CHARLES W. BEERS
Mr. & Mrs. Charles W. Beers
CHARLES W. BEERS has been a resident of Eaton county for forty years and is now living semi-retired on his pleasant little homestead just south of the village of Bellevue. He is a veteran of the civil war and is a citizen who has received the high esteem of those with whom he has come in contact in the varied relations of life. Mr. Beers was born in Cayuga county, New York, June 14, 1831, and is a son of John and Eliza (Leverich) Beers, the former of whom was born in Oswego county, New York, April 12, 1807, and the latter in Onondaga county, that state, September 26, 1811. Both passed the closing years of their lives in the village of Bellevue, having been numbered among the pioneers of Eaton county, the father a the age of seventy years and the mother at the age of eighty-four. John Beers was the owner of a farm in New York, and he there continued to live until 1853, having sold his land and having come to Eaton county, Michigan, in January of that year. He purchased one hundred and twenty acres of land in Bellevue township, the tract having been partially reclaimed and a small frame house and log barn having been built on the place. He cleared the farm, erected a good house and barn and resided there until two years prior to his death, when he and his wife removed to the village of Bellevue, where they passed the remainder of their lives, his death having occurred in 1884. He was a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party, and both he and his wife were zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in which he served as class-leader for many years. They became the parents of nine children, all of whom attained maturity except one, who died in infancy. Charles W., of this sketch, is the eldest; Wesley is a resident of Cooperville, Ottawa county, Michigan; Mary, who died in Montcalm county, this state, was the wife of Solomon Rapp, and their four children reside in the city of South Bend, Indiana; Josiah enlisted in Company E, Sixth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, in 1861, and died in a Confederate prison, in 1863, --- presumably in Andersonville; Eliza Ann was the wife of Richard Austin, of Calhoun county, and is survived by one child; Charlotte is the wife of David Sweet, of Nashville, Barry county; Jeanette, who died in 1876 was the wife of William Farlin, of Bellevue township; and George, who married Emma Crampton and resided in Bellevue township, was killed in the lumber woods, in 1870, his widow and their only child also being deceased. Charles W. Beers, the immediate subject of this sketch, was reared on the old homestead farm, in New York state, and there received a common-school education. In 1851 he came to Eaton county, working on a farm in Bellevue township one summer and then returning to New York, where he was shortly afterward married. He then engaged in farming in Oswego county, that state, also doing a butchering business, operating a meat wagon in the farming community in which he lived and being successful in his efforts. In May, 1862, responding to President Lincoln’s second call for volunteers, he enlisted in Company D, One Hundred and Forty-seventh New York Infantry, and he served three years, or until the close of the war. He was assigned to detail service and never took part in any battles. He passed two weeks in the hospital at Belle Plaines, Va., where he witnessed the death of several hundred soldiers. At the battle of Gettysburg and in the engagement at Seminary Hill he was on duty as driver of a forge wagon. He was with his command within twelve miles of Appomattox at the time of Lee’s surrender. At the time of enlistment his regiment was twenty-seven hundred strong, and of this large number of men only one hundred and forty-seven lived to return home. Mr. Beers left his wife and four small children to go forth in his country’s service, and he made a record of which he may be proud, having done the duty assigned him and having seen his full share of the horrors and hardships of war, even though he was not a participant in the great battles waged about him. After the war he returned to his home in New York, having duly received his honorable discharge. His parents had removed to Eaton county, Michigan, in 1853, as already noted, and they expressed an earnest desire that he should also bring his family here. He accordingly sold his property in New York and removed to Eaton county, arriving in August, 1865. He purchased forty acres of his father’s old homestead and a tract of one hundred and twenty acres on the opposite side of the road. He erected a good frame house and barns, set out a large orchard and otherwise improved his land, continuing to reside there until 1877, when he removed to the village of Bellevue, where he opened a meat market, continuing to be identified with this line of enterprise until 1901, when he virtually retired, buying a small piece of land south of the village, and here having an attractive home. He raised some crops each year, preferring not to be idle, and he is held in high esteem in the community, having made the record of a reliable business man and upright citizen. He has been identified with the Republican party from the time of its organization, is affiliated with the Grand Army of the Republic and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and both he and his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church, with which they have been identified from their youthful days. April 7, 1852, Mr. Beers was united in marriage to Miss Sarah A. Peckham, who was born in Hannibal, Oswego county, New York, May 2, 1830, being a daughter of David and Polly (Potter) Peckham, the former of whom was born in Connecticut September 9, 1800, and died in the state of New York, in July, 1877; the latter was born in Connecticut, March 28, 1797 and died at Hannibal, New York, December 27, 1858. David Peckham was a wealthy farmer of Oswego county, where he improved a large landed estate, and his wife was a representative of a family early founded in America, the genealogy being traced back to the year 1616. Of the seven children in the Peckham family Mrs. Beers is now the only survivor. Benjamin, who died in the city of New Orleans in February, 1905, remained on the old homestead in New York for many years, having cared for his father during the latter’s declining years; Amos was a farmer of New York; Lucy was the wife of James Kip, of that state; Isaac, who was captain of Company E, One Hundred and Tenth New York Volunteer Infantry, in the civil war, died in ill health for many years after the war; Mrs. Beers was the next in order of birth; Martha was the wife of Carson Wiltse and died in New York state; Emma, who died in 1898, in Louisiana, was the wife of William Stevenson. To Mr. and Mrs. Beers were born five children, all of whom are living. Ordelia, who was born November 15, 1853, is the wife of Charles Shaw, a prosperous farmer of Sanilac county, Michigan, and they have four children, -- Alta, Sarah, Claude and Roy. Adelbert, who resides in Bellevue, married Miss Nettie Wilson, and they have two children, -- Wayne and Emma V. Francina, who was born July 12, 1859, is the wife of Howard Foster, a representative farmer of Sanilac county; they have no children. Charles E., who was born November 2 1861, resides in Bellevue and is township supervisor. He married Miss Matilda Hamilton, and they have no children. Clinton J., who was born September 11, 1867, has a general store and its postmaster in Lamott township, Sanilac county. He married Miss Edna Luscomb and they have four children, three of whom are living, -- Rodney Lynn, Clare and Vaughn.