CAPT. A. BEECHER who now follows farming on section 20, Makanda Township, Jackson County, is one of the honored veterans of the late war, who valiantly followed the Old Flag through the thickest of the fight and stood by the Union until its preservation was an assured fact. He was born in Canada, April 30, 1836, and is a son of Alex and Harriet Beecher, who are still living in that country. His father was born in Massachusetts, but his mother was born in Canada, and was of French descent. The Captain was reared on a farm and was educated in the common schools. He followed brick-making for a few years, and in 1858 came to the United States. After a year spent in St. Louis, he took up his residence in Makanda Township, where he has since made his home.
On the 14th of August, 1862, Mr. Beecher became a member of Company D, Eighty-ninth Illinois Infantry. He joined the regiment at Chicago, and was sent to Louisville, where the troops were attached to General Buell's command, and entered the Murfreesboro campaign, participating in the battles of Perryville, Murfreesboro, Liberty Gap, Hoover's Gap, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Daudridge and Lookout Mountain. He also helped to build the railroad bridge across the Halsten River, and then burned it. The Atlanta campaign came on, and Captain Beecher took part in the battles of Buzzard's Roost, Resaca, Dalton, Peach Tree Creek, Marietta, Atlanta, Lovejoy Station, Jonesboro, Pulaski, Pleasant Hill, Franklin and Nashville. He served under Generals Buell, Rosecrans and Thomas. On the 16th of November, 1863, he was made Second Lieutenant, and in October, 1864, became First Lieutenant. He commanded the company from September 21, 1863, until mustered out, June 27, 1865. He was never off duty and was never absent from a battle. A brave and faithful soldier, he was always found at his post, faithful to the Old Flag, which now floats triumphantly over the united Nation.
Captain Beecher was married August 21, 1865, to Miss Belle Hilliard, who was born in Greene County, Ohio, January 7, 1844. They became the parents of ten children, of whom eight are yet living: Hattie S., wife of Henry M. Ingram, of Pinckneyville, by whom she has two children; Alex M., of California; Blanche B., wife of Allen Penrod, by whom she has one child; Fred Merrill; Alida A., Josephine Myra, Katie Maud and Henry Ward. The family are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and take an active part in church and Sunday-school work. Miss Alida is successfully engaged in teaching, and is a prominent worker in the Epworth League. The Captain is the oldest Mason in Makanda Township, and has frequently held offices in his lodge. He also belongs to the Knights of Honor and to Makanda Post, G. A. R. In politics he is a stalwart Republican, and in the year 1890 served as Census Enumerator of his district. Since the year 1859 he has resided upon his present farm, and has been very successful in his agricultural pursuits. His life has been well and worthily spent, and Captain Beecher is one of the highly esteemed citizens of the community.
Extracted from Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois, published in 1894, page 204.
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