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John T. Beetem


Posted By: Dee Yeager (email)
Date: 11/4/2001 at 07:48:16

From Portrait and Biographical Album of Otoe and Cass Counties, Nebraska Vol. 1, 1889 page 617

John T. Beetem, proprietor of 240 acres of land on section 3 in Hendricks Precinct, the whole of which he operates, is recognized as one of the most enterprising farmers of this locality. This property lies one-quarter of a mile from the town of Hendricks, and is consequently quite valuable. The buildings are tasteful and substantial, and everything about the premises is indicative of thrift and prosperity.

The Subject of this sketch was born in Van Buren County, Iowa, Nov. 1, 1847. His parents, John D. and Mary (Burnum) Beetem, were natives of Kentucky, the father born in 1809. His paternal grandfather served under Washington in the Revolutionary War, and his father later fought in the Black Hawk War. At the close of the latter the father removed across the Mississippi into Missouri, where he carried on farming several years, then moved to Van Buren County, Iowa. From the Hawkeye State he went to Wisconsin, locating near Shellsburg, where he was engaged in mining. This venture not proving successful he removed to Dubuque County, and carried on farming there five years.

The father of our subject now decided to try the soil of Allamakee County, Iowa, where he purchased 600 acres of land, and there spent the remainder of his life, passing away in 1869, at the age of sixty-three years. The mother is still living, making her home with our subject, and is now sixty-nine years old. The household circle included eleven children, of whom the three elder, Seadford, Adam and Edward, are deceased. Those surviving are: John T. (our subject), Joseph, George, Frank, Louisa, Sarah and Rolf.

Our subject continued at home with his parents until reaching his majority, acquiring a common-school education and becoming familiar with the various employments of farm life. Upon the outbreak of the Civil War he enlisted in Company F, 6th Iowa Cavalry, and was mustered into service at Davenport, going from there with his regiment to the frontier upon an expedition against the Indians; he participated in the battle of Bad Lands. He gave to his country a service of over three years, being mustered out at Sioux City, Iowa in 1865.

Upon retiring from the Army Mr. Beetem began farming in Allamakee County, Iowa, where he continued until the fall of 1870. Then, coming to the county he located upon the land which he now occupies in Hendricks Precinct, and upon which he had made all the improvements which we now behold. He subsequently added eighty acres to his first purchase. The fields are divided by a handsome hedge fencing, and seven acres have been planted to trees, forming a fine grove. He has an orchard of 100 apple trees, and other choice fruits on the place. The farm is supplied with running water and native timber.

Mr. Beetem while a resident of Iowa was married, in Delaware County, that State, May 8, 1868, to Miss Catherine, daughter of John and Katie(Boyne) McPherson. The parents of Mrs. B. were natives of Scotland,whence they emigrated to America in 1849. The mother departed this life at her home in 1869. The father is still living, and a resident of Hendricks Precinct, being now seventy-seven years of age. Their family consisted of six children - Jeanette, David, Jane, Robert, Margaret and Catherine.

The wife of our subject was born in Scotland, in 1846, and came to America with her parents. She was given a good education and developed into a schoolmistress, following the profession of a teacher before her marriage. Her union with our subject has resulted in the birth of seven children, who are all at home with their parents. Mr. Beetem, politically, is an uncompromising Democrat, and, with his estimable wife, a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Hendricks. He has been Moderator in his district four years, and as an ex-soldier belongs to the G.A.R., Post No. 54, at Palmyra.


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