- Born: 7 Feb 1878, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA 1 5 6 14 17 18 19
- Marriage (1): Bertha Priscilla Snyder on 10 May 1905 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA 1 2
- Died: 23 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA at age 71 1 5 6 14 15 19 20
- Buried: 27 Dec 1949, Allentown: Grandview Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 1 5 6 14 15
Noted events in his life were:
1. Census in 1880 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 17 The 1880 census recorded on Center Street in Shenandoah: Benjamin Beacher, miner, 35, living with wife, Sarah Jane, 33; daughters Emma, 10, Laura, 8, Sallie, 6, and Angeline, 5, son Benjamin, 3, and daughter Mary, 1. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.
2. Census in 1890 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 His record appears in the Third Ward as Benjamin (age 12) living with his father, Benjamin (45) miner and Sallie, Linda, Benjamin 12, Mary, Archie 7.
3. Newspaper: The Evening Herald, 29 Jun 1893, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 21 Scholars Graduate
Very Pleasing Exercises in Ferguson's Theatre
A VERY LARGE AUDIENCE
The Class was the Largest That Has Ever Graduate dfrom the Grammar Schools of this Town - A Lengthy Programme Rendered with Excellent Success
The sixth annual commencement of the graduating classes of Shenandoah's grammar schools took place in Ferguson's theatre last evening under the direction of Superintendent M. P. Whitaker and Misses Lizzie M. O'Connell, Anna Dengler and Bridget A. Burns, the teacher of the classes...
The class numbered 56, of which 39 were girls and 17 boys. All the graduates were attired in white and presented a very fine appearance when seated ont he terraced platform which had been erected at the rear of the stage.
The programme was an exceedingly lengthy one, comprising fifty-seven numbers, and it was 11 o'clock when the "good night" chorus was rendered.
[full list of numbers was given but we list only the one number performed by our ancestor]
Declamation, "The irrepressible Yankee," Benjamin F. Beacher;
The exercises closed with the presentation of diplomas by Patric Conry, president of the school board, and the rendering of the chorus, "Good Night."
4. Census in 1900 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 22 The 1900 census recorded renting a home at 118 West Apple Avenue: Benjamin F. Beacher, coal miner, 55, born May 1845, widowed, living with son Benjamin, candy manufacturer, 22, Feb 1878, single; daughter Mary, 20, Dec 1879, single; and son Arthur G., 16, Jul 1883, single. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania and all could read, write, and speak English.
5. Residence: 118 West Apple Avenue in a rental home with his father on 5 Jun 1900 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 18
6. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Listed in those giving Donations to Striking Miners: Benjamin Beacher Jr.....$2.00, 5 Sep 1902, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 23
7. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 3 Oct 1902, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 24 M. H. Kehler, Al. Eisenhart, B. F. Beacher, O. S. Kehler and Arthur Beacher drove to Roaring Creek yesterday chestnutting and brought home a wagon load from which they are remembering their friends to-day.
8. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: B. F. Beacher, Jr., the confectioner, 14 Nov 1902, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 25 B. F. Beacher, Jr., the confectioner, located at the corner of Jardin and Coal streets, has added an up-to-date glass show case to his constantly growing business. The case is one of the latest patterns and makes an excellent display.
9. Newspaper: Republican Herald: Ad: Just take a look at the size of the 5 and 10 cent chocolate eggs in our windows. No extra charge for names. B. F. Beacher, corner Coal and Jardin streets., 23 Mar 1904, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 26
10. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Ad: A full line of baskets and novelties for Easter at B. F. Beacher's, corner Coal and Jardin streets., 23 Mar 1904, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 27
11. Minister: 10 May 1905, Shenandoah: United Evangelical Church, Schuylkill, PA. Reverend William Schieffly of the Shenandoah United Evangelical Church performed in Allentown, Lehigh County, the wedding of Benjamin and Bertha Beacher.
12. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Beacher Snyder Wedding At Noon, 10 May 1905, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 28 B. F. Beacher, Jr., and Miss Bertha P. Snyder, were united in wedlock at noon today at the home of the bride's parents, Mr. and mrs. Henry G. Snyder, 738 Cedar street, Allentown. Rev. W. J. Scheify, pastor of the United Evangelical church, Shenandoah, was the officiating clergyman.
Arthur G. Beacher, of Pittsburg, a brother of the groom, was best man, while Miss Maud Yeakle, of Allentown, was bridesmaid. After the ceremony a wedding dinner was served, followed by a reception. Then the happy couple departed on a wedding tour, which will include Philadelphia, New York and other points. They will reside at Jardin and Coal streets, where a neatly furnished home awaits them. The couple were the recipients of many handsome presents.
The groom is the son of B. F. Beacher, the veteran fireman, and conducts a confectionery store at Coal and Jardin streets, where he has succeeded in building up a large trade. The bride is a niece of O. S. Kehler, the dry goods merchant, and has been employed as a clerk there for a number of years. Both are well known and popular and have the best wishes of a host of friends.
13. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: B. F. Beacher, Jr., and wife returned from Atlantic City, where they spent a few days., 24 Jul 1905, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 29
14. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Martin Kemmerer To Retire B. F. Beacher Buys Him Out, 5 Feb 1906, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 30 M. L. Kemmerer, wholesale and retail confectioner, has sold his place of business, No. 35 North Main street, including the business, factory, stock, etc. to B. F. Beacher, Jr., a rising young business man, who conducts a store of the same kind at Coal and Jardin streets.
Mr. Kemmerer will continue the business until March when he will remove to Philadelphia, where he has purchased a home on 17th street.
15. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: M. L. Kemmerer Removes, 8 Mar 1906, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 31 M. L. Kemmerer and family today left for Philadelphia, where they will reside. They leave with the best wishes of a host of friends. B. F. Beacher, Jr., who purchased the building and confectionery business conducted by Mr. Kemmerer, removed into his new place of business Wednesday. The price paid is said to be $18,000.
16. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 5 Apr 1906, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 32 B. F. Beacher, the North main street confectioner, is all smiles over the arrival of a bouncing baby girl at his home. Mother and child are doing well.
Mrs. George Beacher, of Mt. Carmel, visited friends in town today.
17. Book: History of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, 1907. 2 5
Beacher, Benjamin F., Jr., wholesale and retail dealer in confectionery, in the city of Shenandoah, is recognized as one of the representative young business men of his native country and such is his standing as a citizen and scion of one of the honored families of this section of the state that he is well entitled to specific mention in this volume. Mr. Beacher was born in Shenandoah, Feb. 7, 1879 [correction: 1877] and is a son of Benjamin F. and Sarah Jane (Jacobs) Beacher, both of whom were likewise born in Schuylkill county - the former in 1846 [correction: 1845] and the latter in 1851 [correction: 1846]. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was William Beacher, who was one of the pioneer lumbermen of Schuylkill county, and who died at Ringtown. The maiden name of his wife was Eisenhaut, a member of a family which was early founded in the southern part of this county. [correction: Jacob, not William, was his grandfather who married an Eisenhuth.] William J. Jacobs, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Beacher, was likewise an honored pioneer of the county and in the early days, before the establishing of railroad lines, he drove a stage between Pittsburg and Baltimore. He passed the closing years of his life in Shenandoah. Benjamin F. Beacher, Sr., still resides in Shenandoah, where his wife died at the age of forty-five years. Of their children two sons and five daughters are living - Arthur G., a prominent painter and decorator in Shenandoah; Emma, wife of Alford Harrox [Horrox], of that city; Laura, wife of Thomas Heywood, of Girardville, Pa.; Sarah, who resides at Mount Carmel; Angeline, widow of Isiah Womer, residing at North Braddock, Pa.; Benjamin F., Jr., the immediate subject of this sketch; and Mary, wife of William Derrick, of North Braddock. The father was a loyal and valiant solider of the Union during the Civil war, as a member of Company F, 7th Pennsylvania cavalry, which command made a gallant record. He is now living retired, making his home with the subject of this sketch. Benjamin F. Beacher, Jr., has passed his entire life thus far in his native city and was afforded the advantages of its excellent public schools. He was graduate in the high school as a member of the class of 1893, and initiated his business career by securing a position as clerk in a grocery store. He has ever since continued to be identified with mercantile affairs in his native city, and in 1901 established his present business enterprise, first occupying quarters at the corner of West street and Apple alley, where he remained two years. He then removed to 43 West Coal street, and two years later located in his present commodious quarters at 35 North Main street. At the time of his removal here he purchased the property which includes a substantial three-story block, 15 by 150 feet in dimensions, with the best of facilities for the operation of the candy factory and for the handling of the large wholesale and retail trade. The establishment is thoroughly metropolitan and its equals are to be found only in the larger cities. The products of the factory are held in high favor by the retail dealers throughout this section and the trade in the wholesale department, as well as the retail, is constantly expanding in scope and importance. The average annual business of the concern has now reached an aggregate of fully $40,000. Mr. Beacher has shown marked progressiveness and energy in the upbuilding of his fine business and has gained to himself and his establishment an enviable reputation for reliability. In local politics he maintains an independent attitude, but in national and state affairs he gives an unqualified support to the Republican party. He is a member of Horncastle Camp, No. 49, Sons of Veterans, and both he and his wife are zealous members of the United Evangelical church, taking an active part in the various departments of church work, especially the Sunday school, in which both are teachers. May 10, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Beacher to Miss Bertha P. Snyder, daughter of Charles H. Snyder [should be Henry C. Snyder], now a resident of Allentown, Pa. She was born in Shenandoah and secured her education in the schools of Frackville. Mr. and Mrs. Beacher have a winsome little daughter, Evelyn Ruth, who was born April 1, 1906.
18. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Ad: Imporant. Have you seen the apples, pears, roast turkeys and dress suit cases to be filled with candy. They're as near being real as you can get. At Beacher's, 35 North Main street., 3 Jan 1907, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 33
19. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: A son was born to Mr. And Mrs. B. F. Beacher, of North Main street., 1 Mar 1909, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 34
20. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Awnings Taken Down, 24 Apr 1909, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 35 The awnings in front of the business places of Joseph Schneider and B. F. Beacher, the North Main street merchants, were taken down today and this fact adds greatly to the appearance of that thoroughfare, and also adds a great deal of light in the store rooms. There are many more owners of property who contemplate doing the same thing which will add a great deal to the improvement of the town.
21. Census in 1910 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 36 The 1910 census recorded owning the home and candy store at 35 North Main Street: Benjamin F Beacher, confectionery merchant, 33, living with wife Bertha, 25; daughter Ruth, 4; and son Paul, 1. Also in the home was his father Benjamin Beacher, Sr., 65, and Cora Smith, an 18-year-old servant. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.
22. Residence: 35 North Main Street in 1910 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 37
23. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: obituary of Paul Clement Beacher, 21 Nov 1910, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 38 Death of an Infant.
The home of Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Beacher, 35 North Main street, has been saddened by the sudden death of their bright and interesting son, Paul Clement, who was almost two years of age. The boy was stricken last Wednesday afternoon with pneumonia, which later developed into brain fever. On Friday he lapsed into unconsciousness and remained in that condition until last evening at 7:45 o'clock when he breathed his last. The boy was bright and interesting and the parents have the sympathy of their many friends intheir breavement. The funeral will take place Wednesday afternoon.
24. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Card of Thanks. Mr. And Mrs. B. F. Beacher take this means of thanking all relatives and friends who rendered any kindness during their recent bereavement., 24 Nov 1910, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 39
25. Newspaper: Republican and Herald : Ad: Easter Eggs. We make them of fresh coconuts and cream and pure chocolate coating; no varnish. For your stomach's sake, order from Beacher's. Any size., 30 Mar 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 40
26. Newspaper: Republican and Herald : Ad: Easter Eggs. We'll put any old name on the eggs, but place your order now. Eaggs from 15 cents up. We put "East Greetings" on in gold plate. Extra charge. Beacher's, 35 North Main st., 4 Apr 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 41
27. Newspaper: Republican and Herald : Miss Katharine Kaufman, of Reading, expert egg decorator, is visiting at B. F. Beacher's, 8 Apr 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 42
28. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 4 Sep 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 43 William Schultz, former president of the Six-County Firemen's Association, and Adam Kantner and B. F. Beacher, Sr., representing the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company, left to-day to attend the State Firemen's convention which convenes in York this week.
29. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Fire Started in Beacher Building Burns 5 Buildings, 17 Nov 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 44 FIVE SHENANDOAH BUILDINGS BURNED
$100,000 LOSS RESULTED
THOSE WHO SUFFERED MOST:
L. J. Wilkinson,
Freedburg's Pool Rooms,
J. P. Monaghan, Esq.,
Dr. C. C. Pepper,
P. O. S. Of A.,
B. F. Beacher,
Miles Moving Picture House,
Shenandoah was visited by a serious conflagration this morning which wiped out five business blocks, with all merchandise and furnishings, at an estimate loss of about $100,000. The properties destroyed were:
L. F. Wilkinson building, occupied by Freedburg's pool and billiard rooms, in the front, at corner of Floyd and Main Sts., and in the rear by Wilkinson's carpet store and in the rear and second floor also by the Wilkinson residence.
J. P. Monaghan law offices; Dr. C. C. Pepper, dentist; and a social room on second floor; and the third floor, P. O. S. of A. lodge room and which room was also occupied by other lodges.
The B. F. Beacher property adjoining on Main St., wholesale and retail confectionery, and second floor as a residence.
Joseph Scheider's baker store and residence on second floor.
Miles property, occupied by the Star Moving Picture House, restaurant of Mr. Miles, on second floor.
Property of Ellis Supowitz, dry goods merchant, with residence on second floor.
Of the five buildings all were badly gutted by fire and water and nothing remains standing but the shells, although it may be found possible to remodel the Wilkinson property at a great expense.
The fire was discovered at 5:30 by miners on their way to work in the rear of the Beacher property, and was supposedly caused by defective electric wiring. It gained quick headway and spread to the Scheider property and to the Wilkinson properly in a very short time, and then spread to the Miles and Supowitz properties. Here the big brick building of P. J. Gaughan acted as a fire wall and prevented the further spread of the fire. The building extends beyond the Supowitz building in the rear and and is higher and if it had not been for this brick barrier the entire square might have been wiped out as the flames were burning fiercely and the firemen were at a great disadvantage.
When the alarm was sounded the fire department responded promptly and the first apparatus connected with the plug at the corner of Lloyd and Main Sts., but it was found to be frozen and the plug on the opposite corner had to be used. This not only lost valuable time but it necessitated connections with plugs further removed from the fire on the part of the other companies and when the department was prepared lo alert its full energy to conquer the flames they had assumed most alarming proportions and the great headway attained, indicated that serious fire was in store for the town. The Beacher family were awakened from their sleep and escaped in their night clothing, so quickly did the fire spread through the building.
The Beacher loss is severe as he had his full stock of Christmas candies in for both the wholesale and retail trade and just preparing to start on his deliveries. He carried insurance but his loss is not nearly covered.
The entire contents of the Freedburg pool and billiard rooms were destroyed in the Wilkinson building and the flames spread toward the rear so quickly that Mr. Wilkinson was unable to save any of his large carpet stock.
On the second floor the books and furnishing of Attorney Monaghan were all food for the flames as was also the equipment and furniture of Pepper, the dentist. The social club rooms were handsomely furnished and as the loss the entire contents were destroyed, the loss to them is quite heavy.
A number of lodges met on the third floor of this building and the furniture and the paraphernalia, some of it quite expensive, was burned.
The Scheider property was burned to the ground and practically nothing was saved from the store and the residence of the family on the second floor except valuables and some wearing apparel.
The property of Mr. Miles served the same fate as the Beacher and Scheider buildings and nothing was left standing but the front walls. The loss to the Star moving picture house was quite severe as it was expensively fitted out and is a complete wreck, while Mrs. Miles' restaurant was reduced to a total loss.
Ellis Supowitz carried a big stock of dry goods and notions and saved nothing, while even his household furniture and personal belongings were lost. What was not destroyed by fire was ruined by water, and he says his entire stock is a complete loss.
Tin roofs on the houses put the firemen at a great disadvantage and kept the flames confined and impossible to get at. The fronts of the various buildings are standing but all are a complete loss with the possible exception of the Wilkinson property.
A number of firemen sustained slight injuries by being cut by glass and falling timbers. Benjamin Beacher, one of the town's oldest firemen and father of the owner or the building in which the fire started, had his hand badly cut by falling glass, as did also Chief of Police Manley.
When the fire was first discovered, Mr. Supowitz and the two Messrs. Beacher went into the candy store and fought the flames with a babcock extinguisher but without success. While they were at work the transom over the door fell and struck the elder Mr. Beacher on the head, badly cutting him. Sometime later he was found roaming in a bewildered manner about the streets barefooted.
When it became apparent that the Shenandoah department was not making satisfactory headway, the department from William Penn was summoned while Mahanoy City also sent assistance.
The residence of Mrs. T. T. Miles, in the rear of the theatre, was the first to catch fire from the Beacher property and she had no opportunity to save her household goods.
Mrs. Supowitz was ill in bed and was carried to the home of Sheriff Murphy.
The Woodmen of America and the U. M. W. A. also occupied the lodge room in the Wilkinson building along with the P. O. S. of A.
The cold weather caused the water to freeze wherever it fell and ladders, coats, streets, poles and wires were coated with crystal.
30. Newspaper: Pottsfield Republican: B. F. Beacher has rented the Odd Fellows' building on N. White St. Where he will conduct his wholesale and retail confectionery business until he rebuilds his property which was destroyed by fire last week., 20 Nov 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 44 45
31. Newspaper: Pottsville Republican, 22 Nov 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 46 B. F. Beacher Jr. and Joseph Scheider put a force of men at work clearing away the debris of their properties which were destroyed by fire last Friday morning. The new buildings will be built of brick, which will be a decided improvement and reduce the rate of insurance in that square. Mr. Wilkinson will remodel his building, which was badly gutted by the fire, but not beyond repair.
32. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Mrs. B. F. Beacher returned last evening from Allentown, where she spent several weeks visiting her parents., 24 Nov 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 47
33. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 25 Nov 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 48 Tendered Kitchen Show.
Last evening Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Beacher were tendered a kitchen shower at their new home in the Odd Fellows' building, on North White street. On the 17th inst. this family was burned out in the conflagration that rendered a number of families homeless, and they lost all their household goods. The Ladies' Aid Society, of the United Evangelical church, arranged the shower and Mr. and Mrs. Beacher were the recipients of many useful household goods.
34. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Ad: Christmas Candies. We have a full line of mixtures, clear toys, etc. For the holidays. Beacher's, 16 North White St., 1 Dec 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 49
35. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 29 Dec 1911, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 50 Had Leg Injured.
Charles Leitzel, of North Catherine street, had his right leg severely injured yesterday, while at work at the ruins of the fire of November last. He wasw working on the wall of B. F. Beacher's property, when the scaffold he was standing upon gave way, precipitating him to the cellar. He was removed to his home, where he will be confined for some time.
36. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 13 Jan 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 51 Shortly after five o'clock the Holderman family saw smoke issuing from the rear of the Davison building and reported the matter to Mrs. Gilpin, a tenant. She made an investigation and found the woodwork burning fiercely around the boiler and chimney and immediately sent word to the Rescue Hook and Ladder Company. "Old Dad" Beacher, the veteran fireman, and Albert Borwn and Abe Green responded with fire extinguishers. Rees thomas of the Phoenix was also summoned and they played water on the fire for about a half hour, under the instructions of Chief Marshal Ringheiser, Assistants Burke and Holvey, Councilmen Reeves and Hellner were also present.
37. Newspaper: Republican and Herald, 30 Jan 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 52 Awarded Brick Contract.
J. Gale Wendle, the cement contractor, returned last night from Philadelphia where he spent a few days purchasing hoisting apparatus for the brick work of the Scheider and Beacher brick buildings, for which he has secured the contract. Mr. Wendle expects to commence brick work on these buildings by the end of the week.
38. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Two Brick Buildings Are Near Completion, 14 Mar 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 53 The new brick building being erected by Daniel E. Brennan, on North Main street, is rapidly nearing comletion. It will be one of the prettiest and most up-to-date building in the county. The outside work is finished and now the final details are being looked after.
The new brick buildings being erected by Joseph Scheider and B. F. Beacher, Jr., replacing the ones destroyed by the fire of November last, are also being rushed and in the course of a month will be finished. They too, are up-to-date buildings and will make a decided improvement in that part of town.
39. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Occupied New Building., 5 Apr 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 54 Today B. F. Beacher, the North Main street confectioner has removed to his new building, which replaced the one destroyed by fire November 17. The building is a model one and arranged in an excellent manner for his business. It is a brick structure ,three stories high. Mr. Beacher conducted business on White street since the fire. Mr. Scheider, the baker, will not remove into the adjoining building for about two weeks.
40. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Fire Anniversary., 18 Nov 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 55 Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the fire that swept the Wilkinson, Beacher, Scheider, Supowitz and Miles Buildings on North Main street. Today handsome buildings replace the burned ones and there is no vestige of the destructive fire that played havoc and rendered these families homeless a year ago.
41. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Ad: Candies. Let us take care of your Christmas orders. You only pay for the candy here, not the name. Beacher's, 35 North Main street., 5 Dec 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 56
42. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Ad: Candies for Christmas. Hickory nuts, black walnuts, English walnuts. We will deliver your orders to any address. Beacher's, 35 North Main street., 7 Dec 1912, Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 57
43. Newspaper: Evening Herald: For Sale - One top buggy, rubber tires, good as new. One horse, a bargain. Apply to B. F. Beacher, No. 35 North Main street., 29 Aug 1917, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 58
44. Newspaper: Evening Herald: B. F. Beacher, the N. Main St. Confectioner, has placed a large auto delivery truck on the road to supply his customers., 11 Sep 1917, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 59
45. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Classified Ad: Help Wanted. Girl at Beacher's confectionery store. Only neat and intelligent girl need apply. Apply at the store., 4 Feb 1919, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 60
46. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Miss Athalia Numbers has accepted a position as clerk in Beacher's confectionary store., 13 Feb 1919, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 61
47. Census in 1920 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 62 Research note: cannot find a 1920 Census listing in Schuylkill County or Lehigh County for Benjamin with any variant surname spelling. Inspection of all addresses recorded on N. Main Street in Shenandoah Ward 2 shows the census taker did not record a household at 35 North Main St. which is where we knew the Beacher family to have lived. It appears the census taker simply missed there was a home a floor above his confectionery business.
48. The census taker for Ward 2 did not realize a family lived about the candy shop at 35 N. Main Street so the Beacher household was not included. Their neighbor at 31 N. Main was included. Census in 1920 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA.
49. Newspaper: Evening Herald: A Destructive Fire visited The Business Section This Morning, 17 Jan 1920, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 63 Shenandoah firemen early today fought what had every appearance of being one of the worst fires in its history, confining it to the building in which it started, and after an hour's hard work had it extinguished.
At 3:15 o'clock Chief of Police Feist and Patrolman George Knott, patrolling Main and Lloyd streets, saw dense clouds of smoke coming from the roof of a three story brick building at the rear of Joseph Scheider's bakery, No. 33 North Main street. The Chief sent in an alarm from box 24, while Patrolman Knott ran to the Rescue Fire Company building and assisted in getting the apparatus to the fire as quickly as possible, and crying "Fire" as he ran and succeeded in arousing help.
Whistle Out of Order.
Unfortunately the big fire whistle was out of commission and few heard the bell. A second alarm was sent in but few responded, and as the streets were covered with snow and ice and the temperature about ten degrees above zero, the few firemen who heard the alarm had a difficult time. The whistles at the Home and Columbia breweries were blown but apparently few heard them. An alarm was sounded from the big whistle at Shenandoah City colliery.
By this time there was a sufficient number of firemen on the scene to handle the apparatus. A connection was made to the old water company fire plug in front of Burke's drug store and a strong, stream turned on what, by this time, was a serious fire. Another connection was made to the borough plug at the northwest corner of Main and Lloyd streets, but on account of a scarcity of water in the distributing reservoir this supply had been shut off, but in a short time it was turned on and an additional stream gotten on the burning building.
The police and those who responded early got busy promptly and knocked on the doors of neighbors, many of whose homes were by this time filled with smoke.
Fire Broke Out on Roof.
The fire broke out on the third floor of the bakery on the roof. The firemen, handicapped by dense clouds of smoke, were unable to get at the seat of the blaze for a while, and directed the water to the third floor. The location is thickly built and it was almost impossible to get around the fire, but by means of a small alley at the rear of L. J. Wilkinson's home on East Lloyd street they got a line of hose to the rear of the building and with the streams directed on the Market street side the fire was confined to the building and deluged with water. A connection was made at Lloyd and White streets but delay was experienced as this plug was frozen.
Mr. and Mrs. Scheider are in Atlantic City and left the store in charge of their niece, Miss Alice Scheider, who resides on Market street, just across the street from where the fire raged, who hurried to the store on Main street, which she opened to give the firemen access to the rear of the fire.
Say Crossed Wires Caused Blaze.
Goronwy Williams had charge of the bake house and stated that when he left last evening everything was alright. He said the fire was caused by crossed wires on the third floor. He also said the third floor was stocked with flour and sugar, while the oven was on the second floor. The first floor was stocked with lard and other baking supplies.
In the building was an elevator, through the shaft of which the spread downward to the lower floor rapidly. A stiff southwest wind was blowing at the time, which fanned the blaze.
Adjoining the bake house on the north side is the stable of Benjamin Beacher, Jr., who, with the aid of several men, succeeded in blindfolding his horses and got them through the blinding smoke to safety.
On the south side of Main street is the property of Mrs. T. F. Miles, occupied by the American Stores Company on the first floor. On the upper floors Mrs. Miles, Harry Lawlor, William Langton and Harry Castors reside. Their homes were filled with smoke, but no other damage was reported.
W. H. Mooney, manager of the American store, who resides on the corner of Lloyd and Market streets, two doors from the burning building, was a busy man. He had his family to look after on one side and the store on the other. He hurriedly secured a supply of sugar and coffee and soon big "Jim" Manley was hustling through the crowd of firemen serving hot coffee, which had been prepared by his sister. Mrs. L. J. Wilkinson and other neighbors were also on the job with hot coffee.
Fell Through Burned Floor.
Fire Chief Whalen, who is a floor boss and goes to his work at the mines early, was on the scene when he had to leave and placed Ernest Harsley in charge, who is a veteran firemen and looked after the duties in a competent manner. He had a close call from serious injuries when the fire was at its height. He and Peter J. Monaghan had climbed an ice coated ladder and entered the third floor, which was filled with blinding smoke. Harsley was first and did not know the floor had burned through and fell to the second floor and a report spread that he was swallowed up in the blaze. The firemen were startled but quickly rushed into the building to the rescue. He surprised everybody, however, when he walked out the rear of the building uninjured.
Why Water Was Off.
Water Superintendent Kassier was on the scene early and said the reason the water was shut off at midnight was to husband a supply for just such an emergency. He said the distributing reservoir had dropped five feet on Thursday night due to consumers leaving hydrants open. He said this required a reduction of the pressure in the day time and a shut down after midnight. People who leave their hydrants open do so because it is cheaper to do that at the borough's expense than spend the money to put their pipe lines in safe condition. There is plenty of water in the Brandonville dam but the pumps are unable to keep the reservoir filled when hydrants are left open. Almost 2,000,000 gallons are pumped over the mountain every day.
The value of the big fire whistle was appreciated this morning. It has been out of commission the last few days and as its blasts are heard for miles it soon arouses the town, which the bell and smaller whistles failed to do.
The firemen are deserving of great credit for the excellent manner in which they handled the big task before them. Several firemen were kept on the scene of the fire with hose in case of a further outbreak.
It is impossible to state the loss, as Mr. Scheider was out of town and no one was in a position to give figures. The bake house is totally ruined and were it not that the building is brick the loss would have been greater.
Mr. Scheider was unfortunate in that this is the third fire in which he lost heavily. Officials of the fire department made a close examination of the damaged bake house later today and came to the conclusion the fire started on the second floor near the oven and was evidently caused by a defective flue.
50. Newspaper: Evening Herald, 8 Mar 1920, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 64 Frank Kahley, of Indiana, a member of the United States Recruiting Services, writes that he and Miss Mearl Stevenson, of Shaft, were married the second week of February, 1920. Mrs. Kahley was employed as a clerk at Beacher's confectionery. Mr. Kahley is well known in town and was at the recruiting station in the Wilkinson building for some time.
51. Newspaper: Evneing Herald: Miss Florence Miller has accepted a position as clerk at Beacher's confectionary store., 26 Aug 1920, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 65
52. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Mr. And Mrs. B. F. Beacher, Arthur Beacher, Masters Donald and John Beacher, and Mrs. Frank Kahley enjoyed an auto trip to Allentown, where they visited relatives and attended the fair., 24 Sep 1920, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 66
53. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Classified Ad: Salesman Wanted. One who can drive truck preferred. Salary and commission. Must be of good character. Apply to B. F. Beacher, 35 North Main St., 6 Jun 1921, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 67
54. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Classified Ad: LOST. Thursday, on Main street, between Centre and Washington avenue or on Washington avenue, a bunch of keys. A reward will be paid for their return to B. F. Beacher's confectionary store, No. 35 North Main street., 17 Jun 1921, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 68
55. Residence: 35 North Main St., Shenandoah, PA on 22 Nov 1922 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 16
56. Moved: 1924, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 69
57. Newspaper: Pottsville Republican : Benjamin Beacher Sells Candy Business, 3 Oct 1924, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 70 SHENANDOAH -- A big real estate and business deal was consummated when B. F. Beacher, the well known wholesale and retail confectioner, disposed of his property at 85 N. Main St., to William Watson, of Mahanoy City, a former resident of town. Mr. Watson purchased the property, which extends through to Market St., and also the business. Mr Beacher expects to remove to Allentown about November 1st, when the new owner takes charge.
58. Moved: 31 Oct 1924, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 71
59. Newspaper: Evening Herald: Removed to Allentown., 31 Oct 1924, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 71 Removed to Allentown.
B. F. Beacher, of North Main street, who recently sold his confectionery business and property to William Watson, today removed his household goods to AHentown, where he and his family will make their future home.
60. Newspaper: Morning Call: Real Estate Transfers: Aaron Potruch to Benjamin F. Beacher, 224 South Sixteenth street, $1., 6 Nov 1924, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 72 A 7 Jun 1924 article in the Morning Call on page 4 describes Aaron Potruch…
New Owner Will at Once Begin the Erection of Forty-Four Residences
One of the largest realty transactions in the history of the city was concluded yesterday when Aaron Potruch, contractor and builder, purchased the Muhlenberg Manor tract, comprising 106 city lots on Liberty, Gordon, 22nd and adjoining streets from Congressman Arthur G. Dewalt, Aaron Potruch and J. H. Bennett for a consideration the equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars. The transaction is the initial step to building operations which will aggregate close to two million dollars when the project is completed. The deal was consummated through the offices of A. Rockmaker, realtor, who at the same time negotiated the transfer of ten homes on South Sixteenth street, between Union and Fairview streets, to Messrs. Dewalt and Bennett for Mr. Potruch. Mr. Potruch will at once proceed the erection of 44 houses, and may erect on the entire tract over one hundred homes, an undertaking which has few parallels in the history of Allentown and speaks volumes for Mr. Potruch's faith in the future of the Queen City. Mr. Potruch came to Allentown from Bethlehem about a year ago and began the erection of the now completed block on South 16th street between Union and Fairview, a block that stands out preeminently from an architectural standpoint, in this city and one that draws streams of sight seers. The homes are all sold and prospective builders are invited to inspect the block while planning the erection of new homes. Mr. Potruch is now erecting an entire block on Fulton street between Fairview and Elm. The homes to be erected in Muhlenberg Manor will be of a high order and a delight to that beautiful section of the city. Aaron Potruch came to Bethlehem from New York about eight years ago. He has built over a million dollars' worth of private homes, and apartment houses in Bethlehem. Previous to his coming here he was a builder in New York City for over twenty years.
61. Newspaper: Republican and Herald: Real Estate Transfers: Benjamin F. Beacher, Jr., and wife, to William A. Watson and wife, premises in Shenandoah, for $50,000., 6 Nov 1924, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 73
62. Census in 1930 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 74 The 1930 Census in Allentown recorded owning a $15,000 home at 224 South 16th St.: Benjamin F. Beacher, mechanical engineer, 53, living with his wife, Bertha P., 45; daughter Ruth E., 24, occupation piano teacher; and sons B. Donald, 16; John H., 13; Bruce F., 10;, and Robert L., 5. Their home had a radio. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.
63. Residence: 224 South 16th Street on 16 Apr 1930 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 74 He owned the home that was valued at $15,000.
64. Newspaper: Allentown Morning Call: Beacher Family Entertains, 30 Jan 1932, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 75 The Men's Bible class of Grace E. C. church, Fifteenth and Turner streets. Rev. H. E. M. Snyder, pastor, sponsored an unusual supper party and program in the social rooms of the church last evening. It was called a "Family Night" and was attended by almost 100 persons, members of the class with their wives. So successful was the affair that it will be a regular event at intervals throughout the year. John I. Baker, president of the class, was a capable toastmaster during the dinner program, which featured two addresses by William Thomas and Rev. D. G. Reinhold. Mrs. H. C. Pottelger entertained with vocal solos. Following the dinner, there was an entertainment program staged by the Beacher family, which includes: Mr. and Mrs. B. Beacher, Mrs. Ruth Beacher Horn and Donald, John, Bruce and Bobby Beacher. The group formed an orchestra and offered instrumental numbers; there were also a number of songs, piano duets and solos, etc. The program concluded with a demonstration of various types of Indian war dances, performed by the Beacher boys in costume.
65. Occupation: electrical engineer on 11 Sep 1935 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 76
66. Census in 1940 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 77 The 1940 Census recorded at 224 16th Street in Allentown Benjamin F. Beacher, 62, living with wife Bertha P., 54; and sons John H., 23; Bruce F., 20; and Robert L., 15. Benjamin owned the home valued at $10,000. Benjamin had completed 4 years of high school, his wife and Robert 2 years. John and Bruce had completed 4 years of college. Benjamin was employed as a utility man in an office. Bruce was a soil technician with the Department of the Interior.
67. Residence: 224 S.16th St., Allentown, PA on 16 Oct 1940 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 10
68. Residence: 224 S. 16Th St., Allentown, PA on 9 Jun 1943 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 78
69. Newspaper: Allentown Morning Call, 19 Aug 1945, Page 3. 79 Lieutenant and Mrs. R. L. Beacher of Panama City, Fla., are visiting Lieutenant Beacher's parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Beacher, of 224 S. 16th St. Lieutenant and Mrs. John Beacher will leave today for Tampa, Fla., where Lieutenant John is stationed at the Malaria Control Center.
70. Newspaper: Morning Call: David Beacher born, on 30 Jan 1946, in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 80 80 Mr. and Mrs. John Beacher of 54 E. Main St., Newark. Del., became the parents of their first child, a son, born at 11 p. m. Sunday in the Woman's General hospital, Wilmington, Del. Grandparents of the boy, who weighs five pounds, seven ounces, and will be named David, are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bury of 26 N. West St., and Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Beacher of 224 S. 16th St.
71. Residence: 1948 Allentown City Directory: Beacher Benj F (Bertha P) r 1024 Chew in 1948 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 81
72. Newspaper: Morning Call: The John H. Beachers Have Second Son, on 25 Feb 1949, in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 82 82 The John Henry Beachers Parents of Son
Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Beacher of Teaneck, N. J. became the parents of their second son, Jonathan Scott, on Feb. 14 in the Holy Name hospital, Teaneck. The infant weighed 8 pounds. His 3-year-old brother David is visiting the maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bury, 26 N. West St., and the paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Beacher, 1935 Green St. The mother is the former Isabel Bury.
73. Cause of Death: Benjamin died at home due to cerebral apoplexy due to hypertension, 23 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 6
74. Residence: 1935 Greenleaf St., Allentown, PA on 23 Dec 1949 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 1 5 6
75. Obituary: Republican and Herald: obituary of Benjamin F. Beacher on 24 Dec 1949 in Pottsville, Schuylkill, PA. 15 B. F. Beacher Dies; Former Confectioner
Benjamin F. Beacher, 71, former well-known local businessman, died yesterday at his home, 1935 Greenleaf street, Allentown. Born in Shenandoah, he established and operated the B. F. Beacher confectionery business, dealing both retail and wholesale throughout the coal regions for almost 40 years. In 1924 he removed to Allentown where until his retirement in 1941 he had been employed as stationary engineer at the Allentown National Bank. Prominent in church circles, he was a member of the Grace Evangelical Congregational Church, Allentown, where his daughter, Mrs. Ruth Beacher Horn serves as organist. Surviving are his widow, the former Bertha Snyder; his daughter, Mrs. Horn; four sons, B. Donald, of Salladasburg, Pa., John H., West Englewood, N. J.; Bruce F., student at Ohio State University; and Robert L., a teacher at the University of Arkansas. There are also surviving, 11 grandchildren; a brother, Arthur, of Shenandoah Heights; and two sisters, Mrs. Laura Heywood, of Girardville, and Sara Beacher, of California. The funeral will take place Tuesday afternoon at 1:30 o'clock from the J. S. Burkholder Funeral Home. 1601 Hamilton street, Allentown. Friends may call Monday from 7 to 8:30 p. m. Interment will be in the Grandview Cemetery, Allentown.
76. Newspaper: Morning Call: Will of Benjamin Beacher, 30 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 83 An estate with value $15,000 "and upwards" is disposed of in the will of the late Benjamin F. Beacher, this citv, who died Dec. 23. The will, dated May 8, 1947, and filed for probate with Register Russell F. C. Benfer, leaves the entire estate in trust to the widow. Bertha P. Beacher, and on her death to his five children. B. Donald Beacher, Salladasburg, one of the children, is executor.
77. Book: History of the Beacher Family, 1970.
"When Ma Horrox moved to Shenandoah from Jacksons Patch they lived at the corner of Coal and Jardin Streets in Shenandoah. The trolley to Shenandoah from Ashland, Girardville, and William Penn came into Shenandoah on Coal Street and went past the house. Uncle B.F. Beacher, Arthur Beacher and Grandpa Beacher all lived with her in the two and one-half story house. Uncle Ben made a candy store out of the 1st floor front room and while he was delivering candy to other parts, then Dad and mother took care of the store and before I went to school, I had a small bench that I use to stand on to wait on youngsters when they came into the store." - narrative by Hazel Horrox Miller, niece of B.F. Beacher.
78. Obituary: Morning Call: B. F. Beacher, Retired Bank Employee, Active Churchman Succumbs on 24 Dec 1949 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 20 Benjamin F. Beacher, former Shenandoah businessman and for 15 years before his retirement a stationary engineer at the Allentown National bank, died Friday at his home, 1935 Greenleaf St. He was 71 years old.
Mr. Beacher was a prominent member of Grace Evangelical Congregational church where his daughter, Mrs. Ruth Beacher Horn serves as organist. He was born in Shenandoah where he established and operated the B. F. Beacher confectionery selling both retail and wholesale throughout the coal refining years.
He came to Allentwon in 1924 and lived for a number of years at 224 S. 16th St. In 1926 he took the position at the local bank and remained there until 1941 when he retired.
Surviving are his wife, Bertha Beacher; the daughter Mrs. Horn; four sons, B. Donald, Salladasburg, Pa.;, John H., West Bergenfield, N. J.; Bruce F., student at Ohio State, and Robert L Beacher at the University of Arkansas. There also survive 11 grandchildren, a brother, Arthur, of Shenandoah, and two sisters, Mrs. Laura Heywood, Girardville, and Sarah Beacher, California.
79. Book: Beecher Family History: The Candy Man, 1978. 84
THE CANDY MAN
Written in 1978 by our family genealogist, Bruce Franklin Beacher PhD (1919-2004)
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BEACHER, JR. inherited his short stature from his diminutive parents. Less than five and one-half feet tall, he made up for this dimension with determination bordering on pugnacity. Nature gave him an additional nudge in the direction of belligerence when he lost his mother in childhood and had to rely upon an intemperate father and a cantankerous sister for his upbringing.
Born into humble circumstances in the uncertain and sometimes violent coal-mining, multi-national environment of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on February 7, 1878, "little Ben" was, enthusiastically received by parents still grieving from the loss of their first-born son, in spite of four interim daughters. The eldest, EMMA MARG, already nearly ten years old, took charge of the rotund youngster with a motherly instinct that prevailed throughout his life. His own mother, SARAH JACOBS, was too occupied with bearing and caring for children until her death when he was only eight years old. His father frequented the Rescue, Hook and Ladder fire station, of which he was a charter member, imbibing spirits freely while reliving his exploits as a Civil War cavalryman to his cronies.
Two sisters and two brothers followed Ben's birth but only half survived. He and brother ARTHUR GARFIELD (b. 1883) developed a close, lifetime relationship and lived on the streets of Shenandoah until marriage separated them. When mother SARAH JANE died they continued living with their father and youngest sister MARY ("MAMIE") on Centre Street briefly, then moved to Apple Alley and eventually in with elder sister EMMA MARG after she married ALFRED HORROX in "The Patch," a less-than complimentary term for the neighborhood of most recent immigrants to the coal-mining community of Shenandoah.
"Shan-door" as the town was called in the unique admixture of more than a score of foreign languages -used by its inhabitants, was well on the way to becoming-, the county's largest town as well as its most troublesome. Exploding with development after the discovery of its great coal seams it became a magnet for illiterate and non-English speaking laborers and an incubator of labor strife, racial prejudice and religious tension. The years of turmoil have been well documented, including the era of the Maguire uprisings and hangings.
But in later years, both BEN and ART BEACHER recalled with particular pleasure two of the more exciting events to youth -- the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1887 and the electric trolley in 1892. The day the latter began its runs on Thursday, April 7, 1892, was especially momentous and the boys raced up and down the streets in chase of the new cars, described in the weekly "Herald."
"When town folks arose this morning and chanced in the neighborhood of the P&RR freight depot at the north end of Main street they rubbed their eyes and rubbed them again. Were they awake? Was it imagination? No; it was a cold, well-carved fact. They were real, well-built, handsomely painted electric railway cars. They arrived early this morning--four of them--and are now at the depot awaiting orders of the electric railway company. The cars are numbered 1, 3, 5 and 7. The interior is constructed of maple and cherry. The seats run lengthwise and are comfortable and well-upholstered. The aisle between the seats is wide and allows ample room for passengers to pass from one end to the other. The regulation rods and hand straps for passengers who may be unable to obtain seats are also provided and in the roof are fixtures for four lights of the incandescent style to furnish illumination for the car. The apartments set aside for the motorman and the conductor are provided with similar fixtures, one each. The cars are an improvement on those used on many electrical lines. The motor man and conductor are protected by a framework amply fitted with windows so that while it gives them full protection in case of storms their view to the front, rear and sides is in no way cut off. Each car is provided with the latest improved brake appliance, in addition to the motor appliance. The upper parts of the cars are painted a maroon color and on the side on each side of the number is painted in gold "Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Girardville and Ashland Street Railway." The concave portions of the bodies are painted the same color and bear the initials in gold, "M.C.S.G.&A.S.R." The trucks are, painted orange, striped with black. The cars attracted a great number of visitors to the depot today."
The fare was 10 cents one way and 15 cents for the return trip. It was some years before either Ben or Art had the cash to ride. A Chinaman named Sing Lee, who conducted a Shenandoah laundry was among the first passengers. It was related that when Lee alighted from the trolley he remarked, "No pushy, no pulley, hit goey like helly." The exciting service continued for 35 years.
With such diversions, Ben and Art found it difficult to stay in school. Before "Sister Marg" took charge, their father would send them off to school in the morning, but they would "play hookie" and head for the mountains and creeks instead. Finally Marg found out and insisted on seeing them to school each day. Several months later, she met a teacher on the street and asked about her brothers' progress. "I haven't even seen Ben in school for months, she said. It turned out that Ben would go into the front door of the school as Marg watched, then proceed through and out the back door unknown to her. But Art knew and kept the secret -- so he was paddled, too.
When the boys were on the streets, which was frequently, they invariably got into conflict, possibly because of their short stature. Ben usually did the fighting for both, but they were respected scrappers in a community where boxing was a popular pastime.
Ben (Jr.'s) lack of interest in formal schooling was no criterion of his intelligence and motivation. He was anxious to make his own way at an early age and quickly discovered that the consumers' weakness was "sweets." He cultivated the interest of the local candy merchant, a Mr. Kemmerer, who launched him on a retail candy sales career and taught him candy making as well. Ben's first equipment was a hand-drawn wagon which became well-known throughout the community. Perhaps he got the idea from his Grandpa Jacobs, Shenandoah's best known push-cart peddler, who plied his trade with kerosene well into his 90's. As Ben, Jr., gained in confidence and customers he added a small retail sales room in the front of Sister Marg's house on Apple Street. Finally he dropped out of school in the eighth grade and stayed from dawn to dusk on the streets, accumulating enough cash to buy out his patron and become a full-fledged confectioner. His fame in the family for saving pennies became a legend, and he never hesitated to employ his relatives -- at the minimum wage, of course.
By his mid-twenties he had filled a chest with coins, principally pennies (motivated, no doubt, by Ben Franklin's admonition that "a penny saved is a penny earned"). His thoughts now turned to longer-range goals in life. He had been chided about his bachelorhood and apparent showing of little interest in the opposite sex But he was not unaware of the young ladies, especially in church, which he faithfully attended singing tenor in the choir. No wonder a petite, brown-eyed visitor from Allentown captured his special interest one Sunday whom he eventually asked to walk home -- BERTHA PRISCILLA SNYDER.
Miss SNYDER actually was a native of Frackville, about a decade his junior, but, like Ben, Jr., of Pennsylvania German ancestry and Evangelical in religious persuasion. Her father, HENRY SNYDER, and grandfather WILLIAM SNYDER, could best be described as "pillars of the church," active in teaching, the latter in the German dialect. Both natives of the Mahantongo Valley swept into the mining industry, they eventually moved to Allentown when a mine injury altered Henry's toward the insurance trade Bertha's sisters -- MAUDE and BLANCHE-- and three brothers--ELI, WILLIAM (her twin), and KENNETH, along with she and her father became an especially close-knit-family after the untimely death of their mother The girls periodically visited with their Uncle Oscar Kehler and his wife (their dad's sister ALICE) and helped in his dry-goods store in Shenandoah It was on one of these visits that PRISCILLA met BEN BEACHER, JR
At first PRISCILLA (known as "Buff" to her family) was unimpressed, considering his short stature But eventually his good manners, hardworking nature, success as a candy merchant and religiosity prevailed over her sentiments and they were married in Allentown at 728 Cedar Street on May 10, 1905 by the Reverend William Schieffly, pastor of the Shenandoah United Evangelical Church where they had met The Reverend J. Brunner of the Allentown Seibert Church (where the Pennsylvania German dialect was still the spoken language) assisted during the ceremony.
The marriage of BEN and BUFF matured quickly with the birth of EVELYN RUTH on April 1, 1906 (subsequently to be designated "E. RUTH") to avoid confusion with a cousin, daughter of Ben's brother ARTHUR.) In her late years, BERTHA recalled her wedding night as the 'innocent sport of two children," remembering vividly the aroma of the chest full of hard-earthed coins at the foot of the bed. Happily, the couple maintained their "childish" relationship through forty-five years, bringing seven children into the world.
The marriage was tested early when fire destroyed their home and candy factory one fearsome winter night. Undaunted, BEN refinanced his business with the aid of his former patron KEMMERER and established a new home, store and factory at 35 North Main Street in Shenandoah. Happiness returned with the birth of a first son, PAUL CLEMENT on February 27, 1909, only to be shattered with his death from spinal meningitis a year later. A second son was born dead in October of 1912, but faith carried the family forward to the birth of a third son, B. DONALD on December 9, 1913. The blessing was repeated three more times with the arrival of JOHN HENRY on October 13, 1916, BRUCE FRANKLIN on May 24, 1919, and ROBERT LINCOLN on May 22, 1924.
RUTH BEACHER completed her elementary and secondary education in Shenandoah, demonstrating unusual talent at the piano. She then entered the Boston Conservatory of Music, refined her talent into teaching proficiency, and became a professional in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the family had moved in the interim. Her father had always been concerned about cave-ins that characterized tie mining communities and became doubly alarmed when his former home on Apple Street subsided to the second level.
After the death of the grandfather, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BEACHER, SR., on November 23, 1922 (a result of pneumonia contracted following an emergency fire call in severe weather) BEN, JR. became determined to leave the declining community, sold his property, and moved the family to 224 South 16th Street in Allentown, a few doors from his wife's "UNCLE OSCAR KEHLER and AUNT ALICE." There he planned to reestablish a candy business, but fate determined otherwise, when HENRY SNYDER, his father-in-law collapsed of a stroke while on duty as a stationery engineer at the First National Bank in Allentown, and BEN stepped in to fill his shoes temporarily. He remained on the job at the bank for twenty years. His good nature and sharp wit became well-known at that institution before his sudden death from a stroke (after retirement) on December 23, 1949.
B. DONALD BEACHER inherited his father's wit, stature, and tenacity of purpose in life. During his elementary years in Shenandoah he, too, exhibited musical skill, first with the violin, then eventually with the trombone, becoming a bandsman in the Allentown High School and at Lehigh University. His mathematical abilities enabled him to pursue an engineering career along electrical lines during a lifetime of work in Pennsylvania. Like father also, he was family-oriented, married MARGARET E. HORAN of Allentown on September 17, 1935, and established his own "tribe" of one daughter and four sons.
JOHN HENRY was destined to be the family clown, barely surviving a bout with pneumonia in childhood, but developing quickly into a neighborhood and "gang" favorite as "PEANUTS," due to his impish size and behavior. His musical talent surfaced with the bugle and cornet, maturing also in band at Allentown High School and Penn State, where he pursued entomology and zoology interests aroused in the Boy Scouts. He persists in Lehigh Valley scouting history as "PEANUTS THE BUGLER."
BRUCE FRANKLIN arrived as a "war baby" following the Armistice and prospered into chubbiness, earning the nickname "FATSO" until stretching to nearly six feet. Before the move to Allentown he lost two close companions -- Grandpa Ben and a collie "Prince", both hiking companions in the hills around Shenandoah. But he soon became absorbed in music like the others, first on the baritone and later the tuba and sousaphone, serving as school, college and town bandsman. Boy Scouting also led him into a nature-oriented profession -- agronomy, and a career as a Federal agricultural scientist. BRUCE married a college sweetheart, BETTY MARGUERITE STRAYER, of York, Pennsylvania, and they brought BRENT FRANKLIN and DEBORAH BEL into the family circle after World War II. Along with brothers JOHN and ROBERT, he became a veteran of that war.
ROBERT LINCOLN completed the Beacher Family Band with a set of drums before turning also to the baritone for high school and college band participation and, like the others, was influenced by Scouting into an agricultural profession of agronomy, becoming a university teacher in Arkansas and eventually an international expert. He married DARLENE SMITH in Nebraska during World War II, and they added NANDY and GARY to the heritage chart. Dr. BEACHER gave his life in service to humanity in Sierra Leone in 1984.
BEN and BUFF had lived to see all of their living children marry and bring home grandchildren. Only RUTH, however, had made her home in Allentown, marrying ALDEN KENNETH HORN and raising ANNE LOUISE and JOHN ALDEN under the loving attention of their grandparents. The four sons moved outward with the BEACHER name to many other regions, if not worldwide transmitting the genes of JACOB THE ELDER and his forbearers into posterity and the world With many sons among the grandchildren, the name of BEACHER was assured a place in the 21st Century, God preserving the peace.
Benjamin married Bertha Priscilla Snyder, daughter of Henry Calvin Snyder and Lizzie Ann Smith, on 10 May 1905 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA.1 2 (Bertha Priscilla Snyder was born on 11 Jun 1885 in Frackville, Schuylkill, PA 1 3 85 86, christened in 1885 in Frackville, Schuylkill, PA,1 died on 5 Jan 1959 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 1 86 87 88 89 and was buried on 9 Jan 1959 in Allentown: Grandview Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 1 86 88.)