William C. C. Akard, for whom Akard Street in Dallas was named, was born in North Carolina on 6 March 1826. He moved from North Carolina to Polk County, Missouri. He married Sarah Bowen, daughter of Ahab Bowen. Ahab Bowen, along with his sons, sons-in-law, and their families, moved from Missouri to Arkansas. This group included W. C. C. and his wife, Sarah. The group then moved from Arkansas to Collin County, Texas, and in 1865, to Dallas. Bowen Street, between McKinney Avenue and the junction of Cedar Springs Road and Turtle Creek Drive, is named for Ahab Bowen.
W. C. C. Akard died in 1870 at the age of 44 on a trip to Calvert, Texas, to get supplies for his store. He had lived in Dallas for only five years. However, he was part of the post-Civil War influx of newcomers to Dallas who were destined to rise to prominence in local affairs. His home and store were located at Wood and Akard streets. His descendants lived there for many years. William C. C. Akard is buried at the Masonic Cemetery (now part of Pioneer Cemetery) in Dallas.
Akard Street originally extended north only to Commerce Street. From that point to Ross Avenue, it was named Sycamore. The name Sycamore was transferred to a street in northeast Dallas, and Akard Street was declared to consist of North and South Akard. When Sycamore became North Akard, no attempt was made to eliminate the jog at Akard and Commerce.
The W. C. C. Akards had three sons for whom streets in Dallas are named. According to Akard family records, Cole Avenue was named for Coleman B. Akard, who moved to Montrose, Colorado, where he became a rancher and banker, and died there in 1945.
Another son of W. C. C. was Porter Akard for whom Porter Street was named. He is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Dallas.
William Charles Akard, another son of W. C. C. and Sarah Akard, was born in Dallas in 1865, and reared and educated there. William Street was named for him. He spent several years in the grocery business. He married Gertrude Staley of Missouri, and they had one son, William Harry Akard, Sr. William C. Akard died at his residence, 4136 Cole Avenue in Dallas in June 1933. His wife, Gertrude, died at the same address in 1958. Both are buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Dallas.
In a review of the career of William C. Akard in 1890, it was said that he had seen the growth of Dallas from a village to a city and, as a boy, had fished in the creek that ran where the City Hall was erected in 1885 on the northwest comer of Commerce and Akard streets. In 1890, William C. Akard was residing on the original Akard homestead and owned considerable real estate in the city. He was known to be a public spirited citizen to all civic enterprises.
William C. Akard had one son, William Harry Akard, Sr. who was born in 1888 at the original homestead. He died in 1961 at Grapevine, Texas, where he spent the last 30 years of his life. His wife, Hazel M. Chrisman of Hillsboro, Texas, died in 1975. Both are buried in the Grapevine Cemetery.
William Harry Akard, Sr. had five children. A daughter, Nancy Akard, lived at 4136 Cole Avenue from 1933 until her death in 1964. Other daughters were Hazel M. Akard who married Grady L. Daniel and lived in Dallas until her death in 1982, and Mary Louise Akard, third daughter, presently living in Bossier City, Louisiana.
Sons of William Harry Akard were John C. Akard of Grapevine, Texas, and William Harry Akard, Jr. of Hico, Texas. William Harry Akard, Jr. has one son, James William Akard, and two grandsons, William Christopher Akard and William Olin Akard. These grandsons of William H. Akard, Jr. are the sixth generation to be named William. William Olin is ten years old and William Christopher is five years old in 1992.
By William H. Akard, Jr. for Dallas County Pioneer Association’s Proud Heritage.