Cryptures May 2016

Aquilla Hardy was born March 10th, 1794 in Bertie County, North Carolina. He was the youngest of 13 children born to Jesse and Elizabeth Hardy. At the age of 19 he joined Captain Richard Park’s Company of the Georgia Militia Regiment as a private. The War of 1812 had already been going on for a year by then. He was one of the many who “took a little trip” but for Aquilla he probably never went any further than Alabama. The British had enlisted the help of the Indians to fight the Americans in 1812 and because of this Aquilla probably fought in the Creek War which was also known as the Red Stick War. However, after further research it appears he may have been a member of the Harris Regiment Georgia Militia which was attached to General Andrew Jackson.

Aquilla came marching home to Lincoln County, Georgia in March of 1814 and married his sweetheart Mary Polly Steward in May. Evidently Polly was the girl he left behind in order to serve his country. Over the years they had twelve children; 5 boys and 7 girls. By 1824 or 1825 at the age of 31 Aquilla and his family moved west to Coweta County. He leased some land from an Indian who was a member of the Coweta tribe of the Cherokee. This was just prior to Coweta actually being organized into a county and the first land lottery. Aquilla is believed to have been the first white settler in the county. He later purchased land and established a trading post near Line Creek close to the junction of Georgia Highway 34 and Georgia Highway 54. Whether it was the same land he leased from the Indian is unknown. The town of Kidron (Kedron) grew from that trading post.

Aqiuilla’s father, Jesse Hardy, died in December of 1828 and left his son $67.10. Today that would amount to $1,675.00. A nice sum for a growing family when the average weekly wage for 1828 was fifty-cents.

In 1869 his wife Polly passed away. Her father, William had left her some property which then passed to Aquilla. They had been married 55 years, but Aquilla found a new love interest in the widow Nancy T. (Harris) Bolar. They were married in 1873. Nancy had dark hair, brown eyes, and a dark complexion and was five feet six inches tall. By this time Aquilla was 79 and Nancy was 58.
Over the years Aquilla Hardy had been a postmaster for 40 years, a justice of the peace for Fayette County from 1820 to 1869 and a Coweta County Grand Juror in 1835, 1849, and 1853.

Aquilla passed away on April, 29 1884. He was 91 years old in an age where life expectancy was somewhere between 35 and 55. The Turin correspondent for “The Newnan Herald” reported that Aquilla Hardy was an exemplary member of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Cokes Chapel) for 50 years and he was esteemed by everyone who knew him. He was laid to rest in the Cokes Chapel Cemetery, in the vicinity of the Magnolia tree. The large stone with no inscription next to his is probably Polly’s.
His wife Nancy would go on to claim his pension from the War of 1812. This amounted to $8 per month or an equivalent of $228.57 today. She would later pass in 1901 in Kedron, Coweta, Georgia.
 
Thom McCague, thommc49@gmail.com

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