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Hardin, John Wesley

Born: 1853 AD
Died: 1895 AD
Nationality: American
Categories: Felon, Lawyers, Murderer

1853 – Born on May 26th in Bonham, Fannin County, Texas.

1868 – Hardin was a Southerner who harbored a deep hatred for blacks; the first man he is known to have killed, when he was 15, was black, and while fleeing the law for that murder he shot and killed at least one, and possibly four, Union soldiers, most of them black, who were attempting to arrest him.

1873 – His hatred of Northerners in general and blacks in particular caused him to become involved in a political battle between pro- and anti-Reconstruction forces (he naturally took the side of the latter) and he killed a former State Police officer who led the pro-Reconstruction forces.

1874 – He murdered a sheriff’s deputy in Brown County, Texas, resulting in he and his family fleeing to Florida.

1877 – He was captured by Texas Rangers in Pensacola (during his stay in Florida, he was suspected of killing at least one and probably five more people).

1878-1894 – He was tried for the Brown County deputy’s murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison, but only served 16 years before being pardoned.

         – While in prison he had studied law, and after his release he was admitted to the Texas bar.

1895 – Hardin testified as a defense witness in a murder trial in El Paso, and after the trial was over, he decided to stay in that city and open up a law practice.

         – Died on August 19th in El Paso, Texas while he was playing dice in a saloon.