Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, Series I: Harmony Grove MillLamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, Series I: Harmony Grove Mill

Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, Series I: Harmony Grove Mill

Descriptive Summary

Title: Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, Series I: Harmony Grove Mill
Creator: Hardman, Lamartine Griffin, 1856-1937
Dates: 1849-1953
Extent: 21.0 boxes (13.5 linear feet), 13 reels of microfilm
Collection Number: RBRL/137/LGH
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, I. Harmony Grove Mill records (1902-1947) contain correspondence, orders, informational bulletins, ledgers, production records and other materials from the Harmony Grove Mills, Inc. The majority of papers document daily production-related correspondence between cotton brokerage firms and Harmony Grove Mills between the years 1927-1947. Also included are correspondence and circulars from the Cotton Textile Institute. Additional material in the series documents the activities of Harmony Grove workers during the General Textile Strike of 1934.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Reputedly one of the wealthiest men in North Georgia at the turn of the century, Dr. Lamartine Griffin Hardman was a man who had diverse interests in a number of areas. Physician, businessman, manufacturer, farmer and statesman: Hardman’s versatile career embodied the full spirit of the Progressive Era in the South. He was truly a Renaissance man.

One of eleven children, Lamartine Griffin Hardman was born on April 14, 1856 in Harmony Grove (now Commerce), Georgia to Dr. William Benjamin Johnson and Susan Elizabeth Colquitt Hardman. His father was a physician and Baptist minister. Hardman inherited his political aspirations from the Colquitt side of the family, which counted among its members four governors in Georgia and Texas.

Hardman first followed his father’s footsteps by attending medical college. He graduated from the Georgia Medical College in Augusta in 1876 and opened his own practice in Commerce later in that year. He then furthered his medical training at Bellevue Hospital in New York, and pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, the New York Polyclinic and Guy Hospital in London, from which he received a second degree in 1890.

Returning home after nearly a decade and a half out of the South, Hardman opened his own medical practice in Commerce, and later joined his brother, William B. Hardman, in establishing the Hardman Sanatorium in 1899. "They introduced into the hospital advanced apparatus,” claimed journalist Louie Newton, “and before 1900 Dr. L. G. Hardman was a nationally known physician." The sanatorium served a large numbers of patients throughout northeast Georgia until 1945.

During this period, Hardman experimented in the field of anesthetics. He had completely anesthetized an animal by injecting tincture of Indian Hemp (cannabis indica) into the femoral vein of a dog. This work brought him into close touch with the earlier work of Dr. Crawford W. Long. Long was well known in medical history as a pioneer in the use of ether as an anesthetic during surgery in the 1840s in nearby Jefferson.

Besides his medical practice and research, Hardman was committed to creating manufacturing enterprises to stimulate economic growth in rural north Georgia. In 1893, Hardman founded the Harmony Grove Cotton Mills. He later established the Hardman Roller Mills, also in Commerce.

While he was creating a local manufacturing boom in Commerce, Hardman was also investing in farmlands. By 1900, he was among the largest farmers in Georgia, owning land in seven counties and in Florida. From walnuts to livestock, Hardman was an example of a successful scientific farmer. He conducted a variety of experiments on his produce, and if successful, shared his new methods with his neighbors. His commitment to agriculture innovation was reflected in his active service as a trustee of the Georgia State College of Agriculture in Athens. This would later become the Agriculture College at the University of Georgia.

As if such enterprises did not fully consume his time and energies, Hardman accepted the challenge of political life with encouragement from his friends and colleagues. He was elected to the Georgia legislature in 1902 as a representative from Jackson County. He served in the House until 1907, when he was elected state senator, an office he held through 1908. He returned to the House for a final term in 1909. During his tenure in the General Assembly, Hardman introduced considerable legislation, including a bill requiring public schools to offer basic agriculture courses; a measure petitioning the United States Congress to authorize a commission to conduct a drainage survey of Georgia; an act furnishing free treatment for hydrophobia, utilizing the Pasteur method; and legislation establishing the State Board of Health.

In 1907, Dr. Hardman, along with W. A. Covington and W. J. Neel, authored the prohibition bill banning legalized whiskey in Georgia. Upon its passage, he received much acclaim, with favorable mail from around the country congratulating him on this early victory for the Prohibition movement. As both a physician and son of a Baptist minister, Hardman believed that alcohol was destructive to the human body and that no good could come from its use.

For more personal reasons, 1907 was also an important year for Hardman. At the age of fifty-one, he married the twenty-five year old Emma Wiley Griffin, from a socially prominent family in Valdosta. They had met in 1901 when introduced by W. W. Landrum, an Atlanta preacher. On a bet, Reverend Landrum promised to introduce the matrimony-proof Hardman to a young woman in Valdosta if on their wedding day he would give the Baptist mission $1,000. After six years of courtship they married, and had four children together.

During World War I, Hardman served as the U. S. Fuel Administrator for Georgia. After two unsuccessful gubernatorial campaigns in 1914 and 1916, he was finally elected governor in 1926 (at the age of seventy-four) in a run-off election over John Holder, who had generated controversy for fiscal improprieties as head of the state highway board. In 1928, he comfortably defeated E. D. Rivers in his bid for re-election as the state’s chief executive.

Governor Hardman promised to give the state a businesslike administration, eliminating waste and extravagance. In his second inaugural address in 1929, he declared: "It is apparent in our state, and indeed in most, if not all the states in the Union, that there is a need and a demand for a more modern, businesslike arrangement of operating the state's affairs.” He went on in that speech to recommend the creation of an agriculture college as part of the University of Georgia, and the preservation of the "the majesty and enforcement of the law."

Unfortunately, Hardman proposed this ambitious agenda just before the stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression. Given the ensuing climate, the legislature was in no mood to embrace dramatic changes of this sort. Nevertheless, Hardman could claim more minor achievements for his administration. During his governorship, the state capitol was remodeled, the Rhodes home in Atlanta was accepted as a depository for the state archives, and a plant to produce license tags was established. His most significant achievement was in laying the groundwork for a comprehensive reorganization of the state's government, the Allen Commission on Simplification and Coordination, headed by Ivan Allen, Sr., that would be put into effect by Hardman’s successor, Richard B. Russell, Jr.

Hardman was seventy-seven years old when he relinquished the governor’s office in 1933. He returned to Commerce, where he lived the last four years of his life. He died of a heart ailment at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on February 18, 1937.

Scope and Content

Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, I. Harmony Grove Mill records (1902-1947) contain correspondence, orders, informational bulletins, ledgers, production records and other materials from the Harmony Grove Mills, Inc. The majority of papers document daily production-related correspondence between cotton brokerage firms and Harmony Grove Mills between the years 1927-1947. Also included are correspondence and circulars from the Cotton Textile Institute. Additional material in the series documents the activities of Harmony Grove workers during the General Textile Strike of 1934.

Organization and Arrangement

The papers were arranged according to the original office plan into series and subseries.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

User Restrictions

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

Preferred Citation

Lamartine Griffin Hardman Papers, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Processing Note

During the arrangement and description process, archivists noted that many of the manuscripts were very fragile and in need of preservation work. After Hardman's death in 1937 his papers were moved to Harmony Grove Mills for storage. When the Hardman family sold the mill in 1990 the papers were transferred to the basement of the First Commerce Bank in Commerce, GA. Shortly after the papers arrived at the Russell Library, archivists observed that the collection had suffered serious deterioration from poor paper quality. Additionally, many of the pulp paper carbons of Hardman's correspondence had become very brittle and were literally breaking into pieces. The more these originals were handled, the more fragile they became. These papers required transfer to an additional format to ensure the information would be available for current and future researchers. After discussions with the Hardman family in 1997, Russell Library archivists proposed a project to microfilm the collection.

Thanks to a generous grant through the Harmony Grove Foundation, the Hardman Preservation Microfilming Project began in January 1998. The library hired a microfilm preservation specialist to prepare the collection for filming and to supervise the filming project, which was conducted in cooperation with Computer Hardware, Imaging and Preservation Services (CHIPS) at the University of Georgia Libraries. Items in each folder of the collection were re-arranged alphabetically or chronologically (depending on the nature of the material), a task that took well over a year to complete. Items not selected for filming routinely included duplicates, household bills and receipts, cancelled checks, invitations, greeting cards, photographs, advertisements and promotional pamphlets, and non-print memorabilia. Material to be filmed was then counted, programmed onto individual reels, targeted and microfilmed according to Research Libraries Group (RLG) guidelines--a process that ultimately produced 153 reels of microfilm, or roughly one reel per linear foot of manuscript material. Reels for research use are housed at the Russell Library. Master negatives are stored at the Georgia Department of Archives and History in Atlanta; copy negatives are housed at the University of Georgia Libraries. A microfilm reel finding aid, keyed to the collection finding aid, is available to assist researchers.

Access Restrictions

Use of microfilm recommended.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared by Russell staff, 2000.


Related Materials

Access Points

Agricultural industries--Georgia.
Commerce (Ga.)
Georgia. Governor (1927-1931: Hardman)
Governors--Georgia.

Related Collections in this Repository

Hoke Smith Papers

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection

Dudley M. Hughes Papers

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Papers

Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers

Related Collections in Other Repositories

Ivan Allen, Sr. Papers, Atlanta History Center


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 

I. Harmony Grove Mill, 1902-1947

Extent: 13.5 Linear feet
Scope and Content: Seeking to spur industrial growth in northeast Georgia, Governor Hardman joined G.W.D. and W.T. Harber and other members of the Harmony Grove (Commerce) business community to found the Harmony Grove Mills, Inc. on 3 April 1893. The corporation was chartered with a capital stock of $50,000 in June of the same year; the real estate property was purchased from Hardman and Mrs. W.S. Webb at $75 to $100 per acre. The mill produced its first cotton sheeting on 25 May 1894, purchased by buyer T.E. Key, and paid its first dividend of 6% to stockholders on 10 June 1895. Hardman bought out the majority share of the corporation from the Harber Brothers in 1898 and was elected president, a position he held until March 1937 when Lamartine G. Hardman, Jr. succeeded him. Enlarged several times, first in 1902 and then in 1923 and 1941, the Harmony Grove Mills plant operated 586 looms and employed more than 500 workers at the time of its fiftieth anniversary in 1944. The mill remained in the Hardman family until it was sold in 1990.
The series contains correspondence, orders, informational bulletins, ledgers, production records and other materials from the Harmony Grove Mills, Inc. The majority of papers document daily production-related correspondence between cotton brokerage firms and Harmony Grove Mills between the years 1927-1947. Also included are correspondence and circulars from the Cotton Textile Institute. Additional material in the series documents the activities of Harmony Grove workers during the General Textile Strike of 1934. All material is arranged chronologically.The mill records appear to have been kept in a separate file from other business records, except for a few folders which are located in Series II Business, A. Commerce Office; Series V Governor, B. Office Correspondence; Series V Governor, D. General Correspondence; and Series VIII General, E. Publications.Daily mill production records from the 1940s have not been microfilmed.
BoxFolder
11-9New Plant [microfilm reel #1], 1902
110Cotton manual [not filmed], 1907
111-12Herbert G. Franz orders [microfilm reel #2], 1928
BoxFolder
21Production sheets [microfilm reel #2], 1923-1932
22-4Herbert G. Franz [microfilm reel #3], 1932 January-July
25-6Production sheets [microfilm reel #3], 1933-1945
BoxFolder
31-5Letters on Processing Tax, A-Z [microfilm reel #4]
36-7Workers' Strike [microfilm reel #4], 1934 September
BoxFolder
41-6Herbert G. Franz [microfilm reel #5], 1934 August-1936 January
BoxFolder
51-3Herbert G. Franz [microfilm reel #6], 1935-1942
54-8Processing Affidavits, A-Z [microfilm reel #6], 1935-1936
59Herbert G. Franz [microfilm reel #6], 1936
BoxFolder
61-4Cotton Textile Institute [microfilm reel #6], 1933-1940
BoxFolder
71-3Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #7], 1936 May-August
74Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #7], 1937
BoxFolder
81-4Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #8], 1937
BoxFolder
91-4Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #8-9], 1938
BoxFolder
101-4Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #9], 1938, 1939
BoxFolder
111Hesslein & Company [microfilm reel #9], 1938-1939
112-3Hesslein & Company - Shipping Instructions [not filmed], 1936, 1937
BoxFolder
121-3Claims files - PT Form 24x [microfilm reel #10], 1935, 1936
124-5Refund Processing Tax [microfilm reel #10], 1936
BoxFolder
131Orders [not filmed], 1942
132-6Cotton waste [not filmed], 1943-1947
137Cotton Fiber Testing (printed material) [not filmed]
Box
142 ledgers of monthly statements [microfilm reel #10], 1896-1919
141 ledger of cash, real estate, stock and rent [microfilm reel #11], 1906 February-March
144 ledgers of cotton purchases [microfilm reel #11], 1934, 1939 July-1950 January
142 ledgers of warehouses for pooled cotton [microfilm reel #11], 1934-1935
Box
15Lee and Franz code book [microfilm reel #11], 1928
1515 cotton claims ledgers [microfilm reel #11-12], 1945-1950
Box
16Daily record of domestics baled [not filmed], 1946
Box
17Daily record of cloth used [not filmed], 1948
17Daily record of domestics baled [not filmed], 1943, 1948
Box
18Daily record of domestics baled [not filmed], 1944, 1949
Box
19Bank deposit slips [not filmed], 1948
19Financial statement [microfilm reel #13], 1913 January 31
19Daily record of cloth used (partial) [not filmed], 1949
19Daily record of domestics baled [not filmed], 1947
Box
20Inventory of machinery (2 legal-size pads) [microfilm reel #13], 1949
20Number of cotton bales used daily [not filmed], 1945-1950
Box
21Daily record of domestic baled [not filmed], 1950
21Ticker tape (fragment) re: General MacArthur WWII [not filmed]