A. G. Beatty, an honored veteran of the Civil war conducting a real estate, collection and insurance agency
at Independence, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1842, a son of James and Grace (Stewart) Beatty, both
of whom were natives of Ireland. The mother was born in 1819. The father, whose birth occurred in County Tyrone
in 1818, was sixteen years of age when he came to the United States, making his way to Philadelphia, where he began
learning the machinist's trade, which he followed for fifteen years. During eight years of that period he had a
machine shop of his own. In 1849 he removed westward to Iowa, making the journey by water, rail and stage coach
until he reached Jones county. Pleased with the prospects of the country and believing that he might earn a good
living here, he sent for his wife and three children, who joined him in June, 1850. Mr. Beatty had entered land
from the government in Jones county and was one of its pioneer settlers. There were no railroads west of the Mississippi
and the entire country was wild and undeveloped. All around were Indians but they were peaceful, belonging to the
tribes of Sac and Foxes and others who were leaving for reservations farther west.
James Beatty continued to engage in farming in Jones county until 1876, when he purchased land in Buchanan county,
where he owned about four hundred acres at the time of his death, which occurred in 1893 when he was seventy five
years of age. He was an active and exemplary member of the Baptist church and he and his brothers built a church
of that denomination in Cascade, Iowa. At the time of the Civil war he responded to the country's call for aid
and became corporal in Company I, Twenty first Iowa Infantry. He participated in the battle of Helena, Arkansas,
and various other important engagements until he was discharged on account of physical disability in 1864 due to
camp sickness and general breakdown in health from which he never recovered. His life was an active, busy and useful
one, and his influence was always on the side of right and progress. His family numbered five sons, the eldest
being James Beatty, deceased, who was a resident of Philadelphia and who served as commissary sergeant in a Pennsylvania
regiment during the Civil war.
Another of the five sons who did active duty in defense of the Union was A. G. Beatty of this review. In his early
boyhood he pursued his education in one of the old-time log schoolhouses of Iowa and for one term he was a student
in the Hopkinton Seminary, now Lenox College, at Hopkinton, Iowa. In early boyhood he began learning the mason's
trade and after reaching the age of sixteen years gave his entire attention thereto until the outbreak of the Civil
war. Responding to the country's call for aid, he joined Company D, Ninth Iowa Infantry, under the command of Captain
David Harper of Anamosa and Colonel William Van Devere of Dubuque. He served for one year and was then honorably
discharged. At the battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, he was wounded twenty-three times and his right arm is useless.
While lying injured upon that battlefield he would have given, had he owned it, the entire wealth of the United
States for a drink of water. He had nothing to drink and no medical attention from six o'clock in the afternoon
until ten o'clock the next day. He was passed by several times because the Red Cross attendants thought he was
dead, but eventually he was picked up and his wounds cared for. He was also in the battle of Sugar Creek. He still
has in his possession a Testament which is stained with blood, for he was carrying the little volume in his vest
pocket on the battlefield when injured. He also has bullets which were extracted from his body.
For some time after the war and his return to Jones county Mr. Beatty was unfit for any work, but eventually he
recovered from his many wounds. He then turned his attention to farming, which he followed in Jones county for
two years or until 1870, when he came to Buchanan county. Here he again carried on general agricultural pursuits
and he is now the owner of farm property in this county which he purchased in 1873. He continued to actively till
the soil until 1882, when he removed to Independence and established a real estate, insurance and collection agency
which he has since conducted with growing success. He also became pension attorney in the interior department and
at different times he has held public offices, serving as justice of the peace of Sumner township, as overseer
of the poor of Independence and as steward of the Buchanan county poor farm for three years.
Mr. Beatty has long been active in public affairs and is a stalwart advocate of the republican party, doing everything
in his power to promote its growth and secure its success. He is equally active and earnest in his efforts to advance
the upbuilding of the Baptist church, of which he is a most faithful member. For twenty years he served as clerk
of the church, has been a member of the board of trustees and was moderator of the Dubuque Baptist Association
for three years. For the past eleven years he has been commander of E. C. Little Post, No. 54, G. A. R., and his
long continuance in that position indicates how highly he is honored by his fellow members. He likewise served
on the staff of the national commander, Washington Gardner, of Columbus, Ohio, and is now on the staff of David
J. Palmer, national commander of the G. A. R. He has been a member and chairman of various committees of the state
encampment and has also been a delegate to the national encampment.
In 1863 Mr. Beatty was united in marriage to Miss Alice Cook Freeman, who was born in Missouri in 1841, a daughter
of Sylvanus and Sophia (Caldwell) Freeman, natives of Canada and New York respectively. Her father came to the
United States when a young man and followed farming in Wisconsin and Missouri. After the outbreak of the Civil
war he enlisted for service in Company I, Twenty-fifth Wisconsin Infantry His health became greatly impaired during,
the time which he spent at the front, covering more than two years, and rendered him unfit for business after lie
was mustered out. He subsequently removed to Dubuque and he became an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Mrs. Beatty is a prominent member of the Woman's Relief Corps, as are her three daughters. To Mr. and Mrs. Beatty
were born eight children, but five of the number, all sons, died in infancy Rose11a, the eldest daughter, is the
wife of R. S. Glenn, a general merchant of Oelwein, Iowa, by whom she has five children: Charles It., who is a
graduate physician of the Johns Hopkins University; Alice; Violet; Martha; and Hetty. Grace, the second daughter,
is the wife of K. B. Miller, a general merchant of Independence, and they have two children: Irene, the wife of
Lloyd Harkness, a carpenter of Independence, by whom she has two children; and Myrtle, at home. Jennie V , the
third daughter, is acting as stenographer in her father's office.
Mr. Beatty has no fraternal or club relationships save his connection with the Grand Army of the Republic. He was,
however, at one time secretary of the Business Commercial Club, which has passed out of existence. Hem displays
many sterling traits of character which have won him high regard. His enterprise and energy have established him
as a representative business man of Independence, while in many ways he has proven his loyalty and his patriotism
in citizenship, remaining as faithful to his country in days of peace as he was when he followed the stars and
stripes upon the battlefields of the south.
History of Bachanan County, Iowa
And its People
By Harry Church and Katharyn J. Chappell
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Bachanan County, IA
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