Harry Hardingham Jr., Laurel's mayor from 1954 to 1958 who also owned businesses in Laurel, died Jan. 22 at his daughter's home in Roseville, Calif. He was 97.
Hardingham served a two-year term on the Laurel City Council, from 1952 to 1954, before being elected mayor for two, two-year terms. During his time in city government, he brought the city's water system under the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which tied the city into a regional system and put an end to the city dumping sewerage into the Patuxent River. His administration also purchased the old fire station on Montgomery and Ninth streets for $25,000 to use as a city hall, bringing city agencies together under one roof. To help meet the growth he saw coming to Laurel, he appointed the city's first full-time building inspector and established the office now known as the city administrator.
Born in Baltimore, Hardingham lived most of his life in Laurel. He owned two gas stations and then operated the Laurel Car Wash at the Laurel Shopping Center for 20 years.
His wife, Margaret, died in February 2011.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Donaldson Funeral Home. Mayor Craig Moe released a statement saying the flag at the Laurel Municipal Center would be flown at half-staff until the day of funeral services, "in honor of Hardingham's service and contributions to the city of Laurel."