Biography of Dr. William M. Beach
Madison County, Ohio Biographies





DR. WILLIAM MORROW BEACH, youngest child of Uri and Hannah (Noble) Beach, was born in Amity, Madison Co., Ohio, May 10, 1831 He lived in Amity until he was four years old, and afterward on a farm in Darby Township, until he was about twelve, when his mother returned to Amity, where he lived until be was fifteen, when he went as a dry goods clerk for Holcomb Tullér, in Dublin, Franklin Co., Ohio, and in. the same year, in another store, in the same village, for Orange Davis. In the fall he returned to Amity, ill, and was not again able to labor until the following year, when, on the 23d of September, 1847, when in his sixteenth year, he entered the store of George A. Hill & Co., of Pleasant Valley, for the astonishing salary of $36 a year, or about eleven cents a day and board. His second year with them brought him $84, and for the third year was offered $800 in the main establishment, Pinney & Lamson, of Columbus, Ohio This offer he declined, as the sedentary life, with no leisure for books, was distasteful to him; and at the commencement of the fall term he was a matriculant at the Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio, after the close of which he taught a school in the Crabb District, Brown Township, Franklin Co., Ohio. In the spring of 1850, he commenced the study of medicine at Amity, with Dr. James F. Boal, but suspended through the summer and traveled on foot over nearly all of the counties in Central Ohio, as an agent for the Ohio State Journal Company, of Columbus, Ohio. In the fall of that year (1851), he entered the office of Prof. Samuel Mitchell Smith, of Columbus, as a student; and during that winter attended a course of medical lectures at Starling Medical College, the first course delivered in the new building on State street. He attended his second course there at the session following; and in February, 1853, was graduated as M. D. He located at Unionville Centre, Union Co., Ohio, where he remained two years, when he sold out his property and location to Isaac N. Hamilton, a brother to Prof. John W. Hamilton, of Columbus, after which he spent about four months in the West, prospecting for Congress lands, and upon his return he settled, in September, 1855, in La Fayette, Madison County, Ohio, where he remained until he was commissioned by the Governor of Ohio, David Tod, Assistant Surgeon in the Volunteer forces of Ohio, in the service of the United States, April 3, 1862, when he joined the army at Shiloh, Tenn., April 12, 1862, the Sunday morning after the battle; he was assigned to duty, temporarily, at the Brigade Headquarters of Gen. William B. Hazen; and afterward to the Twentieth Ohio Regiment. On the 3d of May, 1862, he was further commissioned by Gov. Tod as Assistant Surgeon of the Seventy eighth Regiment Ohio Infantry Volunteers, to rank as such from April 20, 1862, which position he held until commissioned by Gov. John Brough as Surgeon of the One Hundred and Eighteenth Regiment Ohio Infantry Volunteers, May 19, 1864, which commission reached him at Ackworth, Ga., on the Atlanta campaign, on the 9th day of June, 1864, when he was mustered in and entered at once upon duty with his new command. This position he held until the close of the war, and until his muster out at Saulsbury, N. C., in June, 1865. He was with Grant when Holly Springs was sold out; was at Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hills, and during the siege of Vicksburg, and his brigade had the honor of being the first to march within its lines on the morning of July 4, 1863. During the Vicksburg campaign he was Division Hospital Director of Logan's Division; and after the surrender, was in charge of the convalescent camp, and also of all the confederate sick and wounded within the lines. He was with Blair on the Yazoo raid, with Sherman on the Meridian raid, and on the raid of Shreveport, La. He reenlisted or veteranized with his command for the remainder of the war, in the spring of 1864, when the term of the Seventy eighth Regiment expired. He was in he Army of the Tennessee under Grant, Sherman, McPherson, Logan and Blair until the commencement of the Atlanta campaign, when he was transferred, by promotion, into the Second Division, Twenty third Army Corps, under Schofield. He followed the fortunes of that army up until the end of that campaign, and when Sherman started off on that long picnic "to the sea," he came North with Schofield, and was at Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin and Nashville; and after the ruin of Hood's brave and magnificent army, was transferred with the Twenty third Army Corps to Fortress Monroe, thence by sea to Smithville, at the mouth of Cape Fear River. and directly to the four days' siege of Fort Anderson; and then to Town Creek, and then across the Cape Fear at night to the siege of Wilmington. where we forced an evacuation of the works, and entered that long and bloodily disputed stronghold on Washington's birthday anniversary, February 22, 1865. On his way to Raleigh, afters the junction with Sherman's " bummers " at Jonesboro, he heard of Lee's surrender, and Johnson's capitulation soon followed. At the close of the war, he was Division Hospital Director of the Second Division, Twenty third Army Corps, and one of the three surgeons of that Division that constituted the "Operating Board." He had campaigned for three years and are months in six different States; had been a witness to about one hundred and fifty days of carnage; and had traveled, while campaigning in the army, more than nine thousand miles. He is a member of the society Of the Army of the Tennessee. After the close of the war, he settled on this farm, two miles north of London, Madison County, Ohio, but has continued in the practice of his profession up to this date. In the fall of 1869, he was elected by the Republican party of Madison County to the State Legislature; and, in the fall of 1871, was elected to the State Senate by the counties of Madison. Clark and Champaign. He is a member of the Madison County Medical Society, and has been its President; of the Central Ohio Medical Society; of the State Medical Society, and in the year 1881 was elected its First Vice President; and is also a member of the American Medical Association. On the 12th day of April, 1860, he was married to Miss Lucy E. Wilson, of La Fayette, Madison County, Ohio, only daughter of James and Elenor (Smith) Wilson, born in Somerford Township, Madison County, Ohio, March 28, 1844. Mary, only child, born July9, 1862, at La Fayette, Madison County, Ohio, and graduated as A. B. at Rutger's Female College, 489, 490 and 491 Fifth avenue, New York City, the Valedictorian of the class in June, 1882.

From:
History of Madison County, Ohio
Published by: W. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois
1883


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