JOSIAH A. BIRCHARD, who is now living retired in the city of Bellevue, is an honored citizen of Eaton county, which has represented his home and field of endeavor for two score of years. He was born in Windham township, Portage county, Ohio, September 2, 1828, being a son of Nathan A. and Betsey Eliza (Alford) Birchard, the former of whom was born in Vermont, in 1801, and the latter in Becket, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, both being members of families established in New England in the colonial era of our national history. Both passed the closing years of their lives in Windham township, Portage county, Ohio, where the father died at the age of sixty-three years and the mother at the age of seventy-seven. Nathan A. Birchard was about ten years of age when his father, Nathan Birchard, and the other members of the family removed from Massachusetts to the new state of Ohio. having been members of a colony formed for the purpose in Becket, Massachusetts. They settled in Portage county, Ohio, where Nathan A. was reared to manhood, and where he eventually purchased one hundred and five acres of wild land, in Windham township, reclaiming the same to cultivation and remaining on the homestead until the time of his death. He was one of the influential and honored citizens of his county and his life was one of integrity and signal usefulness. Of his six children the following brief data are entered: Mariah, who became the wife of George B. Conant, died in Portage county, Ohio, in 1900; the subject of this sketch was one of twins; Matthew died in 1900, at Sioux City, Iowa; Nathan is a resident of Bascobel, Wisconsin; Warren C. died in Newton Falls, Ohio; and Mark E. resides on the old homestead, in Portage county, Ohio. Josiah A. Birchard passed his boyhood and youth on the home farm and early learned the lessons of practical industry, the while he made good use also of the somewhat limited advantages afforded in the subscription or district schools of the pioneer days. At the age of twenty-four years he bought a tract of land in his native county and engaged in farming on his own account. Two years later, however, he disposed of the property and removed to Wisconsin, becoming a pioneer of Grant county, where he continued to follow agricultural pursuits until there came the call of higher duty, when the integrity of the Union was thrown into jeopardy through armed rebellion. He forthwith enlisted as a private in Company G, Thirty-third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, with which he continued in active service three years, being finally promoted first lieutenant of his company, of which he had command during the last year of his term, having charge of mustering out its members. He took part in numerous engagements, including a number of the more important order, and his record was that of a gallant and faithful soldier of the republic. He participated in the siege of Vicksburg, the Red river campaign, the battle of Nashville, and other spirited conflicts and more or less hazardous expeditions and campaigns. On the occasion of one battle he was serving as orderly sergeant and, having lost his gun, volunteered to carry cartridges to the men on the firing line in front. As he started the bullets and balls were flying all about him, but he pressed forward and distributed the ammunition to his comrades, forty-five of whom fell about him in less than one hour. He was never wounded or taken prisoner. He received his honorable discharge at the expiration of his term of enlistment. After the close of the war Mr. Birchard came to Eaton county and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land in Bellevue township, erecting a house on the place and instituting the reclamation of the land from the forest. Two years later he disposed of the property and took up his residence in the village of Bellevue, where he engaged in teaming for a few years, after which he turned his attention to work at the carpenter's trade, which has taken his attention to a greater or less degree during all the intervening years. He has done a large amount of contracting and building and has been successful in his efforts along this line of enterprise. He served four years as postmaster of Bellevue, during the administration of President Harrison, and was incumbent of the office of justice of the peace several years, besides serving as school inspector. He is an uncompromising adherent of the Republican party, and takes an active interest in the promotion of its cause. He has been identified with the Masonic fraternity since 1860 and is an appreciative and popular member of the local post of the Grand Army of the Republic. He is the owner of a beautiful home, on South street, having purchased the same in 1899. The family is prominent in the social life of the community, and Mr. Birchard is a citizen who commands the uniform confidence and regard of all who know him. January 15, 1852, Mr. Birchard was united in marriage to Miss Julia M. Kingsley, who was born in Becket, Berkshire county, Massachusetts, June 18, 1830, being a daughter of David B. and Julia E. (Fitch) Kingsley, the former of whom was born in Becket, June 4, 1804, and died, in Windham township, Portage county, Ohio, at the age of sixty-six years, and the latter of whom was born in Terringford, Connecticut, February 6, 1805, and likewise died in Portage county, Ohio. Mrs. Birchard, who was born in the same house as her father, was but ten months of age at the time of her parents' removal from the old Bay state to Ohio, where she was reared and educated. She was the first born of the four children: Frances, who became the wife of E. F. Jagger, died in Ohio, about 1895; Mary L. never married and her death occurred in Oskaloosa, Iowa, in 1903; and Emily is the wife of Payson Clarke, of Portage county, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Birchard had nine children born to them, seven of whom are now living in different parts of the United States.