Biography of Jonathan K. Beem
Marion County, IA Biographies





Jonathan K. Beem, a retired farmer, who for the past eight years has lived in Knoxville, still owns property in Pleasantville but has sold his farm. He was born in Licking county, Ohio, on the t4th of April, 1835, a son of Michael and Lucinda (Rose) Beem. The father was also born in Ohio, probably in Licking county, and farmed there for a number of years. The Beem family were early settlers in that locality and were quite prominent. They always held an annual reunion. When Jonathan K. Been was quite small the family removed to Independence, Iowa, where his father followed farming until 1852 when the family took up their abode in Pleasant Grove township, Marion county, where the father entered one hundred and sixty acres of land, which he improved. He passed away in this county when seventy seven years of age. He was a republican and a member of the Christian church. His wife was a native of Licking county, Ohio, where her marriage occurred, and she died in this county when sixty six years old. She was also a member of the Christian church. Three of their twelve children grew to maturity, the brothers of Jonathan K. Beem being: Michael C., of Pleasantville; and Joshua, living in Lehigh, Webster county, Iowa.

Jonathan K. Beem attended school both in Ohio and Independence, Iowa, but only for a few months each year, and did not receive more than the rudiments of an education. However, he was thoroughly trained in agriculture and learned many things of value that are not taught in school. He remained at home until his marriage, which occurred in 1859, when he began farming for himself. In 1864 he enlisted in Company B, Thirteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and served for nearly a year in the Civil war, his command being assigned td the Army of the Potomac. Two of his brothers were also in the Union service. Michael veteranized and took part in many severe engagements, having a number of narrow escapes. Although Mr. Beem of this review participated in several hotly contested battles, he was never wounded. After the war he returned home and resumed farming, being so occupied during his active life. He became one of the well to do and progressive agriculturists of the county, but has now sold his land, although he still owns property in Pleasantville and also his fine residence in Knoxville, where he has lived retired for the past eight years.

Mr. Beem was married in March, 1859, to Miss Malinda W. Proffitt, who died in 1904, leaving six children, five of whom survive. William is deceased; Lucinda is the wife of George Irvin, an undertaker living in Van Buren county, Iowa; Wesley Michael, a merchant of Denver, Colorado, is married and has several children; Clara May is the wife of Charles Franks, a resident of Canada; Arthur is a farmer living in Oklahoma; and Ezra D. is engaged in the real estate business in Pleasantville and is married.

On the 15th of January, 1908, Mr. Beem married Mrs. Sarah A. Manhardt, nee Gregory, the widow of Frederick Manhardt, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. She was born on the 11th of August, 1844, in Bartholomew county, Indiana, a daughter of James T. and Harriet (Ridlen) Gregory. Her father was a native of Fulton county, Indiana, to which state his parents removed from Tennessee. Her mother was born in Bartholomew county, and her father and mother were from Tennessee and Maryland respectively. Her grandfather Ridlen, the great grandfather of Mrs. Beem, was born in England. Mr. and Mrs. James T. Gregory removed to Fulton county, Indiana, some time after the birth of their daughter Sarah A. and resided there for a year, but at the end of that time returned to Bartholomew county. In 1849 they came to Marion county, Iowa, arriving on the 29th of March and locating near Bellefontaine. The father traded a wagon and team and paid forty dollars in cash for an improved eighty acre farm and the parents resided there for many years. He was a man of marked business ability and very successful as a farmer, becoming owner of three hundred acres of land which he cultivated until he retired from active life and removed to Knoxville, where he died September 13, 1913, lacking about a month of being eighty nine years old. He was widely and favorably known in the county and was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, as was also his wife. The latter died at Knoxville on the 24th of April, 1914, lacking just two days of being eighty eight years of age. To their union were born thirteen children, of whom nine grew to maturity, four sons and five daughters, namely: Sarah A., now Mrs. Jonathan K. Beem; Mrs. Nancy J. De Vore; Timothy R.; James Douglas, living in Nebraska; John, a resident of this county; Myrtle, who died when twenty five years of. age; Mrs. Lillie Butterfield, living in Everist, Iowa; Mrs. Melissa McCarthy, living in Knoxville; and Worth, who owns forty acres of the home place in the suburbs of Knoxville.

On the 30th of May, 1861, Sarah A. Gregory was married to Frederick Manhardt, who died in March, 1906. He had been previously married and had four children by his first union, all born in this county: Harriet, Lydia, Medora and Alice. By his marriage to Miss Gregory he had eight children, namely: Mary, the wife of Gilbert Gregory, who resides in Kansas; Emma, the wife of Charles Rose, of Kansas; James W., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Minnie, the wife of Charles Adam Koenig, who is a drayman of Knoxville; and four others who died in infancy.

Mr. and Mrs. Beem reside at No. 608 South Fourth street, Knoxville, which place they own and in which they often entertain their many friends. Both are members of the Methodist Episcopal church, Mrs. Beem having joined when a child of ten years. Mr. Beem is a republican and has held several township offices. Fraternally he belongs to the Grand Army post at Knoxville, in which he is at present chaplain. Both he and his wife are widely known and highly esteemed and have the goodwill of all who know them.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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