Template:Infobox Senator 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.
Early life[edit | edit source]
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. In 1887, Bard became a founding board member of Occidental College.
Political career[edit | edit source]
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 laid out the plans for Port Hueneme, California, the future site of his Berylwood estate.
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. 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).
Family and Later Life[edit | edit source]
Thomas R. Bard became a successful business man, and held profitable interests in several oil companies. He died at his Berylwood home in Port Hueneme, California on March 5, 1915 and was interred in the family cemetery on his estate. He is the topic of a book entitled Oil, Land and Politics.
His son, Archibald Philip Bard, became a noted physiologist and the dean of Johns Hopkins Medical School.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Congressional Biography 
- Hutchinson, William Henry. Oil, Land, and Politics: The California Career of Thomas R. Bard. 2 vols. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1965.
- Politicians Graveyard