William "Indian Bill" Hardin (c.1745 - 1821)

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Nicknames: "Indian or Big Bill Hardin"
Birthplace: Augusta, VA, USA
Death: Died in Hardinsburg, KY, USA
Managed by: Patti Kay Gourley
Last Updated:
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About William "Indian Bill" Hardin

A Patriot of the American Revolution for VIRGINIA with the rank of PRIVATE. DAR Ancestor # A050370

◦William (Indian Bill) Hardin was a noted Indian fighter, mentioned prominently in Perrin's "History of Breckenridge County before 1840", was a captain in the Militia, was nicknamed "Indian Bill" for his prowess against the Indians, and in his obituary is called "Colonel William Hardin”.

   An article called "Interesting History of Indian Bill Hardin", by Henry C. Jolly in the "Breckenridge Democrat", April 25, 1902, states that in August 1779 he and his cousin Sinclair Hardin, and two other companions came to Kentucky and visited the vicinity of Hardinsburg, where William Hardin killed one Indian and his cousin was killed by another. They then visited the country of the present Hardin County, Kentucky, and William was so pleased with the country that he went back to Pennsylvania, gathered a group of 12 families there, and in 1780 they set out for Kentucky, arriving at the present site of Louisville March 6, 1781. They then journeyed back to Hardin's Creek and on March 17, 1781, began clearing the land for Hardin's Fort which later became Hardinsburg, Kentucky.
   It was said that "Indian Bill" was a perfect specimen of a man. He stood 6 feet 4 inches and weighed 240 pounds. He was just about the same size as Simon Kenton (probably the most noted of all the Indian fighters) and it was reported that both men could run all day. No doubt Simon and "Indian Bill" fought against the Indians many times together.  William Hardin and his brothers were raised on the western frontier of Pennsylvania and it was here that they became adept at Indian fighting. You had to if you were to survive.
   William Hardin received grants from the state of Virginia in 1785 for 3800 acres of land, all near the present site of Hardinsburg, Kentucky.

Source of Information; Nassau-Siegen Immigrants; Daisy Decker George; Oran Hardin Kentucky Records; Entered 6 October, 1995 William was known as "Indian Bill" Hardin Death date may have been 22 July 1821 He was a Captain. He was the son of "Major" John Hardin of Virginia, Pennsylvania and Kentucky. He was born in Virginia in 1747, moved with his parents to Pennsylvania in 1765 and there married Winifred Ann Holtzclaw. He was married in 1768; served in the Cirginia Rifles under Morgan at the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga' under George Rogers Clark in Indiana and Illinois' and in command of expeditions against the Indians in Illinois. He went to Kentucky in 1780 and founded Hardin's Fort (now Hardinsburg). source: The Genealogy of Mary Ellen Cox Storm of Hancock County, KY written by S. H. Briedenbach of Arlington, VA on June 19, 1971

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William "Indian Bill" Hardin's Timeline

Augusta, VA, USA
Age 30
June 8, 1778
Age 33
July 9, 1808
Age 63
Age 70
September 21, 1821
Age 76
Hardinsburg, KY, USA

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Gen William "Indian Bill" Hardin
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Birth: 1747
Augusta County
Virginia, USA
Death: Oct. 22, 1821
Breckinridge County
Kentucky, USA

Founder of the county seat, Hardinsburg, Breckenridge Co., KY.

William "Indian Bill" was many things: Revolutionary War Veteran, Pioneer, noted Indian fighter and founder of Hardinsburg, KY. According to his military records, he stood 6'4" and weighed 240 pounds.

He was the son of Major John Hardin,(born about 1710 in Northumberland County Virginia and died Oct 13, 1789 in Nelson Co. KY) & Catherine Marr (born in Virginia in 1711 died 1780-Augusta District, Virginia).

William's great-grandparents were Martin Hardwyn & Madeleine du Sauchoy of France, coming to America after the massacre of St. Bartholomew and forced to flee France because of their Huguenot beliefs. Their son Mark, William's grandfather, was baptized on March 26, 1681 in Staten Island, New York. Mark married Mary Hogue before March 1755 in Fauquier County, Virginia. Maj. John Hardin was their son.

William married his first cousin-Winifred "Winnie" Holtzclaw about 1773, VA. (Born in 1752, Prince William Co., VA; died1801-08 in Breckinridge Co., KY. She was the daughter of Johann Heinrich "Henry" Holtzclaw & Anne "Nancy" Hardin).

William and Winny Hardin raised a niece & nephew along with their own children:
1. Amelia Hardin (She married Horatio Merry)
2. Jehu Hardin (He never married)
3. John E. Hardin
4. Winnie (Winny) Ann Hardin, born about 1775 (She married William Comstock)
5. Elijah Hardin (Died in 1805, having been shot by Mr. Friend McMahon at Houston Springs, Hardin Co., KY.)
6. Henry Hardin, born Jun 8, 1778 in Hardinsburg. (He married the widow, Mrs. Rachel Biddle Walker. My 5th great-grandparents)
7. Melinda Ann Hardin, born Feb. 2, 1780 (She married William H. Crawford)
8. William Hardin, Jr., born 1781 (He married his cousin Cassandra Hardin)
9. Mary Celia Hardin, born 1794 (She married William Davison)
Niece & Nephew, (strong possibility these are the children of William's brother Jesse Hardin):
Mary "Polly" Hardin (She married Benjamin Huff)
Daniel Hardin (He married Alice Jolly)

William's second wife was Susanna McGee and they were married July 10, 1808, Breckenridge Co., KY. Two daughters were born of this marriage: Hannah Ann & Lucinda Hardin. (Susanna remarried after the death of William, to a Robert Armstrong)

DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Lineage paper # 109172, lists William as a private in Capt John Anderson's Company, 5th VA Regt. (Also see: DAR Lineage #119506 & 123802.) William served as a private in the 3rd VA Regt of foot, 1778. He served in KY as well as IL.

William Hardin received 400 acres as assignee of Benjamin Hardin, Warrant# 2586 - Feb 14, 1780, and the tract was surveyed Jun 8, 1784. According to the description, the land was on Hardin's Creek, a branch of the Ohio including Hardin's Settlement, also known as Hardin's Station, crossing the creek above the Station. (Granted Jun 21, 1786.) This area would become Hardinsburg.

From the Kentucky Historical Marker Database, marker #134, on US 60 in Hardinsburg reads: "Founder of Hardinsburg. Virginia Revolutionary soldier, third continental line. Built Hardin's Fort here in 1780"

Much was written about William Hardin and his ancestry in a book by Dr. B.C. Holtzclaw titled "Ancestry and Descendants of the Nassau-Siegen Immigrants to Virginia 1714-1750".

An article by Henry C. Jolly in the "Breckenridge Democrat", dated April 25, 1902, relates the story of how William, along with his companions, survived an Indian attack in August of 1779.

NOTE: His grave was unmarked to prevent the indians from desecrating it, however his granddaughter wrote in the margins of the book "History of Kentucky", by Wm. H. Perrin, 1885, that he had been buried in McQuady, KY. A pdf excerpt is HERE. See pages 7 & 8 for more info on William Hardin.

Family links:
John Hardin (1710 - 1789)
Catherine Marr Hardin (1711 - 1786)

Jehu Hardin (____ - 1859)*
Elijah Hardin (____ - 1805)*
Henry Hardin (1778 - 1821)*

Susannah McGHEE Hardin (1747 - ____)
Winifred Holtzclaw Hardin (1752 - 1807)*

*Point here for explanation

William Hardin Pioneer Cemetery / Hardin #5
Breckinridge County
Kentucky, USA

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Created by: Texas History Hunter
Record added: Nov 04, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22653489

Added by: D. Scott Wilcher

Added by: D. Scott Wilcher

Added by: D. Scott Wilcher

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- Texas History Hunter
Added: Jul. 9, 2010
God Bless our Veterans
- D. Scott Wilcher
Added: Jan. 21, 2010

- Carolyn from Washington State
Added: Apr. 2, 2009

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Age 76
Hardinsburg, KY, USA