The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. Support the Handbook today.

Font size: A / A reset

Support Texas History Now

Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.

Become a TSHA Member Today »

Hardin, Milton Ashley (1813–1894)

Robert L. Schaadt Biography Entry

Milton Ashley Hardin, early settler and soldier in the revolutionary army of Texas, youngest son of Swan and Jerusha (Blackburn) Hardin, was born on November 4, 1813, in Maury County, Tennessee. After murder indictments were issued for his brothers Augustine, Benjamin Franklin, William, and Benjamin Watson Hardin, Milton moved in 1828 to the future Liberty County, Texas, with his parents and the family of his sister, Elizabeth Hardin Rhoads. In 1835 he served as third lieutenant of the Liberty Volunteers with his brother Benjamin Franklin at the battle of Concepción and the siege of Bexar. From his military service, which lasted until December 26, 1836, he secured 1,280 acres of land in Liberty County in 1838. By 1839 he was a wealthy cotton planter and cattle rancher and had married Mary Isbell in Liberty County; they had three children. Hardin was one of the founders of the Liberty Masonic Lodge in 1849. He sold his 413-acre tract of land in Polk County (originally Liberty County) to the Texas Indian commissioners for the Alabama Indian Reservation in 1854; the land is now the location of the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation. After 1858 and before 1880, Milton moved to Hood County near Granbury. By 1893 he was a resident of Cleburne, where he died on September 18, 1894. His body was shipped by railroad to Liberty for burial, presumably in the Liberty City Cemetery. Hardin County and Hardin, Texas (Liberty County), the latter on Milton's original survey, were named in honor of the Hardin family of Liberty.

Hardin Papers, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Liberty, Texas. Liberty Vindicator, September 21, 1894. Thomas L. Miller, Bounty and Donation Land Grants of Texas, 1835–1888 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967). Miriam Partlow, Liberty, Liberty County, and the Atascosito District (Austin: Pemberton, 1974). Camilla Davis Trammell, Seven Pines, Its Occupants and Their Letters, 1825–1872 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1986).

Time Periods:

  • Texas Revolution

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert L. Schaadt, “Hardin, Milton Ashley,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

February 1, 1995