Thomas R. Bard

Last updated
Thomas R. Bard
Thomas R. Bard.jpg
United States Senator
from California
In office
February 7, 1900 - March 3, 1905
Preceded by Stephen M. White
Succeeded by Frank P. Flint
Personal details
BornDecember 8, 1841
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
DiedMarch 5, 1915 (aged 73)
Port Hueneme, California
Nationality American
Political party Republican
Military service
Branch/service Union Army
Battles/wars American Civil War

Thomas Robert Bard (December 8, 1841 March 5, 1915) was a political leader in California who assisted in the organization of Ventura County and represented the state in the United States Senate from 1900 to 1905 as a Republican. He is known as the "Father of Port Hueneme" for his efforts in building and expanding the city, as well as the first and only deep water port in the area. He is one of the founders of the UNOCAL company.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

Ventura County, California County in California, United States

Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318. The largest city is Oxnard, and the county seat is the city of Ventura.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.


Early life

Born in Chambersburg, Franklin County, Pennsylvania on December 8, 1841, Bard attended the common schools, and graduated from the Chambersburg Academy in 1858. He studied law in school, and before his graduation, he secured a job with the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. Later, he became an assistant to the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley Railroad. Other business ventures included the grain business in Hagerstown, Maryland. During the early part of the Civil War, Bard served as a volunteer Union scout during the invasions of Maryland and Pennsylvania by the Confederates.

Franklin County, Pennsylvania County in Pennsylvania

Franklin County is a county located in South Central Pennsylvania. As of the 2010 census, the population was 149,618. Its county seat is Chambersburg.

Pennsylvania U.S. state in the United States

Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the Northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.

Cumberland Valley Railroad Early historical railroad

The Cumberland Valley Railroad was an early railroad in Pennsylvania, United States, originally chartered in 1831 to connect with Pennsylvania's Main Line of Public Works. Freight and passenger service in the Cumberland Valley in south central Pennsylvania from near Harrisburg to Chambersburg began in 1837, with service later extended to Hagerstown, Maryland and then extending into the Shenandoah Valley to Winchester, Virginia. It employed up to 1,800 workers.

Political career

Senator Thomas R. Bard T R Bard.jpg
Senator Thomas R. Bard

Thomas R. Bard moved to Ventura County, California in 1864 and served as a member of the board of supervisors of Santa Barbara County from 1868 to 1873. In 1871, he was appointed as a commissioner to organize Ventura County. During this time, he purchased and subdivided Rancho El Rio de Santa Clara o la Colonia and laid out the plans for Port Hueneme, California, the future site of his Berylwood estate.

Rancho El Rio de Santa Clara o la Colonia 44,883-acre Mexican land grant in Ventura County, California

Rancho El Rio de Santa Clara o la Colonia was a 44,883-acre (181.64 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Ventura County, California given in 1837 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Valentine Cota et al. The grant extended from the Santa Clara River south to the present-day Point Mugu Naval Air Station, and the boundary of Rancho Guadalasca, and east from the Pacific Ocean to the present-day 101 Freeway, and the boundary of Rancho Santa Clara del Norte. The grant encompassed present-day Colonia and Oxnard.

Berylwood United States historic place

Berylwood was the home of Thomas R. Bard, who was influential in the formation of Ventura County as a landowner, entrepreneur, and politician. Located in Port Hueneme, California within Naval Base Ventura County, the estate was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The listing included six contributing buildings, two other contributing structures, and two contributing sites.

Bard was the California delegate to the 1884 Republican National Convention, and later served as the director of the California state board of agriculture from 1886 to 1887. In 1887, Bard became a founding board member of Occidental College. He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy in the term that began on March 4, 1899. He served from February 7, 1900 to March 3, 1905. Bard was unsuccessful in his 1904 reelection bid. During his term Bard served as the chairman of the Committee of Fisheries (for the Fifty-seventh Congress) and served on the Committee on irrigation (for the Fifty-eighth Congress). One of Thomas R. Bard's notable achievements during his time in office was to appoint George S. Patton, later General Patton, to West Point. [1]

1884 Republican National Convention

The 1884 Republican National Convention was a presidential nominating convention held at the Exposition Hall in Chicago, Illinois, on June 3–6, 1884. It resulted in the nomination of former House Speaker James G. Blaine from Maine for President and Senator John A. Logan of Illinois for Vice President. The ticket lost in the election of 1884 to Democrats Grover Cleveland and Thomas A. Hendricks.

Occidental College liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California, United States

Occidental College is a private liberal arts college in Los Angeles, California. Founded in 1887 by clergy and members of the Presbyterian Church, it is one of the oldest liberal arts colleges on the West Coast. Occidental College is often referred to as "Oxy" for short.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Family and later life

Contemporary photo of Bard Mansion on his Berylwood estate. Bard Mansion view.jpg
Contemporary photo of Bard Mansion on his Berylwood estate.

Thomas R. Bard became a successful business man, and held profitable interests in several oil companies. Thomas R. Bard and his brother, Dr. Cephas Little Bard, established the Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital in Ventura as a memorial to their mother. [2] His son, Archibald Philip Bard, became a noted physiologist and the dean of Johns Hopkins Medical School.

Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital United States historic place

Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital, now known as The Elizabeth Bard Memorial Building, is a historic building in downtown Ventura, California. Built in 1901, it is a Mission Revival structure featuring covered terraces and a covered porch with a three-story bell tower at the southeast corner. The building was listed as Ventura Historic Landmark No. 19 in 1976 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Ventura, California City in California, United States

Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. The coastal site, set against undeveloped hills and flanked by two free-flowing rivers, has been inhabited for thousands of years. European explorers encountered a Chumash village, referred to as Shisholop, here while traveling along the Pacific coast. They witnessed the ocean navigation skill of the native people and their use of the abundant local resources from sea and land. The eponymous Mission San Buenaventura was founded nearby in 1782 where it benefitted from the water of the Ventura River. The town grew around the mission compound and incorporated in 1866. The development of nearby oil fields in the 1920s and the age of automobile travel created a major real estate boom during which many designated landmark buildings were constructed. The mission and these buildings are at the center of a downtown that has become a cultural, retail, and residential district and visitor destination.

He died at his Berylwood home in Port Hueneme, California on March 5, 1915 and was interred in the family cemetery on his estate. His remains were moved to Ivy Lawn Cemetery in Ventura, California by the military. [3]

Port Hueneme, California City in California in the United States

Port Hueneme is a small beach city in Ventura County, California surrounded by the city of Oxnard and the Santa Barbara Channel. The name derives from the Spanish spelling of the Ventureño phrase wene me, meaning "Resting Place". The town's name was officially changed to Port Hueneme in 1939 and was incorporated March 24, 1948. Both the Port of Hueneme and Naval Base Ventura County lie within city limits.

See also

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  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-11-13. Retrieved 2012-03-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) The United States Army. "History of the Army Olympians: A General Athlete" WWW.ARMY.MIL
  2. City of Ventura. Detail Sheet #19 accessed 29 September 2013 from link on City Map with Historic Landmarks
  3. "Thomas R. Bard". Ivy Lawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home. Retrieved 29 September 2016.

Further reading

U.S. Senate
Preceded by
Stephen M. White
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from California
Served alongside: George C. Perkins
Succeeded by
Frank P. Flint