Skip to main content

Woodson-Hardeman family collection

Woodson-Hardeman family collection

Save page 1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

Finding aid for the Woodson-Hardeman family collection


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

August 17, 2015

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Woodson-Hardeman family
Title: Woodson-Hardeman family collection
Dates: 1848-1982
Quantity: 2.25 Linear feet
Abstract:This collections contains correspondence, documents, photographs, books, and programs from members of the Woodson-Hardeman family, their businesses, and public events in the city of Little Rock.
Identification: BC.MSS.11.150
Language: English
Permanent URL:


The items in this collection are arranged topically and chronologically.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence of several members of the Woodson-Hardeman family. This includes correspondence between James Alexander "Alex" Woodson and his wife, Virginia Carolina "Jennie" Lanier Woodson, letters to William O. Hardeman from his parents, and correspondence between William Olin Hardeman and his wife, Emma Mills Woodson Hardeman. The collection also contains a photograph album of the Woodson-Hardeman family, school books, newspaper clippings, programs of community events, financial documents, biographies and other material related to the Woodson-Hardeman family and to James Woodson's service as mayor of Little Rock.

Biographical Information

James Alexander "Alex" Woodson was born July 14, 1848, in Greensboro, Rockingham County, North Carolina, to Dr. and Mrs. James Turner Woodson. The family moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1849. James' parents died when he was two, and he was then raised by his grandparents, who also died when he was young. Woodson attended business school in Baltimore, Maryland, and returned to Pine Bluff to open a grocery store.

Woodson later worked for the Little Rock, Pine Bluff and New Orleans Railway. During his years with the railroad, he worked in other cities in the region, and eventually moved to Little Rock. He returned to the grocery business in Little Rock and retired in 1895. James Woodson served on the school board in Little Rock and was mayor of the city from 1895-1900.

In February 1868, shortly after he returned from Maryland, Alex Woodson married Virginia C. Lanier Woodson, also born in 1848 in Rockingham, North Carolina. They had eight children, three of whom died very young. Their remaining children were Gertrude, Emma, Adele, Benjamin, and John. Alex died on October 19, 1908, and Jennie died on January 31, 1937.

Alex and Jennie Woodson's daughter Gertrude married Dr. Daniel R. Hardeman, and their daughter Emma married his brother, William Olin Hardeman. Emma and William, who married on April 29, 1903, had four children: William Olin Hardeman Jr., Charleen Lanier Hardeman, John Morrison Hardeman, and Francis Clay Hardeman.

William Hardeman, born in 1862 in Tennessee, was the son of John Olin and Jane Gray Hardeman. His mother was the daughter of Dr. John H. Gray, the founder of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee. Hardeman was employed with Fones Brothers Hardware Company for 46 years. He died of a heart attack on June 3, 1929, and Emma died on March 26, 1952. They are both buried in Roselawn Cemetery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Arkansas -- Celebrations
Business -- Arkansas -- Little Rock
Business -- Records -- Arkansas -- Little Rock
Fones Bros. Hardware Company. (Little Rock, Ark.)
Hardeman, Emma Mills Woodson, 1877-1952
Hardeman, William Olin, 1862-1929
Little Rock (Ark.)
Mardi Gras -- Arkansas
Small business -- Arkansas
Woodson, James Alexander, 1848-1908
Woodson, Virginia Carolina Lanier, 1848-1937


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating; in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Woodson-Hardeman family collection, MSS.11.150, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Robert W. Duffy, July 20, 2011

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search