brigadier General.

William G. Harding, a college-educated general in the state militia, managed Belle Meade from 1839 until 1883. By the 1850s he was one of Tennessee's wealthiest men and larger landowners. In 1854 William Harding greatly enlarged his home into a Greek Revival showplace. During the Civil War Federal authorities arrested Harding, a Confederate supporter, and imprisoned him for six months. During his incarceration his wife, Elizabeth McGavock Harding, managed Belle Meade and looked after her "family of 150 persons," mostly slaves.

Belle Meade's greatest fame came after the Civil War, when it developed into one of the best-known thoroughbred breeding farms in the world. Iroquois and Bonnie Scotland were the stud's most famous stallions. Credit for the postwar renaissance goes both to Harding and his colorful son-in-law, ex-Confederate Brigadier General William Hicks Jackson.

http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=77

http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=600 -------------------- http://bellemeadeplantation.com/history/

John’s son William Giles Harding was living on the McSpadden’s Bend property and worked with his father training horses. By the time William Giles assumed management of the Belle Meade plantation, he was keenly interested in all aspects of breeding and racing. He was active in several local jockey clubs and raced at all the area tracks including Clover Bottom, Gallatin, and Nashville.

William Giles Harding was born the second of three surviving children to John and Susannah Harding, the couple’s only surviving son. He was born September 15th 1808. He began working on the family farm at Belle Meade at a very young age, and in turn farming the land became one of his true passions. As a teenager he enrolled at Captain Partridge’s American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy in New England, where he graduated in 1828. November 19th 1829, William married Mary Selena McNairy. From their marriage five children would be born, only one surviving into adulthood. Mary Selena died March 29th 1837. In 1839 William took control of his father’s Plantation at Belle Meade. A year following in 1840 William married Elizabeth Irwin McGavock, January 2nd 1840. Harding and his second wife would have nine children, two surviving into adulthood. By 1853, the married couple renovated the original Federal style house to the Greek Revival Structure. During the Civil War, after Nashville had fallen to the Union in 1862, William was imprisoned in Michigan for refusing to pledge his oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. Following imprisonment a few short months later, William was released to be with his family and farm, September 25th 1862. By 1867 William was widowed again after the loss of his second wife, Elizabeth. In 1883, Williams health was failing after suffering a stroke, at which pointed he executed his last will and testament by 1884. His estate was divided among his three children, John Harding II, Mary Harding Jackson and her husband Howell E. Jackson, and the largest portion of properties going to his daughter Selene Harding Jackson and her husband General William Hicks Jackson. William Giles Harding died at the age of 78, December 15th 1886.

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Gen. William Giles Harding's Timeline

1808
1808
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
1829
1829
Age 21
Davidson Co., TN
1829
Age 21
1840
1840
Age 32
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
1846
1846
Age 38
1850
1850
Age 42
1886
1886
Age 78
Belle Meade Plantation, Davidson County, TN