Captain William McBeth
MCBETH, KENTON, INGHRAM, POTTER
Posted By: Fran Hunt, Volunteer
Date: 10/3/2001 at 22:14:48
From the Portrait and Biographical Album of Jefferson and Van Buren Counties – 1890
CAPTAIN WILLIAM McBETH
Capt. William McBeth, who for four years gallantly defended the old flag during the late war, and is now a prominent citizen of Keosauqua Iowa, was born in Springfield Ohio, on October 8, 1839, being a son of John and Rachel Kenton McBeth. His father was a native of Pennsylvania, but his mother was born in the Buckeye State and a great grand niece of Simon Kenton, the celebrated Indian warrior. The family of which our subject is a member numbered six children, five of whom are living at this writing in 1890, William being the eldest; John A., who served with credit in an Ohio regiment during the late war and is now living in Putnam County Ohio; James who was in the three months service, makes his home in Zanesville Ohio; Samuel who was the bugler in the First Missouri Sharp Shooters, died in the Buckeye State; Henry D. is a printer of Eldora Kansas; Matilda is now Mrs. Foster of Kerry Ohio. John McBeth was married previous to his union with Rachel Kenton, and by his firs wife had two children—Robert and Louisa. His death occurred in 1852, but the mother of our subject long survived him, dying in 1884. They were both members of the Covenanter Church and were highly respected members of the community, where they made their home. Mr. McBeth strongly opposing the institution of slavery, early became an Abolitionist and his house was a station of the famous Underground Railroad. The sufferings of many a poor Negro did he alleviate and then aid him on his way to Canada and freedom.
During the early years of his boyhood, Mr. McBeth, our subject, attended the common schools of Clark County, Ohio, during the winter season, but when he was a lad of fourteen years his father died and, being the eldest of the family, the burden of caring for his mother and the younger children fell upon his tender shoulders. His education was thus necessarily brought to an end, for the heavy responsibility resting upon him would permit of no time spent in the schoolroom. The care of the family was a hard task for one so young, but the united efforts of mother and son kept the family together, provided for their wants and educated the smaller children. Thus nobly did he perform the duties devolving upon him, and the same faithfulness and loyalty have characterized his subsequent career.
In 1858, with the hope of bettering his financial condition, Mr. McBeth left his native state for the west, and for eighteen months engaged in breaking prairie in Clark and Coles Counties Illinois. At the expiration of that time, in the autumn of 1860, he returned to Ohio where he spent the winter. A dark cloud was then gathering over the country and the low roar of its thunder was already heard, making many to fear for the future of the Nation. Mr. McBeth watched with interest the progress of events, determined that if the South carried out its threats of secession he would strike a blow for the preservation of the Union. Ft. Sumter was fired upon and scarce had the echoes of its guns ceased to reverberate ere he offered his services to the Government, enlisting at the call for troops, for three months’ service in the Twenty-third Ohio Infantry. The regiment, however, was mustered in for three years but, not liking the captain of his company, Mr. McBeth refused to muster. Soon afterward he joined the boys in blue in Company E, Eighty-second Ohio Infantry, and was mustered in at Kenton. The regiment was ordered to West Virginia and at the battle of Bull Pasture Mr. McBeth was wounded. He was then sent home, but as soon as possible he returned to the service and was made Second Lieutenant in a company of the Forty-fifth Ohio Infantry. At the siege of Knoxville he was capture and remained a prisoner in the South for sixteen months, during which time he fully realized what it meant to be a captive in the hands of the rebels. He was incarcerated in Libby Prison for five months, was confined at Macon Georgia, for six months, at Savannah one month, and the remainder of the time at Charleston and Columbia South Carolina. Twice during the time he succeeded in making his escape but was both times recaptured, and at length was exchanged at Wilmington North Carolina. In the winter of 1862-63, while at Lexington Kentucky, Mr. McBeth was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and in the fall of 1863, while yet a rebel prisoner was promoted to the rank of Captain. On being exchanged he at once took command of his company and remained in the service until the close of the war, when in June of 1865, he was mustered out.
On the cessation of hostilities, Captain McBeth returned to his home in Ohio, and in February 1866, was united in marriage with Miss H. I. Inghram, a native of the Buckeye State. Immediately afterward the young couple started for Van Buren County Iowa, where they have since resided. Their home has been blessed by the presence of six children, three of whom are yet living: Effie R. now the wife of the Rev. J.W. Potter, a Methodist minister, as present in charge of a church in Burlington Iowa; Paul H., who is a printer by trade, and Robert R. at home. Mrs. McBeth is a member of the Congregational Church. They have now been residents of this community for almost a quarter of a century and by their lives of uprightness, actuated by worthy motives, they have won the high regard of those with whom they have come in contact. The Captain is engaged in the hardware business. Captain McBeth is independent in politics.
I am not related, and am only copying this for the information of those who might find this person in their family.
Van Buren Biographies maintained by Rich Lowe.
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