GEORGE W. BEERS.
G.W. Beers was a Kansas pioneer who settled in Osawatomie in 1868. In the autumn of 1870, he came to Cloud county, and filed on a homestead in Solomon township, the farm where he now lives. Mr. Beers and Conrad Romizer are the only original settlers on this part of Fisher creek. Mr. Beers is a native of Elmira, New York, born in 1836. Before attaining his majority he had learned the stone mason's trade and worked two and one-half years in a printing office, where practically speaking he received his education. His father was George W. Beers, a coach maker, who built the first stage coach that ran on the turnpike from Geneva to Canandaigua. Mr. Beer's mother was Harriet Jemima (Huggett) Beers. She was of English birth, born near the city of London, and with her parents crossed the water when she was fifteen years of age, and settled in Ontario, New York.
When Mr. Beers was a small boy his father died and his mother when he was a youth of sixteen. In 1856, Mr. Beers located in Iroquois county, Illinois, where he worked on a farm by the month until 1862, when he enlisted in Company D, 113th Illinois Volunteers under Captain Lucas and Colonel George B. Hoge. Their movements were confined principally to the Missippi[sic] river between Memphis and Vicksburg. In December, 1862, he was with General Sherman at Vicksburg and Arkansas Post; from the latter point he was carried to the hospital where he was discharged from the service in December, 1863, on account of disability, and was thus cut short in his army career which imposed upon him a great disappointment.
During Mr. Beers' service in the army his wife sent him a picture of herself by an orderly sergeant, who had it taken from him by the rebels while on board the "Blue Wing" whose crew were taken prisoners. Two weeks later they were paroled and the picture sent back to the orderly with the message: "Tell that 'Yank' that all weins have got to say, is, he's got a d-d good looking wife." An enlarged portrait of this historical old daguerrotype adorns the walls of the Beers home.
After the war Mr. Beers resumed farming in Illinois, until 1868, when he came to Kansas. When Mr. Beers settled in Solomon township with his wife and family of children he had but five dollars, a team, and wagon. Although the outlook was discouraging he never faltered. He farmed in summer and worked in the saw mill at Glasco in winter for the small wages of one dollar per day. In the winter of 1874-5 he ran an engine at a saw mill in Minneapolis, Kansas, for one dollar and fifty cents per day and boarded himself.
The Beers family have undergone many hardships - have sat around their frugal board and watched the last morsal of bread disappear not knowing from what source the next would be provided. In 1875, Mr. Beers resumed his trade of stone mason. Prior to this period there was but little or no demand for stone masons in the Solomon Valley. He erected the first stone building in Glasco and many of those that followed, including the Oakes House and the bank building. Many of the stone structures throughout the valley are monuments of his architecture. His own residence is of stone, built by himself at intervals when not employed on other work. It is a comfortable eight room house. Mr. Beers quarried the stone, did his own masonry, plastering and most of the carpentering. His farm is well improved with good out buildings and a big orchard with three hundred trees. His land is largely wheat ground. In 1901, a field of fifty acres yielded twenty-seven and one-half bushels to the acre.
Mr. Beers was married in 1860, to Miss Esther A. Johnson of Belfast, New York. Of their family of ten children nine are living: Anna Laura, deceased wife of Leander Doty (she left four children); John W., a farmer; Alice, wife of Wade Cook, of Ames; Edward, who farms with his father; William, the first white male child born in Solomon township, is a plumber (he was a soldier in the Spanish-American war. His Regiment, the 33d Michigan, participated in the battle of San Juan and the destruction of Cevera's fleet. When his services were no longer required he returned to his family, which consists of a wife and little son, Leslie Carl. Their home is in Owosso, Michigan); Clara and Harriet, are unmarried and living at home; Joseph H. and Junius W., are twins, aged twenty-two years.
Mr. Beers is a Republican in politics. The family are members of the United Brethren church and take an ardent interest in church affairs. It was chiefly through the efforts of Mr. Beers that Reverend O. Beistle preached his first sermon in the old court house of Concordia.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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