Biography Form
Works Progress Administration
Indian-Pioneer History Project
for Oklahoma
W. E. Hardiman

Field Worker's name: Jasper H. Mead
This report made on: December 20, 1937
1. Name: W. E. Hardiman
2. Post Office Address Chickasha, Oklahoma
3. Residence Address 819 Iowa Avenue
4. Date of Birth: Month: August; Day: 1; Year 1864
5. Place of birth Tenn.
6. Name of Father J. T. Hardiman
Place of Birth: Tennessee
7. Name of MotherSafrona Pamplin
Place of birth: Tennessee
Other information about mother: Died at the age of sixty-five

I was born August 1, 1864 in the state of Tennessee seventy-three years ago. We moved from Tennessee to Texas and from there we moved to the Indian Territory in 1902. The first place I landed when I came to the Territory was at a place now called Norge. This place in territorial days was first called Tindall. Then it was called Alley; then after statehood in 1907 it was called Norge. It was given the name of Norge after a Norwegian settlement there; Norge is located a few miles southwest of Chickasha and is upon a high plain; the soil is very sand and most of the country is covered with black jacks and post oaks. Norge is a very small place with dirt streets and no sidewalks at all.

There was not any farming around there in 1902 and the country was all open and looked more like a desert county then; people then never dreamed of its being as good a farming country as it is now.

The main water supply came from dug wells and they were very few and far between.

Norge is not very far from the Keeche Hills, and in these hills I have seen plenty of deer, antelope, turkeys and prairie chickens.

When I first landed at Norge it was a small place as I have said before; there was nothing there but a few tents, dirt streets and no sidewalks at all. There was no school house, but we have cut poles and laid them from one black jack to another, then taken the limbs and leaves and covered the poles, and this is what we called a brush arbor, where we held church services once in a great while.

After I lived there a short while I moved to Chickasha, and have lived here ever since, I have been a teamster by trade all these years.

Researchers Note: The Indian-Pioneer Papers is a large collection of over 11,000 interviews with early-day settlers of Oklahoma. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) sponsored the interviews during the mid-1930s. The Oklahoma Historical Society and the University of Oklahoma History Department coordinated the project, which involved more than 100 writers from across the state. Grant Foreman, one of Oklahoma's most respected historians, served as project director and editor of the papers.

Giles County native William Elgin Hardiman, son of John Thomas Hardiman, was one of those interviewed. The above is a transcription of his interview.

Submitted by Joe Hardiman