Rufus Hardy, congressman, son of George Washington and Pauline J. (Whittaker) Hardy, was born in Monroe County, Mississippi, on December 16, 1855. In 1861 the family moved to a farm in the Brazos riverbottom near Millican, Texas. In 1871 with money partly earned by himself, Hardy entered Somerville Institute, a private school in Noxubee County, Mississippi. Later he attended the University of Georgia, where he graduated with a bachelor of law degree in 1875. In June 1876 he began to practice law in Navasota, Texas. In January 1878 he moved to Corsicana.
He was prosecuting attorney of Navarro County from 1880 to 1884, district attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District from 1884 to 1888, and district judge from 1888 to December 1896. In May 1895 he attended a conference of the Texas Sound Money Democracy in Waco and was made chairman of the executive committee; he worked out a thorough organization for similar meetings in 1896. He served as a Democrat in eight consecutive sessions of Congress, from March 4, 1907, to March 3, 1923, then resumed his practice of law in Corsicana.
Hardy was married in February 1881 to Felicia E. Peck. He was an Elk, a Knight of Pythias, and an Episcopalian. He died at his home in Corsicana on March 13, 1943, and was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
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Biographical Directory of the American Congress. John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Annie Carpenter Love, History of Navarro County (Dallas: Southwestern, 1933). Chandler A. Robinson, The Collected Speeches of Judge Rufus Hardy (Corsicana, Texas, 1969). Chandler A. Robinson, Judge Rufus Hardy, Pioneer Texan (Corsicana, Texas, 1970).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Chandler A. Robinson,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed June 25, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
January 1, 1995