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Joel Hardee and Isabella Coker




Joel Hardee was born June 8, 1814, in Georgia and, as far as we are able to ascertain, is the oldest child of John Ziba Hardee and his first wife, Peggy Mitchell. He was brought to Monroe County, Alabama, as a very young boy by his parents, who migrated to Alabama in the early 1800s. It is believed that they settled in the northeastern part of Monroe County in the vicinity of Activity, Alabama, which was near the present Old Texas- Midway area. Joel Hardee and Isabella Coker married on June 18, 1835. Isabella was the daughter of Nathaniel “Nathan” Coker, Sr. and a sister to George W., William Hambilton, Thompson Hamilton (Thomas Hamp), Nathan Jr., and Blanton. It has not been "proven" that Nathaniel Coker, Sr. was the father of this group. Give us a little time - We are working on it. According to the Muster Roll of Capt. S. H. Dailey's Co. 1st Class Malitia - Home Guard Composed of Beats No. 5, 11 & 12, Monroe County, Alabama, Joel Hardee served as a Second Lieutenant at the age of 51, along with Thomas Hamp Coker (age 39), a First Lieutenant. Members of the Brooks, Middleton, Wiggins, and Wilkinson families are also listed on this Muster Roll. Joel Hardee died on December 22, 1897, at the age of 83. His obituary appears below: Mr. Joel Hardee died at his home near Simpkinsville on Dec. 22nd at 13 o’clock. He had been in his usual health for some time, went in to dinner, and after he had offered thanks, his daughter, Mrs. Sirmon, who lived with him, noticed that something was wrong, and upon inquiring, he said he had a pain in his back, at the same time began falling from his chair. She went to his assistance until help could be gotten to him which was but a few minutes. After being placed on his bed, he lived but a few moments. The deceased was born in Georgia in 1814, came to this county at an early age, grew to a man’s estate, and lived out his long and useful life here. He was once tax collector of Monroe County and for over fifty years he has held the office of justice of the peace in the beat in which he lived. Mr. Hardee was a man of great firmness, was a member of the Bethlehem Methodist Church, in which communion he lived for years and in which he died. He took a deep interest in all public questions, kept fully posted on current matters and questions of national character with an interest and intelligence that would have done credit to any man. He was physically a wonder, notwithstanding his extreme age, 84, he could read and write or even shoot his gun as well as a youth, without the aid of glasses. He was a very large man, weighing over 300 pounds, still he attended to his farm and general business in a manner that would have done credit to men much younger. About his home, he was hospitable, kind and courteous; in his dealings, he was firm but pleasant and kind. He leaves a large family of children, grand-children and a wide circle of friends to mourn his loss. Peace to his ashes. W.J.M. Joel Hardee was married June 18, 1835, to Isabella Coker in Monroe County. They were the parents of six children, all of whom lived to maturity. Their children were: Nathan Ziba, Cynthia Susan, Amanda, James Marion, Mary Isabel, and John Hamp. There is some question concerning the county in which the six children were born. The reason for this is the move that the family made to Coosa County, Alabama, in the 1830s. In the 1840 census (p. 298) for Coosa County, Alabama, Joel Hardee’s household appears to list Joel and Isabella as younger than 30 years of age and having two boys and two girls, all four of which are under 5 years of age. Now, when we think about it, there’s something not quite right about that household in that particular 1840 census – unless there were some children we don’t know about. This is because Nathan Ziba “Dick” was born in 1836, Cynthia Susan in 1838, Amanda in 1840, James Marion in 1842, Mary Isabel in 1844, and John Hamp in 1846. So, in the 1840 census, Joel and Isabella could have had, at most, only the first three of their six children, one son and two daughters. Looking further into where the children were born, we find that Nathan Ziba “Dick” Hardee states in his Confederate Army Records that he was born in Activity, Monroe County, Alabama in 1836. It is suspected that Joel and Isabella moved to Coosa County in 1837. The 1840 census would suggest that Cynthia Susan and Amanda were born in Coosa County. The family moved back to Monroe County sometime before the 1850 census. So, we really don’t know whether the last three children were born in Coosa County before the move or in Monroe County after the move. From what we can gather from the 1850 Monroe County census, Isabella must have died sometime after the birth of John Hamp in 1846 and prior to the 1850 census. Joel married Elizabeth A. Devane and they had three children: Margaret, William, and Sarah. Only Margaret survived childhood. We must assume that Elizabeth Devane died between 1859 (when Sarah was born) and 1870 when Joel’s household, in Monroe County, consisted only of himself, daughters Cynthia Susan Sirmon, Mary, and Margaret, and granddaughters Elizabeth and Isabella. By 1880, only daughter Cynthia Susan Sirmon and granddaughter Isabella remained with Joel. Joel, at one time, was Tax Collector of Monroe County, Alabama, and served as Justice of the Peace for many years there. He and Isabella were Methodist. Joel, in the beginning, belonged to Asbury Methodist Church but, for some reason, moved his membership to Bethlehem Methodist Church. It is said that Joel Hardee was a big man, between 6’ and 6’6” tall, and weighed nearly 300 pounds. It is known to have been said by some who knew him that he was the biggest man they had ever seen outside of a circus. Joel Hardee is buried at Bethlehem Methodist Church cemetery.

These are the children and
grandchildren of
Joel Hardee and Isabella Coker

1. Nathan Ziba Hardee b. 1836 m. Mary S. Mixon Children: Phariba Hardee b. 1859 m. John Allen Garrett James W. Hardee b. 1860 Aros Columbus Hardee b. 1861 m. Carlie Almira Middleton Joel Lee Hardee b. 1864 m. Louisa S. Middleton George Hardee b. 1866 m. Mamie Mims, Mattie Snowden Mary Virginia Hardee b. 1867 m. Calloway D. Mixon Isabella Hardee b. 1869 Albert Sidney Hardee b. 1871 m. Mary Middleton, Hattie Colvin Susan Jane Hardee b. 1873 m. Daniel Malachi “Bud” McNeil Margaret Hardee b. 1874 m. Andrew Smith Marvin Fletcher Hardee b. 1876 John Wesley Hardee b. 1878 m1 Madie Virginia Brooks (daughter of Fannie O'gilivia Coker Brooks) m2 Cora May Mooney. Since Isabella and Thomas Hamp Coker were brother and sister, then Nathan Ziba Hardee and Fannie O’gilivia Coker Brooks were first cousins, making John Wesley Hardee and Madie Virginia Brooks third cousins. Ina Virginia Hardee b. 1880 m. Dennis Smith Jehu Scott “Buster” Hardee b. 1883 m. Mattie Zelene Andrews 2. Cynthia Susan Hardee b. 1836 m. Asbury D. Sirmon Children: Elizabeth Virginia “Betty” Sirmon b. 1858 m. Charles Mallard Williams Isabella Lucretia Sirmon b. 1860 m. Thomas Charles Williamson Matilda Ann Sirmon b. 1861 m. John Cameron Williamson 3. Amanda Hardee b. 1840 m. William H. Patrick Child: Emma Lee Patrick b. 1867 m. John Estal Cobb 4. James Marion “Jim” Hardee b. 1842 m. Mary Elizabeth Sirmon Children: John Hennings Hardee b. 1868 m. Annie Elizabeth Smith Joel Richard Hardee b. 1871 m. Jeanette Uhl Daniel Asbury “Crockett” Hardee b. 1872 m. Ida Mae Evans Luther Emery Hardee b. 1875 m. Lillie Adeline Hair Laura Hardee Sallie Hardee b. 1880 m. Charles Gulatt Pattison Mettie Floy Hardee b. 1882 m. Walter Morton Jackson Sam Jones Hardee b. 1885 m. Maude Taylor Maude Matilda Hardee b. 1887 m. Richard Thomas “Tom” Sirmon Henry Grady Hardee b. 1889 m. Ermina “Erma” Curtis Alice Elizabeth “Bessie” Hardee b. 1892 m. Isaac Edwin “Ed” Baker 5. Mary Isabel Hardee b. 1844 m. James Tillman Sirmon Children: Joel William Sirmon b. 1873 m. Anna Josephine Smith Lucy Virginia Sirmon b. 1874 Unnamed son b. 1877 lived 1 year 16 days Rufus E. Sirmon b. 1878 George Ellis Sirmon b. 1881 Clara Lee Sirmon b. 1886 6. John Hamp Hardee b. 1846 m. Frances Susan Brown Children: Robert “Bobby” Hardee b. 1870 died age 12 James Fielden Hardee b. 1872 died age 10 Thomas Walter Hardee b. 1875 m. Alberta Pullen Emma Lee Hardee b. 1877 m. William B. Barr Virginia “Jennie” Hardee b. 1880 m. Fred Horace Walker Emmett Hanson Hardee b. 1882 m. Ella Morgan L. Lou Hardee b. 1884 m. James Beard Rembert Conrad Cooper Hardee b. 1886 m. Eugenia “Jean” Gibbs Mary Eula Hardee b. 1889 m. W.T. Moore Blanche Hardee b. 1891 m. John Floyd Knott Clara Hardee b. 1894 m. Ray Vernon Thomas Nina Estelle Hardee b. 1896 m. Thomas Lee Dykes, Sr. (Tom and Nina were my grandparents)

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Last Updated: Monday April 6, 2002