Gen. John Harding

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Gen. John Harding's Geni Profile

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John Harding

Birthplace: Goochland County, Virginia, United States
Death: Died in Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Place of Burial: Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Giles Harding and Amidiah Harding
Husband of Susannah Harding
Father of Amanda P. McGavock; Gen. William Giles Harding and Elizabeth V. Clay
Brother of George Harding; Sarah Ann Harding; Mary Harding; Giles Laforce Harding; Martha Johnston and 3 others
Half brother of James Harding; Peter Harding and Elizabeth Bryant

Managed by: Private User
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About Gen. John Harding

John Harding founded Belle Meade Plantation in 1807. Harding purchased 250 acres of land near Richland Creek. John was from the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state known for thoroughbred racing and breeding.

John Harding’s first foray into the thoroughbred industry was with the boarding of stallions. As early as 1816, there exist advertisements in Nashville newspapers for horses standing stud at John’s farm. In 1820, John commissioned a brick home in the Federal style on his farm, naming the estate “Belle Meade.” By this time, he owned his own horses debt free and became interested in racing them locally. John registered his own racing silks with the Nashville Jockey Club in 1823 and was training horses on the track at his McSpadden’s Bend Farm.

he Civil War interrupted breeding and racing in the southern United States. General Harding was able to keep all of his thoroughbred horses, even while other farms were having their horses requisitioned by both armies. After the war, he was able to continue his horse farm and in 1867-1868, General Harding won more purses with his own horses than any man living at that time in the United States. He was also beginning his breeding activities in earnest, and in 1867, he held the first sale of horses bred on his farm. He was the first in Tennessee to use the auction system for selling thoroughbreds. Yearling sales began in 1867 and were held annually until 1902. With the auction system, he became the most successful thoroughbred breeding farm and distributor the in the State of Tennessee. When General Harding died in 1886, The Spirit of the Times praised him as having done as much to promote breeding interests as any American in the 19th century.

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Gen. John Harding's Timeline

November 2, 1777
Goochland County, Virginia, United States
Age 29
Davidson Co., TN
Age 30
Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States
Age 32
Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
September 16, 1865
Age 87
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, United States