Hardin House

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The Westside Historic District was developed in the late 19th century. Its streets were bursting with large spacious homes. For the most part leading businessmen and shop owners lived in this neighborhood. Not only was this district overflowing with homes; it was also an excellent location for churches. The First Baptist Church and the West 4th St. Church were located in this area. The latter church is no longer there.

The Hardin House, which was built in 1901, is located at 603 West 3rd Street. This house is part of the Center Township and Jamieson’s Addition. The Hardin Home incorporates both Free Classic and Queen Anne styles of architecture. This combination of design includes a large wrap around porch, tall front and rear gables, a brick chimney, an elegant foyer, and elite oak woodwork throughout the home. The Hardin House consists of a large attic and basement, two bathrooms, a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and five bedrooms. This house has been home to many people throughout the ages.

Harley Hardin

This gorgeous home was dedicated to Harley F. Hardin. Harley Hardin lived in this home for fifty-eight years (form 1910 until he died in 1958). He grew up in Livonia, Indiana; and was educated in Washington County. Later, Hardin attended Indiana University and participated in the Glee Club, the orchestra, and the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He graduated with his law degree in 1901. After graduation he married his wife, Mary, and they moved to Matthews where Harley opened his first law practice.

Harley and Mary had three daughters and one son; Mrs. Oscar Barbe, Mrs. Maynard Mylin, Mrs. Clair Stafford, and Carl Hardin. In 1910 they moved to 603 West 3rd Street where they lived for next 60 years. Hardin was an esteemed lawyer, and in 1930 he was elected as the Grant County Prosecutor. He also was a member of the Indiana State Legislature in 1943, ‘45, and ‘47. Harley Hardin lived at 603 West 3rd Street until he died in 1958 at eighty-one years of age. The Hardin family established this home through their poise, wisdom, and influence.

Apartment Renters

For two years (from 1925-1927) the Grahams and Paynes rented a rear apartment from Harley Hardin. Due to renovations it is difficult to know exactly where this apartment was located. Glenn Graham worked at the Chronicle Tribune and was married to Hasel. The Grahams shared the rented space with the Paynes. Frank Payne was a pattern maker, and he was married to Minnie.

Carl and Esther Hardin rented the rear apartment after the Grahams and Paynes. Carl H. was Harley Hardin’s son and last child. Carl lived in the Hardin House all of his life and after marriage decided to rent the apartment from his father. Mr. Carl Hardin worked as a clerk; and his wife, Esther, taught at Horace Mann School. Carl and Esther lived at 603 West 3rd Street until 1942. They too shared many special memories in this home.

Present Owners, the Allisons

Many families have found the Hardin House an appealing place to live. The present owner is Paul Allison. He, his wife Claire, and their four children: William, Alexander, Christopher, and Freya have live at 603 West 3rd Street for nine years. Paul is an English professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. Claire works at Family Services as a teacher. During these nine years they have removed all the wallpaper from the walls, completely remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms with new cabinetry and fixtures, added new siding and a roof. They are currently renovating the third floor attic, and are planning to use this space for recreation and family gatherings. The Allisons bought the Hardin Home from Randal and Debora Lefavour. Randal worked as a contractor. Randal and Debora had four children that grew up in this home. Both the Allison family and the Lafavour family spent significant years of their lives living in this house.


The Hardin Home has been a welcoming setting for families throughout the decades. Its elaborate architecture and distinguished identity gives this house an unforgettable legacy. Harley Hardin was an esteemed lawyer who made this house an envied historic site. The Hardins, Paynes, Grahams, Lefavours, and Allisons have spent unforgettable times of joy, sorrow, and excitement at 603 West 3rd Street. The significance of this home not only comes from the structural design, but also the families who settled in it. A variety of people have lived in this house--lawyers, clerks, pattern makers, journalists, and teachers. This home is filled with clues that help rediscover Marion’s heritage.

Works Cited

  • Grant County Interim Report 1993. Indiana Historic Sites and Structure Inventory, Indiana. March 1993. 44.
  • Marion City Directory 1925, Indiana. 1925. 121.
  • Marion City Directory 1927, Indiana. 1927. 103.
  • Marion, Indiana City Directory Including Grant County. 191 1-1912. Indiana. 1911. 78.
  • Polk’s Marion City Directory 1942. R.L. Polk and Company, Publishers, Indiana. 1911
  • “Veteran Marion Attorney Dies After Long Illness.” Chronicle Tribune. 8 June 1958, late ed. :A1 & A4.
  • Walters, Jay. “Assessor.” Grant County Government. Indiana. 2004. www.assesor.grant.in.uninquire.us/


This article was written by Julia Leslie and submitted on May 15, 2005 for Mr. Munn’s AP US History class.