William Beecher
Juliann Carpenter
John Spangler
Susanna Schmidt
William Beecher
Susan Spangler
(Abt 1835-Between 1895/1900)
Reuben A. Beecher
(Abt 1864-1957)


Family Links

Reuben A. Beecher 1 2

  • Born: Abt 1864, , , OH 3 4
  • Died: Feb 1957, Topeka, Shawnee, KS about age 93 5
  • Buried: Topeka: Penwell-Gabel Cemetery and Mausoleum, Shawnee, KS, USA 6

   Another name for Reuben was Reuben Beicher.3

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1870 in Mifflin Twp., Franklin, OH. 3 William Beicher, shoe maker, 42, was living with wife Susan, 41; Frances, 16; Medora, 14; Laura A., 12; Jeremiah, 7; and Reuben, 6. The parents were born in Pennsylvania, and the children in Ohio, so William moved there before 1854. The post office was Gahanna.

2. Census in 1880 in Silver Lake, Shawnee, KS. 1 William Beecker [as indexed in census, handwriting looks like Beecher], farmer, 54, was living with wife Susan, 52; son Francis M., laborer on farm, 25; daughter Modora, 22; son Jeremiah, 18; Reuben A., 16; and William A., 5. The parents and their parents were born in Pennsylvania. Francis and Maderu were born in Ohio, the younger children in Indiana.

3. Newspaper: Daily Commonwealth: Reuben Beecher Again in Trouble, 21 Jun 1884, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 7 Again In Trouble.
Some months ago Reuben Beecher, a young fellow living with his parents in North Topeka, drew an order for a suit of clothes on Greenwald Bros., signing the name of his employer, Mr. Ten Eyck, thereto. On its face the transaction had more of the appearance of ignorance than criminal intent and the matter was adjusted and all prosecution stopped. Like many another young man, Reuben profited not by his experience, and now is up on the charge of grand larceny, and admits his guilt. He was arrested yesterday by Constable Cullom, on a warrant issued by Justice Evans, the complainant alleging that on the 9th instant the defendant opened the trunk of J. G. Zellers, by means of a false key, and stole therefrom $65. Young Beecher's father is employed at the cracker factory, but keeps a boarding house on the North Side, and Zellers was one of their boarders, thus rendering it an easy matter for Reuben to get at the trunk. Justice Evans set the examination for this afternoon at 3 o'clock and fixed the bond at the trifling sum (?) of $2,000. Beecher is in the county jail.

4. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: Reuben Beecher Stole Money, 4 Oct 1884, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 8 North Topeka. Mr. Earl Craig, special police, deserves great credit for the efficient manner in which he apprehended Reuben Beecher, who stole the money from Mr. Jones. He got a description of his man and in two hours had him safely behind the bars. He also succeeded in recovering part of the money.

5. Kansas State Census census on 1 Mar 1885 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 2 The 1885 Kansas state census recorded Wm. Beechard, laborer, 60, living with wife Susanna, 57; Francis M., farmer, 30; Medora E., 28; Laura A., 25; Jeramiah, 23; Reuben A., 21; and Wm. Arthur, 10. Wm. Sr. was born in Pennsylvania, Jeramiah and Reuben in Indiana, and all others in Ohio. They moved to Kansas from Ohio.

6. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: Reuben Beecher shot himself, 12 Mar 1886, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 9 North Topeka. Reuben Beecher, shot and seriously wounded himself Wednesday evening, while handling his revolver, which he was exhibiting to a friend. The ball -- a 38 -- entered the palm of his hand, between the middle fingers, and came out at the wrist joint, splintering the bone and causing a very painful, if not dangerous wound. Policeman Ward heard the firing, and secured the shooting iron, which he placed in safe-keeping, as Beecher is evidently unfit to handle such articles.

7. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: "U.S. District Courts. United States vs. Brigham Young, Reuben Beecher, and Shorty. Rebuen Beecher arraigned and pleads guilty. Two years of hard labor in the penitentiary and $1.00 fine.", 22 Apr 1886, Topeka, Shawnee, KS.

8. Occupation: Painter in 1907 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 10 The 1907 Polk-Radges Directory for Topeka, Kansas recorded:
Beecher, Reuben A., painter, r. 533 N. Kansas Av.
Beecher, Rose (wid Jerry), r 1219 E 10th
Beecher, Wm, carp, b 533 N Kansas Av.
Beecher, Wm A., helper Whieker Bros, b 811 N. Jackson

9. Census in 1910 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 11 The 1910 census recorded Ruben Beecher, painter, 45, single, as a roomer at 602 N. Kansas Avenue. He was born in Indiana and his parents in Pennsylvania.

10. Residence: 842 N. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS in 1916 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 12

11. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: Reuben Beecher Brought Back from Death at Hospital, 9 Sep 1916, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 13 STABBED, PERHAPS FATALLY SHIELDING CONVICT'S WIFE
Reuben Beecher Brought Back from Death at Hospital
Frank White, Paroled to Die, Attempts to Kill Friend Who Protected Wife from Him.
Whisky caused a stabbing last night that may be murder before the day is over. Frank White. 35 years old, paroled from the state penitentiary to die, stabbed Reuben Beecher, 52 years old, a painter, during a quarrel shortly before 10 o'clock last night. The men were in White's home at 123 Adams street. Beecher is in St. Francis hospital on the verge of death. He was stabbed because he attempted to protect Mrs. Frank White from being attacked by her husband. White is in the county jail.
Stabs His Friend and Runs.
Both men had been drinking. Neither gave a clear explanation of how the fight started. Mrs. White said that her husband and Beecher were in the back yard when the quarrel began. They came into the house and when Mrs. White spoke to her husband he replied to her, "Yes, and I'll knock your block off, too." White started towards his wife and Beecher sprang between them. It was then that White stabbed him. The blade struck him in the abdomen, slightly to the right and penetrated his liver. After he had stubbed Beecher, White turned and ran.
Beecher went to Tony Jordan's grocery store at the comer of First and Jefferson streets and asked for assistance. Jordan telephoned to police headquarters and when the police arrived the found Beecher calmly sitting in front of the store.
Leads Police to Scene.
"White stabbed me." Beecher told the police. "Come on up and I'll show you where to get him." He led the patrolmen to White's house, bat White had gone. Mrs. White corroborated Beecher's story that he was attempting to protect her from her husband when he was stabbed. She said that she did not know where her husband was. Beecher was taken to police headquarters where Dr. C. R. Silverthorne was called to attend him. Doctor Silverthorne took the wounded man to St. Francis hospital where he found that the lower part of his liver had been penetrated. For several minutes while Beecher was on the operating table he was believed to be dying. He stopped breathing, but finally was revived. He is very weak from loss of blood and the operation necessary to sew up his internal wound, but still has a chance to live.
Half of Life in Prison.
White was arrested by G. A. Fergason and Jake Mays, patrolmen, near the city electric light plant, Second and Adams streets, half an hour after the stabbing occurred. White has spent nearly half his life in the state penitentiary and reformatory. Nearly twenty years ago he was sentenced by Z. T. Hazen, then judge of the Shawnee county district court, to twenty-one years for burglary. At various times he has been released on parole and returned to the penitentiary because of other offenses he committed.
White was first arrested when a boy 12 years old. He was then a bootblack and in an argument with a man whose shoes he had blacked, threw a stone and struck him. Frank Parcell, now jailer at police headquarters, saw the quarrel and arrested White. A few months ago White obtained a parole from the penitentiary on the plea that he was dying with tuberculosis. Warden Codding purchased him a ticket for Douglas, Ariz., and accompanied him to his train. White tearfully thanked the warden and promised to lead a better life. The "better life" resolution lasted only until his train reached Topeka where he got off, sold his ticket to Arizona and has been here ever since.
Beecher, the man who was stabbed, is a painter. He has been boarding at the White home for more than a year. His sister, Mrs. George Grieser, lives near Hoyt. Another sister lives in Texas.

12. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: Reuben Beecher Stabbed by Ex-Con, 10 Sep 1916, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 14 Sunday, September 10, 1916. THE TOPEKA DAILY CAPITALS
Free Six Months After Completing Term for Burglary.
Man Who Has Spent Half His Life in Prison Tried to Kill Peacemaker, Mrs. White Swears.
County Attorney W. K. Atchison yesterday afternoon Issued a. warrant against Frank White, charging him with assault with intent to kill. White is the man who stabbed Reuben Beecher Friday night in a fight in the bottoms. Beecher is at St. Francis hospital, dangerously wounded. His assailant is in the county jail. White had completed his term in the penitentiary not having been paroled, as was reported. Court attaches yesterday were recalling the day in 1902 when White was sentenced to twenty years in the penitentiary by Judge Z. T. Hazen in the Shawnee county district court. White had been tried and found guilty of burglary and larceny. As Hazen informed White that he was "giving him the limit," the prisoner turned toward the bench in surprise, and said: "Why, you bald headed old blankety blank, I'll live to see the day you are dead, yet." Later he wrote from the penitentiary and apologized to Hazen.
White began his criminal career as a boy, being sent to the reform school and later to the reformatory. When he appeared in district court and was found guilty, Judge Hazen decided to stop the budding career. According to an affidavit made by Mrs. Laura White, formerly Mrs. Ruff Ready, Beecher was the innocent bystander who attempted to act as peacemaker when he was stabbed. Mrs. White, J. E. Wldener, a cripple, and White, were having a regular family Jar when Beecher arrived on the scene. White ran toward Beecher and with a loose, underhand swing, drove the knife Into his midriff. Then the two men fought until Mrs. White secured the family ax to use on White, when he ran.
This is White's second trip outside the penitentiary since he started on the 20-year sentence. Several years ago he was paroled and stayed In Topeka long enough to steal a cow from John Diehl and attack an old man named Rigdon, in the bottoms. He was returned. He was released about six months ago having completed his sentence.
At the hospital last night it was said that Beecher was in a very serious condition and had shown no improvement during the day. According County Attorney Atchison, if Beecher dies the charge of assault with intent to kill, now lodged against White, will be changed to murder.

13. Newspaper: Topeka Daily Capital: Rebuen Beecher Stabbed, 11 Sep 1916, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 15 "Reuben Beecher, who was stabbed in a drunken brawl Friday night by Frank White, a former convict, is much improved and his chances for recovery are excellent according to reports yesterday. He was resting well last night and without complications will recover."

14. Newspaper: Topeka Daily: T. B. Brings Another Release, 20 Oct 1916, Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 16 T. B. Brings Another Release -- "T. B." [tuberculosis] has released Frank White from prison for the fourth and perhaps the last time. Several weeks ago White stabbed Reuben Beecher during a quarrel at his home in the bottoms. He was captured and has been held in the county jail on a charge of assault with attempt to kill. Beecher was all but dead when taken to the hospital, but has since recovered and has disappeared from Topeka. Yesterday afternoon Beecher was taken in an ambulance from the county jail to his home. He was released on bond because his condidtion was such that the other prisoners were in great danger of becoming infected. White is 35 years old, and has been arrested several times.

15. Census in 1920 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 17 The 1920 census recorded Reuben A. Beecher, 51, born in Ohio, living in the household of Laura L. White, 39, born in Indiana. Also in the home is James W. Springate, 40, born in Ohio.

16. Census in 1930 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 18 The 1930 census recorded Rubin A. Beecher, 66, single, living as a lodger in the household headed by Fred A. Doan, 81. Rubin was born in Ohio.

17. Obituary: Topeka State Journal on 28 Feb 1957 in Topeka, Shawnee, KS. 5

18. He has conflicting death information of 1 Apr 1957. 6

19. Tombstone: Siblings Medora, William and Reuben Beecher are buried at A-Acacia Lawn, Lot 288, sp. 2A, 1 Apr 1957, Topeka: Penwell-Gabel Cemetery and Mausoleum, Shawnee, KS, USA.


1 1880 United States Census, Kansas, Shawnee County, Silver Lake Township, Series: T9 Roll: 397 Page: 274.

2 Ancestry.com, <i>Kansas State Census</i> (Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.), Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; 1885 Kansas Territory Census; Roll: KS1885_127; Line: 14.

3 <i>1870 United States Census</i>, Ohio, Franklin County, Mifflin Township: Series: M593 Roll: 1200 Page: 599.

4 Ancestry.com, <i>Kansas State Census</i> (Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.), Roll v115_142, Topeka Ward 1, family 345.

5 <i>Topeka State Journal</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 29 Feb 1957, page 18. Obituary of Reuben A. Beecher, age 92.

6 <i>Find A Grave</i>, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=117874282.

7 <i>The Daily Commonwealth</i> (Topeka,Shawnee, Kansas.), 21 Jun 1884, page 4.

8 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 4 Oct 1884, page 4.

9 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 12 Mar 1886, page 5.

10 Ancestry.com, U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, Topeka, Kansas. Printed page 114, Image 391 of 665.

11 <i>1910 United States Census</i>, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M2ZF-3XR Ruben Beecher in household of Jacob Krantz, Topeka Ward 1, Shawnee, Kansas, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 142, sheet 10A, family 178.

12 Ancestry.com, U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, 1916 Topeka City Directory. Reuben A. Beecher.

13 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 9 Sep 1916, page 8.

14 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 10 Sep 1916, page 22.

15 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 11 Sep 1916, page 2. Topeka Happenings.

16 <i>Topeka Daily Capital</i> (Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas.), 20 Oct 1916, page 4.

17 <i>1920 United States Census</i>, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MFXS-98B Reuben A Beecher in entry for Laura L White, 1920.

18 <i>1930 United States Census</i>, Year: 1930; Census Place: Topeka, Shawnee, Kansas; Roll: 722; Page: 23B; Enumeration District: 17; Image: 320.0; FHL microfilm: 2340457.

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