JAMES BEGGS, of the firm of Beggs & Wilson, was for a long time the proprietor of the only furniture and undertaking establishment in Mound Valley, Kansas. He was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1832, and is a son of William and Martha Beggs.
William and Martha Beggs, were natives of Ireland. They reared four children, as follows: William, Jr., decesed; Mary (Richardson), who lives in Ohio, aged eighty-four years; Rachael, deceased; and James, the subject of this sketch.
James Beggs received his early mental training in Ireland, and at the age of sixteen years came to America, in company with his parents. They located in Mercer county, Pennsylvania, where the father carried on farming. James attended school for six months in Pennsylvania. He learned the cabinetmaking trade at Mercer, in Mercer county, where he worked under Henry Heasley three years. He also learned the undertaking business. Soon after he left Mr. Heasley's employ, he went to Plainfield, Illinois, where he worked at his trade. In March, 1871, Mr. Beggs removed to Labette county, Kansas, where he bought a claim. He now owns a half of section 30, township 32, range 19. He improved this and carried on farming for thirteen years, when he moved to Mound Valley, and was engaged in the hardware business for one year. Then, in partnership with Rev. E. A. Graham, he conducted a furniture and undertaking establishment, under the firm name of Graham & Beggs. In April, 1899, he bought Rev. Mr. Graham's interest, and conducted the business alone until the spring of 1901, when he sold, a half interest to W. W. Wilson. They occupy a building 50 by 60 feet in dimensions, and carry a full line of furniture with undertaking supplies in the rear. There is no competition and the concern does a large amount of business. Mr. Beggs is a thorough business man, and has been very succesful.[sic]
Mr. Beggs was married, in Illinois, to Harriet Knapp, who was born in Montpelier, Vermont. She is now sixty-seven years old. They have had four children, three of whom are deceased. The other, Wilson T., is a partner in the Mound Valley Mill Company, with Messrs. Kirk and Allen, and acts as engineer; he married Miss Stotts, and they have two children, Archie M. and Ruth. Mrs. Ella Mahar, a daughter of Mr. Beggs, died in Colorado several years ago, and Mr. Beggs has reared her three children, one of whom is now teaching in the Mound Valley schools. Mrs. Carrie N. Perkins, another daughter, died a short time ago at Guthrie, Oklahoma, where she was chief clerk in the postoffice. A son of Mr. Beggs died while young.
Mr. Beggs was a Republican until recently, and he now votes the Prohibition ticket. He was a member of the school board, and has been a member of the city council of Mound Valley. Mr. Beggs formerly belonged to the Anti-Horsethief Association, and Select Friends. His ancestors were Presbyterians, but he is a member of the Methodist church. Mr. Beggs has erected a comfortable home, in Mound Valley, where he is respected by all as a loyal and upright citizen.
Transcribed from History of Labette County, Kansas and its Representative Citizens, ed. & comp. by Hon. Nelson Case. Pub. by Biographical Publishing Co., Chicago, Ill. 1901
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