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Beard, William (1829–1897)

from Windsor & Richmond Gazette (NSW)

Residents of Windsor were thunderstruck on Wednesday evening last, when news came by wire to the effect that Mr. William Beard, an old identity of Windsor, and head of the firm of Messrs. W. Beard and Co., had expired suddenly in George-street, Sydney, a few hours before. Unfortunately, the news proved to be too true. The deceased gentleman went to town on business on Wednesday morning, with the intention of returning the same evening. It would appear that for some days he had not been altogether well, suffering from what he regarded as an attack of indigestion. He had always been looked upon as a healthy, robust man, and though he had reached the age of 68 years, he was very active in his movements. Late in the afternoon, in Sydney, Mr. Beard was noticed by several people in George-street to stagger and fall, and upon being lifted up, was found to be dead. Dr. Graham, M.P., saw him at the Sydney Hospital, to which institution he had been removed, and at once knew that there was no hope. The remains were then taken to the Morgue, and the Police discovered the address of the deceased, owing to the presence in one of his pockets of an envelope bearing his name, &c. Later on Messrs. W. Morgan and J. C. L. Fitzpatrick, Ms.P., identified the remains. Several relatives, who were apprised by wire, went to Sydney on Thursday morning, and the remains were brought to Windsor by the evening train. Mr. T. Collison's hearse met the train, and conveyed the remains to deceased's late residence. The funeral, of which an account will be given next week, took place this Friday morning the remains being interred in the Wesleyan Cemetery at McGrath's Hill.

The late Mr. Beard, who was a familiar figure in the Hawkesbury District had been located here for over 47 years and during the greater part of that time he took an active interest in all matters of a public and progressive nature. He was a member of the first Council elected to administer the affairs of the Borough of Windsor, and was on more than one occasion Mayor of the town. He played a very prominent part in connection with the management of the Hawkesbury Benevolent Society, and we glean from the annual report of that institution of 1871, that he was that year elected its Treasurer, a position which he apparently held from that time until the hour of his death. He was also connected from the first with the Hawkesbury District Agricultural Association, and the Windsor School of Arts, and did much towards advancing the interests of these institutions. He was also for some years Trustee of the Windsor Branch of the Savings Bank of New South Wales. An attempt to procure State aid for the purpose of deepening the Hawkesbury channel at Windsor having failed, Mr. Beard at his own expense endeavoured to attain this object; and in many other directions he did all that lay in his power to improve the condition of things generally in the district. As a churchman, he was firm and constant; as a business man, as straight as a gun-barrel; whilst as friend, he was just what most men like their friends to be. There are many folk in our midst who will miss the late William Beard, and who are earnest in their sympathy for the bereaved widow and the relatives whom he has left behind to mourn for him.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Beard, William (1829–1897)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/beard-william-17774/text29351, accessed 22 August 2019.

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