Beard and Crull Families of Mercer County, Illinois

Beard and Crull Families

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Alternate Spellings: Baird, Kroll

Links: Woodward Web Site Beard, Cook, Welch, ; This Mercer Web site: Welch, Rooth, Bear, Cook, Commons; Childs, Church; Spolader, Sloan, Prouty, Winslow, Poland, Spitznogle, Marlatt, Isaac Willits, Levi Willits; Barbara Frisby has added biographies of Abraham Beard, John Beard, son of Thomas, Isaac Beard, John Beard of Wayne Co, In, Cyrus Beard, and Thomas J. Beard to the Rootsweb Beard Message Board - when typing in names to search be sure the Beard Message Board is selected!).

Contacts: Woodward Beard Family - Barbara Frisby; Rachel Beard Sloan Family - Clorita Kenny, Crull Family - Frank Myers; Gary Crull; Beards in Indiana; Cyrus & Carrie Spolader Beard - Sarah Cady; Cyrus and Viola Spitznogle Beard Family - Ken Schlobohm; Fred and Mable Sloan Beard Family - Melisse Trentz; Date Beard Family - Bill Beard.

Photos - Cyrus and Carrie Spolader Beard & family courtesy of Barbara Frisby. Fred and Mable Sloan Beard, courtesy of Melisse Trentz. Martha Willits Beard, courtesy of Melisse Trentz. Photo of Patrick Beard, Jr. tombstone. Abraham and Betsy Crull Beard tombstone. Tombstone photos courtesy Betty Welch (more to come).

Ancestors of the Beards in Mercer County

The progenitor of several Mercer County families was Patrick Beard, Indiana State Senator. Patrick was born in Londonderry, Ireland, and immigrated to America with his parents, John and Martha Beard, in 1770.

There is a page of history on Patrick Beard at the Woodward Web Site. Patrick Beard Senior's wife is thought to be Hannah Woodward. A lifelong friend of Patrick's was Hannah's brother, John Woodward, father of Rachel Woodward Welch who came to Mercer County in 1856 or 1857, and settled near the Patrick Beard, Jr., family. Patrick and Hannah Beard named a son Abraham (for Hannah�s father?) and a son Woodward, and this is strong evidence that Patrick�s wife was Hannah Woodward, daughter of Abraham. However, since the families were lifelong friends and neighbors this could also account for the naming pattern and hence a question remains since the actual marriage record has not been found.

Patrick Beard died in Wayne County, Indiana, in 1831. There is a link on his page to his will.

About 1838 or 1839 several of Patrick Beard's descendants came to Mercer County, including sons Woodward Beard, Patrick Beard, Jr., Abraham Beard, and daughters Hannah Cook, Rachel Church, and grandson Enos Commons, son of Martha Beard Commons. Daughter Alice came to Mercer County, died 12/5/1846, and is buried in Mannon Cemetery. Son John Beard remained behind in Wayne County, but his son Cyrus Beard, grandson of Patrick came to Mercer County.

Beard Land Purchases in Mercer County

Land records show Beard family purchases. On September 27, 1839, Patrick Beard, Jr., bought the E/2NW of Section 2 and the E/2 & W/2NW of Section 3 in Township 14N Range 5W. He filed on these parcels at the Galena Land Office on 11/10/1841. This land is shown in the possession of his widow, Susie Winslow Beard, on the New Boston Township 1875 plat map

Patrick was the only son obtaining public land, but the 1875 New Boston Township plat map shows land for Abraham Beard in the W/2 NE Section 2 and several parcels for his children in Sections 9 and 11. Abraham also owned two parcels in Section 33 and 34 as shown on the Eliza Township 1875 plat map . He is shown on the delinquent tax list in 1861 for 160 acres in Section 34. Being on the delinquent tax list was not unusual in that cash short time. Patrick Beard nearly lost part of his land in 1859 when the Aledo Weekly Record shows a public land sale scheduled for 9/17/1859 for SWSW Sec 35 in T15NR5W and 48 acres of his land in Section 3 in New Boston Township. Apparently he came up with the tax money as he is shown again on the delinquent tax list for the same property in 1861.

Beard grandson, Enos Commons, also owned land. He sold a portion of it to Rachel Woodward Welch's son-in-law (and grandfather of Jill Martin and Nadine Holder), Monroe Eikenbary in 1865.

Thomas Church, husband of Rachel Beard Church, obtained public land which will be described on the Church family page.

More on Children of Patrick and Hannah Beard who came to Mercer County

Hannah Beard Cook

Patrick's daughter Hannah Beard married Eli Cook January 27, 1825, in Wayne County, Indiana. Eli Cook was from the same area of North Carolina as the Woodwards and there is a page with information on his family at the Woodward Web Site. There is also a Cook page on this Mercer County site with more information on Eli.

Martha Beard Commons

Daughter Martha Beard married Nathan Commons on 10/28/1819 in Wayne County, Indiana, and it was their son, Enos, who came to Mercer County with the other Beards. There is more about them on the Commons page.

Rachel Beard Church

Daughter Rachel Beard married Thomas Church on 1/29/1835 in Wayne County, Indiana. There is more on the Church page.

John and Charity Brady Beard of Wayne Co, Ind

John Beard, son of Patrick and Hannah Beard, married Charity Brady 6/26/1823 in Wayne County, Indiana. They did not migrate to Mercer County with the other Beards, but their son Cyrus did.

John Beard is found in the 1850 Wayne County, Indiana, Census. His family includes wife Charity Brady and son Cyrus, age 19, future husband of Mahala, daughter of brother Abraham Beard, and also future husband of Carrie Spolader. Additional children of John shown in 1850 are Hannah, age 23; Eli, age 21; Alice, age 17; and Sarah, age 15, all born Indiana. John was a widower at this time. John Beard later lived with his son Cyrus in Kansas. He died September 11, 1871, and is buried in the Sowers Union Cemetery in Kansas. More on Cyrus Beard with the Woodward Beard family and at the bottom of the page.

Patrick and Susannah Winslow Beard

Son Patrick Beard, Jr., married Susannah Winslow on 11/5/1832 in Wayne County, Indiana. So far we have not been able to place her in the Winslow family and would appreciate any information anyone has on this point. We have a page up for some Winslows in Mercer County but do not have a connection to Susannah.

In the 1850 Census, Patrick Beard Jr. is recorded as head of household #491 in T14N R4W, Mercer County. He is shown as age 44, farmer, born Tennessee, wife Susan (Winslow), age 42, born North Carolina, and daughter Emily, age 17, born Indiana. Emily is apparently the only child they had. On 10/17/1852, daughter Emily married Murphy L. Bouham in Muscatine County, Iowa. The Bouhams are not found in Mercer County census records nor have we found them in Iowa.

In the 1860 census Patrick and Susan have a young Fuller family from Maine living with them. There is no known relationship between the families, so young Fuller was probably working for the Beards, and he had relatives nearby. Patrick Beard died 9/14/1867, age 60 y 2 m 29 ds and is buried in Mannon Cemetery (photo of his tombstone linked above).

In 1870, Susannah Beard, age 62, is living alone on the property, but brother-in-law Abraham lived not far away. Susanna died 4/9/1878, age 69 y 10m 13d and is buried beside her husband in Mannon Cemetery in New Boston Township.

Woodward and Abraham Beard and the Crull Sisters

Sons Woodward and Abraham Beard married Crull sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, daughters of Jacob and Hannah Crull. Abraham and Betsy were married on 11/18/1830 in Wayne County, Indiana; Woodward and Mary were married 12/17/1833 in Wayne County, Indiana. More on the Crull Family at the bottom of the page and more on the individual families below.

Woodward and Mary Crull Beard

In the 1850 Census, Woodward Beard is shown as head of household #395 in T14N R5W, in Mercer County. He is age 37, farmer, (no land owned), born Ohio (actually Indiana), wife Mary (Crull), age 34, born Ohio, son John, 15, born Indiana, and Patrick, 10, Jacob, 8, Jane, 5, "Sarah", 1, all born Illinois.

Woodward Beard and family went to Kansas some time before 1859 and settled near the Santa Fe trail. The daughter "Sarah" named in the 1850 census in the Woodward Beard family above is a bit of a puzzle. She is also named in the Kansas census, age 11, but according to family records this child was actually a son named Cyrus. Cyrus Beard, son of John & Charity Brady Beard of Wayne County, and wife Mahala, went to Kansas in 1856, so the two families may have gone at the same time. For a free map of the Kansas-Missouri Border, 1854-1859 {Click} and use the map title to find the map.

The Woodward Beard family did their trading in Lawrence, Kansas, which was burned by rebel raiders under Quantrill in 1863. The border ruffians and famine were too much for Cyrus Beard (son of John & Charity Brady Beard), and he returned to Mercer County. His wife Mahala died 3/3/1863 and is buried in the Mannon Cemetery in New Boston Township. Cyrus next married Caroline Spolader in Mercer County 7/3/1864. They returned to Kansas in 1865. Sarah Cady kindly sent us a copy of Cyrus's obituary which is reproduced at the end of this page under the information about Beard researchers..

Woodward Beard's son, Cyrus, also returned to Mercer County where he married Mary Poland, daughter of William and Mary Poland, on 9/21/1876 They had a child in 1878 and went back to Kansas in 1879.

Another son, William Woodward Beard, also returned to Mercer County and married Anna Whitehill, daughter of John and Margaret Whitehill, there on 1/20/1876. They too had one child in Mercer County and returned to Kansas. Cyrus and William Woodward Beard are living next to each other in Appanoose, Franklin County, Kansas in the 1880 census. They also had a brother Jacob who is living with William and family.

Abraham and Elizabeth Crull Beard

There is interesting history about the lack of cash in the early days. It comes from the estate of Isaac a Willits. Abraham Beard put in a claim against the estate in 1841 and finally received his settlement of $18.00 in 1845. Curiously, Abraham signed his claim with an "X", indicating he could not write. This is born out in census records. It was not at all unusual for people to not be able to read or write in this time period, but it was very unusual for those who had been raised as Quakers, as education was a high priority in Quaker families. One has to remember that when the Beard family came to Indiana it was a wild frontier and survival probably took precedence over education.

In the 1850 Census, Abraham Beard is shown as head of household #368 in T14N R5W, Mercer County. He is age 47, farmer, value of land $4000, born North Carolina. Wife Betsy (Crull) is 41, born Ohio. They have children Jacob, 18, & Mahala, 14. both born Indiana. Mahala would later marry her cousin, Cyrus Beard, son of John & Charity Brady Beard of Wayne County, Indiana, on 10/1/1854 in Mercer County. Abraham & Betsy have additional children Rachel, 12, Susan, 10, Nathan, 7, Mary, 4, and Abraham, Jr., 1, all born Illinois. They also have a young man, William LaRue, working as a laborer for them.

In the 1860 Census in Mercer County, children Susan, Nathan, Mary, and Abraham are still at home. The value of Abraham's farm has increased to $15,000, and personal property is valued at $1600.

In the 1865 Manufacturing & Agricultural Census, Abraham Beard is shown as head of household. There are three males and two females in the household. Abraham was about 63 years old at this time. He is shown as owning $1150 worth of livestock, $1100 worth of grain, and $275 of other agricultural products. He also has 80 pounds of wool on hand. His inventory is considerably larger than many of his neighbors, so he was doing well.

In the 1870 New Boston Township census: Abraham Beard, age 67, farmer, born North Carolina; Elizabeth, age 61, born Ohio; Nathan, age 26, farmer; Abraham, Jr., age 21, farmer; Susan Beard, age 28, all born Illinois. We have no further information on Abraham's daughter Susan, except a hint in a letter quoted below that in 1907 her name was Susan Martin and she lived in Galesburg, Kansas.

In the 1880 New Boston Census: Abram Beard, 77, born North Carolina, father born Ireland, mother born Pennsylvania; Betsy, 72, born Ohio, both parents born Maryland; Nathan, age 33, born Illinois; Retta Beard, age 4, granddaughter, born Illinois; Monroe Childs, 15, grandson; Viela Childs, 13, granddaughter; Omer Childs, 11, grandson; Minnie Childs, no age, granddaughter, all born Illinois. The four Childs children belonged to Remus and Mary Beard Childs. The granddaughter, Retta, was daughter of Nathan and Lucy Ann Childs Bear Beard.

Jacob and Eliza Sloan Beard. Abraham & Betsy's son, Jacob Beard, married Eliza Sloan, daughter of Robert and Amanda Trussler Sloan on 1/3/1858, and he is shown with his own household in New Boston Township in 1860. He has a farm valued at $1600 and personal property valued at $700. He is age 27, his wife is age 25, born Ohio. They have a son Cyrus, eight months old (census taken 7/11/1860).

In New Boston Township in 1870: Son Jacob Beard, age 38, farmer, born Indiana; Eliza, age 37, born Ohio; Cyrus, age 10; Edward, age 8; Jane, age 6; Alice, age 4; Lewis, age 2. Daughter Alice appears to be Alice V. Beard who married Edward Rooth on 6/2/1887 in Mercer County.

Jacob and Eliza Sloan Beard are still in New Boston Township in 1880 with no additional children shown. They had another daughter, Ellen, who died 1/6/1874, age 2y 10m 3d, buried Mannon Cemetery.

Rachel Beard Sloan. Abraham & Betsy's daughter, Rachel Beard, married John Sloan 12/19/1858 in Mercer County. John Sloan was son of Robert and Amanda Trussler Sloan and brother of Eliza who married Jacob Beard. A letter that John & Rachel Beard Sloans's grandson wrote telling about the Beard family is transcribed below. The Nathan Beard described in the letter was Rachel's brother, no doubt named for Abraham's brother-in-law, Nathan Commons.

Mary Beard Childs. Daughter Mary Beard married Remus Childs, 9/29/1864. Mary Beard Childs died 12/24/1874, age 28 yrs, 9 mo, 26 dy. She is buried in Mannon Cemetery. Remus remarried in 1875 and again in 1877 but apparently the children stayed on with the Beard grandparents.

Nathan and Lucy Childs Bear Beard. Son Nathan Beard was married to widow Lucy A. Childs Bear, widow of Rowland Bear, 28 June 1873, in Muscatine County, Iowa. Lucy was sister of Remus Childs. Two daughters of Nathan and Lucy Beard are buried in Mannon Cemetery: Retta, born January 6, 1876 and died 11/19/1892; Ellen, died 3/26/1874, age two weeks. It is our understanding from descendants that Lucy left Nathan (more on the Bear page).

Abraham and Martha Willits Beard. (see photo of Martha linked at top of page.) Son Abraham Beard, Jr., married Martha Willits daughter of Jesse and Mary Shields Willits, on 9/11/1879 in Mercer County. There is no 1890 census record available so we must go to the 1900 census for further information on the family. Martha Willits Beard died 1/11/1897 and is buried in Mannon Cemetry. Abraham is found in New Boston in 1900: #85 Abraham Beard, farmer, born Feb 1849, 51, widower, born Il, father born SC (actually NC), mother born Ohio; Date Beard, at school, born 1880, 19, born Il; Roy Beard,at school, Dec 1882, 17; Guy Beard, at school, April 1889; Fred, at school, May 1891. Abraham and Martha also had a son Fay Beard, born 5/5/1885 and died 5/8/1898, buried in Mannon Cemetery (Melisse corrected this from "daughter").

Date Beard is in New Boston in 1910 with a wife Lottie. There is a child Denver Beard with them but he is likely not a son of Date. Date and Lottie were married about 1908 per the census and the child was born about 1905. We do not know the fate of either Lottie or Denver. Date married again about 1918 but was boarding in Wisconsin in 1920 without his wife. They are found in the 1930 census in Kilbourn City, Columbia County, Wisconsin. Descendant Bill Beard tells us his second wife's name was Isabelle Gomen. They had children Louis E. Beard, born about 1919, and Leon O. Beard, born about 1920.

According to the Noble/Rader History Roy Beard married Margaret Green, and had no children. They are indeed in New Boston in 1930 with no children.

Guy Beard is found with wife Maggie in the 1920 census and they have children Alice, Robert, and Frances L. (daughter). The 1930 census includes an additional son Eldon. Guy Beard died in 1928 but Maggie is working the farm that they owned in 1930 and the children are with her. In the Mannon Cemetery we find: Guy Beard 1889-1928; Maggie E. 1878-1963; Abe, son of G & M.E. 1914-1916. They are buried in the same plot as Abraham (Feb 15,1849-June 21, 1905) and Martha (Sept. 1, 1853-Jan 11, 1897).

Frederick Abraham Beard married Mable Prouty Sloan, daughter of Anna Kate Prouty and John Fred Sloan. John Fred Sloan was son of Levi and Jennie Baugess "Sloan, and Anna Prouty Sloan was daughter of William M. and Nancy McCormick Prouty. Melisse Trentz is descended from Fred and Mable and sent the photo linked at the top of the page. In the 1930 census Fred and Mabel have children: Katherine, Mildred, Vernabell, and twins Betty and Barbara.

Cyrus and Viola Spitznogle Beard. Son Cyrus Beard married Viola Spitznogle, 1/31/1891 in Mercer County. Again we go to the 1900 census and find them in New Boston Township: #100 Cyrus Beard, farmer, born Nov 1859, 40, born Il, father In, mother Pa; Viola, born Mar 1866, 34, 5 children born, 5 living, born Ia, father In, mother Il; Ella, born Mar 1892; Elva, June 1893; Elsie Sept 1896, Eliza Jan 1900 (age 4/12); Levi Spitznogle, stepson, July 1886, born Il.

Cemetery Records. Abraham and Betsy Crull Beard are buried beside their son Jacob and their daughter Mahala in the Mannon Cemetery in Section 4, New Boston Township. Abraham's tombstone reads 3/21/1803-1/17/1891; Elizabeth Crull Beard's reads 9/15/1808-9/20/1892; Jacob's reads 3/3/1889 age 58 years; Mahala's reads 3/3/1863 age 27y 5m 8d. Nathan Beard is also buried in Mannon Cemetery beside his daughter Retta. His birth date and death date are given as September 23, 1843, and September 17, 1937.

John Sloan Letter about the Beard Family

(Courtesy of Clorita Sloan Kenny)
Sheriff John Sloan wrote a letter in 1968 while doing research on the Beard family. We quote parts of it here (courtesy Clorita Sloan Kenny and her family).

"My Grandmother Rachel Sloan was the daughter of Abraham Beard and Betsy Crull Beard. While Uncle Nathan (Beard) lived with us he talked of his mother Betsy a lot but I do not remember him talking of his Father Abraham Beard... .

"Uncle Nathan talked about his mother's flower garden, particularly the roses... . She carded wool and spun yarn... . She wove cloth on a hand loom and made clothing for the family. She cooked over a large fireplace...not built in the wall as is usual but out in the room so you could walk around it... .

"He (Uncle Nathan) told of shooting prairie chickens when they were so thick he would not waste a rifle shot on one but would line up several sitting on a rail fence in order to economize on ammunition... . Nathan told about passenger pigeons in swarms of millions...

. "Nathan was a little peculiar. When he met you he always had a mathematical riddle for you to solve. He had a knack for doing sums in his head and could in a few minutes tell you the day of the week a certain day would fall on several years in advance. He was also a practical joker and one time put Mercer County in the news by starting a search for an enormous snake. He dragged a stove pipe about the high weeds along Edwards (River) knocking down rail fences as he went. Some stray hogs were killed in the organized search by nervous hunters. He also covered himself with a sheet and waited on the Edwards bridge south of Mannon at night to frighten a bachelor who crossed regularly to visit a widow. Nathan made some enemies as a farmer and machinery dealer. He failed in the panic of 1907 and went to live with his sister Susan Martin in Galesburg, Kansas, until the heat was off.

"Nathan told how his father and mother had come across the prairie from Wayne County Indiana about 1838 or 1839 with their possessions on a wagon and driving some livestock. On the way they picked up a family named Miner traveling west with their goods in a wheel barrow. The Beards were searching for a place to settle in the fork of a creek and settled in the Fork of Edwards River and Winters Creek. Wire fence was not (yet) invented. Steep banks helped fence stock on two sides. And the River was the source of their water. Fences were made by splitting rails usually from walnut logs as they were the easiest to split... .

"The Beards had feather beds and feather quilts made from goose down. This was an indication of their prosperity. Poor folks had straw mattresses or maybe corn husk, raising sheep and geese were the mark of a provident farmer. The goose fat was used as Vapo rub is today. Animal fat was used to make soap and Aunt Betsy made her own, for this lye was needed. She made that too by steeping ashes in a wooden trough made from a hollowed log and saving the liquid.

"Nathan longed for the whole wheat bread his mother made from their wheat (ground or milled) at the water wheel mill about two miles up stream from Mannon, operated by Isaac Lutz from Pennsylvania. The miller would keep one eighth of the grain for his service. Nathan's uncle Woodward Beard lived near the mill and had children in Nathan's age range... .

"Bee trees were one source of sweets. They were found by watching bees take off in a bee line after they filled up on nectar. By following the line the tree was found and later in the fall was cut. Honey was relatively expensive, about twenty five cents a pound. (Note: Some Mercer County farmers also kept bee hives.)

"The Beards had a grove of sugar maples on their farm and made maple sugar and syrup. When I was a small boy this was still in use. A row of metal vats placed on two brick walls about two feet high with a chimney at one end and an opening at the other to admit wood. Holes about 3/4 inch in diameter were drilled into the maples. Spigots made of sumac with the pith punched out of the center were driven into the holes and pails were hung there in the early spring to catch the sap. The pails were collected when full and hauled on sleds to the vats where the sap was boiled. Being ladled from the hotter vats as it thickened to ones further from the heat to avoid scorching. When it was fairly thick the syrup was taken home and boiled down carefully until it could be poured into molds similar to cup cake molds. It was then set out to cool and solidified into cakes of pure maple sugar or nearly pure as the vats were not covered.

"Corn was then planted and husked by hand. Wheat and oats were cut with a hand scythe and flailed out by all hands. The Beards prospered and the 1870 census report lists them as owning $25.000 in real estate... . Betsy Beard's home was a favorite gathering place... ."

The Crull Family

The John Sloan letter included some information on the Crull family gathered from several sources, none of which constitute "proof." The ancestor of Abraham, Betsy, and Mary Crull was Jacob Crull born 3/17/1776 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was married to Hannah Booker, daughter of Bartholomew Boogher and Margaret Comes. Jacob and Hannah moved to Wayne County, Indiana in about 1822 and in 1843 Jacob was operating a mill on Green Fork in Wayne County. John Sloan's letter contains some information on possible ancestors for Jacob, but we are not including it here until it can be verified.

We have not done a separate page for the Crull family, though Betsy and Mary Crull Beard's brother Abraham Crull came to Mercer County. He lived in Millersburg Township so does not belong to our study except for his relationship to Beard wives. The 1850 census shows Abraham Crull, age 44, born Ohio, and wife Jane, age 37, born Virginia, with children: Mary, Hamilton, Ann, Jacob, Jane, Abram, Hannah, Gideon, and Emily ranging in age from age 15 to age 2 months. The first child born in Illinois was Jane, age 8, so the Crulls came to Mercer County about the same time as the Beards. The wife was Jane Marlatt, daughter of Abraham and Margaret Linder Marlatt.

Another Beard Family in Mercer County

The subject of this site is New Boston and Eliza Townships in Mercer County but occasionally we include people of the same surname in other townships that are not related in order to aid researchers in sorting out the families in Mercer County. The Isaac Newton Beard family of Green Township is briefly included here for that reason.

Isaac Newton and Emma Wharton Beard

Isaac Beard married Emma Wharton in Mercer County on 12/29/1870. Isaac was born in Ohio and his parents, Jacob and Susan Belle Beard, in Pennsylvania (or Ohio in another census record). Phyllis Winhurst has posted Isaac's obituary on the Rootsweb Mercer County Message Board (Be sure Mercer Board is selected when you search for Isaac Newton Beard}, and we are adding here two census records that supports her information.

In 1880 in Viola, Mercer Co: Isaac Beard, carpenter, 32 born Ohio, parents born Pa; Emma Beard, 29, born Il; father Oh, mother In; Ida Beard, 9, Il, Oh, Il; May Beard, 5, Il; Grace Beard, 2, Il; Herbert Beqard, 11 mo, Il; Mary Bovee, motherinlaw, 60, Oh, father Ky, mother Il. In 1900 in Green Twp, Mercer Co: Isaac Beard, Jun 1847, 53, married 30 yr, Oh, Oh, Oh; Emma, 49, Mar 1851, 12 children born, 11 living, Il Oh, In; Herbert July 1878, 21, Il, carpenter; Edith, Oct 1882, Il; Belle, July 1855, 14, at school; Don, Sept 1888, 12, school, Harold, 1889, 11, school, Della May 1891, 9, Il; Howard, Mar 1893, 7, school, Eva, 1895, 5, Il; Mary Bovee, motherinlaw Apr 1814, wid, 1 child born, 1 living, In, Ky, Ky. This supports that there were 12 children (an additional child Charles is not in the census but is listed in Phyllis's information as deceased. This family was for many years in Mercer County after 1870 so there is much opportunity for confusion with the John and Martha Beard family's descendants.

Summary of Beard and Crull Researchers

Barbara Frisby is a descendant of Woodward and Mary Crull Beard and has extensively researched this family. She will be most happy to share information with any of his descendants. Barbara has put some Woodward Beard family obituaries on the Rootsweb Mercer County Message Board including wife Mary Poland Beard, son Patrick Beard, son Jacob Beard, son William Beard, and grandson Omer Charles Beard. Be sure the Mercer Board is selected and enter the name of interest in the search box. Several Beards, including Woodward, are buried in the Sowers Cemetery near Lawrence, Kansas.

Clorita Sloan Kenny's family is the owner of the letter written by Sheriff John Sloan that is listed above. She is a descendant of Rachel Beard Sloan and would be happy to hear from descendants about either the Beard or Sloan family.

Frank Myers is the Rootsweb Crull Family Listkeeper and would like to hear about Crulls and will provide information.

Gary Crull has researched the Crull/Kroll family for a number of years and would like to hear from descendants.

We have also heard from Bill Beard descended through Abraham Beard Jr's son Date Beard and from Melisse Trentz, descendant of Abraham Beard Jr's son Fred.

Sarah Cady is researching the Cyrus and Carrie Spolader Beard family and furnished us with the following copy of Cyrus's obituary (son of John and Charity Brady Beard).

Web Master Nadine Holder has researched both the Beard and Sloan families extensively as they are connected to her families .

More on Cyrus Beard, son of John and Charity Brady Beard

The proliferation of the name Cyrus in the Beard family is somewhat odd; there were three: Woodward's son, Jacob's son, and John & Charity Brady Beard's son from Wayne County, Indiana. The name Cyrus is not found in either the Beard or Woodward families before that time so its origin is unknown. Sometimes a name came from a respected neighbor, teacher, or from a famous person of the time. It may have come from Cyrus McCormick who became famous for inventing the reaper.


(Courtesy Sarah Cady)
"Cyrus Beard, 90 years of age, who has been a resident of Kansas for sixty-five years, died March 1 (1922) at his home, 1147 Brooks avenue (Topeka, Kansas). Mr. Beard came to Kansas in 1865 and settled on a farm 12 miles north of Ottawa, Kansas. He resided there until 1886 when he moved to Lawrence. He moved to Overbrook, Kansas a few years later and erected the first grain elevator there. He also conducted a hardware and implement business. He later moved to Los Angeles, California, then returned to Ottawa. He came to Topeka in 1907, where he has lived since that time. He is survived by his widow, four sons, John Beard, of Topeka; Eli Beard, of Wichita; Cyrus Beard, jr., of Los Angeles; and J. M. Beard of Los Angeles; four daughters, Mrs. H. J. Rich, and Mrs. G. C. Atwood, both of Los Angeles; Mrs. Lee Brown, of Topeka, and Mrs. C. H. McMillen, of Millsboro, S. D. Twenty-three grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren also survive him. The funeral was held at Overbrook Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and interment was in the Overbrook cemetery. Mr. Beard's sister, Mrs. Jones, was the first person ever buried in the Overbrook cemetery." We are attempting to identify the children and the sister.

More on Cyrus Beard

Barbara Frisby sent us an article from an Overbrook, Kansas "Christmas Souvenir" on the same Cyrus Beard. Some excerpts from the article: "Nearly every man, woman and child in this whole country is acquainted with Uncle Cyrus Beard. All know him to be upright and honest, and for his noble traits of character he is loved and honored...born in Wayne County, Indiana, March 11, 1831." He told of old subscription schools with puncheon seats and how teachers used to "board around." In 1852 he went to California and returned to Mercer County in a couple of years . In 1856 he and wife Mahala moved to Douglas County, Kansas, but border troubles and famine drove them back to Mercer County in 1860 (too late for the Mercer County census). Mahala died in 1862. There were four children born of this union, only one of whom (a daughter) was living and residing near Reading, Kansas, at the time the Overbrook article was written (n.d.). Mr. Beard married Miss Carrie Sporleder (sic) of Mercer County and eight children were born to them, seven still living (this tells us that the eight children listed in the obituary above included seven of Carrie's and one of Mahala's but does not tell us which belonged to Mahala). In 1865 Mr. Beard returned to Douglas County, Kansas where he successfuly farmed until 1886 when he moved to Lawrence and entered into business." Barbara Frisby met a descendant at Woodward Beard's grave who had a family story passed down that Cyrus commuted every day from his store to his farm, twenty miles roundtrip, to feed his hogs.

Thanks to Barbara Frisby, we found yet another article about Cyrus on the Internet from William Cutler's History of the State of Kansas: "Cyrus Beard, farmer, Section 18, P. O. Centropolis, born in Wayne County, Ind., March 11, 1831, where he grew to manhood. He went to California and remained two years, and then returned to Indiana, and afterward moved to Mercer County, Ill. There he was united in marriage, October 1, 1854, to Miss Mahala, daughter of Abraham Bear (sic), who died in March, 1862. He was again united in marriage, July 3, 1864, to Miss Clara, daughter of August Spoledar, Esq. Mr. B. has had thirteen children, four of whom are dead. The living children are Mary E., John, William A., Eli J., Cyrus W., Clara A., Cora L., Jacob M. and Effie A. Mr. C. Beard is a son of John and Charity Beard. He came to the State in the fall of 1856, and settled in Willow Springs Township, where he owns 800 acres, 450 of which are under the plow. Mr. B. was raised a Quaker, but is now a Spiritualist."

Barbara Frisby sent us Kansas Census Records for Cyrus and Mahala Beard and Cyrus and 2nd wife, Caroline Beard. 1860 Douglas County, Kansas, Marion Township, page 218: J. Beard, 63, farmer, born Pa; Cyrus, 29, born VT or VA; Mahala, 24, born VT or VA; Abraham, 3, Ks, Mary 2, Ks. 1870 Douglas County, Kansas, Willow Springs Township, page 490: Cyrus Baird, 39, farmer, born Il; Caroline, 24, born Hanover; Abraham, 13, Ks; Mary E., Ks; John, 4, Ks; Wm, 3, Ks; Eli J, 1, Ks; John 74, no occupation, born Tn. John Beard died in Kansas and is buried in the Sowers Cemetery. 1880 Douglas County, Kansas, Willow Springs, page 228: Cyrus Beard, 49, In, farmer, father Tn, mother SC; Clara Beard, 36, Ger, parents born Ger; Mary E. Beard, 21, Ks; John, 14, Ks; William, 12, Ks; Eli J., 10, Ks; Cyrus W., 8, Ks; Clara A., 6, Ks; Cora L., 2, Ks; Son Beard, 1mo, Ks; Amelia Spoleder, motherinlaw, 68, Ger; Alice Beard, sister, 46, Tn; Thomas Sellers, farm hand, 23, In.

We include all three articles and the census records to show different sources for piecing together genealogy and to note how they can include differing information.

10/2/2007 Added census and family information to Stephen and Mary Bear family and linked to the Moore page.