Dictionary of Irish Latin American Biography

Hardy, Richard (1844-1891), sugar mill industrialist, was born in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, the eldest child of James Hardy (1813-1875) and Margaret, née Simmons. 

Richard Hardy settled in Argentina with his younger brother Charles Hardy (1859-1913). In 1882, with the help of Robert A. Young, Patrick Coghlan (1851-1927), Joseph Coghlan (1853-1892), and other British and Irish emigrants, Richard and Charles Hardy established Las Palmas colony of Chaco in the northern province of Argentina, 68 Km from its capital Resistencia. They established a pioneering sugar refinery, which provided electric power. Las Palmas was thus the first town with electric public lightning in Argentina. In 1888 a 200 Km-long railway was built, and other industrial production lines were added to the refinery (sawmill, cotton processor, tannery, and facilities to produce paper, alcohol, ice, and oil). Richard Hardy died unmarried on 3 June 1891 in London. His brother Charles Hardy remained in Las Palmas, and married Spanish-born Esperanza María (b.1874), daughter of Joaquín Bonilla and Micael Ordos. Charles Hardy died in Mar del Plata on 17 February 1913.

Edmundo Murray


- Coghlan, Eduardo A., Los Irlandeses en la Argentina: Su Actuación y Descendencia (Buenos Aires, 1987), p. 153, 454.

- Reseña Histórica de la Ciudad de Las Palmas ( accessed 25 August 2004

Copyright © Society for Irish Latin American Studies

Online published: 1 September 2004
Edited: 07 May 2009

Murray, Edmundo, '
Hardy, Richard (1844-1891)' in "Irish Migration Studies in Latin America" November-December 2005 (


The Society for Irish Latin American Studies, 2005

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