The first Loris bank, the first Loris warehouse, the Loris hardware store, and a Loris funeral home were products of Daniel Webster Hardwick. For over 65 years he was a businessman active in almost every large civic development in Loris. Tales of this early development in and around Loris fascinated his grandchildren and others who sought information about Loris.
Even before his 65 years of business, he observed its growth. The first wood-burning locomotive came through town when he was five. The first street in Loris was a trail that his family and other residents took to the Waccamaw River. He rode with his parents, Nathan Everette and Carolina Rebecca Reaves Hardwick, to the beach in a wagon train, camped on the dunes, and fished in the surf. He could tell tales of cooking molasses, logging and pine tar, and working the farm with a mule.
Born on October 14, 1881 on a farm two miles east of Loris at Hickman's Crossroads, he grew up to attend a Savannah, Ga. business school, Draughon Business College. After serving as assistant postmaster, he started a fertilizer dealership with James Hugh Bryant1, his future father-in-law. He formed his own fertilizer business, Hardwick Fertilizer Company, Inc., in 1925 and was cited in 1957 as the oldest fertilizer dealer in the nation.
In 1903 nine known stockholders of the Loris Tobacco Warehouse Company, Inc. built the first tobacco warehouse in Loris and the second in Horry County. The nine stockholders were J.C. Bryant, President; P.C. Prince, Vice-President; Dan W. Hardwick, Secretary and Treasurer; Doc D. Harrelson; Y. P. McQueen; D.A. Spivey; Jim King; N. E. Hardwick; and Sims Harrelson. In the first year, about 1,000,000 pounds were sole at an average of less than 6 cents per pound. Bryant financed the market by having Spivey, cashier at the bank in Conway express money on the afternoon train and Harrelson then cashed checks in a cage in Bryant's store. Later P.R. Casey bought out all of the stockholders. Eventually the warehouse was destroyed by fire.
In 1906, the Standard Warehouse Company was started by J.C. Bryant, N.E. Hardwick and Dan W. Hardwick. During construction it was sold to Thomas E. Cooper and his associates.
The Bank of Loris was formed in 1908 by Hardwick and Tom Cooper. The cage in Bryant's store that was opened five years earlier to cash checks of tobacco farmers selling on the Loris tobacco market led to the formation of the bank. In 1919, Farmers Bank was chartered by Dan W. Hardwick, President; Charles D. Prince, Vice-President and Cashier; A.J. Mishoe, Director; and O.E. Hickman, Vice-President. The initial capitalization was $10,000. The bank kept its doors open during the depression and was sold in 1947 to B.B. Anderson, E.L. Anderson, and B.K. Stabler.
Dan W. Hardwick participated in the formation of People's Hardware and Hardwick Funeral Home with his brother, Jennings. Jennings Hardwick and his family later bought out Dan Hardwick's interests in these enterprises.
As a pillar of his community with a dedication to fairness in business, people gravitated to him for advice and leaned on him for civic guidance. Hardwick served two terms on City Council. Before 1920, he was a member of the Horry County Board of Commissioners and in the mid 1930s he became a member of the first Horry County Tobacco Board. A believer in public education for all people, he served as a school trustee for 40 years.
His social and civic memberships included the Lions Club, Green Sea Lodge No. 205, AFM, the Knights of Honor, an insurance society, and the Junior Order of United American Mechanics. He and his wife were members of the Loris Methodist Church.
Married to Eva Mae Bryant, who died in 1946, he had two sons, Daniel Webster Hardwick, Jr. and Nathan Everette Hardwick, Jr. Dan, Jr. never married. Nathan, Jr., who died in 1946, married Nell Louise Winesette and had three grandchildren, Danya Webb Hardwick, Nathan Everette Hardwick, III, and Susan Hardwick. Several years after the death of his wife, Mae, and son, Nathan, he made his home with his grandchildren and his daughter-in-law, Nell Hardwick Stanley and her husband, Thomas Wayne Stanley. Danya married James Homer Yon, Jr. and has two children, James Hardwick Yon and Thomas Webser Yon. Nathan, III, married Linda Ann Rankin and has three children, Nathan Everette Hardwick, IV, Natalie Nell Hardwick and Alexander Ashley Hardwick. Susan married Francis Burt Fitch, III, and has one child, Daniel Burt Fitch.
Daniel Webster Hardwick died November 30, 1963.
1. This should be James Calvin Bryant who is usually referred to as J.C. Bryant. Sent in by great-granddaughter, Sue Canady
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