Born: 1794-10-01 Washington County, New York
Died: 1849-11-26 Beardstown, Illinois
Flourished: Beardstown, Illinois
Beard's family moved from New York to Ohio in 1800. In 1818, Thomas moved to Illinois, initially settling near Edwardsville and Alton. In 1820, Beard moved north to settle on the Illinois River at what would later become the town of Beardstown, which is named after him. There, he engaged in trading with the local Native Americans and in 1824, he opened a ferry across the river. In 1826, he married Sarah Bell, and the two had three children before divorcing in 1835. In 1837, Beard remarried to Nancy Dickerman, with whom he had three children.
William Henry Perrin, ed., History of Cass County, Illinois (Chicago: O. L. Baskin, 1882), 15, 18, 20, 115-16; History of Morgan County, Illinois (Chicago: Donnelley, Loyd, 1878), 283; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Schuyler County, 27 July 1837, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Gravestone, Beard Cemetery, Beardstown, IL.