During the 2021-22 academic year, Hardin Independent School District will celebrate 80 years of providing outstanding education to children and families in Hardin, Texas and the greater Liberty County area.
Hardin, Texas has had a long history in Liberty County. In 1818, settlement in the Liberty area began, and in 1831 the city of Liberty was founded. Over the next hundred years, expansion and industry brought people to Hardin. In 1907, the first post office was established. It had no name. Many people sent in names to Washington D. C. and the name Walter was selected. In 1907, many people began to settle in the Hardin area due to the expansion of the Western Railway, The Hardin Family, of Liberty, donated land for the formation of the Hardin community. The post office officially moved from Walter to Hardin in 1920. The biggest boom came in 1935 when oil was discovered. This brought even more families to the Hardin area.
Five Hardin area schools voted to consolidate in the Summer of 1939. With the Board’s vision for expansion, a 16-acre tract of land was donated to the district by Col. R. W. and Geraldine Humphreys of Liberty. Voters went to the polls in June of 1939 and approved a $150,000 bond. Construction commenced, and the school officially began classes in the new building in 1940. Over the years, school enrollment grew garnering the need for additional space and facilities.
In 1996 the final class of seniors graduated in the original high school and the new Hardin High School was dedicated. Additions to the district continued based on the growing needs of the community and the students. In 2016, Hardin ISD built a new elementary school and an updated agricultural facility. Hardin ISD continues to be invested and committed to educational innovation.
As a former class president stated in 1997 as the original high school was slated to be demolished, “The spirit that makes Hardin Independent School District unique dwells not in bricks and mortar but within the students, the parents, the teachers, and the administrators. The spirit seems to pass somehow from one class to another, and from one generation to the next. We feel certain that we will find the same spirit in the months, years, and even decades to come.”- Charles Key, Class of 1997
It has been 25 years since the new high school was constructed, and the spirit of Hardin lives on. Over the amazing 80 years that Hardin has been educating students, the school community has had a rich tradition of academic excellence. The school has earned numerous awards over the years for academic achievement and even state championship titles. As Hardin continues to grow, we look forward to many more years of educational achievement. The motto of Hardin is, “Building a better Hardin, one student at a time.” This means something to the students that walk our halls, the teachers that teach here, and to the countless alumni that have graduated. Every decision we make as educators, we keep the students first and the traditions in mind. We hope that everyone helps us to celebrate this 80th milestone.
Special credit to the late Kevin Ladd and his dedication to the preservation of local Liberty County history. Many of the historical excerpts for this article were gleaned from his historical articles.
*Ladd, Kevin. “Building the Hardin School, 1939-40.” TEXAS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE OF HISTORY AND FOLKLORE March 1997:3-4. The Liberty Gazette. Reprinted with permission.
Look for events celebrating the 80th anniversary of Hardin ISD throughout the year.