|Death: ||Jun. 2, 1930|
Harden was born to Solomon and Prudence (Moss) Bollinger on October 25, 1851. Solomon was descended from Swiss Germans, and Prudence was native American. They were married in Stoddard, Missouri, on Jan 30, 1851, and then moved to Oil Trough, Independence County, Arkansas, where Harden was born. There he met Dora Runyan, who was the cousin of his brother-in-law Lawson Mantooth, who was married to Sarah Bollinger. Harden and Dora were married there in 1879 and had four children in Arkansas:
Cora Belle Bollinger (1882–1975)
— md. 1901 John Thomas McDonnell
Ora Lee Bollinger (1885–1965)
— md. 1906 Albert Sidney Johnston
Joseph Solomon "Joe" Bollinger (1886–1960)
— md. bef. 1924 Emma Green Adams McIntosh
Pearl May L. Bollinger (1890–1964)
— md. 1911 Charles Hoss; 1922 John Gillies
In early 1889, Dora’s sister Mary Florence and her husband WT Mantooth went to Indian Territory. They settled the next year in Johnsonville, in what is now McClain County, Oklahoma, but was then Chickasaw Nation. There the Mantooth family established the town’s first general store. Evidently they encouraged the rest of the family to join them, because early in 1891 Dora’s parents sold their farm in northern Arkansas and moved to the Johnsonville area. That same year Harden and his family moved to the same area. It is reported below by the wife of Harden’s grandson that in 1891 Harden got into a fight, and thinking he had accidentally killed his opponent, he packed his family up and left town that night, eventually settling in Indian Territory. It is not known whether they travelled there with Dora’s parents or came soon afterwards. Presumably they settled at first on the same land as Dora’s parents and siblings, because the early pioneers had to settle close together for protection and mutual assistance. They must have sent home a good report of their new life there, because Harden’s brother William and his family moved there as well. In the 1900 census, when the land was more populated, the Harden Bollinger family was living on a farm several miles southeast of Johnsonville, in Township 4N.R4E, but soon after that they moved back to the Johnsonville.
While living in Indian Territory Harden and Dora had four more children:
Mary Frances Bollinger (1892–1972)
— md. 1910 John Winifred Felton; abt 1921 Jesse Wright
Ethel Naoma Bollinger (1894 – 1979)
— md. 1915 Robert Henry Leachman
John J. Bollinger (1898 – 1965)
— md. bef 1936 Pearl Irene Hinkle; aft 1992 Shirley Mullenix
Beulah Estelle Bollinger (1900 – 1991)
— md. abt 1924 Sam Ward; bef 1930 Ralph Smith; bef 1937 Roscoe Lafayette “Ross” Wilson
After Dora gave birth to her last child, she came down with tuberculosis. The family moved to Johnsonville, where Harden manned a general store for Dora’s brother-in-law WT Mantooth, and where Dora’s sisters could take care of the youngest children. In the last week of June Dora passed away. Harden never remarried but raised the remaining children himself. The 1910 census shows him working as a farmer near Johnsonville, with his three youngest children living with him: Ethel 15, John 11, and Beulah, 9. When Harden got too old to farm, his daughter Ethel (Bollinger) Leachman accepted both him and the two youngest children, John and Beulah, into her family’s home on Towne Avenue in Los Angeles, where they are found in the 1920 census. When the children were grown, they went their different ways. Cora moved to Texas, while Joseph, Pearl, Ethel, and Beulah moved to California. John returned to Oklahoma. Those who remained in Oklahoma moved to larger cities. The 1930 census finds Harden, age 83, living on his own in Byars, near the homes of Dora’s brother Alonzo and sister Oma. He passed away in June of that year and was buried next to his wife Dora, beneath two cedar trees.
Biography by MaryEllen Leachman, wife of James M. Leachman, grandson of Harden Bollinger, published in Pioneers of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, edited by Nova A. Lemons (Miami, OK: Timbercreek Ltd., 1991), page 107:
Hardin Hulsey Bollinger, son of Solomon and Prudence (Moss) Bollinger, was born 25 October 1851 in Oil Trough, Arkansas. He spent most of his childhood on land owned by his grandfather, William Moss. This was during the troubled times of the Civil War and Hardin never learned to read or write. Hardin’s father, Solomon Bollinger, died while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War.
Within the census year of 1880, Hardin married Dora Runyan, daughter of George W. and Nancy (Mantooth) Runyan. Dora was born February 1863 in Cocke County, Tennessee.
About 1891, Hardin and Dora moved to Johnsonville, Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory. Hardin had had a fight with a neighbor over who knew the most about hunting, and the merits of their respective coon hounds. It was a fierce fight, and believing he had killed the man, Hardin and Dora left during the night and went into Indian Territory to escape the law. Later, as the story goes, Hardin learned the neighbor was living, but by this time they were established in their new home, so they stayed. Before 1895, many of the Runyans, Mantooths, and Hardin’s brother, William, were all living in Johnsonville near Hardin. Hardin was a farmer and had a sorghum mill, he was later a merchant in Byars. He had an ungoverned temper which made life for himself and those around him very difficult.
Dora died of tuberculosis in 1900, and Hardin died 2 June 1930.
Notes on family life according to Beulah Bollinger, the youngest child of Harden Bollinger, as written by her daughter Estelle Sammy (Ward) Ware and published in Pioneers of Chickasaw Nation, Indian Territory, edited by Nova A. Lemons (Miami, OK: Timbercreek Ltd., 1991), page 107. The story begins after Harden’s wife Dora has died and the family has moved to a new farm near Johnsonville, which happened while Beulah was still an infant.
Hardin [was a] … very strict father, who was the ramrod of the whole bunch, meaning all the relatives that lived close.
First they lived in a half dugout. Even with the dirt floor, it was very clean, cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Beulah started cooking about the age of seven for her two brothers and her dad. Her older sisters had married and left home by this time. Her dad was a very good cook and very knowledgeable in farming.
Every kind of vegetable was grown and canned. Also crops of watermelon, cantaloupe and sugar cane. They had their own sorghum mill and bee hives. The family used to ride through the trees on horseback, over the one hundred and sixty acre farm and see the turkeys and chickens nestled in the partially wooded area. A smoke house on the property cured home grown beef and ham. A small springhouse covered the cold glistening clear water spring which cooled the fresh milk and butter from the seventeen cows, Beulah and her brother John “Johnny” milked twice a day. Of course the butter had to be churned. Lots of work for all.
Having no mother, and father away in the day working, some experiences happened, although they did get their work done. One day Beulah and Johnny, both of young age, decided to go to town for candy. Taken for exchange were chickens with their legs tied together and thrown over the back of the bull. Both mounted the bull’s bare back and took off for town. A carriage came over the hill and scared the bull. The bull bolted and Johnny and the chickens fell off. The bull took for home and Beulah rode the bull through the bushes all the way home. She was covered with scratches. Johnny had to walk home.
Another day on the farm, a circus came to town (Byars) three miles away. Beulah told Johnny that she wanted to see the circus. Johnny said, “No, dad said we have to stay home.” Beulah got the shot gun and said, “If I can’t go to the circus, I’ll blow my head off.” They fought over the gun and blew a hole in the wall. The rest of the day was spent in patching up the hole.
Another incident on the farm was when an older brother Joe was playing the violin by the fireplace. Beulah and Johnny threw some bullets in the fire. Bullets exploded and Joe ran out the door. They didn’t see him the rest of the day.
One time there was some fermented sorghum, and Beulah gave it to the chickens. When Dad arrived home, all the chickens were staggering around. He said, “What in the world happened to the chickens?”
There were Jayhawkers (freebooting guerillas) that would come through the area. Beulah, at six or seven, was sent to the door. Of course when a child came to the door, it was known the family was being protected.
Beulah married Samuel E. Ward, who grew up in Chickasaw Nation area. Samuel had a traveling medicine show. He played the piano while his sisters and Beulah sang and danced. The show was very entertaining and in the outlying areas, folks looked forward to the show. They traveled all over Oklahoma and Texas. Beulah also sang on the radio in Oklahoma City.
Dora Runyan Bollinger (1863 - 1900)*
Cora Bell Bollinger McDonnell (1882 - 1975)*
Joseph Solomon Bollinger (1886 - 1960)*
Ora Lee Bollinger Johnston (1888 - 1965)*
Pearl Lena Bollinger Gillies (1890 - 1965)*
Mary Frances Bollinger Wright (1894 - 1972)*
Ethel Naoma Bollinger Leachman (1894 - 1979)*
John J. Bollinger (1898 - 1965)*
Beulah Estelle Bollinger Wilson (1900 - 1991)*
Hardie H. Bollinger
Died 6mo. 1929
Born in 1867
Note: Hardin's death certificate used figures provided by Naomi Runyan. It says he was born 25 Oct 1851, which matches the 1860 census data. The certificate says he died 2 June 1930, which differs from the tombstone.
Old Johnsonville Cemetery
Maintained by: Darrell Brown
Originally Created by: Tammy
Record added: Aug 28, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29387123