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Gen William Giles Harding

Gen William Giles Harding

Birth
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Death 15 Dec 1886 (aged 78)
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 34938651 · View Source
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Renowned Thoroughbred horse breeder of Belle Meade.
Leading Tennessee agriculturist and nationally acclaimed stock breeder educated at the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy in Middletown, Connecticut. Two years after his first wife, Mary Selena McNairy, died in 1837, he assumed full responsibility for managing Belle Meade, his father's twelve-hundred-acre plantation on the "Old Natchez Road." In 1853-54 Harding transformed the Federal-style house his father had built in 1820 into the Greek Revival mansion that stands today. He also raced horses, won premiums for his thoroughbreds, and established Belle Meade as a nationally recognized horse nursery. Early in the Civil War, Harding headed the Military and Financial Board of Tennessee, which spent five million dollars arming and equipping soldiers for the defense of the South. In 1862, as the result of his activities, Harding was imprisoned by Federal authorities for six months. During his absence, his wife managed the plantation under dire circumstances and looked after "a family of 150 people," mostly slaves. Following the war, Harding and his son-in-law, W. H. Jackson, developed Belle Meade into one of the world's greatest horse-breeding establishments. When he died in 1886, the Chattanooga Times called Harding "a monarch in his own domain."


Gravesite Details Formerly buried in the Harding-Jackson Mausoleum at Belle Meade.Moved to Mount Olivet in 1906.

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  • Created by: Vincent Astor
  • Added: 18 Mar 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34938651
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gen William Giles Harding (15 Sep 1808–15 Dec 1886), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34938651, citing Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Vincent Astor (contributor 46857808) .