biography from Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
HON. HARDIN TICE, of Union Township, was born in Montgomery County, Va., Oct. 27, 1829. His father was of German descent and his mother of English, but both American born. They were people of moderate means, yet possessing enough to own a home of their own after marriage. To them were born eleven children, seven boys and four girls, and they had the pleasure of seeing all grow to man and womanhood. Four are now deceased. The children lived commendable lives, not more than one having ever been engaged in a lawsuit, thus proving them peaceable and law-abiding people. The subject of this sketch, Hardin Tice, was the sixth son. Soon after his birth, the family moved to Sangamon County, Ill., where he was brought up, receiving only the meager common-school edncation of that early time. There were no free schools in those days, and it was only those of ample means who could afford even to think of a college course. In the month of March, 1852, he started west on horseback, beginning life for himself, and having all his worldly possessions packed in a portmanteau. He located in Black Oak Township, this county, and bought 160 acres of land, on five years' time, without interest, at an agreed price of $4.66 per acre, and here, with an elder brother, began the work of making a farm from the raw prairie. For the first eighteen months after their location the brothers kept house by themselves, or, as it was commonly termed in those dAys, kept "bach." The first summer they cultivated a crop on eighty acres belonging to his brother, and spent the ensuing winter in hauling rails a distance of six miles with which to fence forty acres of his own land. The hauling was done with four yoke of oxen, and the entire day from sunrise to sundown was occupied in hauling one load of ninety rails. The following spring with their ox-teams they broke the sod upon the enclosed forty acres and planted it in corn. In the fall of the same year Mr. Tice built a log house 10x14 feet, and also constructed a stable of rails and straw. Having made all proper arrangements for housekeeping, he sought the hand of Miss Mary J. Wilson in marriage, and Nov. 2, 1853, they were united in the bonds of matrimony. She was the daughter of a near neighbor, and was born May 8, 1835. Five daughters have been born to them: Clara, born Dec. 10, 1856, is now the wife of A. C. Noel, of Leighton; Emma, born June 26, 1860, is the wife of A. L. Christy, of Des Moines, Iowa; Lily, born May 6, 1865; Dora, Nov. 27, 1869; Della, March 31, 1872. The first two years following his marriage, Mr. Tice was engaged in farming and trading in horses, and then added that of buying and feeding cattle and hogs. This he continued with financial success until 1876, when he rented his farm and moved to Oskaloosa. During all these years Mr. Tice has occupied a prominent position in the politics of his county and State, nearly all the various township offices having been held by him, and in the year 1875 he was elected by the Republican party to represent this district in the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of Iowa, receiving in this election the high compliment of securing more votes than any other man on his ticket. After having spent seven years in the city of Oskaloosa, living a retired life in an elegant home, Mr. Tice removed to his present admirable location in Union Township, where he now occupies his time in general farming and stock-raising. His present farm, bought in 1881, is a half section of very fine prairie land, lying in Adams and Union Townships. His first work was to set sixteen acres of trees, half each of catalpa and walnut. It is so arranged as to be a thorough windbreak for buildings and cattle-yards. The trees are large enough at this time, to make a splendid shade in the summer, and will soon be an admirable protection from the chilling winds of winter. Upon the farm is a very fine apple orchard of 200 trees, embracing fifty different varieties, many of which fruited for the first time in 1886. There is, perhaps, no farm in Mahaska County that for its age shows such a high state of cultivation, or has a better class of improvements. It is already a beautiful home, and will be much more so in the near future under the admirable management of its owner. In educational matters Mr. Tice has always taken a great interest. He is a friend not only to our public schools, but to higher education. In 1881, when an effort was made to move Oskaloosa College to Des Moines, Mr. Tice opposed the measure in a forcible manner, and to his efforts, probably more than to any other one man, it was defeated, and Oskaloosa retained its old and widely known educational institution. When elected Treasurer of the Board of Trustees, he not only managed its general finances in an admirable manner, but taking the field, he solicited donations, first to pay off a debt of $6,500 which was hanging over the college, and when that was met, for the suitable endowment of the college. In this work he was eminently successful, securing donations amounting to $14,000, while he himself contributed liberally. Mr. and Mrs. Tice are members of the Christian Church, and take an active interest in all things pertaining to the church's welfare. Hardin Tice may be properly pronounced a self-made man. His financial success in life, beginning as he did, with nothing hut the labor of his hands, is the best possible evidence of the possession of abilities of a very high order. There are few men in Mahaska County better posted on general topics, or can express themselves more forcibly and to the point upon debatable questions. His early advantages were meager, but he improved them, and the distinguished ability with which he represented his county in the General Assembly of the State, is evidence of broad and liberal acquirements. At his elegant home there is unbounded hospitality, which is dispensed in an admirable manner by his charming wife and daughters. Personally and socially he occupies a very high place in the esteem of friends and neighbors.
Portrait & Biographical Album of Mahaska Co., Iowa, 1887
Mahaska County, Iowa Genealogy