Knight Commanders

John Lumsden Hardeman

4th Knight Commander

Gamma–University of Georgia, 1868

John Lumsden Hardeman was born in Macon, Georgia, in 1851, making him, of the first four Knight Commanders, the third born there. An 1868 initiate of Gamma, Hardeman was perhaps best known for transferring power from a representative of the lead chapter to the Convention itself. It was this act that shaped the office of Knight Commander for the future.   He also edited the Order’s first catalogue in 1873 as well as its second in 1875.  Hardeman served as president of the 1873 Fourth Convention and orator at the 1879 Convention.  He revised the ritual and constitution in 1874 and refined the report system significantly.  Hardeman founded five and revived two active chapters and oversaw formation of many alumni chapters.  A member and founder of the Macon Alumni Association, he was elected to the Council of Honor by the 1893 Convention.  After several years without intimate participation in the Order’s affairs, John L. Hardeman returned to serve as Knight Commander in 1898 and his leadership brought stability and comfort to the entire Order.  Professionally, Hardeman practiced law in Macon, serving as legislator for Bibb County, solicitor-general and judge of the Macon Circuit, and county attorney.  He died in 1919 and is buried in Macon, Georgia.