John C. Beede, who is living retired in Waukon after more than fifty years of prominent identification with
farming interests in the vicinity, is numbered among the pioneers in Allamakee county, his residence here dating
from 1857. He has been one of the greatest individual forces in the agricultural development of this section, has
always been interested in its expansion along other lines and for more than half a century has been recognized
as a public spirited and progressive citizen as well as a prosperous and successful business man.
Mr. Beede was born near Augusta, Maine, November 23, 1835, and spent his early childhood in that city. He had no
school advantages in his early life and is entirely self educated, his knowledge coming from his private study
and wide reading in mature years. When he was fourteen years of age he went to sea, joining a fishing crew and
engaging in cod and mackerel fishing off the Newfoundland coast during the summers and in the winters working in
a store. After he was twenty one he followed a sea faring life for some time and advanced rapidly, becoming first
mate of his vessel. During some period in his early life he had learned the shoemaking trade and this he followed
for a few seasons in Maine after coming ashore. He married in that state in 1857 and soon afterward moved to Iowa,
where he joined his brother in law, Chester Caton, in Allamakee county, where he has since resided. They farmed
together for two years and at the end of that time Mr. Beede purchased an eighty acre tract of raw land in Union
Prairie township which he proceeded to break, fence and improve. Upon it he built an attractive residence, a good
barn and substantial outbuildings and did everything in his power to make it a valuable and productive property.
Here for over half a century he carried on general agricultural pursuits, each year with increasing success, becoming
at length one of the prosperous and successful farmers of the community. By well directed labor and practical methods
and strict adherence to high standards of business integrity he accumulated a comfortable fortune which enabled
him to retire from active life. Accordingly, in 1910 he sold his farm and moved to Waukon, where he purchased an
attractive home in which he now resides.
Mr. Beede has been twice married. His first union occurred in Maine in 1857 and to it were born eight children:
Arthur S., now a resident of Oregon; LeRoy J., of South Dakota; Edgar L., also of Oregon; Angie M., the wife of
E. A. Heath, of Alaska; Mrs. Cora L. Campbell, of North Dakota; Nellie, the wife of Professor L. W. Abbott, for
fourteen years superintendent of schools in Nobles county, Minnesota; Albert W., who lives at home; and Fred, who
resides in Williston, North Dakota. The mother of these children passed away on January 15, 1876, and on the 26th
of May, 1877, Mr. Beede wedded Miss Mary T. Ryan, a native of Massachusetts, who was reared in Union Prairie township,
Allamakee county, and is a daughter of Thomas Ryan, who was one of the pioneers in this part of the state. Mr.
and Mrs. Beede have three children: John C., a business man in Waukon; Minnie, the wife of W. J. Raymond, also
of Waukon, and Myrtle Irene, who married Ernest Raymond, of Nora Springs, Iowa. One son born to Mr. and Mrs. Beede,
William H., grew to maturity and died in 1910, at the age of twenty nine. They also lost a daughter, Lizzie, who
passed away in 1898, when she was twenty years of age.
Fraternally Mr. Beede is connected with the Odd Fellows, which he joined in 1870, and he has passed through all
the chairs in the subordinate lodge and is now past grand. He and his wife are members of the Rebekah lodge and
Mrs. Beede has served in all of the chairs of the order, being at present past vice grand. W. J. Raymond, Mr. Beede's
son in law, is now noble grand of the Taukon lodge and his wife is noble grand of the Rebekahs.
Mr. Beede cast his first vote for John C. Fremont in 1856 and since the formation of the republican party has voted
for every republican nominee for the presidency. He takes an active interest in local affairs, especially in school
matters, and while on the farm was elected in 1858 a member of the school board, serving continuously for fifty
two years. He is numbered among the real builders of Allamake county, for he has borne an active and honorable
part in the work of its development and for more than half a century has consistently supported all progressive
public movements. He commands the confidence and respect of his neighbors and well deserves the retirement which
he now enjoys, for it is the fruit of long years of honest and successful labor.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
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