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Hardy Croom

Source: The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol.III pg. 92-3 1923
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present

 CROOM, HARDY. The entire business career of HARDY CROOM has been passed in connection with transportation systems, and during a period of more than a quarter of a century spent in this line of work he has become a man of wide and thorough experience. At the present time he is manager of the Jacksonville Traction Company, a position in which his ability and executive management are doing much to give the people of this city their best and most efficient of service. Mr. CROOM was born in Jefferson County, Florida, and like a number of men who have succeeded in city affairs, is a product of the farm, his birth having occurred on his father’s farm August 27, 1874. He is a son of HARDY C. and AGNES A. (WARE) CROOM. His father, a native of Leon County, Florida, born in 1840, became one of Florida’s pioneer orange growers, and for many years carried on that business in conjunction with general agricultural pursuits, in Jefferson County, where he died in 1904, at the age of sixty-four years. He was a man who bore an excellent reputation in his community for business integrity and personal probity, was a member of the Masonic fraternity and in politics gave allegiance to the democratic party. His religious faith was that of the Episcopal Church, to which also belonged his wife, who was born in Jefferson County, this state, and died in 1921, when seventy-two years of age. The only child of his parents, HARDY CROOM spent his boyhood on his father’s farm and orange grove and acquired his early education in the public schools. Later he pursued a course at the University of Florida, from which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1896, and when he left that institution had no inclination for a rural career. Accordingly he secured a position in the drafting department of the Plant System Railway, with which he remained until 1901, in that year entering the service of the Jacksonville Street Railway, now known as the Jacksonville Traction Company, of which he was made superintendent. Mr. CROOM held that position until 1907, when he was advanced to the post of manager, a position which he still retains. He is a thorough railway man, fully informed as to all details of management and able to handle the problems of traffic and transportation, and has brought the system to a high standard of efficiency. As a fraternalist he maintains membership in Temple Lodge, F.and A.M.; the local lodge of the Knights of Pythias; and Jacksonville Lodge, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His religious connection is with the Episcopal Church. Politically he is a democrat, but his duties have been such as to keep him from taking other than a good citizen’s part in public affairs. On June 5, 1902, Mr. CROOM was united in marriage with Miss LETTIE GIRARDEAU, who was born in Jefferson County, Florida, and to this union there have been born three sons: HARDY J., HOWARD and ARINTON.
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