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James Monroe Biard
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Birth: Oct. 24, 1834
Death: May 5, 1901

From Rodgers and Wade Furniture Co. Funeral Records in possession of Fry and Gibbs Funeral Home; Book #3; p.25; Service #49; Born in Alabama; Residence of TX 43 years; Died at W.L. Woods, N. Travis; Physician: Stephens; White; married; Services at Christian Church by J.N. Crutcher & others; Ordered by Woods; Casket #1 Hart; vault; embalming; flowers; grave opening; Funeral car.

*Oct 24, 1974, From the Collection of Elizabeth Booth. 'DIARY OF A PREACHER FROM THE LAMAR COUNTY ECHO, BY MERCEDES GARDNER. He was a kindly man, much concerned about the state of grace of his fellow men and in love with the heavenly Father, who he revered, worshiped and served for all of his life. He was James Biard, grandfather of Jimmy Biard, Biardstown, Jack Biard, Shreveport, Louisiana, and John W. Biard 2745 Culbertson Street, Paris. James Monroe Biard kept a diary, or daybook in which he set down poetry of his own; copied poems written by others; recorded marriages he performed; kept occasional newspaper clippings; wrote his sermons; set down remedies for health problems and kept some records of unusual weather conditions. It seems wrong in a way to read a person's diary when he is no longer able to say 'yea' or 'nay' - to look over his shoulder in his most private moments - yet there is nothing in it which is not uplifting or inspiring, so perhaps he would not care that the life he lived will last beyond his grave. The earliest date noted in the volume is Feb. 25, 1857, on a copy of a dissertation by James M. Sylvester, a man whom he evidently admired as his name appears several times in the book. Nearly two pages of marriages lacked dates, but later he dated all of them, the last being Jan. 24, 1893 when he united J. A. Thompson and Miss Sallie E. Bryson of Lamar County. The marriage record was resumed in 1905 by a son also a minister, J. R. Biard. Of the Civil War, James Biard wrote: 'Fruits of the War of Secession in 1861' - many and various have been the scenes through which the American people have passed during this war and especially some particular localities and individuals, for instance: in 1863 in Grayson County, Benjamin G. Hall, indicted Bro. Dyer before the military for the purpose of having him sent to the army, denying that he had ever been called of either God or Man.' Later, he either wrote or copied an article, 'The Evils of War' which stated that war was of two kinds moral and physical and is 'blighting to any nation or country and the virtue of the nation is lost.' In 1864 he recorded in his diary, 'Items for My Children', in which he told of high prices of common everyday items which he thought might be of interest to them many years later: A 30- pound feather bed -$400; one bed quilt- $100; one set of knives and forks- $110; one set of cups and saucers- $100; bacon- $1 per pound, whiskey- $50 per gallon; wheat- $14 per bushel. Board was $10 per day; cows and calves sold for $60. Inflation is nothing new- this was 100 years ago.

James Biard was born Oct. 24, 1834 and died May 5, 1901 and is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.

He married Mary Holbrook of Mt. Vernon, Jan. 10 , 1858. He had come to Texas in 1846.

He left an incomplete biography for his children, David A., Cartha Wood, Evans, James R. and John W. - a least it seems to be incomplete as it ends abruptly during a discussion of river boat travel. It begins: 'Dear children, I shall try and write a short history of the Biard family as I have learned it. The earliest knowledge I have of the American branch of the Biard family is the coming of one man to the United States from England in an early day and settling on the Yadkin River in North Carolina. He was of Scotch descent and I am told the name is pronounced Bard and in anglicizing, the name the letter i or e has been added and it is spelled in the following ways: Biard, Beard or Baird. Members of the same families differ as to which letter should change the name from Bard to Biard. Whether it be E or I, I will have to state that the difference in spelling of the name does not amount to anything as regards kinship. The Biard family has become numerous in the western hemisphere, many of them noted for their learning, wealth and usefulness in public and private life. As a general rule they are a strong, hardy race of people. My great-great ancestor was named John and lived in Carolina in the early of Colonial days. By his first wife he had nine sons, and six sons were born to him by his second wife. The older children moved to Kentucky in the days of Boone and settled in the county in around Bardstown. The other six boys arrived at manhood and moved into east Tennessee- my father, John, was one of those. He married a Miss Rebecca Stone, a cousin of that great reformer, B. W. Stone and when Alabama was a new country he moved to or near Brown's Ferry on the Tennessee River, 12 miles west of Athens, in what is now Limestone County. There he reared his family, consisting of five sons and two daughters'. At the time of his writing only one member of the family was living, his father, who was eighty-four. He notes that his father's people were inclined to have gray hair at a premature age, while his mother, at the time of her death still had dark hair. James Biard pointed out that his ancestors were a generally religiously disposed people and that as far back as he could remember he had wanted to preach. He was baptized in Hickory Creek in Lamar county in his early manhood by Bro. Thacker Griffin. At this point he diverges from family history to discuss the preachers of the day and the 'hell fire and damnation' style of some of them, which sometimes produced the opposite of desired results. The he writes: 'But I am wandering from personal history in the early days of Texas when the air we breathed was burdened with the perfumes of a thousand flowers and the wild deer wandered where they willed. And the birds sang their happy songs in the groves where man worshipped.' He wrote in the winter of 1845-46 his family moved from Alabama to Texas by water and he seems to have been fascinated by the boats, their cargo and the people who managed them. He said some of the boats were almost as graceful as swans as they skimmed the surface of the flowing water. Scattered throughout the dairy are references to the weather. One, dated April 11, 1857, notes a five inch snow, ' a time long to be remembered'. There had been a frost April 5, killing all vegetation and ruining the fruit crop. March 14 and 15 in 1880 were days of linger long in memory, too: rain, freezing mist and sleet so heavy that trees broke down. Despite this, after it all melted, the wheat looked reasonably well, he wrote. In May 1889, it became so cold that roaring fires were needed. The cotton was full of lice. A cyclone in 1885 in Van Alstyne blew away two cows, a horse and a caboose. James Biard was of the 'Christian or Church of Christ' faith, as he put it, and pastored several churches, consecutively and together. He kept records of memberships, payments, church elders, etc. T. H. R. Poteet, the man who gave Paris its name was one of his elders. The Antioch church where he preached from 1857 to 1900 bears a historical marker. Jimmy Biard and his wife, Mary Ruth live on the old family homestead. Indeed, the log cabin is now the family room of their home around which the present structure was built. The land surrounding it is a part of the original land grant purchased by Jackson Biard, the father of James Monroe, and his brothers in 1846. Jimmy's father, J. W. T. Biard is no longer living, but his mother, 97, who resides at Cherry Street Manor is still active in her church (First Christian) and civic work. She is the former Edna Braden. Jimmy's father was born in the log cabin as was Jimmy and all of his brothers. Jimmy is engaged in farming and ranching.

His wife Mary Ruth is a daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. George Bills and they have one son, John Robert (Bob) who is vice-president of Spectronics Inc. at Richards. There are three grandchildren. Mrs. Biard now does considerable historical and genealogical research, but formerly managed the gift shop at the old Arthur Caddell department store from the time of its opening until closing. She also was employed at the Collegiate shop. The Biards are members of the Church of Christ as was his grandfather. This column is indebted to Mrs. Biard for the material used in this article, some of it which has only come to her in recent times.'

Jimmy Biard died 13 April 1977 and Mary Ruth Bills Biard died 9 Sept. 1988. (bio by: Carole Curry) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Mary F.A. Holbrook Biard (1839 - 1927)
 
 Children:
  Cartha Biard Wood (1860 - 1945)*
  John William Thomas Biard (1875 - 1965)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Evergreen Cemetery
Paris
Lamar County
Texas, USA
Plot: 04-68-04
 
Created by: Bobby Wayne Smith
Record added: Sep 04, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7836261
James Monroe Biard
Added by: Carole Curry
 
James Monroe Biard
Added by: William Fuller
 
James Monroe Biard
Added by: Carole Curry
 
 
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- Les Varner
 Added: Jan. 14, 2012

- Bobby Wayne Smith
 Added: Oct. 18, 2003

- Donna Ruhland Bonning
 Added: Oct. 3, 2006
 
 
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