from the History of Allen and Woodson Counties|
transcribed by John Hutchins, April 23, 2004
A. J. BEAM - also the James B. Harkness line as well as the family of his wife, Margaret Fleming
A. J. [Adam] Beam, who is numbered among the prosperous, practical and progressive farmers of Woodson County, was born in Wayne County, New York, July 5, 1833. His father, John S. Beam, was a native of South Carolina, born in Chopee, July 3, 1807. Having arrived at years of maturity he wedded Margaret DeLong, and they became the parents of seven children, of whom four are yet living, namely: Jacob, Malissa, Hannah and A. J. The father passed away January 30, 1884, and his wife died March 1, 1880, at the age of seventy five years.
A. J. Beam pursued a common school education in New York, and remained with his parents until he had attained his majority. He afterward learned the carpenter's trade, and for two years followed that pursuit in Michigan, after which he returned to his old home on a visit. His next place of residence was Galesburg, Illinois, where he was employed for some time at carpentering, and later he worked at his trade in Winfield, Henry County, Iowa, following that vocation continuously until 1884, when he came to Kansas, since which time he has been a representative of agricultural interests.
After residing in Iowa for some time Mr. Beam formed the acquaintance of Miss Mary E. Harkness, and on the 16th of June, 1857, they were married. The lady was born in Delaware county, New York, June 16, 1838, and they have traveled life's journey together for forty-four years. Her parents were James B. [Bell] and Margaret (Fleming) Harkness, the former a native of the Empire state, while the latter was born in Cambridge, New York. Mrs. Beam is of Irish and Scotch lineage. Her maternal great-great-grandfather, George T. Fleming, was killed in the now renowned battle of Colloden, Scotland, which was the last battle in which Prince Charles Edward Stuart fought. James Fleming, her great-grandfather was in London the day on which King George was crowned monarch of England. George Fleming, her grandfather, was the founder of the family in America. He came to this country in 1795, and located in Washington County, New York, whence he removed to Albany in 1807. He married Margaret Darrah, a native of Mulligan, Ireland. Both the paternal and maternal grandfather of Mr. Beam also lived in America in colonial days and fought in the Revolutionary war. A gun that was carried by the former in the struggle for independence is still in possession of the family. On leaving their native state James B. Harkness and his wife removed to Iowa, where they resided from 1852 until called to their final home. The father died March 21 1880, at the age of seventy-eight years. They were the parents of six children, four of whom survive, namely: Mary E., Edwin, George, and Margaret.
Mrs. Beam, who is the eldest of this family, successfully engaged in teaching school in Iowa, both before and after her marriage. She was well qualified for this calling, having acquired an excellent education, completed by two years' study in Howe's Academy at Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. She began teaching when sixteen years of age, and was widely recognized as an efficient instructor. She is a lady of superior culture and refinement and well deserves the high regard in which she is uniformly held. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beam have been born nine children: [John] Elwood, who is living in Port Angeles, Washington; [James] Edwin, who resides upon his father's arm; Charles [R.], who is now in the Klondike; [Margaret] Gertrude, wife of John [Simon] Webb, of Pratt County; [Mary] Ida, wife of Elmer [N.] Jones, of Iola; Jennie, wife of Albert Florence, of Yates Center; Stella, a milliner of Chanute; [Katherine] Lulu, who is engaged in teaching, and Laura [J.], a student in the high school at Neosha Falls.
In 1884 Mr. Beam removed his family to Woodson County, Kansas, and is now living on a farm of ninety acres situated a mile and a half south of Neosha Falls. The place is very attractive in appearance and is certainly one of the most desirable farms in the locality. To the north of the house is a large maple grove of about five acres which makes an excellent wind break. The residence is also surrounded by a beautiful maple grove, and all modern accessories and conveniences can be found upon the farm. The improvements are as a monument to the enterprise and thrift of the owner. He has erected the buildings which have been constructed in the old style with heavy timbers morticed in. In his business affairs Mr. Beam has been successful, winning the prosperity which comes as the reward of persistent, earnest effort when guided by sound judgment and supplemented by honorable dealing. While residing in Iowa he served as sheriff of Henry county. He cast his first presidential vote for Millard Fillmore and since the organization of the Republican party has been one of its stalwart advocates, believing that its principles contain the best elements of good government. As a citizen he is public-spirited and reliable, and in every relation of live he is known for his fidelity to duty and genuine worth of character.
[History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas; L. Wallace Duncan; published by Iola Register, Iola, KS, 1901. pps 871-3]