GEORGE R. LARD, living on section 25, Pawnee township, was born in Ball township, Sangamon county, May 6, 1854. He traces his ancestry back to one of the old families of South Carolina. His paternal grandfather, John Lard, was born in that state February 12, 1792, and when a child was taken by his parents to Kentucky, where his father died. He was a youth of fifteen when he went to St. Louis, Missouri, to visit an uncle and later he was married there in 1812 to Lydia Todd, who died in 1824, leaving one child. John Lard afterward married again, his second union being with Elizabeth Kelly, of Wayne, Illinois. With his wife he returned to St. Louis and in March, 1835, came to Sangamon county, casting in his lot with the pioneer settlers, who, establishing homes on the frontier, reclaimed this district for the purposes of civilization. He entered land in Ball township, afterward purchased other property and reared his family in this county. His son, Josiah Lard, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, September 22, 1819, and when a young man became a resident of Sangamon County. He was married here September 22, 1842, to Jemima Crowder, who was born in this county, a daughter of Squire Crowder, one of the early residents of this part of the state and afterward a citizen of Iowa. Mrs. Lard passed away April 3, 1855. Mr. Lard afterward married Amelia Funderburk, of Christian county, Illinois. Throughout his business career Josiah Lard devoted his time and energies to agricultural pursuits and became a very prominent farmer and extensive landowner of Ball township, having at the time of his death twenty-two hundred acres of land. He continued to engage in farming until his death, which occurred in 1883. His second wife survived him until 1895.
George R. Lard is the youngest of the six children born of his father's first marriage. All of these grew to mature years, but only three are now living - our subject and two sisters. No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for George R. Lard in his boyhood days. He attended the district schools and worked in field and meadow, assisting his father in the operation of the farm until he was twenty-two years of age, when he was married and began life on his own account. It was in August, 1883, when he wedded Miss Angie Durbin, who was born in Putnam county, Missouri, a daughter of Nathan Durbin, who, removing to Illinois, purchased land upon which he reared his family. After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Lard located where they now reside and he began to clear and improve his quarter section of land. Modern equipments have been placed upon the farm by him and he has built a barn and placed all the outbuildings in a state of good repair. He has also planted fruit trees, has laid many rods of tiling and has fenced his farm, dividing it into fields well adapted for the purposes used. He also added forty acres to his place and now has a valuable tract of two hundred acres, on which he is cultivating the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate. He is also raising stock, making a specialty of a high grade of hogs. His business methods are reliable and in all of his trade transactions he is progressive and honest.
Mr. and Mrs. Lard became the parents of four children, but Leona, the second, died in 1901. The others are Ethel, Earl and Neta. In his political views Mr. Lard is a Democrat and on attaining his majority gave his support to Samuel J. Tilden in 1876. He has served for a number of years on the school board, but has otherwise held nor desired no public office, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business affairs, which are capably conducted and are bringing to him the financial reward which is the goal of every man's endeavor.