Biographical sketch of FRED A. BEARD from the book entitled, "Biographical Memoirs of Saint Clair County, Michigan," published in 1903 by B. F. Bowen Publishers in Logansport, Indiana.
This bio spans three (3) pages: 434-436
FRED A. BEARD
It is proper to judge of the success and status of a man’s life by the estimation in which he is held by his fellow citizens.They see him at his work, in his family circle, at his devotions, hear his views on public questions, observe the outcome of his code of morals, witness him in all the relations of society and civilization and thus become competent to judge of his merits and demerits.After a long course of years of such daily observation it would be out of the question for his neighbors not to know his worth, because, as has been said, “Actions speak louder than words.”In this county there is nothing heard concerning the subject of this sketch but good words.He has passed so many years here that his worth is well known, but it will be of interest to run over the busy events of his life in these pages.He was born in Port Huron township July 28, 1841, and is the son of John and Anna (Fick) Beard.His father was born in Chenango county, New York, May 11, 1811, and the mother’s birth occurred at Long Point, Canada, August 15, 1817.The grandfather of this subject was Ai Beard, of Chenango county, New York.In his native state the grandfather was a mill-man and after bringing his family to Michigan in 1831, having inspected this region the year before, he followed the business in St. Clair county.He was the founder and builder of the first mill in Clyde township, unless it be a little mill built by Morass & Tingley on Mill creek previous to the war of 1812, and which stood where the Bunce mills were later located.He remained in Clyde township for some years and then removed to Port Huron township, where he died in 1852.John Beard accompanied his father to Long Point, Canada, in 1837, and was there married.He began in a modest way to accumulate land and at one time was the owner of seven thousand acres in Clyde township, and adjoining townships, and from the most of which he cut the timber and sawed it into lumber.His first domicile was a log cabin, which he built himself, and for some years he and family made their home in this place.As time passed the long (sic) cabin was supplanted by a larger and more modern house.Lumbering and mill interests occupied the mind of Mr. Beard and the subject was himself brought up to the business.John Beard was a leading politician of Clyde township and held many offices during his residence there.He was a Democrat and took a keen interest in the promotion of his party’s principles.In the Methodist church he was also a strong factor and many of her investments were piloted to success by him.His family, of which there were five children, was also very prominent in the church and social affairs of the township.Of the children, four are living, David, who is mentioned in another part of this volume, Frederick Albert, the subject of this sketch, Jennie C., he wife of Fred Nichols, of Oakland, California, and Horace, merchant, stock dealer and farmer of Yale, Michigan.The third child, Elizabeth, has been deceased some years.Mr. Bears was the organizer of the Clyde township gravel and plank road, which was begun in 1874; also of the Port Huron and Lapeer township plank road, begun in 1850.He was one-fourth owner of the stock of the Clyde Plank and Macadamized Road Company, owning forty-nine shares, he and his son Frederick effecting the organization in 1874.It extends from Port Huron for six and one-half miles into Clyde township.It has cost thirty-two thousand dollars.Its tolls the first few years were from five thousand dollars to seven thousand dollars per year, though now only about two thousand four hundred dollars, owing to construction of the old Port Huron and Lapeer plank road, started in 1850, was also constructed through Mr. Beard’s influence and was planked for twenty miles to Bucknay and was the outlet of that section of the country for upwards of twenty years, paying handsome dividends.
Fred A. Beard was educated in the township schools of Clyde, with two years in Albion College.August 5, 1874, he was married to Miss Anna Conlan, of Clayton, New York, a daughter of Edward Conlan, a native of Ireland, and a Miss Barnhart, who was reared on the Barnhart islands on the St. Lawrence.The father of Mrs. Bears came to Grant township in an early day.Mrs. Beard when a child lived with a sister, Mrs. Charles Farr, before her parents came to Michigan.Fred Beard began his farm life as a stock raiser and has continued to carry on the business, increasing his interests as time passes.In 1894, his fine barn burned and twenty head of shorthorn cattle and twenty horses were destroyed, entailing a great loss.About three years ago his commodious residence, one of the largest and best in the county, costing eight thousand five hundred dollars for labor and trimmings alone and with a frontage of one hundred and four feet, was destroyed.This great structure would cost, under present conditions, at least fifteen thousand dollars.
In his farm of one thousand, six hundred and twenty acres about five hundred acres are cleared and three hundred are in pasture, the remainder being largely covered with valuable timber.His farm is one of the finest in the township or county and Clyde Valley Stock Farm is one of the prettiest homes of the country.At one time his herd of ninety heard of registered shorthorn cattle were affected with tuberculosis and it became necessary to dispose of them.He now has a herd of about fifty head of Holsteins.In addition to the interests of his stock and farm Mr. Beard has the management of the old Beard mill and does all kinds of sawing.This mill is one of the oldest in the country and the first frame house to be erected in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was built with lumber from Beard’s mill.The original building was forty by sixty feet and it was rebuilt in 1850 and remodeled in 1870, being equipped with turbine wheels and circular saws.Mr. Beard is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Clyde and is an active worker in the parish, being also one of the most liberal of its supporters.In the lo0dges of which he is a member he is also very active and this work comes second only to the church.He is enrolled with the Maccabee lodge of Clyde and the Ancient Order of Grangers, Ruby Arbor, Clyde township.He is one of the most prosperous farmers in the county and he and wife are considered among the most popular and best respected citizens of the township.In all ways they have proven themselves more than worthy of the respect and honor that has been shown them by appreciating friends and neighbors.
PLEASE NOTE:I do not have any personal interest in researching the BEARD surname or the St. Clair county, Michigan location.I am merely posting a select number of the biographical sketches found in the above-referenced book *upon specific written request* as a service to the genealogical community.Therefore, please do not contact me with regard to research interests in the above.I am not related to this family.Thank you.