EDWARD D. BEARD.
To Edward D. Beard of Napa belongs the honorable distinction of having been in business continuously as one concern
longer than any other man in northern California, and during all these years he has enjoyed an uninterrupted record
of honorable and fair dealing with the public. Mr. Beard has attained his success through his own efforts, for
he started in life at the foot of the ladder, but he possessed to a marked degree the qualities essential to success
and has long been numbered among the representative men of his locality.
Edward D. Beard, who is president of the Winship Beard Company, a well established department store at Napa, was
born in Lowndesboro, Alabama, in September, 1844, son of Edward D. and Amanda (Rembert) Beard, and was orphaned
in babyhood, his father having died prior to his birth and his mother passing away two weeks after he was born.
He was reared in his native state until eight years of age, attending the public schools, and was then taken to
Louisiana, where he spent his youthful days and completed his preliminary education in private schools, then entering
Emory and Henry College, at Emory, Virginia, where he finished his studies. He then, in partnership with a brother,
became engaged in business in Shreveport, Louisiana, and was thus engaged when the Civil war broke out. Though
then but sixteen years of age he enlisted in the Confederate army and took part in many of the most important
battles and campaigns of that great struggle. He was first located at Pensacola, whence he went up into the Virginia
peninsula, where some of the hardest fighting of the war took place; was in the battle of Seven Pines, and was
later transferred to the Mississippi division, under Gen. Dick Taylor. There he served as orderly to his brother,
who commanded the regiment until he was killed. He served in Captain Moore's company and was promoted to the rank
of second lieutenant. After the war Mr. Beard returned to Shreveport, where he remained until 1867.
In 1868 Mr. Beard came to California and obtained employment in the grocery store of P. Van Bever, on First Street,
Napa. Later a dry goods department was added and Mr. Beard was put in charge of it. In 1870 he acquired an interest
in the business, and four years later he bought his partner's interest, the firm name becoming Thompson & Beard,
which continued until 1894, when his sons, J. E. and B. L. Beard, joined the firm, which then assumed the style
of Thompson, Beard & Sons. In 1871 the store was moved to a better location at Main through to Brown streets,
and five years later, because of the rapid expansion of the business and the consequent necessity for more room,
the store was moved to its present location at the corner of Brown and Second streets. About that time the interest
of Mr. Thompson was bought and the firm name became Winship, Beard & Company, which name it still bears, Mr.
Beard's name having been a part of the firm title for over a half century. The store is the largest department
store in Napa county and is well known throughout northern California. Mr. Beard has through all the years of his
residence here been devoted to the interests of his business, and to this devotion is largely due the splendid
success which has characterized the career of the enterprise and the fine reputation it has borne in trade circles.
He is a man of shrewd and reliable business judgment, safe and reliable in every deal in which he participates,
and his integrity has never been questioned.
In 1866 Mr. Beard was united in marriage to Miss R. I. Scogin, of Keatchie, DeSoto parish, Louisiana, whose death
occurred in 1917. They became the parents of two sons and two daughters, all of whom are married and living in
Napa. There are also ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Mr. Beard has given his support to the democratic
party in national elections, but locally he votes for the men whom he deems best qualified for the offices they
seek. He is a member of the Masonic order and has been treasurer of the Napa lodge for thirty three years. He is
also a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and the Napa Rotary Club. Because of his splendid character
and beneficent influence he has long enjoyed the absolute confidence and esteem of the entire community honored
by his citizenship.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Napa County, CA
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