Biography of George Wiard


GEORGE WIARD was born in Ancaster, Canada, March 11, 1833, a son of William and Lucinda (McLaughlin) Wiard. William Wiard was a native of Connecticut and removed to Livingston county in 1803. In 1820 he went to Ancaster, Canada, and begun the manufacture of plows. His father, Thomas Wiard, a blacksmith, had made portions of plows as early as 1804. William Wiard was one of the pioneers in the manufacture of cast iron plows in Canada. He died in 1841.

George Wiard received his education in the country schools and in 1849 entered an apprenticeship to the trade of moulder in Buffalo. After leaving the army Mr. Wiard returned to East Avon, New York, and formed the firm of M. & G. Wiard. In 1870 Charles W. Hough purchased the interest of Matthew Wiard, and in 1876 the business was removed to Batavia where the present plant was established and the Wiard Plow Company incorporated. The Wiard family have been engaged in the manufacture of plows for ninety-four successive years, a record probably unequalled in this country and perhaps in the world.

Trade card supplied by The Trade Card Place

Mr. Wiard is one of the progressive men of this town. He has always been foremost in promoting enterprises that tended to the advancement of the educational, moral and religious interests of Batavia. He was for many years a member of the board of education and served five years as its president. He was chairman of the building committee that erected the Baptist church and was one of the committee having in charge the construction of the city water-works. He has been a director of the Genesee County Permanent Loan and Building Association since its organization in 1878 and for the last eighteen years has been the president. Politically he has always been a Republican.

Mr. Wiard was married November 20, 1856, to Emeline Warren who died in 1870. He afterwards married Celestia L, daughter of Peter and Emily (Webster) Warren of Wyoming Co., N. Y. They have five children, May, Louis, Ernest, Henry and Harry (twins).

In July, 1862, Mr. Wiard enlisted in the 129th N. Y. Volunteers, and he was mustered into the service August 22d at Lockport as second lieutenant in Company H of that regiment. The regiment was sent immediately to Baltimore, Md., and occupied Fort Federal Hill. Mr. Wiard was promoted December 9, 1862, to first lieutenant of the same company. About this time the regiment was transferred to the artillery service and was thereafter known as the 8th N. Y. Volunteer Heavy Artillery. During the time the regiment was in the defenses at Baltimore Mr. Wiard served as a member of two court martials and was Post Adjutant from October 25, 1863, until the regiment joined the Army of the Potomac May 12, 1864. This famous regiment was destined during its comparatively brief period of active service to particIpate in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, and the fact has now passed into authentic history that but one other regiment of the vast army which was recruited for the defense of the Union ever met with so great a loss as befell the 8th Heavy Artillery on the fatal morning of Cold Harbor. The regiment was also at Petersburg and participated in many other engagements. On the 17th of June, 1864, Mr. Wiard was severely wounded in the leg and sent to the hospital at Annapolis, Md. As soon as he became able to do light duty he was ordered into the defenses of Washington as an inspector of artillery. Soon afterward he was appointed inspector of artillery defenses of Washington north of the Potomac. He was appointed officer in charge of dismantling the forts in and around Washington south of the Potomac, was inspector of artillery and acting assistant adjutant-general of Hardinís division. In May, 1865, the 8th N. Y. Heavy Artillery was mustered out and Lieutenant Wiard was transferred to the-4th N. Y. Volunteer Heavy Artillery and was mustered into Company I as Captain, and finally discharged from the service September 26, 1865. Mr. Wiard has never recovered from his severe wound which he received. A surviving officer of the 8th Heavy Artillery has lately said that George Wiard was the bravest and coolest man under fire he ever saw and that his conduct in the fearful contest at Cold Harbor was beyond praise.

Our County and it's people
A descriptive work on Genesee County, New York
Edited by: F. W. Beers
J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890



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