Built in 1844 by Dr. Hardin.


Dr. William C. Hardin came to Louisiana from Kentucky in approximately 1828. He and his wife Louisa had six children. They were: William Rufus, born 1835; Maria H., born 1838; Louise M., born 1840; Claudius P., born 1843; Neil Cameron, born 1845; and Connor W., born 1852. Neil Cameron went to Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Louisiana and was the youngest member of the Missouri Constitutional Convention of 1875. Neil continued to live in the family home after the death of his father. He lived there with his wife, Henrietta McMakin, and their two sons: William R., born 1876; and Neil Cameron Jr., born 1880. Neil Cameron Hardin Jr. lived in the home after the death of his father.


Neil Cameron Hardin Jr. was born on September 20, 1880. Since he had the same first name as his father, he went by Cam. He also followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming an attorney. At one point, he decided that he wanted to try his hand at acting and moved to California to make silent films. The first film that he starred in, in 1915, was called The Broken Coin. In 1916, he began working for Balboa Amusement Producing Company. This is where he met his future wife Gloria Payton. She was born on August 2, 1897 in New York City. She had lost her parents when she was seven years old. She eventually ended up living with her foster aunt in California at the age of fifteen.


Even though they were seventeen years apart in age, they fell madly in love. They made only one on-screen appearance together, in the movie Temptation and the Girl, in 1917. Cam starred in a total of twenty-seven films, while Gloria only made nine. Overall though, Gloria was more popular with the audiences. Balboa declared bankruptcy in 1918 and the Hardins went to work for Universal Studios. After Gloria made her last film in 1921, the couple moved back to live in Cam’s family home. He went back to practicing law. Gloria always told people to “try to leave things a little better than you found them.” She was interested in giving opportunities to others. Cam died on November 22, 1969 and Gloria died on August 1, 1989. Gloria left $1.7 million in a trust when she died. It was stipulated that the interest from this trust be used to give scholarships Louisiana High School students. 1

1. Engel , Brent. 2014. “Silent Film Stars Leave Lasting Legacy.” Hannibal Courier- Post, June 26.
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