Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surname Saturday: James P. Beard as written in The Centennial History of the Town of Springdale, Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948

Over the past few months, I have been posting articles from the Centennial History of the Town of Springdale,  Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948.  Sometimes these articles are about my McPherson family, but many times not.  Even when the stories are not about my McPherson family, the people of Springdale  were the friends of my great-great grandparents, James P. and Mary Burns McPherson.  I continue to  hope that these stories will bring forth more contacts, family, friends and history of my McPhersons and the town of Springdale,  and to, perhaps, provide a link for those who had family in Springdale during those early years in Springdale.

  This post is about James P. Beard, a neighbor and friend of my great-great grandfather  James P. McPherson, who noted in his diary on  1852 Aug 15  that James P. Beard was a member of the jury on the case between "Nash and Dunkle."   Beard's farm was located in Section 26, east of Section 25 where my  McPherson ancestor lived and over the years Beard  was mentioned often in McPherson's diary  as friend and neighbor.

  Beard was born (b. 13 Dec 1812; d.31 Oct. 1885, Springdale, WI) in either NY or CT, both are listed in various census reports. He married Saloma Newell (1 April 1813,  NY; d. 19 Sept. 1891, Springdale, WI.) and they had eight children: Albert, Byron, Emma Jane, Mary Jane, Ida M, Raymond, James N., and Hanna. The following excerpt is about James P. Beard and his family.

History of the James P. Beard Family
as presented on page 135,
Centennial History of the Town of Springdale
Dane County, Wisconsin, 1848-1948
In 1850 James P. Beard bought 160 acres from the U.S. Government for $1.00. In 1884 James sold the farm to his son Byron. In 1907 Byron sold it to his brother Raymond. After his death, his wife [Emma Marie Burmeister by JGH] took over and after her death it was left it to their six daughters and one son.

Their daughter Mabel (Mrs. Geo. Way) and her husband rented the farm from her father[Raymond by JGH] and moved onto the farm in December 1915. Four of their children – Great grand children of James Beard – were born on this farm

Raymond Beard was born here, also his oldest daughter – his two youngest daughters and one son (he died at the age of five). The oldest daughter Clara and her father were born in the same room – in the same bed.

At the time of the Civil War James mortgaged the farm for $500.00 to keep his son Albert out of the war. It was many years after Byron bought the place that this mortgage was paid.

The “lean to” that was built onto the older two story part of the house still stands as it was built. The two story part was moved away and anew part, identical to the old, was built.

Raymond built the first frame barn on the farm in 1907.

~ ~ ~

© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. Joan, so glad to see you are back. I was missing these transcriptions of this little slice of history.

  2. Thanks, Jacqi, I thought January and February were going to be catch-up months --- alas not the case, just more of the same busyness. Thanks for reading and commenting.