EDWARD B. MEATYARD. The late Mr. Meatyard is well remembered by many citizens of this county, as he was born at Piasa and there spent the years until after he had grown to manhood. His natal day was February 13, 1839, and his parents were Robert and Betsey (Brown) Meatyard, who were natives of England. In his early boyhood Edward displayed the bent of his genius and he was educated as a civil engineer, making a thorough study of mechanics. At the death of his mother he inherited a large sum of money, and he was thus enabled to do more in the way of investigation and invention than is the case with some who possess an inventive genius.
December 24, 1873, Mr. Meatyard was united in marriage with Miss Anna E. Boswell, daughter of John G. and Miss Anna E. Boswell, who live in Shipman Township. The bride was born in London, England, but was brought to the United States by her parents when an infant, and is to all intents and purposes a thorough American. She possesses an estimable character, a well-informed mind, and much capability for affairs, so that since she was left a widow she has been able to look after her monied interests very satisfactorily. Her home is brightened by the presence of four children, named respectively: Maynard M., James E., Bessie N., and Mina E.
About four months after his marriage Mr. Meatyard removed to Walworth County, Wis., and found a pleasant home on the shores of Lake Geneva. He then gave his attention to inventions and secured patents on about twenty, the most important of which were a car wheel and a press used in making the same, and a steam hammer. For his patent right on the last named he was offered $75,000, but as he considered it the foundation of his work he refused the offer. He accomplished a vast amount of work, and had the foundation laid for a large fortune, but his career was cut short by death, May 13, 1889, when he was but little more than fifty years old. On being taken sick he sold out his property at Lake Geneva and spent some time in a hospital at Chicago, then came to Shipman where he died three weeks later.
Mr. Meatyard was the author of many valuable papers on works in which he was interested, and published a volume on the "Transportation Problem." This is a working man's manual, treating of curves, grades, locations, permanent way, heavy rails, rail joints, bridges, uniform distribution of moving load on tracks and bridges, light strong cars, steel-cushioned wheels, train brakes, self-lubrication, radial axles, traction resistance, and many crude ideas to be worked out with hard and tough steel. He enlisted on the Union side at the breaking out of the war as a private, but by bravery and true worth he was promoted successively through the various offices, and at the close of the war came out with the shoulder straps and rank of a Major of Engineering and Artillery.