Wellesley College, 106 Central St, Wellesley, MA 02481
Laurel Grove North Cemetery, 802 W Anderson St, Savannah, GA 31415
Elizabeth Bailey Hardee (September 28, 1873 – March 11, 1908) was the
daughter of William Pearson Hardee and Cornelia W. Richardone. She was educated at Wellesly College,
graduating in 1894. She was a teacher in Boston & taught mathematics at
Wellesley College in 1899 and 1900.
On March 11, 1908, Sarah Chamberlain Weed of Philadelphia shot and killed Elizabeth Bailey Hardee of East Savannah, Georgia, and then committed suicide. The two women had both attended Wellesley College, class of 1896, and then, together, founded the Laurens School, a fashionable boarding school for girls in the Fenway district today. The bodies of the two women were found in bed by Mrs Page, the matron of the school.
The Laurens School was established late in 1907 by Hardee and Weed. On October 1, 1907, the day the school opened, Weed broke down as a result of overwork, and was committed to a sanitarium in Newton to be treated for nervous prostration.
On March 10, 1908, Weed escaped from the sanitarium and made her way to the school. She appeared to be badly deranged mentally. A fruitless attempt was made to communicate with the authorities of the sanitarium, and at length Hardee succeeded in getting Weed to go to bed.
Hardee retired at the same time as Weed, and the two women occupied Hardee's room. Both women were awakened by Page at 6 A.M. and notified that they must get up if they were to catch the 7:35 train, on which Weed was to be taken back to Newton.
Page then left them, and a few moments later the shooting occurred. Page thinks the mention of returning to the sanitarium must have excited and angered Weed and induced the shooting. Hardee had been shot through the base of the brain, while there was a bullet wound in Weed's right temple. A revolver with two chambers empty was lying on Weed's breast. Medical Examiner Stedman, after viewing the bodies, declared that Weed had committed suicide after having killed Hardee.
The women had been intimate friends since their graduation from Wellesley College, Hardee receiving her diploma in 1894, while Weed received hers a year later. Hardee was an instructor of mathematics at Wellesley in 1899 and 1900.