Born in Vermont in 1828, he moved to California in 1852 where he established residence in Antioch. Before he was elected Sheriff, Hard served a term as a County Supervisor.
In 1868, the first courthouse was extensively damaged by an earthquake. The Board of Supervisors immediately authorized Sheriff Hard to build a jail at Antioch.
David Tyler Hard aided his brother as a Deputy Sheriff and later went on to become a Justice of the Peace in Alameda. After his term as Sheriff, Roswell Hard left with a group of men from Martinez for an expedition to Alaska, where he met his death.