Martin and Harriet Hardin – Early Citizens of Council Bluffs

Martin Hardin was born in 1826 and grew up on the family farm in Kentucky.

When he was 11 years old his father, Davis Hardin, was appointed agriculturist for the Pottawattamie Indians. They moved to Iowa and settled on a farm in Council Point, a settlement southwest of present day Council Bluffs.

Young Martin traveled the plains with the Native Americans and eventually started trading with the Sioux. Martin enjoyed the outdoors and later in life became a member of the Council Bluffs Sportsman Club.

He returned to Council Bluffs in 1852 and quickly settled down. On January 26, 1853 he married Harriet E. Joiner. The service was performed by Reverend George G. Rice.

Harriet Joiner was born in 1836 and came to Council Bluffs in 1852 with her parents and siblings.

Martin was a farmer for most of his life. He was a trustee of Kane Township, road supervisor and beginning in 1876 he was the overseer of the poor. He helped many citizens pay their medical and housing costs. In 1877 a woman requested money for moving expenses to California for her family, as the weather there would be better for her husband’s health. It would only cost the county $800. Needless to say her request was denied.

Martin and Harriet had 8 children; Ella, William, Jennie, Lizzie, Harry, Nannie, Frank and Nellie. They were early members of the First Presbyterian Church and well liked members of the community. They made their home at 903 5th Avenue.

Martin Hardin died March 21, 1891 at the age of 65. Harriet Hardin died March 4, 1916 at the age of 80. They are both buried in Fairview Cemetery.