The son of Joseph & Sarah (Yohn) Ard, in 1860, he was a laborer living in Spruce Hill Township, Juniata County. Four years later, he gave his occupation as that of "gentleman." He stood 6' 0" tall and had brown hair and gray eyes.
A Civil War veteran, he enlisted and mustered in Harrisburg February 20, 1864, as a private with Battery E, 3rd Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery (152nd Pa), and honorably discharged with his battery November 9, 1865, at Fortress Monroe, Virginia.
After the war, he married Almira Martin and fathered Laura M. (b. 08/??/71) and William D. (b. 02/??/79). Somewhere along the line he studied medicine.