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Henry Harding's Edgehill home

(James) Henry Harding (1825-1888) purchased a home in the Edgehill area south of downtown Nashville at 1434 14th Ave. South by 1913. His brother, Orange Harding, Jr., bought the next lot, and he later sold it to Henry. Harding's two spouses were Emily S. Harding Harding (1825-1881) and Margaret Catherine Pickett Harding (1854-1906).

He had purchased his freedom as a Belle Meade plantation slave. After the Civil War, he was a main force in developing commercial business on Cedar St (now Charlotte Ave.) By 1870, Harding owned property valued at $30,000 - much for an African-American. Harding interests included Colored Sons of Relief, a saloon, a boarding house, a furniture store and a hotel. He was also a founder of Roger Williams University. He lost much of his fortune in the failure of the Freedman's Bank in 1874.

He persisted his efforts, and when he died, his estate was worth $88,000, and was considered the wealthiest African-American in Nashville.



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