From the 1912 book Past and Present of Marshall County, Iowa, Volume 2, pages 1000-1001:
A. T. BIRCHARD.
The day of the pioneer in this country is gone, and we are in the midst of a settled stability and permanency. Nevertheless, as we look about us, we find a few representatives of the early days, who become at once the center of interest because they carry in their minds recollections of our hardy forefathers and interesting reminiscences of the good old "airly days." In this connection we make reference to one of the well known citizens of Marshalltown of the older generation, an honored veteran of the great war between the states and a man who has borne well his full share of the work of pushing civilization farther on the frontier, A.T. Birchard, a man who is eminently entitled to the high esteem in which he is universally held.
Like many of the sterling citizens of this and other localities of the newer Hawkeye state, he hails from the old Keystone state, his birth having occurred in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, August 24, 1834. He is the son of Plinney and Martha (Griffis) Birchard, the father a native of Connecticut and the mother of New York. The elder Birchard went to Pennsylvania with his parents when a boy, With a "spike" team, a yoke of oxen and one horse, and there he remained until his death in 1852, after which the widow and children came to Iowa, where her death occurred in Mahaska county, on March 5, 1878. They were the parents of nine children, all now deceased but the subject of this sketch.
A. T. Birchard was reared on a farm, and educated in the public schools. In early life he learned the cabinetmaker's trade, which he followed for a short time, and in 1856 he came to Oskaloosa, Iowa, and in 1857 went to Humboldt county, this state, and there lived until after the famous Spirit Lake massacre, then moved to Boonesboro, Boone county, Iowa, and there engaged in the general merchandise business for some time, in fact this remained his home until after the close of the Civil war. He enlisted in the Thirty-second Iowa Volunteer Infantry, in August, 1862, becoming quartermaster sergeant of the regiment, and he served faithfully and with credit until the close of the war, after which he returned to Boonesboro, Iowa, and clerked in a store until 1866, then took a position as express messenger from Boonesboro to Omaha in the stage for a short time. Then he went to Jefferson, Greene county, and engaged in the drug business until the spring of 1867, then moved to Harrison county, this state, where he remained until October, 1870, when he moved to Marshall county, locating at Marshalltown, where he has since resided. He engaged in the drug business with his usual success until 1887, after which he was proprietor of the Marshall canning factory, making a pronounced success of the undertaking and remaining its head until 1907, when he sold out his interests and retired to private life, having accumulated a competency for his old age, through close application and superior business ability.
Politically, Mr. Birchard is a Republican. He was school director for a number of years and was formerly a member of the city council. For several years he was a member of the board of commissioners of the Iowa Soldiers' Home of Marshalltown and was treasurer and president of the board at different times, and for a time served as commandant. Fraternally, he belongs to the Masons, having attained the Knight Templar degree.
Mr. Birchard was married on July 24, 1854, while living in Pennsylvania, to Orpha C. Smith, which union resulted in the birth of three children, namely: Eudora is deceased; Theodore Plinney lives at Grant's Pass, Oregon ; W. O. is deceased. The wife and mother passed away on July 14, 1861, and on December 23,1866, Mr. Birchard was united in marriage with Mrs. Margaret (Lytle) Birchard, whose death occurred on May 16, 1905, in Marshalltown. Mr. Birchard has always borne an excellent reputation here and has a host of appreciative friends.
Margaret L Birchard (1828 - 1906)
Created by: Genealogy Buff
Record added: Oct 01, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 98138343