Thursday, January 2, 2014

John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895)

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John Wesley Hardin Wanted Poster

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John Wesley “Wes” Hardin is our 5th cousin 2 times removed.  He is well documented with many records and photographs.  He was a notorious outlaw of the old west and also a 4th cousin of Doc Holliday.

John Wesley Hardin is credited with forty killings in stand-up gunfights, ambushes and running battles on horseback.  It has been said that whenever Hardin rode out of a town, dead men were always left behind.  By the time he reached his 20th birthday, John was regarded as one of the deadliest gunfighters in the west. He had killed a number of men, had a confrontation with Wild Bill Hickok in Abilene, and was wanted by the Texas State police and the Texas Rangers.

John Wesley Hardin was killed by John Selman, Sr. when Selman shot Hardin in
the back of the head in the ACME Saloon in El Paso, TX.  Wes Hardin's last
words were, "Four sixes to beat..."

He was an American outlaw, gunfighter, and controversial folk icon of the Old West. Hardin found himself in trouble with the law at an early age, and spent the majority of his life being pursued by both local lawmen and federal troops of the reconstruction era. He often used the residences of family and friends to hide out from the law.

Hardin was born near Bonham, Texas, in 1853 to Methodist preacher and circuit rider, James "Gip" Hardin, and Mary Elizabeth Dixson.[1][6] He is named after John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist denomination of the Christian church.[7] In his autobiography, Hardin described his mother as "blond, highly cultured... [while] charity predominated in her disposition.[8]:5 Hardin's father traveled over much of central Texas on his preaching circuit until, in 1859, he and his family settled in Sumpter, Trinity County, Texas. There, Joseph Hardin taught school, and established a learning institution that John Wesley and his siblings attended.

 Hardin killed his first man at the age of 15. Texas was ruled by the military according to congressional reconstruction policies and Hardin believed that he would not receive a fair trial.  He fled and later claimed to have killed three soldiers who were sent to arrest him and that his relatives and neighbors helped him bury and hide the evidence.  In 1869, his father sent him away from the area to teach school in Pisga, Navarro County, where other relatives lived.  He left the school after one term to take up more lucrative pursuits.  He developed his skills in gambling and became enamored of horse racing.  By the end of 1869, Hardin by his own admission had killed a freedman and four soldiers.  In December of that year he killed Jim Bradly in a fight after a card game.  His life subsequently became a pattern of gambling, saloons, fights, and killing. 

Hardin spent 17 years in prison where he studied criminal law.  When he was released he was pardoned by the governor of Texas.  He eventually returned to his wicked ways and was shot and killed.

John Wesley Hardin

John Wesley Hardin Obituary

Marcus Mark Hardin * (1681 - 1735)                              Marcus Mark Hardin * (1681 - 1735)
is our 6th great grandfather                                                        is his 6th great grandfather
Mark Hardin * (1718 - 1790)                                         Henry Hardin (1720-1797)
son of Marcus Mark Hardin *                                             son of Marcus Mark Hardin
Benjamin Hardin * (1753 - 1834)                                   William Everett Hardin (1741-1810)
son of Mark Hardin *                                                       son of Henry Hardin
Daniel Hardin * (1790 - 1850)                                        Swan Hardin (1773-1829)
son of Benjamin Hardin *                                                 son of William Everett Hardin
Martin V Hardin (1834 - 1881)                                        Benjamin Watson Hardin (1796-1850)
son of Daniel Hardin *                                                     son of Swan Hardin
Nancy Wilson Hardin * (1858 - 1933)                              Rev. James Gibson Hardin (1823-1876)
daughter of Martin V Hardin                                               son of Benjamin Watson Hardin
Walter Scott Bramblett * (1882 - 1978)                            John Wesley Hardin (1853-1895)
son of Nancy Wilson Hardin *                                             son of rev. james Gibson Hardin
daughter of Walter Scott Bramblett *

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