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from Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa

Lewis Publishing Company of Chicago, 1887, p. 368


Civil War Flags.jpg JAMES BEARD, was born in Brown County, Ohio, in Higginsport, on the banks of the Ohio River, December 20, 1844, the eldest son of Daniel and Catherine BEARD, natives of Pennsylvania and Ohio respectively. The father of our subject moved with his parents from Pennsylvania to Ohio in 1809, he being then six years of age, and in that State he grew to manhood and learned the cooper's trade. He was married to Catherine RICHARDSON, and to them were born seven children - two sons and five daughters. The family subsequently removed to Indiana, where the father died, in March, 1859. After his death, in 1869, the mother and her children came to Ringgold County, Iowa. The mother is still living, and is now making her home in California.

James BEARD lived in his native county till about nine years of age, when he accompanied his parents to Indiana, where he was reared to manhood and educated in the common schools. He enlisted [from Clay County, Indiana on August 20, 1861 as a Private] in the service of his country at the age of sixteen years, being a member of Company A, Forty-third Indiana Infantry. [He was promoted to Full Sergeant.] He participated in the battles of Island No. 10, New Madrid and Fort Pillow, and from there went to Memphis, thence up White River, where he took part in the other engagements. He was wounded at the battle of Helena, receiving a fracture of the bone in his left thigh, which disabled him for seven months. He rejoined his regiment the following October, and in March following was taken prisoner at Mark's Mills, when he was sent to Tyler, Texas, where he was placed in the stockade, remaining there till August 15, when he made his escape. He traveled northward through Texas and Arkansas, but was recaptured after seventeen days' hard traveling, his principal food during this time being raw corn. He was taken back to Tyler, Texas, where he was kept prisoner until February, 1865, when he was exchanged. He then went to New Orleans, where he received a furlough for thirty days. He was mustered out with his regiment at Indianapolis, Indiana, in June [15], 1865, after serving four years. He then returned to Parke County, Indiana, where he remained until 1869.

He was married in [May 5] 1866 to Miss Aurelia J[ane]. OGDEN, of Parke County, Indiana. He came to Ringgold County, Iowa, in 1869, where he has since followed agricultural pursuits.

Mr. Beard was elected sheriff of Ringgold County in the fall of 1883, and re-elected to the same office in the fall of 1885, which position he still holds to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. Mr. BEARD is a member of the Odd Fellows order, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the Grand Army of the Republic.

Mr. and Mrs. BEARD are the parents of six children-- two sons and four daughters.

NOTE: James A. BEARD died on June 17, 1926, Sawtelle, California. Aurelia Jane (OGDEN) BEARD was born on August 24, 1849, Covington, Indiana, the daughter of J. R. and Elizabeth OGDEN, and died April 1, 1925, Torrington, Goshen County, Wyoming. James and Aurelia were interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. James and Aurela were the parents of six children:

Anna L. BEARD was born February 11, 1867, Clinton County, Indiana.

Elizabeth C. BEARD, daughter of James A. and Aurelia Jane (OGDEN) BEARD, was born in Indiana, May of 1868. She married on February 14, 1883 in Iowa to Presley Dye GEORGE, born January of 1862 in Guernsey County, Ohio, the son of Isaac GEORGE (1833 OH - 1911 MO) and Nancy Ann (SHERIDAN) GEORGE (1835 OH - 1921 MO). Elizabeth died January 12, 1944 in Iowa at the age of 74 years. Presley died in Iowa on March 16, 1925. Elizabeth and Presley were the parents of four children:
1) Anna Perle GEORGE, born 30 Jun 1885, Ellsworth KS; died 28 Dec 1947, Gatesville TX
    married 12 Jun 1907 Welda KS Franklin Stovall WILLEY*
        Franklin born 09 Oct 1882 Mount Ayr IA; died 17 Dec 1967, Temple TX
    interment: Restland, Gatesville TX
    Children: Margaret Perle (1908-1989), John Dye (1913-1983), and Martha Elizabeth (1918-2000)
2) Katherine Maude GEORGE married W. H. WRIGHT
3) Mary Belle GEORGE married Edward Henderson WILLEY*
    Edward born 05 May 1892, Mount Ayr IA; died 14 Sep 1970, Minneapolis MN
4) Elizabeth M. GEORGE, born Aug 1896, MO

Mary Belle BEARD was born in March of 1869, Washington Township of Ringgold County, Iowa. She married Clarence WEEDA, and they resided in Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas.

Olla J. BEARD was born 1871/72, Washington Township of Ringgold County, Iowa. She married D. F. SELLERS, and they resided in Los Angeles, California.

Frederick O. "Fred" BEARD was born in 1873, Washington Township of Ringgold County, Iowa.

John R. BEARD was born in Washington Township of Ringgold County, Iowa, on November 2, 1880; died February 1, 1905 at the age of 24 years. John was interred at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.

* Franklin Stovall WILLEY and Edward Henderson WILLEY were sons of John Drake and Martha M. (THOMAS) WILLEY.

Biography & Historical Record of Ringgold County, Iowa, p. 368, 1887.

American Civil War Soldiers Database,

WPA Graves Survey

Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009

Biographical Sketches Pages Index: A - F,   G - L,   M - R,  S - Z

To submit your Ringgold County biographies, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.

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