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Mary Backus Hardman
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Birth: Jul. 10, 1823
Butler County
Ohio, USA
Death: Oct. 5, 1914
Spicer
Linn County
Oregon, USA

Tribute published in
The Gospel Messenger
January 2, 1909, page 7

A PIONEER SISTER
By George C. Carl

Sister Mary Hardman was the first member of the Church of the Brethren to cross the Rocky Mountains, so far as the writer has been able to learn. She was born July 10, 1823, near Oxford, Butler Co., Ohio,— the daughter of Seth and Elizabeth Backus. Her early life was spent in Ohio, and Portage Prairie, Ind., near the town of South Bend. When nineteen years of age she was married, Sept. 8, 1842, to Samuel Hardman.

After six years of married life, blessed with two sons and two daughters, they decided to go to the Far West. Oct. 9, 1848, their ox team was directed towards the setting of the sun. After nine weeks of travel, crossing the Mississippi River at Burlington, Iowa, they stopped for the winter in Andrew County, Mo. There Bro. Hardman was confined to his bed with a severe illness for about two months. It was a hard, cold winter and brought to them no little hardship.

They remained in Missouri for some time, in order to make more complete preparation for the long journey across the plains. By this time seven families, numbering twenty-three adults and fourteen children, joined their company. They crossed the Missouri River in the early spring of 1850. Bravely facing the many dangers of such a journey, they moved slowly westward, among large herds of wild buffalo, antelope, and other wild game of the plains. The crossing of rivers, and dangerous places in the mountains, the long, tedious drives, the difficulty of securing suitable camping grounds, where water could be found,—all this furnished to the weary travelers a great variety of experience, with plenty of hardships to endure.

Sister Hardman relates that in places ropes had to be tied to the wagons so that the men, women, and children, could hold the wagons from going over the mountain side, while the oxen slowly crept forward, until the place of danger was passed.

The Indians had to be watched day and night. Sister Hardman says that sometimes in the evening, when they stopped for the night, only a few Indians were around, but by morning hundreds of them would be around their camp, and sometimes would follow them all day. With much watchfulness, and by treating the Indians kindly, they managed to escape any serious clash with them, only losing one of their horses.

After months of hard traveling, amidst many dangers, they reached, what is now known as Albany, Oregon, Sept. 20, 1850. They at once set about to build up a home in the Golden West. Four sons and one daughter were born to Brother and Sister Hardman in Oregon. Bro. Hardman was soon able, after their arrival in Oregon, to develop a good farm, where he resided until his death some years ago. Sister Hardman is now living on the old farm, with one of her sons. She is strong and vigorous for one of her age. The writer called to visit her in her old home, about two months ago, and found her busily engaged in picking geese. She said that work was a pleasure to her.

Sister Hardman was baptized in the Church of the Brethren sixty-five years ago last May. She is much loved and honored by all, who have formed her acquaintance. May her remaining days on earth be joyful, and her departure the death of the righteous!

Portland, Oregon. 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Seth Backus (1787 - 1838)
  Elizabeth Hamlin Main (1790 - 1873)
 
 Spouse:
  Samuel Hardman (1818 - 1883)
 
 Children:
  Elizabeth Ann Hardman Long (1846 - 1939)*
  Henry Clay Hardman (1856 - 1940)*
  Clinton James Hardman (1862 - 1924)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Inscription:
age 91y2m25d
 
Burial:
Lebanon Pioneer Cemetery
Lebanon
Linn County
Oregon, USA
 
Created by: Ancestry Seeker
Record added: May 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 26702262
Mary <i>Backus</i> Hardman
Added by: Heidi
 
Mary <i>Backus</i> Hardman
Added by: diana greb
 
Mary <i>Backus</i> Hardman
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Linda Ullom Buchanan
 
 
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In Memory of my 3rd Great Grandmother A Pioneer Wife, Mother and Grandmother
- Kin Keeper
 Added: Nov. 3, 2014
 
 
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