Jacob Franklin Beecher Sr.
(1796-1882)
Catherine Braun
(1802-Abt 1840)
John Valentine Beecher
(1821-1886)
Ann Maria Ayers
(1832-1911)
William Ayers Beecher
(1870-1945)

 

Family Links

Spouses/Children:
1. Emma Laura Whitman

William Ayers Beecher 1 2 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

  • Born: 21 Nov 1870, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 2 4 6 9 11 15
  • Marriage (1): Emma Laura Whitman on 1 Jun 1889 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA 1 2 3 4
  • Died: 5 May 1945, Akron, Lancaster, PA at age 74 6 9 11 16
  • Buried: 9 May 1945, North Coventry Twp.: Mount Zion Cemetery, Chester, PA 6 9 11

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1880 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. 17 The 1880 census recorded Ann Beecher, occupation laboring, 48, living with only her son William A., 9; and daughter, Elizabeth L., 6. The children and their father were born in Pennsylvania. Mother Ann was born in New York, but her parents were Pennsylvanians.

2. Census in 1900 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA. 1 William C. Beecher, laborer iron worker, 30, born Nov 1869, was married for 11 years to wife Laura E., 32, Aug 1867. She had birthed 3 children by 1900: Edna, 10, Jan 1890; John E., 7, Aug 1892; and Eva M., 4, Mar 1896. William was renting his home.

3. Occupation: 1908 Philadelphia Directory: Beecher William A., rural carrier, P.O., h S Pottstown in 1908 in Pottstown, Montgomery, PA. 18

4. Census in 1910 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA. 19 William A. Beecher, mail carrier, 39, was married for 20 years to wife Laura E., 42. She had birthed 5 children, 4 still alive in 1910. With them: Edna, body marker in shirt factory, 20; J. Earl, core marker in foundry, 17; Eva M., 14; daughter Marion J., 9; and mother Ann M., 80, widow, who had birthed 6 children, 5 alive in 1910. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

5. Newspaper: Reading Times: Mail Carrier Thrown. William Beecher, the mail carrier on Route No. 1, Was hurth when he jumped from an automobile in South Pottstown. The car was traveling at about 12 miles an hour. He was in company with Wm. Weigold and Charles Savage., 20 Jul 1912, South Pottstown, Chester, PA. 20

6. Newspaper: Lebanon Daily News: "A vicious dog bit William Beecher, of Pottstown, in a leg.", 23 Apr 1914, Lebanon, Lebanon, PA. 21

7. Census in 1920 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA. 22 The 1920 census recorded at 238 S. Main Street in South Pottstown: William A. Beecher, laborer in stone foundry, 49, living with wife Laura E., 52; and daughters Edna, 29; Eva M., 23; and Helen W., 9; and grandson James M. Beecher, 6. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania.

8. Residence: 58 West Main St., South Pottstown, PA on 2 Jan 1929 in South Pottstown, Chester, PA. 23

9. Census in 1930 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA. 24 The 1930 Census recorded Wm Beecher, widowed, 59, living with son-in-law Wilson Tyson, 33; his wife Eva (William's daughter), 33; and granddaughter Margaret Tyson, 8. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

10. Census in 1940 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA. 25 The 1940 census recorded William Beecher, widowed, 69, father-in-law, living in the home in South Pottstown at 58 West Main Street owned by Wilson D. Tyson, automobile mechanic at electric company, 43, and his wife, Eva M., 44; daughter Margaret M., 18, single; and son Donal R., 6. They were living in the same place in 1935. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania.

11. Newspaper: Pottstown Mercury: "Rural Postman's Job Now Easy, Say 2 Vets", 30 Apr 1940, Pottstown, Montgomery, PA. 26 William Beecher and J. W. Weigold Tell of Troubles with Balky Horses and Mired Roads When Service Began 40 Years Ago Tomorow
-----
Rural mail carriers today, with their fast automobiles paved roads, are sissies!
So chorused two veterans last night on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of rural mail service in Pottstown.
Just 40 years ago tomorrow, May 1, 1909, three Pottstown men shouldered mail and climbed into horse-drawn buggies, and plodded off through muddy, deep-rutted roads to give the country resident his first to-the-door mail delivery in this section.
Only two of the three are living today.
And both agree the job in those days was no cinch. But the mail always got through! It got through when roads were piled deep with snow and it got through when conditions were worse than they were the past Winter, the pair claimed emphatically.
The two mail veterans are William "Billy" Beecher. 70 years old, who lives with a daughter, Mrs. Marion Yohn, 1043 1/2 Queen street, and John William Weigold, 66 years old, Kenilworth.
The third carrier, who died almost 20 years ago, was David Titlow, of Titlow's Corner, near North Coventry High school.
Rural mail delivery was begun in 1896 in West Virginia.
Beecher, Weigold and Mr. Titlow received their appointments 13 years later.
They went out and purchased horses and wagons to make the deliveries.
Beecher dug into his pocket and paid $100 for his first horse. Weigold paid $125 for his first one.
And right there this could become a story of two balky horses.
For Weigold, now becoming bald but still with an infectious grin, wasn't grinning the first day he made a circuit of Route 3 down through Kenilworth and that section.
His horse, "Lady Esther," was "no lady" and became annoyed at being compelled to stop so often.
"So she just decided to stop once and for all," Weigold chuckled as he laid down his saw on the porch of his home in Kenilworth.
"I wound up the day walking home, leading the confounded horse," the retired carried related.
Beecher had a horse which was so balky it carried a special harness "to keep it from kicking me off the seat all the time."
Weigold used horses exclusively until 1913 when he purchased an RCH "Hup" which fellow postal workers immediately named "Run, come, help."
He paid $750 for the machine but it would broke down so often he still used a horse "as a sort of reserve."
"We always used horses when it snowed because we could get through deep drifts a machine even today, couldn't buck." Weigold said.
Snow storms, and Weigold saw three big blizzards In the 36 years he was a rural mail carrier, never stopped a mailman in those days.
"We took them as a matter of course and got through on many days which were worse than those the past Winter when carriers didn't get through with their cars," he maintained.
The same story was told by Beecher, who delivered mail through the Cedarville-Shenkel section.
"Often, when the snow was three and four feet deep, I would tie my horse in a shed, cover him with blankets and finish the route on foot," Beecher said.
Beecher was not pensioned as was Weigold. He quit the job after 18 years when "they tried to make me cover a lot more territory at the same rate of pay."
The pay, when the rural mail service was begun, was only $35 a month or $420 a year!
And no allowance for feed for those $100 horses either.
Today a rural carrier receives $1800 a year and $20 a year for each additional mile over a 30-mile route. On top of that he receives 5 cents a mile toward the upkeep of his car.
"if I wouldn't have papered and painted in houses in my spare time I never would been able to live," Weigold said.
Beecher worked in mills after his route was done for the day.
Persons along the carriers' routes "complained just as much in those days as they do today," each man agreed.
"They complained if you were a bit late although there might have been several feet of snow on the ground." Weigold said.
Despite runaway horses and day after day of plodding through snow, rain and beating sun. Weigold and Beecher said there "wasn't much exciting that happened" in the years they carried the mail.
Weigold never lost a piece of mail. Beecher did: One letter, and thereby hangs a tale.
The Beecher family was quarantined for diphtheria when they lived in South Pottstown. Mrs. Yohn, then a high school student, was not living at home. Neither was her father.
One day, at the time, Mrs. Yohn was being graduated from school, an uncle, in another town, sent her a letter containing money as a gift.
Her father read the letter to her mother, stopping beneath a balance a window to do so.
Several hours later he announced to his daughter that he had a letter for her-and then couldn't find it or the money!
Both Beecher and Weigold like to hark back to the days carrying the mail. Beecher likes to tell about having regular stops at farmhouses where farmers would be eating a late breakfast and would invite him to join them in a cup of coffee.
As they tell the stories of carrying the mail, their listeners agree these men are typical of the slogan of the United States post office department: "Neither rain nor snow shall delay these couriers."

12. Cause of Death: William died at the Maple Farm Home due to chronic myocarditis, arteriosclerosis, 5 May 1945, Akron, Lancaster, PA. 9

13. Residence: 58 W. Main St., South Pottstown, PA on 5 May 1945 in South Pottstown, Chester, PA. 9

14. Obituary: Pottstown Mercury: obituary of William A. Beecher on 7 May 1945 in Pottstown, Montgomery, PA. 11 William A. Beecher, 75, of 58 West Main Street, South Pottstown, husband of the late Emma Laura (Whitman) Beecher, died Saturday at his home. He was born in Philadelphia, the son of the late John V. and Ann Maria (Ayres) Beecher and resided in Chester county for the past 67 years. He was a rural mail carrier for 18 years and in later years was employed by March Brownback Stove company and Floyd Wells Stove company of Royersford. He was a member of First Methodist Episcopal church.
Surviving are five children: Edina, wife of Leo Bredlinger, Mt. Penn; Earl, of Allentown; Eva, wife of Wilson D. Tyson, 58 West Main street, with whom he resided; Marian, wife of William J. Yohn, 1043 1/2 Queen street, and Helen, wife of William A. Dillman, 1251 Maple street; 10 grandchildren; four great grandchildren, and one sister, Mrs. Silas Foster, Tullytown.
Funeral services will be conducted at 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon from funeral parlors at 112 North Washington street by the Rev. Horace N. Olewiler. Interment will be made in Mt. Zion cemetery.


William married Emma Laura Whitman, daughter of John Whitman and E. Rebecca Freigh, on 1 Jun 1889 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA.1 2 3 4 (Emma Laura Whitman was born on 13 Aug 1867 in North Coventry Twp., Chester, PA,1 2 6 27 28 died on 7 Apr 1929 in South Pottstown, Chester, PA 6 27 28 29 and was buried on 10 Apr 1929 in North Coventry Twp.: Mount Zion Cemetery, Chester, PA 6 27 28.)


Sources


1 <i>1900 United States Census</i>, Pennsylvania, Chester County, North Coventry Township, Series: T623 Roll: 1393 Page: 174.

2 <i>Chester County Courthouse, Pennsylvania</i>, Marriage Application.

3 <i>Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940</i> (FamilySearch.org), https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V26Q-ZNT William A. Beecher and Emma Laura Whitman, 1889.

4 <i>Chester County Archives, Pennsylvania</i>, http://www.chesco.org/DocumentCenter/View/1726.

5 <i>Pottstown Mercury</i> (Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), 19 Dec 2006 Obituary of Helen Dillman.

6 <i>Find A Grave</i>, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=106088557.

7 <i>Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1709-1940</i> (FamilySearch.org), https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V2XN-YD3 marriage of J. Earl Beecher and O. Ethel Leighton, 1911.

8 FamilySearch.org, <i>Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 - 1950</i>, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VF93-G4W J. Earl Beecher and O. Ethel Leighton, 07 Feb 1911; citing Pottstown, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States; FHL microfilm 556688.

9 Ancestry.com, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966</i> (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 42530. William Ayers Beecher. Father John V. Beecher. Mother Annie Ayers. Spouse Emma Whitman.

10 Ancestry.com, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966</i> (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 64716. Eva Marie Tyson. Father William A. Beecher. Mother Laura Beecher. Spouse Wilson D. Tyson.

11 <i>Pottstown Mercury</i> (Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), 7 May 1945, page 3. Obituary of William A. Beecher.

12 <i>Morning Call (Allentown, PA)</i>, 23 May 1980, page 64. Obituary of Earl Beecher.

13 Ancestry.com, <i>Pennsylvania, Birth Certificates, 1906-1910</i>, Certificate 191853. Helen Whitman Beecher, b. 2 Dec 1910 in N. Coentry Township, Chester, PA, father William A. Beecher, mother Emma Laura Whitman.

14 Ancestry.com, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966</i> (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate 6849. Edna Brendlinger. Father William A. Beecher. Mother Emma Laura Beecher. Spouse Leo Brendlinger.

15 Ancestry.com, <i>U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007</i> (Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.), William Ayres Beecher, SSN 180206057.

16 Pennsylvania Department of Health, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Indices</i> (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 .), Death Certificate 42530. William A. Beecher.

17 1880 United States Census, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MWJ1-QCS Ann Beecher, 1880.

18 Ancestry.com, U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, 1908 Boyd's Pottstown Directory, printed page 396, online image 193.

19 <i>1910 United States Census</i>, Pennsylvania, Chester County, North Coventry Township, Series: T624 Roll: 1328 Page: 263.

20 <i>Reading Times (Reading, PA)</i> (Reading, Berks, Pernnsylvania.), 20 Jul 1912, page 2. Pottstown. Mail Carrier Thrown.

21 Lebanon Daily News, 23 Apr 1914, page 4. State News in Brief.

22 <i>1920 United States Census</i>, Year: 1920; Census Place: North Coventry, Chester, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1550; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 54; Image: 662.

23 <i>Pottstown Mercury</i> (Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), 2 Jan 1939, page 4.

24 <i>1930 United States Census</i>, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XHDW-SSF Wm Beecher, 1930.

25 <i>1940 United States Census</i>, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KQ82-632 William Beecher, North Coventry Township, Chester, Pennsylvania, United States; enumeration district (ED) 15-56, sheet 61B, family 567, NARA digital publication of T627, roll 3465.

26 <i>Pottstown Mercury</i> (Pottstown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania), 30 Apr 1940, page 1.

27 Ancestry.com, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966</i> (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 45381. E. Laura Beecher. Father John W. Whitman. Mother Rebecca Freck.

28 <i>Find A Grave</i>, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/106088566.

29 Pennsylvania Department of Health, <i>Pennsylvania, Death Indices</i> (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/public_records/20686 .), Death Certificate 45381. E. Laura Beecher.



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