Charles E. Hardies was brought into this World under quite fortunate circumstances on April 14, 1878. His father August Hardies was a well-to-do broom manufacturer who was able to provide Charles, his brother and three sisters a more than comfortable childhood in their Ft. Hunter home. Charles attended public schools in Ft. Hunter and Fonda, graduating from high school at the age of 17 in 1895. He was an exceptionally bright young man and he was able to secure a clerkship in the Amsterdam law offices of Montgomery County Supreme Court Justice Henry V. Borst. Hardies studied law under Borst for the next three years, gaining admittance to the New York State Bar in 1899 at the age of 21.
He would spend the next nine years practicing law as Borst’s associate. Before that association ended, Hardies had been elected Montgomery County district attorney in 1907 and married Cohoes native Grace Beattie in 1908.
Hardies established a masterful record as the county DA. He handled the disposition and trials of over 500 indictments with only four acquittals. That glowing record helped him get elected Montgomery County Court Judge in 1918, as a Democrat. Once again, Hardies performed brilliantly. Only two of the hundreds of cases he tried during his six years on the bench were reversed on appeal.
When he returned to private practice in 1924, his outstanding record of accomplishment at every level of the county’s judicial system helped him quickly build an enviable client list. Hardies become well known for his courtroom skills and astute legal mind throughout central New York State. Several local businesses coveted his expertise and contacts. He served as president of the Clover Leaf Milk Company and was on the Board of Directors of two other Montgomery County manufacturing firms and the board of the First National Bank.
He was also active in civic affairs. Hardies was an early and diehard supporter of the Amsterdam YMCA and is credited with spearheading the fundraising necessary to get the organization’s former Division Street facility built. He was one of the most prominent and active Mason’s in Amsterdam history.
He and his wife had two children. Their daughter Ellen would marry the well-known character actor, Malcolm Atterbury Jr.Their son Charles Jr.would grow up to become a lawyer, join his father’s practice and in 1972, get sworn in as Montgomery County DA 64 years after his dad took the same oath.
For relaxation, the family would summer at their beautiful cottage on Oxbow Lake up near Speculator, NY. Their year-round home was at 19 Grant Avenue in Amsterdam.
Hardies health began to fail in his fifties. Then just two weeks before Christmas in 1939, he fell seriously ill. He tried to recover at home . He seemed to be getting better and was planning to return to his offices at the First National Bank building on East Main Street but he never did. In the early morning hours of December 22 he passed away. He was just 61 years old at the time of his death.
This former Amsterdam public safety commissioner also celebrated his birthday on April 14.