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The Hardy Cemetery Historic Section, which is located near the northern edge of Hardy (Sharp County), was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 2, 2006. It was included in part due to its connection to the founders of the town and its funerary architecture.
Though the area that became Hardy was settled by the 1880s, the town was not incorporated until July 12, 1894. Walter Clayton, a town founder, had donated the land for the town in 1883. He also donated the land for the cemetery, though it is not clear if this donation was made at the same time.
There are a total of 322 burials in the cemetery. The oldest with a dated headstone is the grave of William C. Adams, who was interred in 1888. The 184 historic graves date from 1888 to 1955. There are seventeen graves marked with undated headstones, twenty-four with no headstones, and ninety-seven non-historic graves that date from 1956 to current times. New burials are restricted to Hardy citizens who have a previously reserved plot. Unrestricted burials are allowed in the half-acre Biggers Addition, located on the east side of the historic section. This section is not part of the National Register listing.
Much of the significance of the cemetery lies in the variety of funerary architecture among the different headstones throughout the property. Several graves are marked with sculpted stones, some graves are encircled with rocks, and many stones bear Masonic or Eastern Star symbols. Even more significant is the connection to the founders of Hardy and citizens who contributed to the growth of the town. At least eleven of the city founders and descendants of at least eighteen city founders are buried in the cemetery.
For additional information:“Hardy Cemetery Historic Section.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/!userfiles/SH0151.nr.pdf (accessed April 30, 2014).
The Timely Club. The Hardy History. Batesville, AR: Riverside Graphics, 1980.
Mike Polston Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture
Last Updated 5/12/2014
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