ENOCH HARDIN, 96, DIES AT HIS HOME
Lived to Be Last Veteran of Civil War in County
Enoch K. Harding, 96, colorful character of the Grasshopper section, who, as a lad of 15 joined the Union Army and served in the Civil War during the last two years, died yesterday at his home in Birchwood.
The deceased, who was noted as a gunsmith, was said to have lived to become the last veteran of the Civil War in Hamilton County.
A one-time resident of Pikeville, Tenn., he was one of Tennessee’s most famous old-time gunmakers. Among the guns made by him was “Long Tom,” which was long a treasured possession of the late Walter Cline, a former Chattanooga photographer.
He manufactured hundreds of rifles, many of which were constructed half a century or more ago. His guns were greatly in demand in their time because of the excellent material used in them and the correctness of the sight placements. Walter Cline captured first prize with “Long Tom” at a Rod and Gun Club shooting match in 1928.
In addition to guns, Hardin made fiddles which he carved with a jackknife from cedarwood.
When the deceased was visited by an Evening Times reporter Sept. 18, 1941, he was described by his oldest son, W. M. (Bill) Hardin, with whom he lived, as having spent most of his days in the Grasshopper section, around Pikeville and around Daisy.
The son, who was then in his 70s, said he calculated his father was 97 on June 25, 1941, “from his birth date in my granddaddy’s old bible.”
His eyesight and hearing were then fairly good.
He is survived by two sons, Bill Hardin and John Hardin, both of Birchwood; seven daughters, Mrs. Lottie Phillips, East Chattanooga; Mrs. Lucy Eldridge, Alton Park; Mrs. Mattie Posey, East Lake; Mrs. Nancy Goins, East Chattanooga; Mrs. Jennie Gann, East Chattanooga; Mrs. Julie Davis, Highland Park, and Mrs. Hester Gan, Birchwood; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at the Grasshopper Holiness Church Saturday at 10 a. m., the Rev. Jimmie DeFriese of Birchwood officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
The Chattanooga Times, September 10, 1943.
Note: Enoch Harding was born July 15, 1847 and died September 9, 1943.
by Jean Potts