Biography of William P. Chard
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

WILLIAM P. CHARD, who was taken by death February 8, 1924, was long and favorably known in church and city affairs at Cleveland and as a veteran of the Civil war. Thirty years of his life were spent in the railway service, and in later years he engaged in the real estate business, with considerable attention to public affairs and service in the municipal government.

He was born at Prince Albert, Canada, October 28, 1846. His father, James Chard, a native of Wales, came to the United States when a young man and his first location was at Euclid, Ohio, where he worked on a farm. In 1832 he removed to Cleveland. Cleveland was then a village, its importance being due to its position on the lake. All the highways leading from the back country were thronged with wagons and teams bearing merchandise to be transported over the lakes. James Chard established himself in business as a leather merchant, his shop being on Seneca Street, near Superior. About 1837 he gave up his business in Cleveland to join the McKenzie expedition in Canada, and moved his family across the border. In 1849, leaving his family in Canada, he started for California. He got as far as Independence, now a part of Kansas City, Missouri, where he was taken ill and died.

James Chard married Ann Parry, who was born in Wales. Her father being the oldest son, inherited a large estate, and though educated for the ministry of the Episcopal Church, he devoted his life to the superintendence of this property. Ann Parry was a daughter of his first marriage. At the time of his second marriage his children all left home, Ann Parry coming to America with her sister, Mrs. Samuel Challenor. Mr. Challenor became a building contractor in Cleveland, and was one of the pioneers in that line in Cleveland. There was no planing mill at the time, and he had workmen in his shop who cut, stripped and finished all interior woodwork such as sash, doors and blinds. James Chard and wife were married at Cleveland in 1830. At his death his widow was left with five children, and subsequently she returned to Cleveland and spent her last years in the home of her son, William P. Her children were: James, Sarah. Mary, Helen and William P. The son James went out to California, enlisted in the Union Army while there, joining a California regiment, and was drowned in San Diego Bay before the end of the war. The daughter Sarah was twice married, her first husband being George Woodward, by whom there is a son George, an actor in Belasco troupe, and her second husbands was a mathematician, by whom there was a son William. The daughter Helen married and reared three daughters, who now live at Alton, Illinois.

William P. Chard was about five years of age when brought to Cleveland, and this city remained his home for over seventy years. He was educated in the local schools, and at an early age went to work, following various occupations. Upon the breaking out of the Civil war he enlisted at fifteen years old, but his mother secured an order for his release. However, in 1864 he was accepted for duty in Company G of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Qhio Infantry, and he went South with the command, remaining until the close of hostilities. After an honorable discharge he returned to Cleveland, and for many years was affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Chard spent thirty years with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway, first as caller in the freight department, then as tallyman, then as assistant foreman, finally as foreman. Resigning in 1892, he turned his attention to the investment he made from his savings in real estate, and transacted a large volume of business in development of vacant property, and in handling real estate on a brokerage basis, and was bankrupt as stockholder on failure of the Produce Exchange Bank.

As a republican in politics he was active in local affairs and represented the Fifth Ward, a strongly democratic ward, in the city council and subsequently was elected alderman to represent the second district. For four years he was deputy director of public works under Robert McKisson, and in 1891 he served as president of the Decennial Board of Equalization. Mr. Chard was a thirty second degree Mason, an Elk and a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, and his funeral was conducted under Masonic auspices.

In 1902 Mr. Chard married Miss Mary Hawkins. Mrs Chard has been and is well known in Cleveland, where she was born January 25, 1857. Her maternal grandparents, James and Mary Granger, left Dublin, Ireland, on account of Catholic persecution, selling their property and settling in Canada, on a farm near London, where they died, their daughter, Jane Granger, coming to Cleveland. Mrs. Chard's father, Richard Hawkins, was in business on Superior Street with Joshua E. Hall, tinsmith. He was of English descent. Her father and mother were married by Reverend Bury, whose Episcopal Church was at Hospital corner; Saint Clair and Erie streets, and later built a new church, corner of Superior and Alabama streets (Twenty sixth Street). It was called Saint James Episcopal Church, now located on Fifty fifth Street, near Payne Avenue. It was there Miss Hawkins met William P. Chard. He was librarian in the Sunday school, and she had a class in Sunday school and sang in the choir. Miss Hawkins was educated at Alabama School and one year at the then new Saint Clair Street School near Perry Street, now Twenty first Street. Her father, Richard Hawkins, died in Cleveland, age twenty eight years, when she was two and a half years old, a sister being born after he died. The father was buried in Erie Street Cemetery, later was buried in Lake View Cemetery. Judge Tilden was her mother's attorney. As a young girl Miss Mary Hawkins was employed by Judge Tilden in the probate office, and well remembers making out a marriage license and taking it to the courtroom to have the judge sign it. L. D. Benedict was deputy clerk at the time. She has no remembrance of any other buildings except the old courthouse and jail. She helped in the tax office, auditor's office, and altogether was permanently employed twenty seven years in the old courthouse under republican and democrat administrations. Old settlers will remember the names of Recorders Lamson, Van Sickle, Bohm, Seagrist, Schellentrager, Anderson and Saal.

Near her home on Perry Street (Twenty first Street), from Twelfth to Thirtieth Street, Payne Avenue was all built up with little low but houses where pigs, chickens, cows, and sometimes a horse lived in comfort and many went there for milk, eggs, butter, buttermilk, etc. There were no deliveries in those days of such supplies. After a few years all houses were moved from Payne Avenue and it was called Payne 's Pasture, and all circuses and fun came to that pasture.

Mr. and Mrs. Chard were married August 14, 1902, by Rev. Paul Lamb, father of former Law Director Paul Lamb. They could not marry before, as after her mother and sister died she had six motherless children to care for. When she worked at real estate she sold the little Episcopal Saint James Church (where she met William P. Chard) to Father Thorpe, and it is still there in the rear of the schoolhouse, corner Superior and Twenty sixth streets. Mrs Chard has lived in an age marked by the Civil war, Spanish war and World wmoistThe street car was the most exciting object when she was young. She would run down Courthouse Alley to Saint Clair Street to see the street cars go by, and many a time saw the car on top of the horse and the rear legs of the poor horse all skinned. She could run like a deer and could always beat the car home. She is a member of Cleveland Chapter No. 139, Order of Eastern Star; Palestine Shrine No. 2; White Shrine of Jerusalem; Cleveland Court No. 6; Order of Amaranth; Memorial Relief Corps No. 44, Grand Army of the Republic Woman's Relief Corps.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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