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Robert Colvin Harding
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Birth: Oct. 23, 1855
Kentucky, USA
Death: Jun. 12, 1880
Larue County
Kentucky, USA

The Drowning of Robert C. Harding
The community was shocked on last Sunday morning to hear that on Saturday night previous, Robert C. Harding, son of Mr. Abraham Harding of this county, had been drowned near Magnolia, Larue County, where he was attending school. It was about 9 o'clock on Saturday night that J. R. Ashlock an assistant teacher of the Magnolia school and the following students went to a pond that covers several acres of ground for the purpose of bathing and swimming: Robert C. Harding, Frank Bloyd, James Barnett, W. F. Cantrell, and E. G. King. Three of the young men, Ashlock, Bloyd and King, had crossed the pond at a point where it was about one hundred yards wide and Harding and Cantrell were swimming behind them when a struggle and a peculiar nose was heard in the water. Cantrell came up to the others very much excited and unable on account of his excitement to make himself understood. King went at once in search of HArding and found him with his head partly under the water. In the effort to try to save the drowning man, Kind was drawn under but after many efforts Harding was brought out but the pulse was gone and life had fled. Sorrowfully the students bore their companion away, their return strongly contrasting with the joyous trip to the water. It is supposed that Harding was exhausted in the effort to swim across or getting his head under water became strangled as there was no appearance of cramp when the body was taken out. A coffin was procured at Hodgenville and the body was brought to the bereaved home of the father by sorrowing schoolmates on Monday morning and was buried in the family burying ground. The deceased was about 24 years of age. The closing exercises of the School to which Robert Harding was to have taken a prominent part were looked forward to by his many friends with happy anticipations and his return home was to be a happy event in which his loved ones there were waiting to give him a joyous welcome. Robert was a young man of excellent natural ability and intended to study law, in which profession had he lived, he would have made for himself reputation and influence.

Drowning of a Student
Hodgenville Cor. Elizabethtown News
A most distressing accident occurred near Magnolia, in this county, on last Saturday night. Mr. Robert Harding, Bud Ashlock, and several other young men, pupils of Professor Matthis' school at that place, went into a pond near Magnolia, and concluded to swim across it. The pond was very wide and deep. All of the young men got safely across except Mr. Robert Harding, who was drowned in about twenty steps of the shore. The other young men hearing him hallos, rushed back to his assistance and after great exertion, in which young Ashlock was nearly drowned, brought Harding to the bank, and tried every means in their power to bring him back to life, but every effort was in vain. Young Harding was a most excellent young man and much thought of by all who knew him. He was a native of Campbellsville, Ky.

Prof. Charles Matthis' School closed at Magnolia on last Friday night. The exercises were opened by Martin A. O'Bryan of Hodgenville, with an address on education. The exhibition was very entertaining. The students, were all attired in mourning for young Mr. Harding, who was drowned on Saturday night before the exhibition.

Tribute of Respect
Whereas God in His all-seeing wisdom has taken from our midst, Robert C. Harding, our beloved schoolmate and bereft us of a kind, obedient and loving student and friend.
Resolved, That we bow in humble submission to His will, knowing that "He doeth all things well."
Resolved, That our school has lost its brightest jewel, most faithful student and cherished member.
Resolved, That while we miss his cherished face and look with sadness upon his vacant seat, that we will profit by his moral example.
Resolved, That we do with the entire school and community tender to the bereaved family our heartfelt sympathies, knowing that they have been bereft of a kind and obedient son, a devoted and affectionate brother, and pray God that He may give them grace to sustain them in this sad hour of affliction.
Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the Green River Press for publication and that the family be furnished a copy of the same.
H.C. Wood
E. G. King
J. R. Ashlock

Speech by W. F. Cantrell
My schoolmates: I suppose you all understand the object of this meeting. We are called upon to pay the last tribute of respect to our departed friend and schoolmate, Robert C. Harding, who was drowned in Mr. Wm. Turner's pond, on the evening of June 12th, 1880, it being last Saturday night while out bathing. I was near him when he began to struggle, at first I thought him sporting, but upon the second effort he made, I knew he was strangled and it so overcame me that I began to sink. I was scarcely able to save my own life. I called to my comrades on the bank, told them to come to Harding that he was drowning. When I reached the bank, I tried to find something with which to support myself in order that I might rescue my drowning friend and save my own life but failing to find anything, Messrs. Ed King, J. R. Ashlock and myself went to him, but he had ceased to struggle; we carried him to the bank and did all in our power to resuscitate him but failed. We hope never again to witness such a scene; language fails to describe our feelings; sublimity, awe, fear and anxiety are poor names to express such feelings with. But to the true object of this meeting. We have met to tender him the last token of our love and respect, to express our deep admiration and undying love for him as a student and a beloved friend by all who had formed his acquaintance at Magnolia College. He stood without a model as a student and unrivaled as a friend and a citizen. He was always willing and ready to yield obedience to rules and regulations of our beloved professor. Those admirable qualities so endeared him to Prof. Matthis and are so deeply interwoven in his affections that time can never remove them. He had often spoken of the manly and genteel conduct of our dead friend in terms too tender and eloquent for me to repeat but suffice it to say he will always think of him with pride, and will mourn his death as that of a child. Professor, allow me to join you in your sorrow, and condole you in your deep hour of suffering. Now dear schoolmates, if we cannot be Harding, at least let us imitate his conduct. He stood without a peer among us. We all loved and admired Harding the student and Harding the friend. His memory will never fade from our minds while life lasts, but will be cherished with the warmest emotions of love and gratitude by those whom he contributed so much to make peaceable and happy. Oft in the study hours, will we shed a silent tear for his memory. He was kind, calm, loving and merciful, and all felt the force of his councils and heeded his advice. He is gone never again to join us in the classroom, or study hall, or private council. We commit him to the care and protection of Heaven and hope by the grace of God to join him in the "Sweet By and By." The drowning of Robert Harding of your county, which took place near Magnolia, has cast a gloom over the community. He had gained the friendship and respect of many acquaintances in our county, and many hearts are filled with sadness in consequence of this sudden death. We extend our sympathy to the bereaved family, who are all cherished friends.

Taylor County Cemeteries, p. 203
Robert C. Harding
23 Oct 1855 - 12 Jun 1880
Harding Family Cemetery
Son of Abraham & Keziah

1860 Taylor County, Kentucky Census, p. 95, Family #45
Abraham Harding, 44, M, Farmer, $1380, $653, KY; Keziah Harding, 35, F, KY; Eliza Harding, 17, F, KY; Abel Harding, 16, M, KY; Eliz. Harding, 15, F, KY; Samuel Harding, 13, M, KY; Keziah Harding, 12, F, KY; Margaret Harding, 11, F, KY; Abram Harding, 10, M, KY; John Harding, 7, M, KY; Robert Harding, 5, M, KY; James Harding, 2, M, KY; Brookin Harding, 1, M, KY

1870 Taylor Co. Ky. Census; compiled by DeWayne Wilson, p. 31; D# 92 F# 92; Precinct 3, Campbellsville PO
Abraham Hardin, 53, farmer, $1200 $2500, Ky; Keziah, 46, keep house, Ky; Margaret, 20, at home, Ky; Abraham, 18, work farm, Ky; John, 15, work farm, KY; Robert, 14, work farm, Ky; James, 13, work farm, Ky; Brooker, 11, work farm, Ky; Francis, 8, female, Ky; Mary, 6, Ky;

Harding Cemetery
Taylor County
Kentucky, USA
Created by: Remembered ~*~ Angels
Record added: Jun 21, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92277597
Robert Colvin Harding
Added by: D. Scott Wilcher
Robert Colvin Harding
Added by: D. Scott Wilcher
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- Remembered ~*~ Angels
 Added: Feb. 6, 2014

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