WILLIAM BEGGS. - Secure in the enjoyment of the confidence and respect of the community in which he is best known is William Beggs, leader in Republican politics and present register of deeds. A tinner by trade, for the past several years he has had an opportunity to prove himself a most efficient and faithful public officer, his present office having been preceded by a number of terms in the capacity of township trustee. Mr. Beggs was born in Ireland, but emigrated from his native Erin when a boy of tender years and he has come to be one of the most enthusiastically loyal of Americans. He was born on May 27, 1857, in county Down, Ireland, and is the son of Richard and Ann (Leamon) Beggs, both of whom were natives of Ireland. The father is now living, a venerable and much respected gentleman, in Kansas City, Kansas, the mother, however, having passed on to the "Undiscovered Country" in 1906, at the age of sixty-eight years. Mr. Beggs is one of a family of seven children, all of whom survive, and he being the eldest born. He was a lad of about seven years when, in 1864, the little family started on their journey in quest of the greater opportunity and independence held out, according to popular repute, by the newer land. They made the voyage in the manner of that day in a sailing ship and landed in New York City, eventually finding their way to the city of Chicago. After a residence of some time in the "Windy City," the family made their way to Kansas City, Kansas. Here Mr. Beggs the elder, engaged with the Fowler Packing Company, in course of time becoming foreman and remaining with this important concern until 1907, in which year he retired. He was city councilman for two terms, giving his influence toward a city administration of sound and sane character and in lodge circles he is a prominent and popular figure. He affiliates with Wyandotte Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons, and also with the Woodmen of America, and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In politics this much respected gentleman pays fealty to the "Grand Old Party," as its adherents are pleased to call it, and takes a great interest in public affairs and all that tends to the betterment of general conditions.
Mr. Beggs, the immediate subject of this review, passed his boyhood days at various points and received the major part of his education in the public schools of Chicago. When he took his place as a factor in the work-a-day world it was as an employe of the great packing house of Armour & Company in that city, his capacity being that of a tinner. In 1875 he came to Kansas and here pursued his trade until 1904, when he assumed a position in the Kansas State Grain Department, in which he remained for two years. He was elected township trustee in 1906 and in 1908 received unmistakable evidence of the satisfactory character of his services from the viewpoint of his constituents by re-election. In 1910 he was elected register of deeds with the great majority of nearly two thousand and leading on both tickets.
Like his honored father, Mr. Beggs is an enthusiastic member of the time honored Masonic Order, belonging to Sherman Lodge, Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons. He is likewise a member of Chelsea Lodge, No. 564, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and to many other societies. Since his earliest voting days he has subscribed to the articles of faith of the Republican party and to all matters of public import he gives an intelligent and investigative attention.
On March 20, 1888, Mr. Beggs was happily married to Miss Emilia Ahlstedt, a native of Moline, Illinois, and the daughter of Gust and Matilda Ahlstedt, both of whom were born in Sweden and both of whom survive at the present time. Mrs. Beggs is the second in order of birth of a family of eight children, all of whom survive. Her father is a cabinet maker by trade, a member of the Swedish Society, and a Democrat in political faith. Mr. and Mrs. Beggs share their comfortable and delightful home with the following children: Ruby Florence, a teacher in the public school; Pearl Anna; Charles Richard; Robert Emmet; and Dorothy Helen.
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