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Garard/Girard Family

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Aledo Weekly Record, 3/15/1864
With a well regulated fishery and many year's experience I will try to supply the street with a good quality of fresh fish. Eastern rags positively not taken.
Wholesale prices - rough fish $1.25 cwt, cat fish $3.00 cwt, fine fish $5.00 cwt.
New Boston 3/29/1864."

Alternate Spellings - Garard, Girard - almost all the records are found as Garard.

Links - Drury

Contacts and Sources - Marna Wilson sent us a biography of William Girard from Past and Present of Mercer County, 1914, and in verifying the information we found much interesting history of the family and of the fishing industry in New Boston.

History of Captain William Garard

Here is the text from the Past and Present of Mercer County, 1914:

"Captain William Girard is entitled to mention as one of the 'boys in blue' who in time of civil strife came gladly to the defense of the Union. His birth occured on March 12, 1833 at Miamitown, Hamilton county, Ohio. His parents were Matthew and Sarah (Campbell ) Giriard, the latter of whom passed away when the subject of this review was quite young. In 1841 the father went overland to Burlington and was for many years a river man. He was a cooper by trade and also devoted some time to this occupation, owning a shop in Burlington and later one in Oquawka, Illinois. He passed away at the age of 75.

Our subject was one of two children born to the marriage of his parents and was only about 8 years of age when he came west with his father. As a young man he began work on the Mississippi river, continuing that occupation until the beginning of the Civil War. He then enlisted in the Union Army and served for three years and several months. He was a gallant soldier and at the close of the war returned with a military record of which any man might be proud. He came to New Boston after the cessation of hostilities and has since made his home at this place. For many years he was engaged as an engineer on steamers plying up and down the river and won a reputation of being throughly competent. He was prudent and careful and never had a a serious accident. About 10 years ago he retired on account of advancing years and has since lived in the enjoyment of the comforts of life which his former toil has made possible.

Captain Girard married Miss Anna H. Little, born in July 1843, a native of Kentucky and daughter of James and Anna (Hardy) Little. Captain and Mrs. Girard became the parents of three children: Mrs. Fannie F. Drury of New Boston , Harriet who passed away in childhood; and Anna, the wife of Willard Smull of New Boston. Captain and Mrs. Girard are passing down the westward slope of life together and are among the esteemed and honored residents of New Boston." More on the family below.

Mathew Garard Family of Ohio and Illinois

Mathew Garard did indeed live in Oquawka, Henderson County, Illinois, where he is found in 1870: #121 Mathew Garard, 64, fisherman, born Ohio; Julia, 36, Ohio; Gus, 21, fisherman, Iowa; Lewis, 18, Iowa; John, 11, Iowa; Allison (male), 9, Il; Caroline, 7, Il; Anne, 3, Il; Hattie 3/12, Illinois. Mathew did die at about age 75, as Julia is a widow in 1880 in Oquawka: #201, Julia Girard, 45, born Germany, parents born Germany; Adison, 19, son, works on farm, Il, father Oh, mother Germay; Mary, 18, Il; Anna, 12, Il; Eddie, 6, Il; Emma, 6, Il; Lewis, 30, step son, born Iowa, father born Ohio, mother born Ohio.

Son Augustus Garard is found in Keithsberg, Mercer County, in 1880: Augustus Garard, 30, fisherman, born Iowa, parents born Ohio; Ella, 23, born Il, parents born Virginia; William, 5, born Il, father Ia, mother Il. Augustus Garard had married Ellen Endicott 5/22/1873 in Henderson County.

From the census records above, it appears that Gus and Lewis were sons born before Mathew married Julia. Both give their mother as born Ohio, but possibly Mathew married again in Ohio. Or perhaps the 1914 history erred in mentioning only two children of the union of Mathew and Sarah Campbell Garard.

Further history connected to the River is reflected in the 1900 census record of Augustus on Jackson Street in Keithsburg: Augustus Garard, born Feb 1850, Iowa, parents born Ohio; button cutter; Ellen, April 1857, Ia, 43, married 27 years, 1 child born, 1 child living; William C. Garard, June 1874, superintendent, button factory; Fred W. Ross, stepson, May 1870, age 10, Il, father Oh, mother Il; Thomas Rippy, December 1837, lodger, 61, born NJ, parents born NJ, constable. The "buttons" were of course made from Mississippi River shells. We have looked for some time for the actual "button factory" as people were button cutters on both sides of the River here in this time period. Now we wonder if they were "home industries." Augustus Girard is buried in Greenmound Cemetery and his tombstone reads 1850-1912.

More on the William Garard Family

We find William Garard in the 1870 census for New Boston: William H. Garard, 36, engineer on boat, born Ohio, wife Anna, 29, born Kentucky, Annie, 8, born Indiana, Fanny F., 13, born Illinois.

Daughter Fannie F. Garard married Eddie L. Drury 5/3/1877. He was Edward S. Drury, son of William and Vashti Lewis Drury, born about 1857 in Mercer County. Edward and Fannie Drury had a daughter Clair Drury, born about 1878.

In 1880 in New Boston City we find: #49 William Garard, 47, born Ohio, parents born Ohio, steam boat engineer; Isral Ann, 40, born Ky, parents born Ky; Anna, 20, born In, father, Oh, mother Ky; Glen Garard, 6/12, grandson, Il, father In, mother In. (Note that Ann or Anna was likely the middle name of William's wife - we could not quite read her first name in the census but it is indexed as Israel.) In 1900 in New Boston City: #229, William Garard, born March 1833, age 66, married 44 yrs, born Oh, parents born Ohio, no occupation; Anna, July 1840, age 59, 3 children born, 2 living, Ky, parents born Ky; Glen, grandson, December 1879, 20, born Il, father Il, mother In, hostler. The Oxford dictionary tells us a hostler services machines when they are not in use. Perhaps Glen is continuing the family tradition and services steam engines? Glen Garard married Katie Nicholson 7/2/1902 in Henry County, Indiana.

Amazingly in 1910 at the age of 75 William is working as a fireman on a steamboat. He must have been a man of great strength and stamina. New Boston City: 53 Clay Street, William H. Garard, fireman, steamboat, 75, married 53 years; Anna, 69, 3 children born, 2 living, born Ky, parents born Kentucky. The two children living would have been Fanny Drury and daughter Anna. We did not find a marriage for Anna and assume she is Glen's mother. William and Anna Garard are buried in New Boston Cemetery, along with a daughter Hattie, born 3/16/1859 and died 9/12/1869. William's dates are 1834-1916 and Anna's are 1842-1916.

We were unable to verify the Civil War service of William Garard. He is not listed in any of the Mercer County regiments but more than likely served in Iowa. He is not indexed anywhere in Civil War records found on It is quite possible that he was not a Captain and that "Captain" was an honorary civilian title. We would certainly like to solve this mystery (we checked under both Girard and Garard and handchecked the Mercer County regiments in case he was missed in indexing).

Lewis H. Garard Family

Lewis H. Garard was living in New Boston in the mid-1860's per the advertisement posted in the Aledo Weekly Record (copy at top of the page). In 1860 he was in Burlington City, Des Moines, Iowa: #726 Lewis Garard, 37, fisherman, Ohio; Elizabeth, 27, Ohio; Charlie, 7, Iowa; Margaret A., 3, Iowa; Fanny, 1, Iowa; Robert Hampson, 14, Pa; R. H. L. Coggswell, 290, Grocer, born New Hampshire; Fanny C., 22, Oh; Anna B., 1, Virginia. Since Burlington was the destination of Mathew Garard in 1841 per the 1914 History, we have to believe that Lewis was a relative. Mathew was born about 1806 and Lewis H. was born about 1823 so they could conceivably have been brothers. Since Mathew named a son Lewis, probably for Lewis H., this seems quite likely. We found nothing further on Lewis.