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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
When Coal Was King
Industry, People and Challenges
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William Duncan Livingstone Hardie
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William Duncan Livingstone Hardie was born in Bathgate, Scotland, in 1862 and immigrated with his parents to Youngstown, Ohio, in 1863. At age ten, young Hardie returned to Scotland to attend school. He was awarded a degree in Civil and Mining Engineering from Glasgow University in 1883. Then he returned to Pennsylvania where he married Margaret Jane Kirkley in 1885. For the next 4 years, Hardie worked in Pennsylvania, Alabama and Tennessee. He was associated with his cousin, Robert Livingstone, while in Tennessee.

In 1889 he was hired by the Alberta Railway & Coal Company as an assistant to Mines Superintendent Wm. Stafford. He resigned in 1891, worked for two years in Mexico, then secured a position with the Scranton [Pennsylvania] School of Mines where he rewrote the mining course curriculum. In 1894 he returned to Lethbridge as Mines Superintendent with the Galt Company. He remained until 1910 when he accepted a similar position with the Diamond Coal Company at Diamond City. He quit that company amid great acrimony only two years later.

Hardie ran for office as mayor of Lethbridge in 1912, handily defeating two other candidates, and took office on 1 January 1913. A Commission form of civic government was instituted in 1914 and Hardie found himself mayor and Commissioner of Finance. A managerial form of government was endorsed by Lethbridge voters on 3 July 1928 and Hardie's term in office ended. He was employed as Assistant Superintendent of the Dominion Government Terminal Elevator until retirement.

Hardie served for many years as Chairman of the Hospital Board and as a member of the Public School Board. He was recognized for his wise handling of city finances for over 15 years. The Town of Hardieville, now part of Lethbridge, was named after him. He passed away, aged 80, on 17 August 1942 and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery.

Lethbridge Its Coal IndustryThis article is extracted from Alex Johnston, Keith G. Gladwyn and L. Gregory Ellis. Lethbridge: Its Coal Industry (Lethbridge, Lethbridge: City of Lethbridge, 1989), Occasional Paper No. 20, The Lethbridge Historical Society. The Heritage Community Foundation and the Year of the Coal Miner Consortium (of which the City of Lethbridge is the lead partner) would like to thank the authors for permission to reprint this material.
 

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