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 2020 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 2020 and
is buried in Mountain View Cemetery.
This 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