Maude Hardwicke


Aug 27, 1874

Nov 14, 1965


Photo Credit:  Rosa G. Gonzales

1.  Obituary

Newswoman, Civic Worker Dies at 91

Mrs. Maude H. Gerhardt, 91, long time resident of Corpus Christi, died at 9 a.m. yesterday in a local rest home after a long illness. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Cage-Mills Funeral Home. A native of Creston, Iowa, she moved to Corpus Christi in 1892, where she taught in the Nuecestown School. She later married John B. Hardwicke, who edited a weekly newspaper, Texas Sun.  When her husband died she kept the paper running several years until she went to work for the Caller in 1915. She later married William Gerhardt, who was in the vegetable growing and shipping business here for many years. Mrs. Gerhardt was a charter member of the Women’s Monday Club, the oldest women’s club in Corpus Christi. She was very active in civic, church, charity and welfare work in Corpus Christi. She was also very active in the early Corpus Christi theater work and helped form the first Little Theatre.  In the 1930’s Mrs. Gerhardt became a radio broadcaster, the first woman in the area to have her own radio program. In the late ‘30s and early ‘40s she did probation work for Nueces County.  Survivors include a son, John b. Harwicke of McAllen: six grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Source:  Corpus Christi Caller, November 15, 1965, Section A, p. 1

Mrs. Gerhardt, Long Active in Civic Work, Dies

Mrs. Maude H. Gerhardt, former schoolteacher and newspaper editor who watched Corpus Christi grow from a small village to a city of nearly 200,000 died at 9 a.m. yesterday in a local rest home. She was 91.  Mrs. Gerhardt came here from Iowa in 1893 to teach school, she later edited the weekly newspaper, Texas Sun, and the daily Times, had a radio news program in the 1930’s and was active in civic, church and social welfare work.  Born Maude Wareham in Creston, Iowa, she came here at the age of 18 when she heard teachers were needed.  “I went to summer normal school and had to take and pass 18 examinations before being granted my second grade teaching certificate,” she recalled a few years ago. Her first teaching job paid her $20 a month. In 1894 she went to Nuecestown to teach at a salary of $45 a month.  A few years after her arrival she married John B. Harwicke, young  editor of the Texas Sun, She soon began helping him and when he died in 1907 took over the paper doing her own news writing, proof-reading and bill-collection.  In the meantime she was busy rearing two sons, John and Arlington. Shortly before Word War I she gave up her newspaper and married William Gerhardt, who was in the vegetable growing and shipping business here for many years.  It was not long before she was back in the newspaper business, however.  She worked for the Caller for a while and later edited the Times.  In the 1930’s she embarked on a new career in radio. She was the first woman in this area to have her own radio program, an hour of women’s news and interviews over KGFI, the city’s radio station. During the late 193’s and early 1940’s she did probation work for the county.  “Most of the youngsters could have been really good children except for their neglect and surroundings in which they lived.” she once commented in an interview. “Their greatest need was association with understanding adults.”  In the meantime, Mrs. Gerhardt was active in civic and church work. She helped organize the Little Theatre here and was its first president in 1940. She was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement and was active in the League of Women voters.  “Women should be more interested in voting,” she once said. “After all, they control most of the property in the country and should have some say about the man who will represent them and vote their taxes.”  She was a charter member of the Women’s Monday Club, the oldest women’s club in the Corpus Christi, and organized the Mary-Martha Sunday School class at the First Presbyterian Church 40 years ago. Mrs. Gerhardt maintained an interest in church work throughout her active life. She is survived by one son, John B. Hardwicke of McAllen’ six grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.  Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Cage-Mills Funeral Home with the Rev. John MacKinnon, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, officiating.  Burial will be in Bayview Cemetery.

Source:  Corpus Christi Times, November 15, 1965, Section A, p.14, col. 1
Research by:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription by:  Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission


2.  Marriage

A marriage of more than ordinary local interest occurred Saturday at 10 p.m., when Mrs. Maude Hardwicke and Mr. Wm. Gerhardt took the nuptial vow.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. D. B. South at the residence of the bride.  The coming marriage was announced by telephone to a few friends of the contracting parties only a few hours before its occurrence, and while not altogether unexpected, it came rather as a surprise to the public.  Only the local press, of which the bride was, and still is, a star member, was invited.  The bride came to Corpus Christi, not so long ago that her cheek has lost the roses of youth, a young girl.  As a teacher in the public schools she quickly won a high place in the esteem of the public.  Later, as a young matron, she filled a worthy place in the religious and social life of the city.  Two years ago a sudden death left her with financial burdens which would have left many women helpless, but with cheerful face and buoyant mind she took up journalism and as publisher of the Texas Sun and local representative of a number of large dailies, she made a success which has given her a statewide reputation.   The groom is a prominent produce shipper with large interest in the north, who has resided here at intervals for the past two years.  The marriage had been scheduled for the early part of January, but business calling Mr. Gerhardt north, the date was hurriedly changed, and but for this, the bride would have had a “send off” seldom accorded a bride in Corpus Christi.  Mr. and Mrs. Gerhardt left immediately after the ceremony, via the Aransas Pass, for an extended tour of the north, reaching as far east as Mr. Gerhardt’s former home in Maine.  They will return sometime in January and make their home in this city. 


Source: The Corpus Crony, December 26, 1908, p. 3, col. 3

Research by: Msgr. Michael A. Howell

Transcription by:  Geraldine D. McGloin, Nueces County Historical Commission


3.  News Item

Mrs. Maude Gerhardt, Was Again Elected to Presidency of Temperance Union.

The annual meeting of Corpus Christi Women’s Christian Temperance Union, for the receiving of reports for the year’s end and the election of officers to serve for the new year was held Wednesday afternoon at the headquarters in the Grande building. Reports of Mesdames Gerhardt, Seeligson, Martinez, Pittman and Medford, showing activities of the Union for the past year elicited applause, each of the reports showing a gratifying increase in the interest of members. Total receipts and disbursements for the year amounted to $254.36.

Officers elected for the new year were:
President, Mrs. Maude Gerhardt.
Vice president, Mrs. M. H. Williams.
Secretary, Mrs. P. C. Medford.
Treasurer, Mrs. E. R. Priest.
Publicity agent, Mrs. D. McNeill Turner.

It was announced that the meeting for next week will be dispensed with, the next regular meeting being set for Tuesday, February 20.

Source:  Corpus Christi Caller & Daily Herald, February 8, 1917, p 5, c 3
Research by:  Msgr. Michael A. Howell
Transcription by:  Kathryn H. Martin, member Coastal Bend Genealogical Society


4.  Biographical information from Pathfinders of Texas, 1836-1846

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