HARRISON BEARD is one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of the city of Charlotte, where he is successfully established in the dairy, fruit and farming business. He was born in Huron county, Ohio, June 12, 1836, and is a son of Elijah and Lucy (Horn) Beard. His father was born in the dominion of Canada, in 1788, and died in Steuben county, Indiana, in 1872; his wife was born in Canada, in 1799, and passed the closing years of her life in Steuben county, Indiana, where she died in 1879. Her great-grandmother was Elizabeth Chamberlain, and she had thirteen children. This worthy couple became the parents of thirteen children, one of whom died in infancy; Franklin died in 1902; Charles died a number of years ago; Jane became the wife of Ananiah Gifford and is now deceased; Phoebe became the wife, first, of Joseph Probasco, second of John Breckenridge, and third of Samuel Langley, and is now deceased; Elijah is deceased; Heman is deceased; Newman resides in Steuben county, Indiana; Harrison, subject of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; Mary, deceased, was the wife of Humphry Foster; Henry is deceased; Harriet resides in Angola, Ind., and Albert also is a resident of Steuben county, Ind. The parents were married in Canada, where they maintained their home until 1831, when they removed to Ohio and located in Ripley township, Huron county, where they remained a short time. The father then purchased eighty acres of wild land in Sherman township, that county, erecting a log house on the place and clearing a portion of the land, which he later gave to his sons, who reclaimed the remainder. The subject of this sketch well recalls this pioneer farm, and on one occasion saw dogs chase a deer through the barnyard of the place. In 1848 Elijah Beard removed to Steuben county, Indiana, where he traded two teams of horses for eighty acres of timbered land, improving the property and continuing resident of that county until his death. He was originally an old-line Whig in politics, but united with the Republican party at the time of its organization and ever afterward gave his support to the same. He and his wife were members of the Baptist church. Two of their sons, Henry and Newman, were valiant soldiers of the Union in the war of the Rebellion. Harrison Beard passed his boyhood days in his native county, having been about twelve years of age at the time of his parents’ removal to Indiana, where he was reared to maturity, having received such educational advantages as were afforded in the pioneer schools of Ohio and Indiana. At the age of eighteen years he began working by the month, as a farm hand, and later learned the blacksmith trade, which he followed as a vocation for some time, at the expiration of which he resumed his association with agricultural pursuits. In 1863 he came to Michigan and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of heavily timbered land in Muskegon township, Muskegon county. He was accompanied by his wife and two children, and they made the journey of one hundred and sixty miles, from Branch county, Mich. (on the Indiana state line) with an ox team, taking their stock with them. He made a clearing on the place and erected a log house fourteen feet square, and a log barn, while later he replaced these by more pretentious frame structures. The first year he prepared the land and set out one thousand peach trees, and about an acre of grapes. The first year of bearing he harvested from this orchard $300 worth of peaches and $100 worth of grapes. The country was at that time very wild, and the deer so numerous that Mrs. Beard, in her husband’s absence, had frequently to drive them away from the growing wheat, and Mr. Beard often killed them in his own yard. This was their second experience in pioneering, as they had already realized the hardship of life in a new country in Indiana. He reclaimed one hundred and twenty-five acres of the farm, to which he added by subsequent purchases until he had two hundred and forty acres, devoting his attention to general farming and to the raising of peaches and grapes. In 1876 he sold a portion of his land and traded another part for property in the city of Charlotte, near the site of the present court house. He took up his residence in Charlotte at this time, and later traded the property for one hundred acres of land in Benton township, one-half of which he reclaimed from the wild state. In 1882 Mr. Beard traded the remainder of his property. He exchanged his farm in Benton township for property in the village of Lake Odessa, Ionia county, and this last mentioned property he later sold. In the summer of 1887 he erected his present residence, in which he took up his abode in November of that year. On his land he set out fruit trees and also prepared for the raising of various kinds of small fruits, thereafter devoting his attention principally to the raising of fruit until 1899, when he engaged in the dairy business, in which he still continues, having a large and representative patronage, while he also continues to raise fruit on a minor scale. At the time of their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Beard were worth just $80; but their property is now worth between $4,000 and $5,000. This marriage was solemnized on the 7th of November, 1859. Mrs. Beard was Miss Francina Stratton, who was born in Morrow county, Ohio, December 5, 1841. Her father, Francis Stratton, was born May 3, 1816, and died February 5, 1880; her mother, whose maiden name was Susannah Cowles, was born in Onondaga county, New York, February 26, 1826, and her death occurred July 25, 1878. In 1852 Mr. Stratton removed from Ohio to Indiana, where he purchased and partially improved a farm of eighty acres. Later he sold this and bought sixty acres, which later he sold and purchased another sixty acres. He sold this property, and soon after the close of the civil war removed to Muskegon county, Michigan, where he purchased eighty acres of wild land, the greater portion of which he reclaimed to cultivation. In 1877 he sold the farm and removed to Barry county, where he purchased ninety acres of land, in Rutland township, improving the property and there continuing to make his home for a number of years. His wife died in that county, and he passed the closing years of his life with his eldest daughter, Mrs. Beard, wife of the subject of this review, in Charlotte. The other two children are Alice, who is the wife of Frank Johnston, a farmer of Rutland township, Barry county; and Elnora, who is the wife of William Myers, residing in the state of California. Mr. and Mrs. Stratton were devout members of the Methodist Episcopal church, and he was a Republican in his political allegiance. To Mr. and Mrs. Beard have been born five children. Elsie was born March 24, 1860, and is now the wife of Peter Ochambaugh, of Van Buren county, Michigan; of their five children Alma and Blanche are deceased, and those surviving are Ralph, born in 1890; Joseph, born in 1892; and Evangeline, born in 1897. Ellsworth Beard was born April 18, 1863, and died August 18, 1865. Frank was born November 10, 1867, and is engaged in the drug business in Charlotte, being a member of the firm of Beard & Vickery. He married Miss Alma Shaw, and they have one child, Hazel, born February 8, 1895. Effie, the fourth child, was born May 16, 1871, and died at the age of three months. Frederick H. was born June 8, 1872, is engaged in the merchandise business in Angola, Indiana, where he conducts the “Racket” store, in the ownership of which he is associated with his brother Frank. He married Miss Belle Sowers, and they have one child, Carroll, born May 2, 1898. The subject of this review gives an unwavering support to the Republican party, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal church.