History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 473
Freeman P. Beard, a prominent and successful farmer and stockman of Taylor county, was born in DeKalb county, Illinois, on the 20th of January, 1867, his parents being Hiram and Frances (Sears) Beard, the former a native of Vermont and the latter of New York.  The maternal grandfather, Archibald Sears, whose birth likewise occurred in the Empire State, carried on agricultural pursuits throughout the greater portion of his business career but in later years became a broker of DeKalb county, Illinois.  He passed away in Kendall county, that state, when he had attained the venerable age of ninety-two years.  Hiram Beard (page 474), the father of our subject, was a farmer by occupation and in 1847 removed to Illinois, settling in DeKalb county, where he made his home until 1872.  In that year he came to Taylor county, Iowa, purchasing a farm of three hundred and twenty acres in Ross township, to the further cultivation and improvement of which he successfully devoted his time and energies as the years went by.  While residing in DeKalb county, Illinois, he served as superintendent of schools and in Taylor county was also recognized as a most valued and substantial citizen -- one whose aid and influence could be counted upon to further any movement or measure instituted to advance the general welfare.  He was called to his final rest in 1898, at the age of seventy-two years, having for several years survived his wife, who passed away in 1891, when fifty-seven years of age.  Unto this worthy couple were born two children, as follows: Lawrence, a resident of Ross township; and Freeman P., of this review.
Freeman P. Beard, who was a little lad of six years when he accompanied his parents on their removal to this county, was reared on his father's farm in Ross township and attended the district schools in pursuit of an education.  After attaining his majority he still continued to reside on the home farm, being busily engaged in its operation until the time of his father's death, when the property came into his possession.  He yet owns and operates the place and in addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted to the soil and climate he is also engaged in the raising of stock on quite an extensive scale, both branches of his business returning to him a gratifying annual income.  Since 1902, however, he has made his home in Bedford, where he owns an attractive, commodious and substantial residence.
On the 11th of February, 1892, Mr. Beard was joined in wedlock to Miss Mary E. McCormick, a daughter of Elisha and Susan (Cummins) McCormick, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this volume.  Jacob McCormick, the paternal grandfather of Mrs. Beard, was a farmer by occupation and removed to Illinois at an early day.  Both he and his wife had attained an advanced age at the time they were called to their final rest.  The maternal grandfather, who was a native of Scotland, took up his abode in Maine after crossing the Atlantic to the United States.  Subsequently he removed to Illinois, passing away in that state at a venerable age.  Mr. and Mrs. Elisha McCormick were born in Pennsylvania and Maine respectively and became early settlers of Warren county, Illinois, where the birth of their daughter, Mrs. Beard, occurred.  The year 1875 witnessed their arrival in Taylor county, Iowa, Elisha McCormick purchasing a farm of one hundred and sixty acres in Ross township.  He afterward extended the boundaries of the place by an additional purchase of seventy acres and carried on his agricultural interests there for some years but subsequently removed to Jackson township and in 1906 took up his abode in Bedford, where both he and his wife have since resided.  They reared a family of ten children, as follows:  Fanny, who is now deceased; Addie, the wife of R. J. Montgomery; Mary E., the wife of Freeman P. Beard; Villa, who is the wife of C. E. Jones; Elmer, who died at the age of fourteen years; Walter, Ed and Dean, twins; Fred; and Ruby, the wife of Claude Trumbo.  Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beard has been born one son, Harold F.
In his political views Mr. Beard is a stanch republican, while fraternally he is identified with Taylor Lodge, No. 156, A. F. & A. M., and Triangle Chapter, No. 68, R. A. M.  His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the Presbyterian church, with which his wife is also affiliated.  Well known in the county where he has resided from early boyhood days, he has a wide acquaintance here and has won uniform trust and good will by reason of a life which in all of its phases has been straightforward and honorable.