Hardy, Oklahoma History

hardy map

"This information was gathered from various sites throughout the Internet. The numbers behind the sentences correspond to the web page I got the information from during my research. It is a conglomeration of information that has it's resources on the corresponding webpages. Please visit those web pages as the people there have done hard work in making history more available to all of us.

Paul Reeves

At the bottom of the page are 'Places of Interest' where I have captured some of the history of the local area.

Hardy was organized by industrialists from Arkansas City to serve the people on the Kaw reservation.  It was located on the Midland Valley railroad in the north end of the Kaw reservation, 3 miles from the Kansas line.  It was named for General W. E. Hardy, aged secretary of the Kaws and his first home was in Hardy.  The land upon which the town was located was 240 acres of what was known as “dead” or inherited Indian land. Although Hardy and land surrounding it were not a part of the Cherokee Strip, they have played a major role in the development of Kay County. [1] 

On February 1, 1906, at 4:30 p.m., the first train ran on the Midland Valley Railroad and was run into Hardy with the arrival of the train was the occasion for a celebration.  The track force stayed in Hardy several days before moving the camp north to Silverdale, Kansas.  An impressive feature of the railroad building was the long trestle south of Hardy over Myers Creek.  The first trestle was of wood and required 560,000 feet of lumber and 20 tons of bolts and nails.  The next trestle was built of steel and was 86 feet wide and 685 feed long.  The disappearance of the old rail line in 1969 marked the end of an era that helped develop Osage County and that also provided a rail outlet from Arkansas City into the Kaw Indian country for trade purposes.[1]

Hardy was surrounded by a cattleman’s paradise.  At first, the bluestem grass growing as high as a horse’s back was home for big ranches.  Thousands of head of cattle were shipped in trainloads from Texas and fattened before shipping on to Kansas.  During shipping season, the cattle roundups would start at 4 a.m. and finish around 11 or 12 p.m. The coming of the railroad saw the big pastures divided and the allotments of Indians were sold to farmers.[1]

In the early days there were several business houses including the Hardy bank, three general stores, two hotels, two pool halls, a barbershop, a livery stable, lumber yard and hardware store, blacksmith shop, a confectionery, a saloon and two grain elevators.  A medical doctor also doubled as a dentist but business wasn’t very good so he left.[1]

Hardy’s first schoolhouse was a wooden frame building.  It was soon outgrown and a brick building was built beside it.  Both were destroyed by fire.  The last school consisted of 2 classrooms and an auditorium that was used by the entire community.[1]

[1] Arkansas City Org (http://www.arkcity.org/index.aspx?nid=815)

Places of Interest:


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