WILLIAM H. LEARD, merchant and justice of the peace of Craigsville, is a member of a family well known for
its business ability and moral standing. He is a son of Christopher and Margaret (Shields) Leard, and was born
in West Franklin township, Armstrong county, Pennsylvania, July 17, 1846. The Lard family is of Scotch descent,
and Thomas Leard (grandfather) came from the north of Scotland to the United States when he was sixteen years of
age, and settled in what is now East Franklin township. He was a member of the Presbyterian church until his death,
which occurred in 1875, when he was in the eighty eighth year of his age. His son, Christopher Leard (father),
was born in 1823, and for a number of years was a farmer in West Franklin township, where he still owns about one
hundred and eighty acres of land, which is divided into two firms. In January, 1872, he moved to Craigsville and
formed a partnership with his two sons, William H. and Joseph S., under the firm name of Lard & Sons. In 1888
he withdrew from active business pursuits, and since that time has lived a retired life. He is a member of the
Presbyterian church, and a republican in politics, and has held nearly all the township's offices. He married Margaret
Shields, who was born in Indiana county in 1821 and is an esteemed member of the Presbyterian church.
William H. Lard was reared on his father's farm, and attended the public schools of West Franklin township and
Elder's Ridge academy. He also took a course in the Iron City Business college, and at twenty years of age entered
the employ of Messrs. Campbell Bros., railroad contractors of Altoona, Pa., as a clerk, but was soon promoted to
"walking boss," which position he held for several years. January 1, 1872, he became a member of the
mercantile firm of Lard & Sons, of Craigsville. In 1881 Joseph S. Leard withdrew from the firm, and the firm
name became Leard & Son. In 1888 his father retired, He has fine and commodious sales rooms and keeps a large
and complete stock of dry goods, groceries, clothing, hardware and drugs, which are carefully selected to meet
the wants of his numerous patrons. He has an interest in the fiouringmill at Craigsville, where he is agent for
the New England Accident insurance company.
On May 2, 1872, he married Margaret E. Foster, daughter of William A. Foster, of Sugar Creek township. They have
three children: Otto R., Royal Boyd and Christopher K.
Politically, Mr. Lard is a stanch republican, and has at various times filled most of the township offices. In
1872 he was appointed postmaster of Craigsville, which position be resigned, when he was elected justice of the
peace of West Franklin township in 1879. At the end of his term as magistrate he was reelected and has served ever
since. He is a member of Craigsville Council, No. 1192, Royal Arcanum, and a member and elder of the Presbyterian
church of Worthington, of whose Sunday school he has served as superintendent for some ten years (at different
times). He is methodical and exact in his methods and prompt in the disposition of all his legal and business matters.
As a justice he is well liked, as a business man stands high, and as a citizen commands the respect of his community.
Biographical and Historical Cyclopedia
of Indiana and Armstrong Counties, Pennsylvania
Samuel T. Wiley, Historian & Editor
John M. Greshan & Co.
Armstrong County Pennsylvania Biographies
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