Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams, and Franklin Counties", published by Western Historical
Publishing Co., 1904.
MAX HARDER. The estates
owned by Mr. Harder and his two brothers, who are mentioned elsewhere in
this volume, are the largest stock ranches in Franklin county and thus
they are the heaviest tax-payers in this county. Mr. Harder resides
two miles east of Kahlotus at the head of Washtucna lake and his property
is well supplied with water. It is an ideal stock ranch, being provided
with everything that could possibly be needed for carrying on the extensive
business that Mr. Harder does. The estate consists of seven sections,
one-half of which is farming land and the rest grazing. Mr. Harder
owns three hundred cattle and something over two thousand sheep.
He is one of the wealthy and leading citizens of this portion of Washington.
Max Harder was born on November 26, 1858,
in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the son of John and Kate (Rothman) Harder,
also natives of Germany. They followed farming and are now deceased.
Max remained with his parents until seventeen years of age, receiving his
education during that time. Then he began work for himself as a farm
hand which he continued until 1880, when he came to America, landing at
Castle Garden on May 10, of that year. He came on direct to Omaha
and took up farm work until he entered the employ of the Santa Fe railroad
in New Mexico. After a year in that, he turned his attention to mining
and shortly after met with an accident which crippled him. Then he
returned to Germany and remained there until 1883, when be came back to
the United States and took up the stock business. This he has followed
continuously since with the happy results of having gained the magnificent
list of property, mentioned above.
In December, 1889, Mr. Harder married Mrs.
Katherine Moritz, the widow of Peter Moritz and the daughter of Herman
Schlichting natives of Germany. To this union, one son was born,
on December 21, 1894, Walter M. Formerly Mr. Harder belonged to the
Democratic party, but now he is a member of the Republican party, believing
thoroughly in protection. In 1888, he was chosen to the important
position of commissioner of Franklin county and acted in connection with
D. W. Page of Pasco, and Captain Gray of Coeur d' Alene, of Idaho.
Owing to the fact that at that time, Pasco was filled with all sorts of
boomers who were striving to inflate values beyond any reason, the county
commissioners had the fight of their lives to keep them from swamping the
county with bonded indebtedness. However, Mr. Harder, supported by
his stanch associates, stood in the face of objections and at mass meetings,
never flinching, until the question was settled. Owing to this strong
stand, more than anything else, Franklin county enjoys a freedom from indebtedness
to this day. Mr. Harder is well pleased with Franklin county and
says he knows of no other place in the United States superior to this location.
He was one of the pioneers here, seeing much of the hardship incident to
such a life but he has overcome all and is now in a position to enjoy the
splendid properties he has accumulated. It is very interesting to
know that in addition to his other accomplishments and successes, Mr. Harder
is master of three different languages, speaking fluently each one.
He is an honorable and upright man, known over a large section of territory
and esteemed by hosts of warm friends.