Biography - Leonidas Hard

LEONIDAS HARD. The Buckeye State has contributed to Illinois many estimable citizens, but she has contributed none more worthy of respect and esteem than the subject of this sketch, who is one of the intelligent farmers and prominent citizens of Montgomery County. He keeps thoroughly abreast of the times in the improvements and progress made in his calling, is well informed on the current topics of the day, and converses with intelligence and judgment on lending subjects. He is one of those much-valued citizens whose constancy to the business in hand and whose thrift have added greatly to the value of the fine agricultural regions of this part of the State.
Our subject was born in Scioto County, Ohio, September 16, 1839, and was the next youngest in a family of eleven children born to Jonathan and Sophia (White) Hard, early settlers of Ohio. Very little has been learned of the ancestors on either side, but Mr. Hard's mother was born not far from the city of Boston, Mass., and his father in one of the Eastern States. The latter died when our subject was about five years of age, and left a widow and eleven children, nine of whom are yet living, and scattered through different States. Two served in the late war. Joseph served for more than four years in the First Illinois Cavalry, and Fifty-fourth Illinois Infantry, and is now a resident of the Lone Star State; and B. S. served in the One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry, and is now living in Marion County, Ill.
When the original of this sketch was about ten years of age, he came to Illinois to make his home with a brother-in-law, A. Kellog, and from that day he had to make his own way in life. All he has obtained in the way of this world's goods is the result of his own good fighting qualities, and as he had very limited educational advantages in his youth, much credit is due him for his success. When the war broke out he was anxious to enlist in defense of the Stars and Stripes, but his mother, who had also removed to Montgomery County, greatly objected to his going, as two of her sons were already in the field. However, when it was seen that a long struggle was inevitable, our subject determined that he would enlist anyway, and on August 9, 1862, he became a member of Company F, One Hundred and Twenty-sixth Illinois Infantry.
This regiment saw much hard service, but its duties were not on the battle-field much of the time. In all the long marches, battles, sieges, and skirmishes of this regiment, Mr. Hard was ever at his post, and no braver soldier ever trod the red sod of a battle-field. On Bank's expedition up the Red River he took a severe cold that settled in his eyes, and for about six years after the war he was almost blind. He still suffers greatly with his eyes, and probably will the remainder of his days. He was mustered out at Pine Bluff, Ark., July 12, 1865, and returned to Montgomery County, where he began tilling the soil. He was married in that county in 1866, to Miss Isadora Burk, also a native of the Buckeye State. About this time Mr. Hard bought his first piece of land, to which he added from time to time, until he now has a very fine large farm. He is progressive and advanced in his ideas on agricultural subjects, and his fine farm is one of the most productive and best cultivated in the county. His marriage resulted in the birth of three children, as follows: Ida F., wife of R. D. Stanley, a farmer in Audubon Township; Laura L., a young lady, is at home with her parents; and Leonard W., the youngest child, is also at home. Mr. Hard is a stanch adherent of Republican principles, and belongs to the Grand Army of the Republic, being a charter member of the post at Nokomis. His mother died while on a visit to Indiana in 1880, when eighty-four years of age.

Extracted 04 Dec 2016 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 216-217.

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