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Benjamin Wesley Akard    

MR. AND MRS. BEN W. AKARD. Benjamin Wesley Akard was born three miles west of Bristol, Sullivan County, Penn., November 15, 1843, a son of J. D. and Nancy S. (Peoples) Akard. His father’s family came originally from Virginia, and his mother was of Irish ancestry.

The family moved to Carter County, Tenn., when Mr. Akard was eight years old, and again to Johnson City when he was grown. He enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1861, on his eighteenth birthday, and saw service until the close of the war. He served as Second Sergeant of Company D, Crawford’s Regiment of Tennessee Cavalry, attached to Breckenridge’s division. He was honorably discharged at Abingdon. Va., April 9, 1865.
Returning home after the war, Mr. Akard attended and taught school until he acquired a fine education. He was graduated from Washington Academy, at Franklin, Tenn., and later taught in Milligan College, one of the largest schools of the day in that section.

On August 8, 1871, Mr. Akard started his journey to Texas, coming by water to Galveston, by train to Groesbeck, and then on to Veal’s Station in Parker County by covered wagon. He arrived in this county on August 19, and the following month went to Fort Richardson in Jack County. While there the two Indian chiefs, Satanta and Big Tree, were in prison at the Fort, following their trial. He saw them often and one of the guards gave him a lock of hair, cut from the head of one of the chiefs. He had it mounted, and wore it as a watch charm for many years.

Mr. Akard taught school at the Fort until December, when he returned to Veal’s Station, where his sister, Sue, had been teaching. He remained there as teacher for nine years, with an annual enrollment of between sixty and one hundred students. Some of the historic names of Parker County appeared on his class rolls,—Moody, Lindsay, Isabell, McLaughlin, and Lantz. A small pox epidemic closed the school, and Mr. Akard went to Springtown as teacher, but there the disease again interfered.

On October 3, 1876, in Tennessee, Mr. Akard married Miss Julia C. Young, who died two and one-half years later. While teaching at Veal’s Station he led the song service at the church, and one Sunday morning heard a beautiful voice among the ladies, which belonged to Miss Mary Hutchison, who had just arrived from East Tennessee with the Talliferro family.

That same afternoon, Mr. Akard called upon the newcomer to the community, and a romance quickly developed culminating in their marriage in 1881.

In November, 1884, Mr. Akard quit school teaching and came with his family to Weatherford where he had been appointed deputy clerk to T. A. Wythe. In 1888 he was elected to this office, and in 1890 was re-elected by a 2,000 majority.

For a time Mr. Akard was a member of the Wadsworth-Bain Wholesale Drug Company, and later assisted in the organization of the Cherry-Akard Drug Company. After being actively connected with this business for some fifteen years, he retired and lived the remaining years of his life at his home on South Main Street in Weatherford.

He was an active member of the Methodist Church for many years. He was also a member of the Knights of Pythias Lodge and of the Masonic Lodge, having held membership in these organizations for 43 and 60 years respectively.

Mr. and Mrs. Akard were the parents of three children: Nona and Bertha of Weatherford and Anna May, now Mrs. Harry Slater, of New York City.

Mrs. Akard died May 6, 1935, and Mr. Akard passed away July 13, 1936.

History of Parker County and the Double Log Cabin: being a brief symposium of the early history of Parker County, together with short biographical sketches of early settlers and their trials, Weatherford, Tex.: Herald Pub. Co., 1937, pages 150-151. View the image of this page online.  Search Hundreds of 1880s-1920s Texas History Books for biographies and historical information on your ancestors.  View the book page images on line and print them out for your genealogy file!  Try the family history collection for free for 14 days!

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