Transcribed by Mary Ann Kaylor
BEAM, JOHN LEWIS (deceased) - In the death of John Lewis Beam, which occurred April 13, 1905, Cotton Hill Township lost one of its representative men, one who knew the business of farming thoroughly and carried it on in a scientific manner, and both the township and county were deprived of a good, public-spirited citizen. Mr. Beam was a native of Sangamon County, born August 13, 1851, a son of Wesley Beam, who was born in Ireland, and Amelia (Rafe) Beam, a native of Sangamon County. Mr. Beam's parents were farming people in Sangamon County and followed that occupation throughout their lives, both passing away there. Wesley Beam had been brought to American by his parents, natives of the Emerald Isle, who located in Sangamon County during the pioneer days and, after years of hardships and struggle with the soil, managed to locate a home in the new land for their loved ones.
The education of John Lewis Beam was secured in the country schools of his native locality, his work keeping him on the farm during the summer months, while during the winter terms he acquired such education as he could in the nearby schoolhouse. Even as a youth he evidenced a fondness for his home, and this characteristic was prominent throughout his life. A quiet man, of unostentatious manner, he was never one to thrust himself forward, nor to seek places of public preferment, but went about the business operating his farm, making a comfortable home and taking care of his family, which - after all is said - is really the highest type of citizenship. After his married he located a tract on Section 5, in Cotton Hill Township, and here the remainder of his days were spent.
On March 5, 1879, Mr. Beam was united in marriage at Springfield, Ill., with Malinda E. Kent, who was born in Sangamon County, Ill., June 4, 1851. Mrs. Beam's father, Pleasant Kent, was born in Ohio, January 11, 1822, but in early manhood decided that there were better opportunities for him to carry on his chosen occupation of farming in Illinois, and subsequently came to this State, where the remainder of his life was spent in agricultural pursuits, his death occurring in Sangamon County, June 28, 1898. He was married to Mary A. Brownell, who was a native of the county, born December 13, 1829, who also spent her life here, and died June 18, 1901. Grandfather Kent was a native of Ohio, who died in Sangamon County, Ill., while on the maternal side Mrs. Beam's grandfather was born in New York and died in Sangamon County.
To Mr. and Mrs. Beam there were born four children, three boys and one girl, as follows: Elmer, who was born November 5, 1881, died November 6, 1881; George A., who was born August 22, 1882, died October 18, 1883; Mary L., born August 5, 1884, married Wiley Nichols, a well known and substantial farmer of Sangamon County, and they have two children, John A. and Cora I.; and Clarence E., born March 18, 1887. Clarence E. married Grace Terry, who was born in Springfield, July 3, 1892, and they live with Mrs. Beam. They were married October 31, 1908, and are parents of a daughter, Gladys Ruth, born January 26, 1910.
In political beliefs, Mr. Beam was always a Democrat and he supported the principles of that party loyally. Fraternally he was identified with the Modern Woodmen. Although not directly connected with any religious denomination, he was in sympathy with all, and gave liberally of his means towards movements of a religious mature. Mrs. Beam and her children are members of the Christian Church. The Beam Farm, where Mr. Beam's widow now resides, and which is operated by his son Clarence E., consists of forty-nine acres, and is in the finest of condition. The family is well known in Cotton Hill Township, where al the members are very popular.