I know of two obituaries for William Harmon Harden. The first is a transcription from Marguerite Willcox Harden, probably from a local newspaper. The second is my transcription of a tattered clipping, unedited, perhaps published by his church at Sturgeon Creek for his funeral.
WHH is buried in Whitley Cemetery in Irwin County. To find the cemetery, go northeast out of Ocilla, Georgia on CR 252 for about 3 miles; go east on CR 17 for about 2 miles; then go south past a house and through their yard on a dirt road for .3 miles.
I have been unable to find the original source for either obituary. If you can help, please contact me.
IN MEMORY OF REV. W. H. HARDEN
Rev. W. H. Harden passed away peacefully May 2nd after a lingering illness of several months. He was born April 24, 1836, and died May 2, 1913, making his stay on earth 77 years.
During the civil war his bravery and cheerfulness brightened the dreary pathway of his fellow soldiers, and no wonder our hearts are grieved. After the war he was highly esteemed as a Primitive Baptist minister. As long as his health would permit, he always filled his place in the pulpit. For twenty-seven years his life has been spent in preaching God’s Word. He would often talk to his children in a fatherly way on religious topics and the scripture which he loved so dearly. We would not wish him back in this world of sorrow, for he has left a bright evidence that he is at rest, where there will be no more sickness, death or farewell tears to be shed. But we can not avoid sad feelings when we meet in Sturgeon Creek church and see his vacant chair and the vacant chair at home. He will be sadly missed at home and at church. But I would say mourn not, for he is not dead, but sleepeth in the arms of Jesus.
During his illness he was visited by a great many of his people, for he was loved by all who knew him. His children arise up and call him blessed. A good man has gone to his rest, but the precious deeds he wrought are still here, to die not.
The floral offerings were profuse and beautiful, while the attendance at the burial was large, attesting the popularity of the man.
We would say to his bereaved wife and children, weep not for your loved one—he is safe in Heaven and his works do follow His daily walk and goodbye conversations prove to our mind he is resting, sweetly resting. The wife has lost a loving husband, the children a kind father, the members a faithful minister, and the community a good citizen.
To the love ones who sit in sorrow where his steps shall never again echo, we extend heartfelt sympathy.
********** March, 1860 *****
age of 24 years he prof********
hope in Jesus, and united with the Missionary Baptist Church at Bethel church, Pike county, Ga., about the year 1858, and was baptised by Elder Jake Bufton, and remained until after the civil war. Then he jointed Flat Rock Primitive Baptist Church, where he was ordained to the ministry and afterwards moved his membersnip to Concord Primitive Baptist Chnrch Jasper county, Ga. His membership remained there until the year 1885, when he moved to Irwin county and was one in the constitution of Sturgeon Creek Church. He was then called *****e pastorial care of ************ as pastor contin******* faithfully until the dea******* called him home to glory, a period of twenty years. He always contended earnestly for the faith once delivered the saints. In his long chain of acquaintances he was loved best by those who knew him best. Therefore, be it
Resolved first, That the church at Sturgeon Creek in token of her affectionate rememberance of Brother William Hanson Harden, declare her sense of loss in his death and tenderly cherish his memory by inserting this, his memorial, and leaving a blank page in our church book for suitable inscription thereon. While we mourn this sad loss, we now with humble submission to the All-Wise God who doeth all things *********