Edward was the oldest son of Wilmington phar-macist
John Haywood Hardin. After graduating from
Cape Fear Academy, he began his college career at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In what is
attributed to poor judgment and a college prank gone
bad, Edward and friend “Duddie” Taylor were asked to
leave school after just one year.
Duddie and Edward next attended Washington and
Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. For Edward this
lasted just one year. He found his place at the Medical
College of Virginia, where the 6-foot-1, 180-pound
young man was active in fraternity life, played football
as a tackle, and was deemed the best-looking and largest
in his graduating class.
He earned a degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and
Pharmacy in the spring of 1914. After a year working
at the college’s school of pharmacy, he returned to
Wilmington and Hardin Pharmacy, founded by his
father in 1880.
While Edward was celebrating his college graduation
and planning for the future, disastrous events occurred
in Europe. The 1914 assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand, heir presumptive to the throne of
Austria-Hungary, triggered a Great War between the Cen-tral
Powers, primarily Germany and Austria-Hungary, and
the Allied Powers, which included France, Great Britain
and Russia. The United States entered the conflict in 1917.
Edward Hardin sat for a portrait in his U.S.
Army issued trench coat and campaign hat,
most likely in early 1918.
BY PAT BRADFORD