W. H. BUSSARD. For three generations the Bussard family has been represented in Westmoreland county, and in colonial days was established in Pennsylvania, the great-grandfather serving as a soldier of the Revolutionary war in defense of colonial interests. Being captured by the British troops, he was imprisoned and was starved to death while still held in captivity.
Conrad Bussard, the grandfather, was born in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, and the year 1779 witnessed his arrival in Westmoreland county, accompanied by his wife and one child. They also brought with them a cow and around its neck was fastened a bell, which is still in possession of the family. Conrad Bussard secured a tract of land near Irwin Station and there successfully carried on general farming for many years. His death occurred in 1852, when he was about seventy-six years of age.
Conrad Bussard, junior, son of Conrad Bussard, senior, was born on the home farm at Irwin Station, in 1812, and there he assisted his father in general agricultural pursuits until his thirty-third year, when he was married and went to a home of his own, settling at what is now Bussardtown, which place was founded by his father. In early life he learned and followed the cooper's trade and when his labors had brought him sufficient capital to purchase land he became the owner of a farm near Adamsburg and there turned his attention to agricultural pursuits. In 1865 he purchased his father-in-law's farm, which now lives in the heart of Arona and in the midst of the richest coal fields of Pennsylvania. He afterward bought Joseph Rombaugh's farm and made his home thereon until his death in 1881. He held membership in the Brush Creek Lutheran church and gave his political support to the Democracy. He married Catherine Shumaker, daughter of William Shumaker, who was the owner of the farm now occupied by George O. Bussard. Their children were: Mary, wife of Michael Erhart, of Arona; W. H., and George O., who is also carrying on agricultural pursuits in Arona.
W. H. Bussard was reared at home, acquired a common school education, and at the age of eighteen years apprenticed himself to the blacksmith's trade which he followed for four years. He afterward returned home and took charge of the property, his brother George having left home. There William H. Bussard remained for a year, at the end of which time he purchased a half interest in the mercantile business of John W. Miller and Company, at Arona. Following the death of Mr. Miller, in 1882, he became sole proprietor of the business, which he conducted successfully until 1894, when the store was completely destroyed by fire. He then purchased the farm where he now resides, owning and operating a good tract of land and in addition he is the owner of a sawmill, where he engages in the manufacture of lumber. He is likewise a coal operator, having one of the valuable coal banks of this portion of the state. Mr. Bussard is a Prohibitionist in his political views, taking an active interest in the work of the party. He belongs to the Free Methodist church, of which he is a steward, and he is classed with the leading and highly respected citizens of Hempfield township.
Mr. Bussard was married in 1874 to Eliza Errett, daughter of Jacob Errett, of Hempfield township, and they had eight children, of whom seven are living: Clarence F., a veteran of the Spanish-American war; Dirbin J., John W., James H., Jennie E., Robert E., and Clark E., all at home.
Source: Page(s) 193-194, History of Westmoreland County, Volume II, Pennsylvania by John N Boucher. New York, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1906.
Transcribed May 2007 by Nathan Zipfel for the Westmoreland County History Project
Contributed for use by the Westmoreland County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/westmoreland/)
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