Jacob Bolard, born in Spring Township, June 5, 1837, was the fourth son of David and Elizabeth Bolard, and grandson of Frederick Bolard who came to Crawford County about 1812. He served in the 137th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry serving in the Army of the Potomac, participating in the battles of second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg,and Chancellorville. In 1863, he was appointed Hospital Stewart in the Regular Army and was stationed at Seminary Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. He was commissioned Captain of Compay B, 197th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and served in the Army of the Potomac until the end of the War.
In 1868, after two years in the oil country, he returned home and married Mary E. Montague. That same year, he started a tannery business in Conneautville. Located on the corner of Canal and Water Streets, this manufacturer had an output of about seventy-five hides per week in 1863, a total of about 4,000 per annum. These were sold both wholesale and retail and shipped largely to Erie, Pittsburgh, Cincinatti, Philadelphia and New York. Mr. Bolard paid the highest cash prices for hides from butchers and farmers. Employing fifteen to twenty men, he also brought large quantities of hides from outside the area.
In 1885, as a member of the Methodist Church, he proposed a plan to heat the church with steam from his boiler. The Church was located across Walnut Street at the corner of Water. The plan was soon given up.
The Keystone Tanning Co., of Springboro was also managed by Jacob Bolard. This Company formed about 1875, was composed of Conneautville capitalists,John C. Sturtevant, President of the First National Bank; Robert Wormald, businessman; Bolard; and his father-in-law, Elijah Montague.
The Tannery was located about 1/2 mile from the center of the Borough in a building three stories high, equipped with 30 horsepower engine, the output averaged about 180 hides per week or as much as 10,000 hides per year. The leather was shipped largely to the eastern markets, principally Boston and had an excellent reputation among dealers.
About 1897, this Company formed another Tannery at Cambridge Springs, which took most of Mr. Bolard's time. He moved to Cambridge Springs with his family and discontinued the plants in Conneautville and Springboro. A member of the State Legislature, State Senator, President of the First National Bank of Cambridge Springs, Burgess of Conneautville while a resident here, his last honorary position was as a member of the reception committee when President Taft visited Cambridge Springs. Jacob Bolard died at Cambridge Springs on November 6, 1912.