William B. Hardy was the owner of a book, stationary and newspaper store which was located at 959 Broadway, Oakland, California. Hardy in 1876 was also the agent for Bishop's Oakland City Directory.

The 1869 Oakland Directory had a half page advertisement for "W. B. Hardy, Broadway, below Seventh Street, as an importer and dealer in Books, and Stationery, Newspapers and Periodicals, Pocket Cutlery, Legal Blanks and Fancy Articles." He also sold "School Books at Wholesale or Retail" and carried the "leading San Francisco Daily and Weekly papers, as well as Eastern Papers and Magazines delivered at lowest rates." The ad also listed Hardy as the Oakland Office Bamber & Co.'s Express, and "Special attention given to Paying Taxes, Recording Deeds, Mortgages, etc. etc."

In 1876 Hardy was listed in the Oakland City Directory as one of the 'moneyed men of Oakland' who had invested largely in an 'elegant homestead' ranging in cost from $8,000 to $40,000 each. His residence was located on the southwest corner of Franklin and Durant Streets.

Also in 1876 was listed William F. Hardy, university student ... perhaps his son?