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JOHN R. PACKARD, who has been identified with the hardware business of Greenville for more than a half century, is a native of Lordstown, Trumbull county, Ohio, born January 31, 1836. His parents were William and Julia A. (Leach) Packard. The father was a native of Washington county, Pennsylvania, and the mother of Mendham, Morris county, New Jersey. Both the Packard and Leach families migrated to what is now Mahoning county, Ohio, in the early part of the nineteenth century.
William Packard, the father, spent his boyhood days at the paternal homestead in Ohio and in 1849 became a member of an overland party which made the weary trip across the plains to California. "He himself located at Kernville, where he engaged both in the mining business and in the erection of stamp mills. He not only became prosperous and respected in that field but acquired such influence in the locality that he was chosen one of the associate justices of the peace. In politics he was a Democrat. William Packard died at Kernville, California, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. Of the thirteen children born to him three are living, as follows: John R. Packard, who was the seventh child of the family; Ellen D., the widow of Jerome Campbell and residing in Warren, Ohio; and Mary E., a resident of Washington, D. C. The paternal grandparents were Thomas and Nancy Packard, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and Delaware.
John R. Packard was reared in Lordstown, his birthplace, and educated in its common schools and at a select academy conducted by Rev. Joseph King, of the Disciples church. Mr. Packard afterward taught school himself in that vicinity, but in 1852 he entered business in the capacity of a clerk in his brother's hardware store at Warren, Ohio. Two years afterward he located at Greenville and entered into partner ship with his uncle, D. B. Packard, and his brother, Warren, the three forming the firm of Packard and Company. In 1857 Warren Packard sold his interest to the other partners, who continued the business until 1870, when Dr. Packard retired and John R. Packard became the head of the firm.
On September 26, 1859, Mr. Packard was married to Miss Augusta Buck, of Westfield, New York, her parents both being natives of Warsaw, New York state. Her father was a merchant and manufacturer and a ship owner, his interests in the latter line being confined to Lake Erie. Mrs. John R. Packard died April 29, 1897. She was the mother of eight children, three of whom died in infancy. The five who survive are: Clara, now the wife of Lester Leech; Cora, Mrs. Fred Mallery, of Passaic, New Jersey; Edwin B., who married Cora Hewett; Celeste, now Mrs. C. B. Rice, Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania; and Sylvia, who became the wife of Paul H. Graff. Mr. Packard is an old and honorable member of the Masonic fraternity. He has long been in comfortable financial circumstances and has largely indulged himself in the luxuries of travel. Within the past two years he has made two complete trips around the world, starting east in 1907 and westward in 1908. In the course of these extended travels which have-given him so much pleasure and broadened his outlook, he has traversed Siberia, Russia and other interesting countries of the world and has visited nearly all the states and territories of the United States.