Biography of Hon. Ezra Beech
Chittenden County, VT Biographies





BEECH, HON. EZRA, was born in Norwich, Conn., in 1773, and came to Hinesburg, Vt., with his father, Elisha Meech, in 1785. The country being new at this time, he was obliged to fight innumerable obstacles; but by remarkable perseverance and energy he attained prominence and became one of the wealthiest men in his county.

He entered first into the fur trade between the United States and Canada. Subsequently he kept a store at Charlotte, Vt., and in 1810 was extensively engaged in shipping timber to Quebec. At the breaking out of the war in 1812 they gave him thirty days to close out his business and leave the Dominion. During the war he furnished provisions for the soldiers of the American army. At the close of the war he again entered the lumber business.

He was also during his business career interested in railroads, marble business near Rutland, and several other enterprises, nearly always making a success of whatever he undertook.

He was at one time Democratic candidate for governor, but defeated by the Republican nominee.

He represented his State in Congress three terms at the time Daniel Webster and Henry Clay were in the Senate. He was also judge of his county.

He married for his first wife Mary McNiel, daughter of John McNiel, of Charlotte, and they had ten children, five of whom lived to maturity, Mary, Jane, James, Ezra and Edgar. Mary (McNiel) Meech died in 1827. The following year he married his second wife, Mrs. Asahel Clark, in 1828, and she died in Burlington, Vt., September, 1874.

Ezra Meech was a man of stanch principles and great executive ability. In physical stature he was gigantic, being six feet four inches tall, and weighing 360 pounds.

He died in Shelburne, Vt., September, 1856, leaving two sons, Ezra and Edgar.

Edgar Meech was born in Shelburne, Vt., June 25, 1818. He was a son of the Hon. Ezra Meech and Mary (McNiel) Meech, and the youngest of ten children. At the age of fifteen he went to Chambly, Canada, and studied French, afterwards entering the University of Vermont and graduating in the class of 1841. He then returned to his father's home in Shelburne, and there, with his brother Ezra, managed the farm, which consisted of 3,500 acres of land, situated on the border of Lake Champlain. He was married June 9, 1850, to Mary Jane Field, daughter of Saithiel and Lydia (Bragg) Field, of Springfield, Vt. In 1851 he settled on a farm in Charlotte adjoining his father's, and there lived the remainder of his life.

They had five children - Charles E., who graduated at the University of Vermont in 1874 and who is in business in Portland, Oregon; William F., who died in 1894; Mary E., Abbie J., married to William K. Sheldon, of %Vest Rutland, Vt., and Sarah S. Mr. Meech was a man of rare qualities, retiring and modest in disposition, but deeply interested in all the political and social movements of his time. He was a man of strong integrity, gentle and loving in manner, so that all who knew him loved and respected him from childhood up. On February 19, 1885, he died at the age of sixty six years.

From:
History of Chittenden County, Vermont
Edited by: W. S. Rann
D. Mason & Co., Publishers
Syracuse, New York. 1886


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