Biographical Profile: Drummer Boy, William M. Mehard, Company C, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment
Transcribed by Tami McConahy, 2nd great-grandniece of Corp. Thomas John Martin, Co. F. from "History of Lawrence County, Aaron Hazen, 1908.
History of Lawrence County, Pennsylvania by Aaron L. Hazen, 1908
William M. Mehard, a highly respected citizen of Ellwood City, a substantial retired farmer, residing in his pleasant comfortable home, at No. 9 Fifth Street, to which he came in November 1907, was born in Wayne Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, October 7, 1849. His parents were James and Mary (Martin) Mehard.
On both sides of the family, Mr. Mehard can trace his ancestry directly to a country that has contributed largely to America's good citizenship, Ireland. James Mehard, the paternal grandfather, was born in that country, and when he brought his family to America he came to Pennsylvania, and located at Harmony, in Lawrence County. He lived there for some years, and then moved to Wurtemburg, where his death occurred in advanced age, and he was buried in the cemetery attached to the United Presbyterian Church. He married Christina Orr, and they had the following children: Joseph, a farmer, resided at Wurtemburg on the old homestead, and married Mary Smiley; Robert, for many years prominent in political life, served for fourteen years as a commissioner of Lawrence County, married Christina Liebendorfer, who was a native of Germany; William, a United Presbyterian minister, is a member of the faculty at Westminster College at New Wilmington, and married Martha Neal; Thomas, a United Presbyterian minister, deceased, formerly preached at New Castle, and his remains lie in the cemetery of the Neshannock Church; Mattie; Matilda; Samuel, a physician in Mercer County during life, is survived by two sons, one a physician and the other an attorney, the latter residing in New Castle; Elizabeth, married John H. Wilson, and became the mother of Judge James Sharp Wilson, Dr. Loyal W. Wilson, Omer and Christina, the latter of whom is the widow of John McCandless, of Big Beaver Township, Lawrence County; and Jennie, who is the wife of James Jackson, of North Sewickley, Pa., and James.
The maternal grandparents were William and Agnes Martin, who came to Pennsylvania from the north of Ireland, and settled in Washington Township, Lawrence County. They had the following children: Thomas, who resides in Mercer, Pa.; James, who lived and died in Fayette County, was the father of Judge Norman Martin; George spent his life in the vicinity of the old homestead in Washington Township; Margaret, married Hugh Martin; Jane, married McKean Vosler; and Mary, who became the mother of William M. Mehard, of Ellwood City.
James Mehard, father of William M., was born in Ireland, and was small when his parents came to Pennsylvania and settled in Harmony Township, and when he married he moved to Wayne Township, where he lived to the age of seventy-four years, surviving his wife, who died aged sixty-seven years. They had the following children: Agnes, who married R.B. Ward, of Wayne Township; James Robert, of Shenango Township, who married Sophronia Cunningham; William M.; Christina, who married Thomas D. Wilson, of Big Beaver Township; Mary, deceased, who was the wife of J.C. Cunningham, of Wampum was interred in the cemetery of the Slippery Rock Church; Elizabeth, who died aged thirteen years; Thomas, who died in infancy; and Margaret J., unmarried, who resides at New Castle.
William M. Mehard spent his whole life, with the exception of one summer, on the old homestead, in Wayne Township, until he came to Ellwood City, after disposing of his farm. For fourteen years he and his father before him had leased their limestone quarry to the National Cement Company, of Wampum, who manufactured lime for the Pittsburg market. He also carried on general farming and stock raising. On October 21, 1880, Mr. Mehard was married to Miss Essie Harbison, who is a daughter of Andrew and Sophia (Myers) Harbison, of Shenango Township. Andrew Harbison is deceased, but his widow survives, at the age of seventy-one years. Mr. and Mrs. Mehard had one child, but it survived only fourteen months. They are members of the Presbyterian Church, and Mr. Mehard was treasurer of the same and was secretary of its board of trustees until his removal from Wayne Township made his resignation of the office advisable. In politics he is a Republican, and for eight years he served as township clerk, and also was assessor. In all that concerned the welfare of Wayne Township he took an active interest.
Mr. Mehard has always been a loyal citizen. During the Civil War his youth and physical condition prevented his enlistment as a soldier, but he was accepted as a musician, and was in the company band, serving Company C, before the war as a drummer boy, and when the One Hundredth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, the noted "Roundheads," were mustered out, he again became a drummer boy for the company and also for the regiment. For three years he continued to be the drummer for the Grand Army post at Wampum. He was adopted by the regiment and made a veteran drummer for the same.
At a pleasant recreation, Mr. Mehard had given considerable attention to the study of geology, and is well posted concerning geological formations and discoveries in this section.
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