Tales of Pioneers: The Beekmans
Cornelius C. Beekman, March 1914 Sunset
C. C. Beekman, One of Southern Oregon's Most Respected Pioneers. Financier and Man of Marked Business Ability. Handled Millions in Gold As Banker and Express Messenger.
No history of the pioneer of Jacksonville and the Rogue River Valley, "which derived its names from the character of its Indians," would be complete without reference to the early career of the late C. C. Beekman, pony express rider [not the Pony Express, however], business man and banker. Possessed of resolution, ambition and endurance in a marked degree, he was peculiarly well fitted to grapple with the hardships and problems of early days, and from the time when as express rider he made his lonely and dangerous trips over the Siskiyou Mountains carrying letters and papers and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold dust, always traveling at night to lessen the chances of molestation by hostile Indians and bad white men, he was ever among the foremost in advancing the development of the country in which we live. An old history of Southern Oregon [A. G. Walling's] contains the following personal mention of Mr. Beekman:
"He was born in New York City, January 27, 1828. He received his education in the public schools, and while yet in his minority he learned the carpenter's trade. In the year 1850 he sailed from New York, coming via the Isthmus of Panama, and arrived in San Francisco in the fall of that year. He went to Sawyer's Bar, where he was engaged as a miner; thence to Yreka working at his trade, after which we find him at Scott's Bar, mining; returning to Yreka, where, in 1853, he entered the employ of Cram, Rogers & Co., as express messenger between that place, Jacksonville and Crescent City. He was often obliged to cross the Siskiyou Mountains under cover of darkness on account of hostile Indians. He retained this position until the failure of Adams & Co. in 1856, which carried down with it the house of Cram, Rogers & Co. He then commenced carrying express on his own account, resuming his perilous trips across the mountains until a stage road was built and the stages of the old California Stage Company put on the route. In 1863, when Wells, Fargo & Co. completed their overland connections with Portland, they tendered Mr. Beekman the agency at Jacksonville, which he accepted, and has been retained up to the present time with credit and ability. During Mr. Beekman's term of service as express messenger on his own and others' account, he has handled millions of money, and, in fact, more than any other man in Southern Oregon; and his retention and promotion by his employers is a sufficient guarantee for his unswerving honesty and integrity. Investing his earnings judiciously, Mr. Beekman has amassed a fortune, not by miserly conduct; not by oppressing the poor; not by taking advantage of the necessities of his fellow men, but by strict observance to business principles, and a careful management of his own affairs. As a financier and a man of ability, he is the peer of any man in Southern Oregon. To prove this, if proof was necessary, we call the attention of our readers to the facts that Mr. Beekman has been repeatedly elected one of the trustees of Jacksonville, and for several terms held the honorable position of mayor, or president of the board. He has also held the office of school director for nine years, and it was mainly through his business tact that the commodious school building was erected, and, withal, his love for educational advancement has placed the standard of education for the young on a plane that would do credit to a larger town. The year 1878 will be ever memorable to him, for, without the slightest effort on his part, he was selected by the Republican party from among his compeers and placed in nomination for governor of Oregon. This was a closely contested and hard-fought battle. Mr. Beekman's popularity was so great that he was supported not only by Republicans, but by a large number of Democrats in Southern Oregon. He was defeated by his Democrat opponent, Gov. W. W. Thayer, by forty-nine votes."
During later years Beekman's Banking House, unique among institutions of its kind, was esteemed a sort of Mecca by tourists, and until the time of Mr. Beekman's death and subsequent closing of the bank, no tour of southern Oregon was considered complete unless it included a trip to Jacksonville to visit the old building and view the superb collection of nuggets it contained.
As a proof of the confidence reported in Mr. Beekman's integrity by his fellow pioneers, it might be said that when his banking house was closed a number of deposits, consisting principally of gold dust and ready money, was found which dated back almost to the beginning of his career as a banker. Early miners, desiring a place of safekeeping for their surplus cash, had placed it in Mr. Beekman's hands and promptly forgotten it. Much difficulty was encountered in finding rightful owners or heirs to this wealth.
Mr. Beekman's family; Mr. Beekman, formerly Miss Julia Hoffman, a member of a pioneer family, Miss Carrie Beekman and B. B. Beekman, now make their home in Portland.
Jacksonville Post, June 26, 1920, page 1
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BEEKMAN: It is now a pretty well-established fact that the families in New Jersey bearing the name of Beekman are descended from two distinct sources, one of which is Willem Beeckman (Beekman), of New York, who emigrated to New Amsterdam in 1647, and the other Maarten Beeckman, of Albany, who is the progenitor of the branch of the family at present under consideration.
(I) Maarten Beeckman emigrated to New Netherlands in 1638 and settled in Albany, where he plied his trade of blacksmith and died before June 21, 1677. He married Susanna Jans, and had at least three children: Johannes; Hendrick, referred to below; Metie.
(II) Hendrick, son of Maarten and Susanna (Jans) Beekman, lived for a number of years at Schodack, near Albany, and November 13, 1710, purchased from Octavo Coenraats, merchant of New York, two hundred and fifty acres of land on the Raritan River in Somerset County, New Jersey, it being a part of the tract bought by Coenraats from Peter Sonmans, who in turn had purchased it from the proprietors of East Jersey. The deed for this land has never been recorded, and is now in possession of Mrs. Elizabeth (Beekman) Vredenburgh, who still owns a portion of the land described, which she inherited from her father, Benjamin Beekman, and her mother, Cornelia Beekman. He married Annetje, daughter of Peter Quackenbush, and among his children was Marten, referred to below.
(III) Marten Beekman, son of Hendrick Beeckman, was born in 1685, died October 27, 1757. The descendants of his three sons are very numerous in New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Oregon and elsewhere. He married June 21, 1734 Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Neeltje (Bloetjoet) Waldron, and granddaughter of Resolved Waldron, of Harlem, who was sheriff of New York City under Governor Peter Stuyvesant. She was born in 1709 and died November 27, 1760. Children: Elizabeth, Hendrick, Samuel, Annatje and Johannes.
(IV) Johannes (John), youngest child of Marten and Elizabeth (Waldron) Beekman, was born November 5, 1741, in Somerset County, New Jersey, where he died March 17, 1789. He married July 30, 1769 Arriantje Tunison, born October 12, 1753, died January 11, 1833. They were the parents of four children.
(V) Cornelius, son of John and Arriantje (Tunison) Beekman, was born January 28, 1772, in Somerville, New Jersey, and died July 5, 1850. He married in 1702 Rebecca Sharp, born January 2, 1772, died February 27, 1844, aged seventy-two years. They had three sons and two daughters.
(VI) Benjamin, son of Cornelius and Rebecca (Sharp) Beekman, was born April 27, 1804, in Somerville, and died at Dundee, New York, April 8, 1870. He married at Plainfield, New Jersey, March 21, 1827, Lydia Compton, born there March 3, 1806, died in Dundee New York, October 2, 1891, daughter of Joshua and Catherine (Cosad) Compton. He resided in Somerville, New Jersey and New York City and removed to Dundee after 1829. Children: 1. Cornelius C., born January 27, 1828, in New York, now resides at Jacksonville, Oregon; married at Jacksonville Julia F. Hoffman; 2. Abram, mentioned below; 3. John, born March 9, 1832, at Dundee; married (first) Elizabeth Disbrow, (second) Helena Ackerson, and died at Bath; 4. Lydia Ann, May 30, 1834, died in Dundee in 1910; married there in 1833 Marcus T. Seely; 5. Thomas DeWitt, August 22, 1841, now resides at Dundee, New York, married in 1863 Isadore Fowler, of Elmira, New York; 6 and 7. Cyrus and Augustus, twins, born August 25, 1844, in Dundee. The former died there in 1851 and the latter when four days old.
Cuyler Reynolds, Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley, 1914, page 487
Cornelius Beekman, son of Benjamin Beekman, born January 27, 1828, christened May 11, 1828, Dutch Reformed Church, Greenwich Village, New York, New York
I would propose to deposit with one of the two express companies in Jacksonville, Jackson County, Oregon Ty. One is known as Rhodes & Co., a well-known house in San Francisco. The other is known as Cram, Rogers & Co. This company connect with Adams & Co. Also a well-known house in San Francisco. I do not know of any difference in the facilities offered by the two firms. Both have the reputation of being good and responsible houses. Large sums are frequently deposited with and transported by them. In this connection I might say that the quartermaster and commissary at this post (Fort Lane) receives his money from San Francisco through one of these houses.
Indian Agent Samuel H. Culver, letter of August 31, 1854, Microcopy of Records of the Oregon Superintendency of Indian Affairs 1848-1873, Reel 13; Letters Received, 1854, No. 98.
MAILS.--The Jacksonville Sentinel of the 19th ult. complains again of the irregularity or failure of the mails:
"As usual, we have had no mails this week. Travelers from different directions say, 'No news--nothing of any consequence occurring--nothing doing,' &c. Were it not for Beekman's Express, we should get no information of less than a month old from beyond our valley--and as it is, get nothing later from Oregon. When the express comes in it brings news from Oregon via San Francisco and Yreka in time to publish it in advance of the mails that come direct. The mail has become of no account whatever to the country, and it is not worth while to inquire into its failures."
Crescent City Herald, February 6, 1856, page 2
C. C. Beekman will please accept our thanks for express favors during the past week.
Table Rock Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 24, 1856, page 2
A HOAX.--On Saturday afternoon last some individuals were desirous of creating a little fun, got access to our office during our absence, and caused some slips to be printed purporting to be an extra of the Shasta Courier, and announcing the arrival in San Francisco of the steamer Sonora, with intelligence of the capture of the British war steamer Styx by an American clipper ship fitted out for the purpose, after a severe engagement in which several persons were killed and wounded on both sides. The slips were then placed in a package directed to Beekman's Express, sent out of town, and brought in and delivered to Beekman by a young man who had been out riding, who stated that they were handed to him by a person who was passing on hastily through the valley. The news spread like wildfire, and the excitement occasioned by it was intense. A large crowd soon gathered round the express office, a flag was run up, anvils were procured, and more than a hundred rounds fired before the seli was discovered. Some enthusiastic individuals were for raising a company and proceeding immediately to Fraser River. At length, however, it leaked out that the whole affair was a hoax, when the firing suddenly ceased, the flag was hauled down, and the military ardor of our citizens suddenly collapsed. A few of the sold were very much enraged at the hoax which had been played off upon them, but the majority, and the more sensible portion, laughed it off, and considered it a good joke.--Jacksonville Herald.
Oregon Statesman, Salem, July 27, 1858, page 3
REMOVED.--Mr. C. C. Beekman has removed the Express office into his new building, on the corner of Union and California streets. The new office was erected especially for the Express business, and is extremely neat and favorably located.
May 19, 1860 Oregon Sentinel
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, November 28, 1863, page 2
January 26, 1867 Oregon Sentinel
THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY.
Jacksonville, Oregon July 19, 1869.
P.O. Dept. July 21
Senator Geo. H. Williams
or Parker, Commr. of Indian Affairs
Imminent danger of disaffection among Snake & other Indians urgently demands the continuance of Agent Applegate at Klamath Agency.
S. D. Van Dyke
J. C. Tolman
J. M. McCall
C. C. Beekman
NARA Series M234 Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs 1824-81, Reel 615 Oregon Superintendency, 1866-1869, frames 598-599.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, December 12, 1874, page 3
Hon. Henry Klippel left for San Francisco last week to purchase a mill for the quartz mine of Klippel, Beekman & Johnson, on Rogue River. This ledge promises well.
"State News," Willamette Farmer, Salem, December 25, 1874, page 1
The new machinery to be used in crushing quartz from the mine of Beekman & Co., near the mouth of Applegate, Jackson County, was placed on the ground on last Sunday week, by Jos. Beggs, who took it up from Roseburg, without a break or accident of any kind. Jim Hurd is superintending the setting up of the engine, which is pronounced a gem of its kind, and it is thought crushing will begin with a month. It is a portable engine of 15 horsepower, and the company--Beekman, Klippel and Johnson--have two 12-foot arrastras, intending to crush the ore with stamps to feed them, which they calculate will enable them to reduce at least three tons per day. They have now something more than 100 tons of ore on the dump, which it is calculated will yield fully $25 per ton. They have tested some of it in a mill and realize as high as $40 per ton. The gold is of very fine quality.
"Oregon," Oregonian, Portland, January 19, 1875, page 1
The "Elizabeth" mill (Beekman & Co.) started up on Monday last. Everything worked to a charm, and they will make their first cleanup in about a month.
"Southern Oregon Mines," Oregonian, Portland, February 23, 1875, page 1
The quartz mill of Klippel, Beekman & Johnson, on their ledges on Rogue River, is now in working order and running constantly. Mr. Klippel, who arrived at Jacksonville from the ledge, informs the Times that they have 125 tons of quartz taken out already and that the mill is pounding it up at the rate of three tons per day.
"Oregon News," Sacramento Daily Record-Union, March 2, 1875, page 1
CLEANUP.--Messrs. Henry Klippel and C. C. Beekman this week returned from a visit to the Elizabeth quartz ledge, having witnessed the first cleanup of the new mill lately put up there. Ninety-three tons of quartz have been crushed, which averaged over $15 per ton. This is a good yield, considering that considerable of the quartz was bedrock and the difficulty experienced in getting the machinery in working order owing to the cold. The company feel encouraged enough to keep ten men constantly employed, and are sanguine of the ledge paying even better than this. The main ledge has not been discovered as yet.
Oregon City Enterprise, April 16, 1875, page 3
MR. BEEKMAN SERENADED.HON. C. C. BEEKMAN.--The reminiscences of the early pioneers of the Pacific coast must ever possess a peculiar interest for the Oregonian. Green in their memory will ever remain the trials and incidents of early life in this land of golden promise. These pioneers of civilization constitute no ordinary class of adventurers. Resolute, ambitious and enduring, looking into the great and possible future of this western slope, and possessing the sagacious mind to grasp true conclusions, and the indomitable will to execute just means to attain desired ends, these heroic pioneers, by their subsequent career, have proved that they were equal to the great mission assigned them, that of carrying the real essence of American civilization from their eastern homes and planting it upon the shores of another ocean. Among the many who have shown their fitness for the tasks assigned them, none merit this tribute more fully than the subject of this sketch, whose portrait appears in this work. He was born in few York City, January 27, 1828. He received his education in the public schools, and while yet in his minority he learned the carpenter’s trade. In the year 1850 he sailed from New York, coming via the Isthmus of Panama, and arrived in San Francisco in the fall of that year. He went to Sawyer’s Bar, where he was engaged as a miner; thence to Yreka working at his trade, after which we find him at Scott’s Bar, mining; returning to Yreka, where, in 1853, he entered the employ of Cram, Rogers & Co., as express messenger between that place, Jacksonville and Crescent City. He was often obliged to cross the Siskiyou Mountains under cover of darkness on account of hostile Indians. He retained this position until the failure of Adams & Co. in 1856, which carried down with it the house of Cram, Rogers & Co. He then commenced carrying express on his own account, resuming his perilous trips across the mountains until a stage road was built and the stages of the old California Stage Company put on the route. In 1863, when Wells, Fargo & Co. completed their overland connections with Portland, they tendered Mr. Beekman the agency at Jacksonville, which he accepted, and has been retained up to the present time with credit and ability. During Mr. Beekman’s term of service as express messenger on his own and others’ account, he has handled millions of money, and, in fact, more than any other man in Southern Oregon; and his retention and promotion by his employers is a sufficient guarantee for his unswerving honesty and integrity. Investing his earnings judiciously, Mr. Beekman has amassed a fortune, not by miserly conduct; not by oppressing the poor; not by taking advantage of the necessities of his fellow men, but by strict observance to business principles, and a careful management of his own affairs. As a financier and a man of ability, he is the peer of any man in Southern Oregon. To prove this, if proof was necessary, we call the attention of our readers to the facts that Mr. Beekman has been repeatedly elected one of the trustees of Jacksonville, and for several terms held the honorable position of mayor, or president of the board. He has also held the office of school director for nine years, and it was mainly through his business tact that the commodious school building was erected, and, withal, his love for educational advancement has placed the standard of education for the young on a plane that would do credit to a larger town. The year 1878 will be ever memorable to him, for, without the slightest effort on his part, he was selected by the Republican Party from among his compeers and placed in nomination for governor of Oregon. This was a closely contested and hard-fought battle. Mr. Beekman’s popularity was so great that he was supported not only by Republicans, but by a large number of Democrats in Southern Oregon. He was defeated by his Democrat opponent, Gov. W. W. Thayer, by forty-nine votes. The closest scrutiny into the life of Mr. Beekman demonstrates the fact that no man can find a blemish in his character. Notwithstanding he is wealthy, you could not observe that from his conduct. He is not like many men of means--supercilious. He knows himself, and that is half the battle of life. He tries to do no man wrong, having lived up to the golden rule all his life. He resides in Jacksonville, Jackson County, one of the prettiest spots in Oregon, where he has made many warm friends and keeps them. He often says with Sydney Smith: "Let every man be occupied, and occupied in the highest employment of which his nature is capable, and die with the consciousness that he has done his best." It were well if our young state had many such generous and enterprising men as C. C. Beekman. He married Julia E. Hoffman, daughter of William Hoffman, and by this union they have one daughter and one son.
Mr. C. C. Beekman, of Jacksonville, Republican nominee for governor, arrived in this city last evening from the south. He was serenaded last night at the hotel at which he was stopping by the Northwestern Band. The music drew together a large crowd, and after several lively airs by the band Hon. J. N. Dolph appeared on the balcony, and after addressing the assembled people for a few minutes introduced Mr. C. C. Beekman.
This gentleman came forward on the balcony and was received with considerable enthusiasm. Mr. Beekman spoke not to exceed two minutes. He stated that he was no public speaker; that he had never addressed so large a crowd before in his life. His life had been devoted to business and not words. He had been nominated by the Republican convention as one of the standard-bearers of that party. The nomination had not been sought for by him; he had never solicited it at the hands of the party. But as it had been tendered him, he accepted it and proposed to go in to win. He had made no pledges to any party or clique, and he owed no allegiance to anyone. The only pledge he had made was that of retrenchment and economy in the administration of state affairs, and if elected he proposed to carry out that pledge to the letter. He had no platform other than his letter of acceptance. He thought that the governor of this state should be a man of action and have "backbone." The taxpayers of Oregon had too long borne up under the load of state debt, and they wanted this reckless extravagance stopped. If elected, he promised to carry into effect the pledges made to prevent a further squandering of the people's money. In conclusion Mr. Beekman promised if he was chosen as the next executive of the state not to leave as a legacy when he retired from office a debt of nearly three quarters of a million dollars. Thanking the crowd again and again for the honor conferred, Mr. Beekman retired. . . .
At the close of the speaking a number of persons called on Mr. Beekman in the hotel parlors and paid their respects to him.
Oregonian, Portland, May 9, 1878, page 4
The largest taxpayer in Jackson County is Mr. C. C. Beekman, whose property is assessed at $25,001.
Oregonian, Portland, September 28, 1878, page 1
All the local papers of Dundee, N.Y. pay marked and handsome tributes to Benj. B. Beekman, father of our townsman, Hon. C. C. Beekman, who died at the age of seventy-six on the 8th inst.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, April 30, 1879, page 3
October 1, 1881 West Shore, Portland
C. C. Beekman, born in New York City, Jan. 27, 1828, emigrated from Dundee, Yates County, N.Y. to Cal., and from thence to Jacksonville, Ogn., in March 1853. Banker.
"Southern Oregon Pioneers," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, July 8, 1882, page 3
A. G. Walling, History of Southern Oregon, 1884, page 524
Mrs. Beekman, of Jacksonville, is visiting at the residence of her sister, Mrs. G. B. Dorris.
"Personal," Eugene City Guard, May 24, 1884, page 3
NO FAILURE YET.--While meandering around yesterday afternoon we dropped by C. C. Beekman's express office when we seen him put up a package of 25 pounds of gold dust, the result of the week's purchases from the miners living nearby. The mining season has been an exceedingly poor one on account of the scarcity of water, but this showing proves that we have good paying ground if we only get water to work it.
Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 9, 1885, page 3
C. C. Beekman starts for San Francisco today. His daughter, Miss Carrie, will accompany him on his return.
Mr. C. C. Beekman recently presented two lots to the trustees of the Presbyterian Church at Medford. J. S. Howard, A. L. Johnson and Dr. E. P. Geary are the trustees.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, May 23, 1885, page 3
W. F. & Co.'s express office and the banking business of C. C. Beekman here is in charge of John A. Boyer during Mr. Beekman's absence. John is an obliging business man, and everything runs as smooth as when the Governor is around.
"Local Items," Oregon Sentinel, Jacksonville, June 6, 1885, page 3
WILL TRAVEL.--Prof. B. B. Beekman, one of the tutors in the University of Oregon, has been granted an absence of two years, during which time he proposes to travel and study in Europe. There has been no other change in teachers, although it was at first proposed to appoint a successor to Mr. Beekman, but the faculty finally concluded the university had a sufficient number of teachers now employed to do all the work.
Oregon Sentinel, June 27, 1885, page 3
A few days ago Rev. W. H. Tracy, who was soliciting subscriptions for building a new Presbyterian church in Dundee, received a letter from Mr. C. C. Beekman of Jacksonville, Oregon, with a draft for $2,100 enclosed therein, and all the required fund of $8,000 has been pledged.
"Vicinity," Watkins Democrat, Watkins, New York, May 5, 1886, page 3
C. C. Beekman is having his quartz mines on Jackson Creek surveyed, and will probably have tunnels run and shafts sunk on them before long. We believe that good ore exists there in paying quantities and hope to see the matter thoroughly tested soon. B. B. Beekman and Frank Huffer are engaged in making the survey.
"Southern Oregon Mining News," Oregonian, Portland, July 15, 1886, page 2
A message from the governor was received appointing T. J. Hendricks and C. C. Beekman regents of the state university. The senate confirmed the nominations.
"The State Legislature," The Daily Morning Astorian, February 9, 1887, page 1
Hon. C. C. Beekman, wife and daughter arrived in Eugene Thursday direct from Dundee, N.Y.
Eugene City Guard, April 2, 1887, page 5
October 20, 1887 Oregon Sentinel
C. C. Beekman of Oregon . . . [is] at Willard's.
"Personal," Evening Star, Washington, D.C., July 19, 1888, page 1
The varying political rumors seem just now to point more directly to the nomination of our fellow townsman, Hon. C. C. Beekman, for congress rather than for governor. Nothing would be more gratifying to his friends than to see him secure this important and responsible position. Mr. Beekman's personal habits and business methods are such as to particularly fit him for this position; socially and politically he stands above reproach and would make an excellent governor or a safe, conservative congressman. Several persons have been mentioned as possible candidates at the coming election from Southern Oregon, and it is possible if there are too many in the field a conflicting contest will defeat all. The utmost caution should be observed and every element of strength concentrated to accomplish a single purpose. Considering the odds against us north of Roseburg, we will be fortunate indeed to secure one important place on the ticket, and Southern Oregon should be a unit for this purpose. Mr. Beekman is not an office seeker, as is well known, and if a candidate [he] will be made one by his friends, solely through considerations of personal fitness and personal worth. We will certainly be entitled to a representative on the next state ticket, and there is no person whose election could be assured with the same degree of certainty as Mr. Beekman's. While his name has been prominently mentioned lately for congress it would be altogether more desirable to nominate him for governor. He is an able, cautious, conservative man, and would make one of the safest and best governors the state ever had. One of the grandest things that has been said of him is that he will wear no man's collar; he would be just what the people elected him to be, and in any position his integrity and honor would be the only lever needed to control aright every official act. By all means, let his friends push forward his name for governor and unite in a grand endeavor to elect him to the position.
"Jacksonville Items," Ashland Tidings, November 29, 1889, page 2
C. C. Beekman and family, accompanied by the family of his brother, John Beekman, will pass the summer months rusticating in the mountains and valleys of old Mexico.
B. B. Beekman returned home to Jacksonville for a few days, after his canvass of the state in the interest of Mr. Thompson, last Wednesday morning. Ben is quite a good talker and made a fine reputation for himself as a stumper, very sensibly refraining from commenting too vigorously with regard to the respective merits of the two candidates for governor.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, June 6, 1890, page 3
We regret very much to learn of the death of Mrs. John Beekman, which occurred in New York. She was about 40 years of age and a most estimable lady, beloved by all who knew her. Together with her husband she visited Jacksonville a few years ago.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 25, 1890, page 3
BEEKMAN--After a long and painful illness, Mrs. Lydia Compton Beekman, widow of Benjamin B. Beekman, passed away on Friday, October 2nd. Her death was calm and peaceful. Mrs. Beekman was born in New Jersey, March 30th, 1806, and was 85 years, 6 months and 2 days old. In 1827 she married Mr. Beekman and moved to the town of Starkey in 1830. For 60 years or over she has been a member of the Presbyterian Church of this village, and down to her death she manifested a lively interest in its welfare. Her Bible, her constant friend and companion for more than thirty years, was used at the funeral for the reading of scriptural selections. The text was chosen by one of the family, Isaiah 64:6, "And we all do fade as a leaf," and a sermon in which the beauty and glory of a Christian life was epitomized was preached by her pastor, Rev. Stanley B. Roberts. It was exceedingly fit and proper that as the shadows lengthened on that beautiful October day that she should be laid to rest among the falling leaves on the hillside to await the resurrection of the past. A large number of her friends filled all the available portion of the church to show their respect for the honored dead. Mr. Andrew Harpending and Mrs. Elizabeth Doty, own cousins of Mrs. Beekman, were at the funeral. Many welcomed her coming to this place over 60 years ago. Seven children, two of whom died in infancy or early youth, were born to Mrs. Beekman; Cornelius C. Beekman, of Jacksonville, Oregon; Abraham and John Beekman, of Bath, N.Y.; T. Dewitt Beekman and Mrs. Lydia Seeley, of Dundee, all of whom were present at the funeral. Thus we are called to chronicle the death of one who has long been identified with the history of the church and the village, and while we sincerely mourn her loss we rejoice that she lived among us as an illustration of the Christian faith.--[Dundee [N.Y.] Observer.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 16, 1891, page 3
Marriage of Two Prominent Young Society People at Bath.
Wedding bells rang out merrily yesterday afternoon in Bath over the nuptials of Miss Julia E. Averill and George W. Beekman. It was a society event of prominence, and took place in the presence of about sixty guests. The ceremony was performed at the home of the bride's parents on Steuben Street, by Rev. B. S. Sanderson, of St. Thomas' Episcopal Church. Shortly before 5 o'clock the guests began to arrive. Half an hour later Sutton's orchestra commenced playing Mendelssohn's wedding march, and the officiating clergyman, followed by the groom and the best man, his brother, Edgar Beekman, descended the hall stairs. Behind them came the ushers, James R. Kingsley and Thomas Hassett, and then the bridesmaids, Misses Blanche Ramsey and Belle Averill, immediately preceding the bride. She was attired in a white silk gown, en train, and wore a Brussels knit veil, and her corsage was trimmed with orange blossoms worn by the bride's mother at her wedding. The contracting parties stood under a parapluie of white immortelles in the front parlor. The bride carried bride's roses. Miss Rumsey, wearing a light yellow gown, carried roses to match. The bride's sister wore a pale blue silk and carried white roses. After the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Beekman received the cordial congratulations of their many friends present, and an elaborate supper was served, and dancing continued to a late hour. The bride and groom were the recipients of many handsome and useful presents. Among those present from out of town were: Mr. and Mrs. Edward A. Thompson, of Meadville, Pa.; Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Beekman, and their daughter, of Jacksonville, Oregon; Dewitt Beekman and Mrs. Seeley, of Dundee; Ambrose Butler, of the Buffalo News; Miss Raines, Buffalo; Miss Rose, Hammondsport; Rev. and Mrs. Caterson, Catawha, and Mr. and Mrs. Burt C. Brown, Canisteo. On the Erie, at 8:50 o'clock, Mr. and Mrs. Beekman left for Washington and other cities in the South.LEFT A LARGE ESTATE
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 10, 1891, page 7
C. C. Beekman and family are expected to return home next month. A correspondent of the Oregonian says that Mr. Beekman recently visited Washington and was the guest of Senator Mitchell.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 29, 1892, page 3
Hon. C. C. Beekman and family are expected home next week, and will remain at their home in Jacksonville during a large portion of the summer months. They have been making a tour of Washington city, Richmond, Va., Jacksonville, Fla., and New Orleans on their journey home.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1892, page 2
C. C. Beekman and wife returned from their trip to New York state last Saturday, after an absence of over seven months. Their daughter, Miss Carrie, tarried in the Willamette Valley, to pay friends a visit.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 19, 1892, page 3
Miss Carrie Beekman of Jacksonville and Miss Ankeny, of Sterlingville, have been added to Mrs. Nichols' art class the past week.
"Jacksonville Items," Ashland Tidings, March 25, 1892, page 3
The commencement exercises at the University of Oregon were of even a more interesting character than usual, and were witnessed by a very large audience. The oration of B. B. Beekman (who is one of the college's most promising graduates) is spoken of as a masterly effort and reflects much credit on our young friend.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 1, 1892, page 3
Mr. Rogers and wife of Quincy, Ill. are paying Dr. DeBar and family a visit. They leave for Alaska in a few days, and will be accompanied by Misses Lizzie Graves and Carrie Beekman. We wish them a pleasant trip and safe return.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 15, 1892, page 3
C. C. Beekman, of Jacksonville, went to San Francisco Saturday to attend the bankers convention.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, September 8, 1892, page 3
In answer to invitations sent out in rhyme by Mayor and Mrs. G. M. Granger, their parlors were filled on Monday evening with a large crowd of young men and women who came to do honor to the Hallowe'en party given in honor of Mrs. Granger's cousin, Miss Carrie Beekman of Jacksonville. The acceptances and regrets were sent in rhyme and read by Mrs. H. C. Myer for the entertainment of the guests. There were many witty and sublime thoughts, as well as some grotesque ideas, expressed. The bright and lively crowd assembled made a merry time and one that will be long remembered.
"Personal and Social," Valley Record, Ashland, November 3, 1892, page 3
C. C. Beekman, wife and daughter Carrie will spend the winter in Portland society.
"Pressed Bricks," Valley Record, Ashland, December 15, 1892, page 1
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Beekman returned from Portland, where they have been spending the winter, on yesterday's train. They thoroughly enjoyed their stay at the metropolis.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 21, 1893, page 3
B. B. Beekman of Portland delivered the oration at the celebration held at Dallas, Polk County, on the 5th. It is very highly spoken of by all who heard it.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 7, 1893, page 3
A Valuable Addition to Our Bank.
Beekman & Reames this week received one of the finest safes in the state. It is absolutely fire- and burglar-proof, the manufacturers Herring, Hall and Co. offering a large sum to anyone who can open it in 24 hours. Although not a large safe, it weighs nearly 5000 pounds and cost $1000. It is very solid and made of steel of the best quality, being fitted up with the latest and most improved devices for the safety of the money, bonds, etc. that may be placed in it, including a time lock. The banking house of Beekman & Reames, while always staunch and reliable financially, now offers better inducements than ever to depositors.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1893, page 3
Yan, the Chinese cook who has been in the employ of C. C. Beekman for so many years, left for San Francisco yesterday morning, to engage in business.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1893, page 3
C. C. Beekman, accompanied by his wife and daughter, will soon start on a trip to the eastern states, stopping at Chicago, while en route to New York.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 8, 1893, page 3
B. B. Beekman, son of Hon. C. C. Beekman of Jacksonville, was invited to deliver the address at the opening of the Portland Industrial Exposition, which was quite a compliment to bestow upon so young a man. Ben was equal to the emergency, however, and his effort is highly spoken of by all who heard it, for it was able, interesting and delivered with good elocutionary effect.
"Brief Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 29, 1893, page 2
Settled at Last.The case of Beekman vs. Hamlin, which has been in the courts since 1861, has been amicably settled by the parties in action. This is probably one of the most interesting cases ever adjudicated in the state; but it would consume too much space and subserve no present purpose to give its history or a summary of the complaints, answers and interminable motions and countermotions involved in the case and arising from time to time have puzzled the wisest attorneys in the state, and diversity rather than uniformity of opinion among the legal fraternity, as to the merits of the case, has seemed to prevail from the very commencement of the action. The parties to this expensive case are to be congratulated upon its final and satisfactory settlement.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 29, 1893, page 3
C. C. Beekman will soon leave on a trip to the eastern states, accompanied by his family. Miss Lizzie Graves will go with them as far as Chicago. Her many friends regret to learn that she will not return to Jacksonville.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 29, 1893, page 3
Hon. C. C. Beekman and wife, accompanied by their daughter, Miss Carrie, and Miss Lizzie Graves, left Portland for the East on Wednesday. We wish them a pleasant trip.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 6, 1893, page 3
Jacksonville furnished the orator for the Portland exposition, now progressing, in the person of B. B. Beekman, who gained new laurels by his effort, which is pronounced first-class in every respect. It was well delivered and full of merit from a literary and elocutionary standpoint.
The terms of the compromise between C. C. Beekman and Jas. Hamlin are the payment in two years by the defendant of $3,500. Mr. Hamlin also pays the costs of the last suit, which amount to several hundred dollars. The whole matter could probably have been originally adjusted for that sum, and the thousands of dollars paid in attorneys' fees and costs by both parties saved.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, October 6, 1893, page 3
John A. Boyer, the efficient clerk at Beekman & Reames' bank, is indisposed, but not seriously so.
"Personal Mention," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, January 18, 1894, page 3
B. B. Beekman's aspirations are now turned toward the attorney generalship. Ben is a bright young man and would undoubtedly be able to capture the delegates from southern Oregon.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 26, 1894, page 3
BEEKMAN, C. C., of Jacksonville, was born in New York City, January 27, 1828. In 1850 he came round the Horn to San Francisco. He went to the northern mines, and in 1853 became an express messenger between Yreka, Crescent City and Jacksonville. In 1856 he embarked in the express business on his own account. In 1863 he became Wells, Fargo & Co.'s agent at Jacksonville, where he was resided ever since, and is engaged in the banking business. Mr. Beekman is a successful business man, and is recognized as the leading man of affairs in Southern Oregon. He has been repeatedly school trustee, city trustee and mayor. He has been a prominent and active Republican, and in 1878 was the Republican nominee for Governor, being defeated by only 49 votes. He has held many positions of trust in the party, and is considered as one of the strong, clean men to whom it can turn in time of need.
Republican League Register, Portland, 1896, page 182
Cornelius Beekman, a former Dundee boy, has been appointed by the governor of Oregon to represent that state at the Paris Exposition next year.
"Dundee," Penn Yan Democrat, Penn Yan, New York, May 12, 1899, page 8 I can find no confirmation that Beekman was appointed; it's unlikely he attended.
Miss Carrie Beekman has instituted a reading circle, which will meet semi-monthly at the homes of its members. The circle met for the first time at the residence of C. C. Beekman, on California Street, on Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Geo. DeBar was appointed reader and Mrs. Susie Neil critic. A sketch of the "Life of Queen Elizabeth" was given for the entertainment of the circle, after which a delicious luncheon was served by the hostess.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, February 22, 1901, page 3
The first payment of $5000 to C. C. Beekman by J. W. Opp for 200 acres of land in the Jackson Creek district, which includes the Holman ledge, mill, etc., has been made. The new proprietors will immediately commence the development of the property.
Oregonian, Portland, March 10, 1901, page 5
The Jacksonville Reading Circle spent a pleasant afternoon at the residence of Mrs. C. C. Beekman last Thursday.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, October 18, 1901, page 3
C. C. Beekman is having the foundation laid for an addition to his residence on California Street. A commodious kitchen, pantry, bathroom and other conveniences will be added.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, October 25, 1901, page 3
A. C. Nicholson and assistants, of Medford, are engaged this week in building an addition to C. C. Beekman's residence.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, November 8, 1901, page 3
Miss Carrie Beekman, who has been visiting different points in the East for the past two months, arrived in Portland last Saturday.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, December 13, 1901, page 3
Contractor A. C. Nicholson is engaged these days in building an addition to the residence of banker Beekman, in Jacksonville.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, December 20, 1901, page 7
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Beekman have gone to San Francisco to meet a brother of Mr. Beekman, who will return with them for an extended stay in this section.
"Jacksonville Items," Medford Mail, June 13, 1902, page 3
B. B. Beekman, of Portland, arrived here last Saturday to spend a few days with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Beekman.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, July 4, 1902, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. DeWitt Beekman, of Dundee, N.Y., who have been visiting C. C. Beekman and family, left for Portland on Tuesday of last week on their return home.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, July 25, 1902, page 3
Miss Carrie Beekman left Monday for Portland, where in company with her brother, B. B. Beekman, they will leave for a tour of the Yellowstone Park.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, August 1, 1902, page 3
C. C. Beekman and wife left the latter part of the week for Portland.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, August 8, 1902, page 3
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Beekman have returned from Portland, where Mr. Beekman went to attend a meeting of the regents of the state university.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, August 15, 1902, page 3
Miss Carrie Beekman has gone to San Francisco for an extended visit.
"Jacksonville News," Medford Mail, August 29, 1902, page 3
CORNELIUS C. BEEKMAN. No name in Southern Oregon is better known than that of Cornelius C. Beekman, who for more than half a century has been closely identified with its commercial, financial and political status, and through his many years of experience has become known as one of the leading financiers of the Northwest. While contributing to his own success, Mr. Beekman has not been unmindful of the best interests of his adopted county and state, and with a true patriotic spirit he has contributed towards the furtherance of all enterprises intended to promote the peace and prosperity of the community wherein he has so long resided. In the commercial world Mr. Beekman is best known through his long connection with Wells, Fargo & Co., one of the oldest institutions of the West, while in financial circles he is known through his many years of service as a private banker.
The Beekman family came originally from New Jersey, which was the birthplace of Cornelius Beekman, the grandfather, and of Benjamin B. Beekman, the father of Cornelius C. Cornelius Beekman moved from New Jersey to New York City, where he spent the last years of his life. Benjamin B. Beekman removed from New Jersey to Yates County, N.Y., in 1830, and became a successful contractor and builder. He died there in 1879, in the age of seventy-six years. He married Lydia Compton, who was born in New Jersey and who died in Dundee, Yates County, N.Y., at the age of eighty-five years and six months.
Cornelius C. Beekman was born in New York City, January 27, 1828, receiving in his youth a limited education in the common schools of his native state. When quite a young man he was apprenticed to learn the carpenter's trade and was thus equipped to earn his own livelihood. In 1850 he came west via the Isthmus of Panama, arriving in San Francisco in the fall of the same year. He went at once to Sawyer's Bar, where he engaged in mining, going from there to Yreka and later to Scotts Bar, where he continued his search after the precious metal. In 1853 he returned to Yreka, Cal., and entered the office of Cram, Rogers & Co., who shortly afterwards sent him to Jacksonville, Ore., as their representative at that point. About 1854 Cram, Rogers & Co. closed their office at Crescent City, Cal., transferring their agent at that point to Jacksonville, and Mr. Beekman was put upon the road as traveling express messenger, in which position he remained until the failure of Adams & Co. in 1856, which also caused the failure of Cram, Rogers & Co.
Mr. Beekman then engaged in business for himself until the stage road was built in 1863, and Wells, Fargo & Co. completed their overland connections with Portland, Ore. He then accepted the position as agent for Wells, Fargo & Co. at Jacksonville, with which office he is still connected. During the past forty years many thousands of dollars have passed through his hands, and the responsibility which his position entails has indeed been great, but with keen business judgment and conservative methods Mr. Beekman has always brought about the most satisfactory results. In 1857 he opened a private banking business, which has contributed no little amount to his financial success, buying gold dust for many years and receiving no deposits until his association with Thomas G. Reames in 1887. Since the death of his partner, in 1900, Mr. Beekman has conducted the business alone. Mr. Beekman has also been connected with many other important business enterprises of Jackson County, in all of which he has put forth his reserved force and power and has clearly demonstrated his ability to lead in all matters of commercial and political moment. He was one of the original incorporators, and is now serving as president of the Jackson County Land Association, which has in its control large tracts of land in Southern Oregon.
In his political affiliations Mr. Beekman has always been a staunch supporter of the principles of the Republican Party. His earnestness and honesty of purpose soon became evident to the citizens of Jacksonville and at many different times he has been called upon to serve the public interests, serving as mayor of the city and many times as a member of the city council. In 1878 Mr. Beekman was the Republican nominee for Governor of Oregon, but was defeated by Hon. W. W. Thayer by only sixty-nine votes, and this in spite of the fact that he put forth no effort to accomplish his election. The cause of education has also found in Mr. Beekman a true and sincere friend, as well as a liberal contributor. He has served many years either as president or member of the school board and for fifteen years was a member of the board of regents of the State University at Eugene, Ore.
Mr. Beekman was united in marriage January 29, 1861, to Miss Julia Hoffman, who was born in Attica, Ind., the daughter of William Hoffman, a native of Baltimore, Md. He was an early settler of Indiana, and crossed the plains to Oregon in 1853, settling near Jacksonville, Jackson County, where he engaged in farming and merchandising, and served for several terms as clerk of this county. He died at the age of eighty-four years.
Mr. and Mrs. Beekman are the parents of two children. The son, Benjamin B., an attorney of Portland, Ore., graduated from the University of Oregon with the degree of B.A. and after teaching in that institution for one year received the degree A.M. He next entered the Yale Law School, from which he was duly graduated with the degree of LL.B. The daughter, Caroline C. Beekman, who is at home with her parents, is a graduate of Mill's Seminary.
In his fraternal associations Mr. Beekman is an honored member of Warren Lodge No. 10 A.F.&A.M., of which he was elected master for twelve consecutive years, and has long been a member of Oregon Chapter No. 4 R.A.M., in which he is now serving as Royal Arch captain and treasurer.
In making a permanent record of the lives of the builders of the commercial fabric of the Northwest, it is but just that Mr. Beekman should be given a place in the front rank. His life has been one of labor, and while ascending the ladder of fortune he has ever been mindful of the rights and privileges of others, endeavoring at all times to emulate the teachings of the Golden Rule. His seventy-five years are crowned with all that makes life worth living, and he is respected most where he is best known--the highest tribute paid to man.
Portrait and Biographical Record of Western Oregon, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, 1904, pages 207-208
Death in Bath Last Night of a Prominent Citizen.
(Special to the Telegram.)
Bath., N.Y., Jan. 28.--John Beekman died at his home, No. 117 Liberty Street, at 9:30 o'clock tonight. Mr. Beekman was one of Bath's oldest residents and was highly respected by all who knew him, and while his death was not unexpected, yet the announcement that he had passed away proved a shock to the community in which he lived so long. Mr. Beekman's last illness dates back nine weeks ago tomorrow morning, when he was attacked while eating breakfast at the home of his brother, Dewitt Beekman, in Dundee, N.Y., where he was visiting. He remained there until January 9, when he was removed to his house here. Two weeks ago yesterday he suffered a relapse and most of the time since had been in a stupor. During last night he fell into absolute unconsciousness and remained in that state until his death, which was due to arterial sclerosis, brought on by complication of the kidneys, the immediate cause being meningitis. At his bedside when he died were his two brothers, Abram Beekman, of Bath, and Cornelius Beekman, of Jacksonville, Ore., Fred M. Gifford and wife, and his niece, Mrs. Grace Parker. His was an active, upright and honest life. Born in Dundee, N.Y., on March 9, 1832, the third son of Benjamin B. Beekman, John Beekman came to Bath in 1854 and entered into co-partnership with his brother, Abram Beekman, for the manufacture of sash and blinds under the firm name of A. & J. Beekman. The firm continued until the year 1869, when it was dissolved, and John Beekman erected the Beekman block of business stores on the north side of Liberty Street, which for many years thereafter, or until 1885, marked the northern boundary of the business houses on that side of Liberty Street. Mr. Beekman continued to rent his stores up to the time of his death, and the Beekman block is one of the most substantial and conveniently located in the town. In 1879 he went into partnership with Charles S. Brownell in the hardware business, which was continued in one of the stores in his block, now occupied by the Rich Clothing Store. He continued in the C. S. Brownell & Co. hardware business for five years, since which time he had lived a retired life. Mr. Beekman, although besought to accept political honors and offices under the town and village government, he could not be induced to accept any honors in a political way. He was a public-spirited citizen and always evinced a keen interest in the welfare and advancement of his adopted village. His death will prove a great loss to the community. He was twice married, his first wife, Miss Elizabeth Disbrow, daughter of the late Caleb Disbrow, of Bath, having been dead for many years. In his second marriage he married Helen Ackerson Gifford, daughter of Charles Ackerson, of Bath, who with a stepson, Fred N. Gifford, and three brothers, Cornelius C., of Jacksonville, Ore., Abram, of Bath, and Dewitt Beekman, of Dundee, and a sister, Mrs. Lydia Seeley, of Dundee, survive him, also several nephews and nieces.
No arrangements about the funeral have been completed.
Elmira Telegram, Elmira, New York, January 29, 1905, page 7
The Will of John Beekman of Bath Admitted to Probate.
Bath, Feb. 6.--The will of the late John Beekman, of this village, has been admitted to probate by surrogate Monroe Wheeler. The estate is a large one, and the provisions of the will in substance are that Cornelius Beekman, of Oregon, Abram Beekman, of Bath, and Dewitt Beekman, of Dundee, brothers of the testator, are to receive the property equally divided, after his widow receives $20,000, Mrs. Carrie Cummings $2,000 and Mrs. Sarah Rolfe $5,000.
Mrs. Beekman also receives the income from the rents of the Beekman building while she lives. She also has the use of the residence during her life, or in place of it can accept $3,000.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, February 7, 1905, page 4
"I am a pioneer, but I am not looking for any credit for settling up the country. I didn't come out here for the benefit of the nation or the people of the following generation, but instead made the trip for the purpose of benefiting myself. If I passed through any hardships it was on my own accord and because I couldn't help it. Things were different in those days from what they are now, of course, but the people had a good time in spite of all, and they are still having a better time telling of their experiences, many of which never happened at all."
"Pioneer of Jacksonville," Oregonian, Portland, August 12, 1906, page 8
BENJAMIN B. BEEKMAN.Residence, Hotel Portland; office, 308 Commercial Block, Portland. Born August 3, 1863, at Jacksonville, Oregon. Son of Cornelius C. and Julia Elizabeth (Hoffman) Beekman. Received his education at the public schools of Jacksonville, at the University of Oregon, from which he graduated in 1884 with the degree of A.B., and later at Yale University, from which institution he graduated in 1888 with the degree of LL.B. Was admitted to the bar of the state of Connecticut June 27, 1888, and to the bar of Oregon March 5, 1889. Was associated in the practice of his profession with Edward B. Watson and James F. Watson, under the firm name of Watson, Beekman & Watson, from 1893 to 1897, having been previously associated with Judge R. G. Morrow from 1890 to 1893. Upon the decease of James F. Watson, in 1897, the firm name became Watson & Beekman, and continues so to date. Member Company K, Oregon National Guard, 1889-1892. Instructor Agency in Law School, University of Oregon, 1907 to date. Member University Club, Portland Commercial Club, Oregon Chapter, Sous of American Revolution, Oregon Commandery, No. 1, Knights Templar, Oregon Consistory, No. 1, A. and A. Scottish Rite, Al Kader Temple, Mystic Shrine. Republican.
History of the Bench and Bar of Oregon, 1910, page 88
Beekman Sells $25,000 Farm.
MEDFORD, Or., April 12.--(Special.)--C. C. Beekman, of Jacksonville, sold 960 acres of land, which is well adapted for orchards, to Benton Bowers, of Ashland, for $25,000. The land is near Eagle Point.
Oregonian, Portland, April 13, 1910, page 6
The death of Mrs. Lydia Seeley occurred in her home on Main Street Tuesday night at the age of 76 years. She had always resided here, having been born in the same house in which she died. She leaves two brothers, T. Dewitt Beekman, of this village, and Cornelius Beekman, of California; also three daughters, Mrs. Edric Dailey, of this village; Mrs. Mott Bennett, of Aberdeen, and Mrs. Kaufman, of New York.
"Dundee," Penn Yan Democrat, Penn Yan, New York, July 29, 1910, page 8
BANKER, PONY EXPRESS RIDER IN EARLY DAYS
C. C. Beekman, While Transporting Gold Dust, Carried Telegraphic Dispatches
for Privilege of Reading Them.
If a stranger should find himself on the main street of the quaint, historic mining town of Jacksonville, Or., on some evening during the fall harvest season, he should hunt along the dark thoroughfare until he spied an illuminated window through which he could see an aged, silvery-haired man busy over an antiquated shoulder-high desk. This old gentleman, seen through the window throughout the day and, when the harvest rush demands it, late into the night, is C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker of Southern Oregon, and, as a young man, rider of the "pony express" into California.
Mr. Beekman, as the president and mainstay of his bank, is one of the few Oregon pioneers of the early '50s still at the helm in active business. Although the demands upon a banker in peaceful Jacksonville one would not suppose to be of the nature that wear and grind, you are apt to find Mr. Beekman too busy to talk if you come for the expressed purpose of interviewing him concerning pioneer days. But if you slip quietly into a chair by the stove in the back of the bank, where like as not a few oldtimers are likewise deposited, and listen to the talk, stimulated by a question now and then, you will learn much concerning the history of Southern Oregon, in the days of Jacksonville's mining prosperity, when pack train and "pony express" were in vogue rather than locomotive and automobile.
Mr. Beekman came from his home in the state of New York by way of the Isthmus in 1852, and in May 1853 was employed by Cram, Rogers & Co., a branch of the Adams Express Co., to carry gold dust from Jacksonville over the Siskiyou Mountains to Yreka, Cal. For ten years Mr. Beekman pursued his precarious and responsible business, and, although he made two round trips each week, and all told handled $5,000,000 worth of gold dust, never once was he molested by hostile Indians or criminal whites.
It was Mr. Beekman who carried the Civil War news dispatches from the end of the telegraph wire at Yreka to Jacksonville on their way to The Oregonian. The dispatches which reached Portland in this circuitous manner, when published in The Oregonian, gave Portland and the entire Northwest the best intelligence of the battles and campaigns of the war. The news of the Civil War which The Oregonian contained made it eagerly sought throughout the "Oregon Country" and gave a tremendous boost to its circulation.
Two other papers, as well as The Oregonian, had been accustomed to receive dispatches from Yreka, but because of the unimportance of the news received prior to the breaking out of the Civil War, had stopped the service as not being worth the expense. Just six days before The Oregonian's own contract ended, Mr. Beekman hurried for the mountains with the startling news of the first battle of Bull Run. After this, Civil War events came thick and fast, and The Oregonian succeeded in renewing its contract.
The operator, who received $30 a month from The Oregonian and part of the time from the other two papers for copying the dispatches, was surprised to find out later that he was breaking the rules of the telegraph company employing him. He was discharged and sued for damages by the owners of the wire after he had been the dispatcher for more than a year. By this time other and quicker lines of communication into the Northwest had been opened. During the middle of the Civil War the two ends of the first northern continental railroad met at Ogden, and with it came the telegraph line to Portland.
Mr. Beekman's pay for carrying the dispatches consisted of the privilege of reading them. His arrivals at the scattered roadhouses and at Jacksonville during the war became events of great interest. Jackson County in prebellum days was Democratic "dyed in the wool," and during the war the secessionists were no mean minority. The issues were hotly contested and the wonder was that there was not open warfare. When Mr. Beekman carried to Jacksonville the sad news of the assassination of President Lincoln, ardent secessionists caused a riot in their hilarity. Peace was restored only after the miscreants had been lodged in jail.
In 1852, when Mr. Beekman first took on his duties as rider of the "pony express" between Yreka and Jacksonville, which were 65 miles apart, Cram, Rogers & Company had opened a line between Yreka and Shasta, now Redding, a distance of 110 miles. From Shasta through Sacramento to San Francisco the main express company, Adams & Co., was operating a line. Before long, Wells, Fargo & Co. started a competing line between Shasta and San Francisco. In 1856 Adams & Co., with its branch, Cram, Rogers & Co., became bankrupt, and Wells, Fargo & Co. extended its line from Shasta to Yreka. Mr. Beekman operated independently between Yreka and Jacksonville after the decease of Cram, Rogers & Co. until well on in the '60s, when Wells, Fargo & Co. extended its lines to Portland.
Mr. Beekman, of course, could not carry wheat along with his pack of gold dust to and fro between Jacksonville and Yreka, but he was called on to do much dickering over this useful commodity for people at the California end of his route. One day in the fall of 1854, riding to the door of the mill at Ashland owned by his friend, E. K. Anderson, and W. Hillman, on behalf of the Roger brothers, who were operating mule trains between Yreka and Sacramento, Mr. Beekman offered them 13 cents a pound for 75,000 pounds of wheat which they had stored in their warehouse. The Roger brothers desired to rest and fatten several trains of their mules which had become jaded from overwork, and, knowing of the fine pasture that existed in the Rogue River Valley, desired to send them there if they could get flour to "backload" them with. As Mr. Beekman expresses it, Anderson and his partner, Hillman, suspected that there was "a nigger in the woodpile" and held for 15 cents a pound. The outcome of the matter was that the millers were forced to hold their wheat until the next summer, then pack it to Redding at the expense of 4 cents a pound, and sell there at 3 cents. This entailed to them a loss of nearly $7000.
When the Shastas or their neighbors, the Rogue River Indians, were up in arms or in a quasi-rebellious state, Mr. Beekman was in the habit of traveling over the Siskiyou Mountains at night. This precaution is undoubtedly responsible for his freedom from redskin assaults, as it is against Indian nature to be astir in the dark. Mr. Beekman would ride from Jacksonville to the Mountain House on this side of the Siskiyous, eat his supper there and then saddle a fresh mount and make his way in the dark to Byron Cole's, on the California side, a distance of 14 miles.
The question has often been asked Mr. Beekman, by those aware of the rocky ruggedness of the Siskiyous, how he was able to find his way in the dark and escape falling over precipices, which were on every hand. His answer has been that the mules he rode, after once becoming familiar with the trail, would hold their heads next to the ground and follow it without fail.
Although Mr. Beekman usually traversed the mountains in the dark, this was not always the case. The narrowest escape that he had from the Indians was on September 25, 1855. At the summit of the Siskiyous he met 14 or 15 Indians, who allowed him to pass unmolested in order to surprise the drivers of three wagons loaded with flour from Waits Mill at Phoenix, which were within sound of a crack of a whip behind him. One of the three drivers, Calvin M. Fields, and an 18-year-old youth named Cunningham, who was passing with an empty wagon, were killed by the Indians. The youth, however, was only slaughtered by the Indians after a chase, his body being found next day in a hollow tree where he had vainly tried to hide. John Walker, who led a company of men after the Indians, found in Klamath County the body of a buck clothed with the hickory shirt which young Cunningham had worn at the time of his death. The redskin had been killed by his fellow tribesmen as the result of a quarrel. Ever since this particular region has been known as the Dead Indian Country.
The drivers of two of the wagons, Oatman and Brittain, escaped.
The men killed that day have been nearly forgotten and the survivors of the ambuscade, except Mr. Beekman, have since died, but the 9000 pounds of flour and the 24 oxen destroyed that day have not been forgotten, as is evidenced by the fact that the widow of their owner, S. M. Wait, is now preparing to demand that Uncle Sam pay for what his wards destroyed. Mrs. Wait, during the past month, went to Ashland from her home in Washington, where she has lived for 52 years, in pursuit of information upon which to base her claim.
In 1860 the toll road over the Siskiyous had been built. In this year a stage line was opened between Crescent City and Jacksonville and the Oregon & California State Company began operating a line of coaches between San Francisco and Portland, making the trip in 11 or 12 days. The building of these wagon roads was a great boon to Jacksonville and the northern California towns. Prices of imported foodstuffs, clothing and other necessities were greatly reduced. Glass, instead of cloth and oiled paper, came into use for windows. The opening of the stages caused as much excitement as did the coming of the railroad in 1883 and 1884.
The building of the wagon roads signaled the departure of the mule trains, with their Mexican drivers, and of the heavy ox-drawn wagons, [and] last but not least, of the "pony express." The brigade of Mexican drivers either left the country or changed their vocation to that of driving stages, the oxen were used for beef, and Mr. Beekman, within a year or two, forsook the saddle for the stage seat, and the "pony express" was no more.
It should be noted that the express service carried on by Mr. Beekman for over ten years between Jacksonville and Yreka was a "pony" express in name only. The horses and mules which Mr. Beekman used were large, powerful animals, chosen for their ability to carry heavy loads with considerable speed. Mr. Beekman himself weighed only 125 pounds, but his pack generally contained 75 pounds of gold dust and other valuables. However heavy his load, in order to keep to his schedule of two round trips a week, Mr. Beekman was accustomed to travel the 65 miles between Jacksonville and Yreka in one day, using three mounts en route. One large Spanish horse that he rode cost him $1000, and his other animals were of the same grade.
When Wells, Fargo & Co. continued its line from Yreka to Portland in 1863 it employed Mr. Beekman as its agent at Jacksonville, which was at that time the leading trade center in Southern Oregon. This position Mr. Beekman held continuously for 43 years.
As early as 1856 Mr. Beekman entered into the banking business. He would either store gold dust for safekeeping in his vaults at Jacksonville, charging the rate of 1 percent a month for the service, or he would buy it outright and ship it to the mint.
Mr. Beekman, hale and hearty at the age of 84, is a remarkable character. He has been the recipient of many honors, all of which he bears in a modest way. At one time he was regent of the University of Oregon. While regent he established a fund, the interest of which forms a hundred-dollar oratorical prize each year for the senior class of the university. In 1878 he was nominated for governor by the Republicans. He lost by 41 votes on the official count by the board appointed by the Legislature. Mr. Beekman is a 32nd degree Mason and takes an active interest in Masonry. He was one of the charter members of the lodge at Jacksonville, from which all the other chapters of the order in Southern Oregon branched.
Oregonian, Portland, February 4, 1911, page B15
PIONEER BANKER QUITS.
C. C. Beekman of Jacksonville Will Give Up Active Work.
After more than fifty years of existence, the pioneer banking house of southern Oregon is to be closed in the near future, according to an announcement by C. C. Beekman, the pioneer banker at Jacksonville. When the banking house finally closes its door one of the most interesting landmarks of this section will pass into history. Mr. Beekman gives his reason for retirement his desire to quit active business. His announcement follows:
"Notice is hereby given that the undersigned, sole owner and proprietor of the Beekman Banking House, at Jacksonville, Ore., on account of advancing years, contemplates retiring from active banking business in the near future. All those having moneys on deposit in said bank or who have entrusted valuable documents or papers to its keeping are therefore requested to call and receive the same at their convenience. In this connection I desire to thank the many patrons of the bank for the long-continued trust and confidence and patronage extended to it during the course of the more than fifty years of its existence.--C. C. Beekman, Jacksonville, Ore."
Ashland Tidings, August 15, 1912, page 1
The Passing of Beekman's Bank
Jacksonville Landmark, Intimately Associated with Memories of Days Gone,
That, in Turn, Is to Exist Only in Memory.
Written for the Journal by Fred Lockley.
The notice that Beekman's bank is to close its doors will bring a pang of regret to every oldtimer. Beekman's bank is unique and peculiar. It is located at Jacksonville, Or.
A man's hand is not more intimately related to his arm nor his arm to his body than is Beekman's bank related to the history of Jacksonville, and its owner to the traditions and history of Southern Oregon. Jacksonville is like some old pioneer who sits, serene and untroubled by the door of his cabin in the day's afterglow and during the gathering twilight harks back to the old days--days of stress and turmoil, when the hot blood of youth drove red and strong through his veins--days that have gone to return no more except as mellowed memories in the tranquil Indian summer of life.
There is something elusive about Jacksonville. There is a subtle suggestion of familiarity which evades you. The empty business street drowsing in the midday heat--the weather-worn brick houses almost hidden from sight by the unrestrained luxuriance of the surrounding shade trees seem dimly familiar and vaguely reminiscent. Is it New Orleans--the old New Orleans--that it makes you think of? You almost expect to see the rusty iron trelliswork of the balconies and dark Creole eyes peering at you from behind partially closed shutters. Is it the old French quarter of Montreal with its air of antiquity and its suggestion of the past? You are haunted by the feeling that just around the corner is the solution of the mystery, but the turned corner reveals nothing. Mirage-like it leads you on.
Possibly, wraith-like and dim, the memories of other days--days long gone--throng the streets, days when Jacksonville was the largest city between Portland and San Francisco. But the Jacksonville of today lies dreaming of its past. Nature has resumed her sway. No sound of hammer or saw disturbs the perfect summer calm. Between the flagstones the grass ventures forth. The encircling foothills are clad with oak, laurel, manzanita and evergreen. Sitting on the bench in the shadow with the graybeards you may learn many picturesque details of the days when Jacksonville was a mining camp and when the now staid and respectable buildings echoed to song and revelry and at times to oath and pistol shot.
Reminiscent of Days Gone.
Entering Beekman's bank one is carried back from the era of automobiles and aeroplanes to the days of the stage coach and the pack train. Occupying the most prominent place on the worn wooden counter is a huge pair of gold scales. On the wall is an advertisement announcing the arrival and departure of the stage for California, while, hanging where they have hung for the past half century, are notices that are in perfect harmony with their surroundings, but seem oddly out of place in this day and age.
With frame discolored and covered with dust, its glass fly-specked and dirty, one reads the following announcement: "Notice, we will not carry double letters on single envelope stamps." Other signs look down at the customer of today, clad in his blue serge and Panama, as they looked down 50 years ago at the customer clad in flannel shirt, overalls and cowhide boots. "Gold dust shipped to the Atlantic states." "Sterling bills on the Union Bank of London and Royal Bank of Ireland, Dublin, drawn by Wells Fargo & Co., San Francisco." "Heavy letters not fully covered by stamps will not go forward." "Sight drafts payable in Brantford, Chatham, Hamilton, St. Catherines, Toronto and Canada, West."
As my eye flitted from sign to sign I saw someone step from behind the massive glass case containing the gold scales. It was as though a picture entitled "A gentleman of the old school," painted by one of the old masters, had stepped down from out of its frame. Soberly clad in black with immaculate linen, figure erect, hair and beard of silvery gray, with eye clear and kindly, he asked, "Did you wish to see me?"
I nodded assent and said, "I thought I would drop in and see when the stage for California is due to leave."
He took off his tortoise-rimmed glasses, looked at me earnestly and said, "If you want to step back through the years, you have come to the right place. This is the booking office for such a trip. Time has gone on, but we have let it go. We have not tried to keep step with it here in Jacksonville."
"Your bank and your bank furniture, Mr. Beekman, certainly take one back to the old days," I said, as I pointed to the gold scales and tallow candle in its metal candlestick and the worn counter.
An Historic Bench.
"Yes, I presume that you would hardly call the bank nor its furniture modern. That bench beside you I had made in 1852--60 years ago. It is hacked and whittled and worn. Thousands of passengers have sat there while waiting for the stage to leave. If that old bench could tell all it has heard and witnessed it could tell some pretty interesting things. Frequently strangers bustle in here, glance at the old registers of passengers or the old Wells Fargo records, see the old signs and the worn furniture and think they have gotten in the wrong place and that this is not a bank, but they are newcomers--strangers. What they think doesn't matter, I neither solicit nor desire their custom. Many of my customers have been on my books for more than 56 years and yet if they were asked to, they could not fill out a check. They come here and hand me their money to keep. When they need any they drop in and ask for $20 or $50 and say, 'Set that down against my account.' I don't speculate or live very riotously and my customers know that their money is always here for them. In 1873 and again in 1893, as well as in 1907, some of the banks felt pretty uneasy. They didn't have the money in their vaults to pay their obligations, and if Governor Chamberlain hadn't established bank holidays, there would have been a lot of banks go out of business, and even with that they had to issue certificates of deposit, and the bankers lost a lot of sleep as well as their customers. Anybody who had any money here could come and get it, but none of them did. One or two of my old-time customers asked me if I was all right and if I needed any money. I told them I could pay everybody and have considerable money left, so the only way we knew there was a panic here was by reading about it in the papers.
"Yes, I am getting along in years. I an 84 years old. I was agent for the Wells Fargo company for 43 years continuously; I was appointed in 1863. When I was 21 years old they discovered gold in California. Next year I landed in San Francisco. The day after I landed I secured a job at $18 a day at carpenter work. In 1852 I came to Jacksonville, and I have been here ever since.
"I have weighed enough gold on those gold scales to make a good many men pretty wealthy. Yes, it looks pretty big. This brass scale weight here weighs 200 ounces, and yet the scales are so delicate that, as you see, my breath will depress the scale pan. They are full jeweled and were made by Howard & Davis of Boston.
"Gold doesn't grow, at least in the span of one man's lifetime, so when you take it out of the ground it is gone. Some gold comes in yet, but very little. Here and there in the hills are a few of the old-time prospectors still wandering with their pick and shovel and gold pan. There was a time when there were over 1000 prospectors in the hills around here, but the old days are gone, and most of the oldtimers with them. They have gone over the long trail.
"Here are a few ounces of dust I bought last week, and here are a handful of nuggets one of the oldtimers brought in and sold me a few days ago. Wait and I will show you some of our old-time gold."
He came back from the safe with a gold scoop in which were several double handfuls of dull yellow metal. As I picked up the nuggets, one after another, he told me their approximate weights.
"That little one weighs four ounces. That one you have in your hands now weighs a trifle more than $250. Those larger pieces of heavy red ore are not gold. They are cinnabar--they run about 70 percent of quicksilver. The Indians in the early days knew of a cinnabar vein. They crushed the ore, mixed it with grease and used it for paint. A party of braves in the early days went there to get some paint. They camped near the depot and built a little fire on the cinnabar ledge. The Indians you know build a small fire and hover over it. In hovering over the fire the fumes of the quicksilver rose and salivated several of them. After that they would never go back to the cinnabar deposit. They said the Great Spirit was angry at their disturbing the earth, and he made their teeth loose as a sign of his displeasure.
"That sign about not carrying double letters under single envelope stamp? Well, I'll tell you how that was. In the old days, Wells Fargo used to carry letters. Then Congress passed a law that United States postage stamps must be attached. We used to charge 50 cents for transporting a letter in addition to the United States postage. We did not cancel the United States postage stamps, so that when a letter arrived at its destination the stamps would be removed and used again. Then Congress passed a law that letters could only be sent in stamped envelopes so the postage could not be used again and finally forbade the transportation of letters entirely by the express companies.
"Speaking of curious things. Did you ever see any of the early gold coins called beaver money? Or any of the coins made for the Philippine Islands, or did you ever happen to see any of the recent coins issued by the government, three of which are equal to a dollar?"
I responded that I never had, and that I would like very much to see the United States coins, three of which made a dollar. Mr. Beekman very gravely handed me a silver 50-cent piece and two silver quarters. I looked up rather puzzled and saw a twinkle in his eye.
"You didn't think an old man like me had a trick like that up his sleeve, did you? Yes, a 50-cent piece and two quarters usually make a dollar, don't they?" And I had to join in his laughter at my own expense.
At Helms' Saloon.
Go to Helms' saloon and you will see some of the memories of the early days in his cabinet, old guns and revolvers that have killed their man, cartoons and caricatures of Lincoln, wartime souvenirs, Indian curios and other flotsam and jetsam of the early days.
Tip your chair back against the wall and you will get enough copy to fill a notebook. "Do you remember the dago that used to be so close?" asked one.
"Don't believe I do," responds one of the ancient fraternity.
"Oh, yes you do, don't you remember the night we all got to teasing him about being so stingy because he would not set up the drinks and he got mad and said 'What-a hell the matter with you? I showa you I not stingy,' and taking his poke with over $700 worth of dust, he scattered it as far as he could throw it into the dusty road."
"Oh, yes, I remember, and do you remember how we shoveled up the dust out of the road and panned it out the next day?"
The names of one after another of the oldtimers are brought up as the talk goes on--men whose names have been dim on their gravestones for the past score of years.
"It seems too bad that Mr. Beekman is to close his bank," I ventured. "Has he laid by enough to take care of himself in comfort?"
Dropped jaws are succeeded by broken laughter.
"Has he laid by enough to take care of himself?" repeats one of the graybeards. And again there is a chorus of laughter. "Why, he's got so much money he don't know what to do with it. Some of these oldtimers have gone in to get their money that they have had there for a dozen or a score of years and he hands them out the identical wad of money tied with the same strip of calico or string that they tied it up with when they left it there. Why, Mr. Beekman could give away a million dollars and have enough left to live comfortably for 84 more years." And then the graybeards turn back the current of the talk once more to some incident that happened before the Indian war of '55 or the high water of '61.
The Tranquil Days Pass.
And so the tranquil days of Jacksonville's Indian summer pass. The turmoil and the stress, the confusion and the activity are a part of the past. On her brick buildings you may see such signs as "J. A. Brunner & Bro., 1855," which carries us back to a time when Portland didn't have many brick buildings. Where the yellow metal shone dully in the sluice box, now glows redly the Flame Tokay. Where the long tom separated from the auriferous gravel the yellow gold you may now see glowing dully among the leaves the yellow D'Anjous or Bartletts.
Jacksonville dwells in her past, but someday Jacksonville will be rediscovered and more gold will be taken from her fertile hillsides by the orchardist than ever the placer miner took in the old days.
With a climate that is ideal, surroundings that are surpassingly beautiful and with a soil peculiarly adapted to fruit culture, Jacksonville will yet be heard from.
Oregon Journal, Portland, October 6, 1912, page 53
O. H. Barnhill, Who Is Serving on the Jury at the County Seat, Writes.
It is with a sense of relief that the county seat visitor, on official business bent, turns from the busy courtroom, where the air is befogged with tobacco smoke and legal technicalities, to a quiet contemplation of the surrounding city. Jacksonville resembles an old-fashioned new England village, some of the houses having fireplace chimneys and small-paned windows, the roofs greened over with the moss of many years. It is said that some of the oldest inhabitants have moss on their north sides, but this is only hearsay. These oldtimers love to sit in sunny places and slowly consume plugs of eating tobacco, while they recall the stirring days of sixty years ago, when Jacksonville was a wild and woolly western mining camp, the chief city of Southern Oregon. It was only a couple of years after the forty-niners made their memorable rush for the California diggings that gold was discovered near Jacksonville, since which time ten million dollars' worth of the yellow metal has been taken from the bosom of mother earth in Southern Oregon. That is the estimate of C. C. Beekman, Jacksonville's venerable banker and most notable figure. Coming to this place ten years before the Civil War began, he carried the mail from Yreka, traveling by night to avoid the Indians. While engaged in this and various other enterprises young Beekman lived a clean and frugal life, saving his money until enabled to start a bank, which he is still operating, although now in his 85th year. The Beekman Bank is the oldest business house between Yreka and Salem and is worthy of being preserved by the state historical society as an interesting relic of pioneer days. The first object to catch the visitor's eye is a huge brass balance scales which cost $1,000 and is so nicely adjusted on its jeweled bearings that it will turn at a quarter of a grain, yet is large enough to weigh several pounds. Hanging on the wall are framed signs which seem strangely out of date in this day and age. "Gold dust shipped to the Atlantic states and insured." There is a large steel engraving, appropriately inscribed, advertising a stagecoach line. The Wells, Fargo Express Company has had an agency here for more than forty years. There is an old wooden bench that has been in continuous use by patrons of the bank since 1855. There is no metal screen above the counter, and it was with difficulty that the writer convinced one of Ashland's leading business men that this quaint little shop was really a bank. As a matter of fact it is one of the safest and solidest financial institutions of Oregon. Panics come and panics go, but Beekman's Bank remained undisturbed.
The present discounting of county warrants reminds Mr. Beekman of Civil War times, when greenbacks were bought at 40 to 90 cents on the dollar. From the cavernous recesses of the ancient, stone-walled vault a number of golden nuggets were produced, some of them curiously shaped and worth $200 each.
As the aged banker slowly performed his self-allotted tasks, talking interestingly of pioneer days, I asked the good old man why he did not retire from active business.
"I've tried to," he replied, "but they won't let me, these oldtimers. They know nothing about checks, passbooks and the new way of doing business. They insist that I stay here and hand them their money whenever they want it, as I've always done."
Jacksonville has four saloons, which means that it is far more plentifully supplied with these hellholes than is Medford, population considered. Much of the poverty and destitution here is doubtless directly due to these booze joints, which give nothing of value in return for the many thousands of dollars which they take from the people every year.
There is an old brewery, which now stands idle, the local red-noses preferring to drink Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee infamous, or some other outside brew. This is a good place to controvert that old chestnut about there being no more drinking and drunkenness in a saloon town than in a prohibition place. The writer hasn't seen a drunken man during the three years he has resided in Ashland, yet observed one the first day he came to the county seat. Another day a farmer was observed driving home with a load of tile, so drunk that a bystander remarked that there wouldn't be much tile left at the end of the journey. However, brighter days are in store for Jacksonville. The better half of its citizens now have the ballot, and the splendid victory which their Ashland sisters recently won over the forces of evil has put new courage into the reform element here. Jackson County saloons may make their last stand at this place, where for more than half a century they have debauched and robbed the people, but the chances are that within a few years the infamous traffic will be relegated to the realm of past evils.
During the past year or so Jacksonville has taken on a new lease of life. Several blocks of cement sidewalk have been laid, a fine brick business block erected, and a splendid school house built on a hill which overlooks the town and valley, an ideal site for an educational institution. This is one step toward the attainment of that ideal, "A school house on the hill and no saloons in the valley." The semi-annual teachers' examinations are being held here this week, some fifty pedagogues, present and prospective, being put through the sweat-box. The writer has given a list of over 200 questions, some of which would puzzle even an editor, which the teachers are struggling to answer correctly.
Jacksonville has the cleanest, prettiest, most attractive, orderly and best-kept post office in the state. It is really a marvel along all these lines and reflects great credit upon its master, John Miller. Not a speck of dirt, dust or litter can be found anywhere. The woodwork is all varnished and kept spotlessly clean. The walls are decorated with pictures and hunting specimens, while plants and shrubs adorn the windows, lobby and office interior. There is a good-sized lemon tree bearing many ripe fruits, one of which is handed to every patron who gets gay. The office is now in mourning, owing to the death Thursday morning of Mrs. Miller, who did much to help her husband magnify his calling.
O. H. BARNHILL.Ashland Tidings, December 23, 1912, page 8
Oregon's Account with Banker BeekmanOne of the first men to heed Horace Greeley's famous "Go West" advice was Cornelius C. Beekman, a young New Jersey carpenter. Crossing the Isthmus in 1850, at the age of twenty-two, he found employment in San Francisco at his trade until he had saved a small stake, after which he went to Yreka, where gold had been discovered on Sawyer's Bar. In 1852 he was sent by the Cram-Rogers Company--a branch of the Adams Express Company--to take care of their business at Jacksonville, Oregon, a new placer-mining camp.
For ten years twice-a-week trips were made between the two towns, which were sixty-five miles apart. One stormy March twenty-six trips were made, twenty hours out of every twenty-four being spent in the saddle in order to cover the necessary average of 110 miles per day. Three horses were always used in making the sixty-five-mile trip. One was an imported Spanish charger costing $1,000, that could be ridden in a gallop eight or ten miles at a stretch. The fourteen-mile lap over the Siskiyou Mountains was always made at night, to avoid the Indians.
Although $5,000 to $10,000 worth of gold was often carried, young Beekman was never "held up" by either whites or reds. His narrowest escape occurred one day in September, '55, when he passed close by a band of war-painted savages who were hiding behind a fallen tree, waiting for an approaching freight-train. The crack of the teamsters' whips could be plainly heard on the still mountain air. One of the drivers, a young man named Cunningham, was killed by the Indians, who captured the twenty-four oxen and the 9,000 pounds of flour which they were hauling from the mill at Phoenix, Ore., to the mining camps of northern California. One of the teamsters who escaped never stopped running until he reached Cole's place, several miles distant, arriving so hot and thirsty that he foundered himself by drinking a bucket of water. Colestin, the popular watering place in the Siskiyous, was named after this roadhouse.
While "riding the pony express," thousands of letters were carried by the Jacksonville agent, who was paid one dollar per letter for this service. Telegraphic messages were also relayed on their way to Portland. News of the Battle of Bull Run, so disastrous to the Union forces, created consternation among the "black abolitionists," who were largely outnumbered in the Oregon country by Southern sympathizers. A party of the latter at Jacksonville perfected a plot to seize a steamboat at Crescent City and turn it into a Rebel pirate ship, but the nefarious enterprise was exposed by one of their own number.
The company for which he was working becoming bankrupt in '56, young Cornelius operated independently until '63, when he became agent for the Wells-Fargo Co., which position he held for forty-three years.
Mr. Beekman began doing a banking business in 1856, three years later erecting the building which he has occupied continuously ever since, more than half a century. This little wooden structure is a veritable Old Curiosity Shop. Framed signs upon the walls bear such announcements as:
"Gold Dust Received and Forwarded for Coinage to the U.S. Mint."
"Sterling Bills on the Bank of London and the Royal Bank of Ireland."
"Notice: We will not Recognize any Claim for Coin short in Packages unless Examined in the Presence of Our Agents before Leaving the Counter. Wells-Fargo Co."
A large steel engraving of a handsome coach drawn by four splendid horses, with the words underneath, "California Stage Co.," is all the remaining evidence that the bank was also a booking station for the California-Oregon stage, which used to make the 700-mile journey between Sacramento and Portland in eleven days. There is an old wooden bench, still in use, which the then young banker made more than sixty years ago. It is black with age and much whittled and worn by the thousands of passengers who sat upon it while waiting for the stage. Another interesting relic is an ancient balance for weighing gold dust, large enough to weigh $4,000 worth of the yellow metal at once, yet so finely adjusted upon its jeweled bearings as to be turned by the tiniest grain of dust. This scales cost $1,000 and is kept in a huge glass case.
From the cavernous recesses of the old stone vault, hoary with age, the venerable banker brings forth samples of dust and nuggets--one of the latter worth $250--which he used to handle in ye olden times. No account was kept of the total amount of precious metal panned out of the surrounding hills, but it is estimated at something over $10,000,000 worth. The Sterling Mine, located a few miles south of town, is still a good producer, being valued at several hundred thousand dollars.
For more than a year the Beekman Bank has been trying to close up its business, but many of the old customers refuse to remove their deposits. They have the fullest confidence in the man who for so many years has cared for their property and are unfamiliar with the modern methods of other banks. The financial panics of '73, '93 and '07 never fazed this old bank, which loaned large sums to other banks to help them stem the tides of uneasy depositors besieging their doors.
In the golden days of yore there were opportunities for making big money, but the risks were correspondingly great, since law and property rights had not yet been firmly established. The interest rate in the 'Fifties was 5 percent a month, later dropping to 3 percent, at which figure it remained for a long time. Depositors of gold dust were charged i percent for safekeeping of their treasure and 5 percent for transporting it to Sacramento. Greenbacks were bought and sold, many being discounted 50 percent. When the young carpenter came west he had his stake set at $3,000, expecting to return home when he had accumulated that amount of money. But when he had saved up that sum it didn't look so big, so he kept on adding to it until now he is practically a millionaire.
In 1878 Mr. Beekman was induced to become the Republican candidate for governor of Oregon, being defeated by only sixty-nine votes. His friends say he was counted out and urged him to contest the election. This he refused to do, not caring for the office and having no liking for politics. He has been mayor of Jacksonville, president of the local school board and was for fifteen years a regent of the state university. His son, Benjamin B. Beekman, is a graduate of the last-named institution and is now a practicing attorney in Portland. A daughter, Miss Caroline Beekman, lives at home with her parents.
At the unusual age of eighty-six, Mr. Beekman continues to personally supervise his banking business, although most of the clerical work is performed by his cashier, Henry G. Dox. He takes a lively interest in every movement for the betterment of the community and the country at large, being especially active in the cause of education and good roads. He took a prominent part in the campaign which resulted in Jackson County voting $500,000 bonds for the extension of the Pacific Highway across her borders, and made a striking figure at a recent booster meeting at Medford, where representatives from all parts of the Rogue River Valley met to plan for the installation of an exhibit at Ashland, the gateway city of Oregon, during the Panama-Pacific Exposition.
Asked what advice he would give the present generation, as the result of his long life and successful business career, the aged financier replied:
"Live temperately and quietly, dealing honestly with all men. Avoid carousing and fast living. Save your money. Don't gamble or speculate. Keep your spoon out of the other fellow's mush and attend strictly to your own business. Credit comes from confidence, and our lives must be such as will inspire the respect and esteem of others."
O. H. Barnhill.Sunset magazine, March 1914, page 632
Cornelius C. Beekman, an Adams express rider of 1852, with headquarters at Jacksonville, Ore., has been for 57 years a bank president of that town, a record probably not equaled in banking circles in this country. He went to California in 1850. In 1859 he erected at Jacksonville the building which he has occupied ever since as a banking establishment. He cares little for politics, but has been mayor of his town and was for 15 years a regent of the state university. In spite of his eighty-six years he continues to superintend personally his banking business.
"Scraps," The Anaconda Standard, Anaconda, Montana, April 13, 1914, page 8
Reunion of Sisters.
Mrs. M. H. Vining and Mrs. G. M. Grainger were the guests of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Beekman at their home in Jacksonville last Friday. The occasion was the reunion of the five daughters of the late William Hoffman, all pioneers of '53. They were: Mrs. M. H. Vining of Ashland, Mrs. C. C. Beekman of Jacksonville, Mrs. George B. Dorris of Eugene, Mrs. J. C. Whipp of Fallon, Nev., and Mrs. Kate Hoffman of Jacksonville. A big turkey banquet was served by the hostess, and the day was spent in pleasant conversation.
Ashland Tidings, December 14, 1914, page 4
BANKER BEEKMAN IS DANGEROUSLY ILL
C. C. Beekman, pioneer Jacksonville banker,is dangerously ill. He has been under the weather for several days and is reported much worse and suffering from hemorrhage of the bowels. On account of his advanced age, he celebrated his 87th birthday January 27 and his fifty-third wedding anniversary January 29, fears are entertained for his recovery. His son, Benjamin, has been sent for from Portland.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 20, 1915, page 2
C. C. BEEKMAN IS DEAD
Pioneer Southern Oregon Banker Succumbs at Jacksonville.
MEDFORD, Or., Feb. 22.--(Special.)--C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker and one of the best-known men of Southern Oregon, died at his home in Jacksonville tonight. At his bedside were Mrs. Beekman, Miss Claria Beekman, Benjamin Beekman, of Portland, and the attending physician. Death was due to hemorrhage of the bowels.
Mr. Beekman was 87 years old. He established himself in Jacksonville over 50 years ago. He gave liberally to Oregon educational institutions.
Oregonian, Portland, February 23, 1915, page 1
BANKER IS MOURNED BY STATE HE ADOPTED
C. Addison Bennett Recounts Life of C. C. Beekman, Who Rose from Jacksonville Pony Rider to Position of Trust--Passing of Redskin Seen.
BY ADDISON BENNETT.
In the passing of C. C. Beekman, of Jacksonville, in Jackson County, Oregon loses one of her most successful, most honorable and most picturesque citizens. Mr. Beekman died Monday night at the advanced age of 87 years in the town where he had resided since he was a young man of 24 years of age. His death will cause as much sorrow as has the loss of any of the great men of Oregon during the last generation.
The life of Cornelius C. Beekman, taken as a whole, if written entire, would read more like a dream than a reality, for the 63 years he lived in Oregon, always in the one little town, remember, covered the time from the era of pack horses to the era of the automobile and electricity, from the days when he and his neighbors lived in fear of the redskins to the day when Oregon had become a great state.
Not only this; in every forward movement for the most of this time Mr. Beekman was a leading, usually a guide, spirit. He was always a doer, and usually of things that look big in perspective. He was a carpenter by trade and a native of New Jersey. When 22 years of age, a year after the great exodus of 1849, he crossed the Isthmus and landed in San Francisco. After remaining there a short time he was sent to Jacksonville to take charge of the express business of the Cram-Rogers Company, a branch of the Adams Express Company. For four years, until 1856, he had charge of their Jacksonville business and assisted in carrying the gold dust and mail between Jacksonville and Redding, a distance of 65 miles.
Mining Towns Surpass Portland.It should be remembered that when young Beekman went to Jacksonville there was a great amount of mining going on thereabouts, so Jacksonville and Scottsburg were larger places, or at least as large and of greater business importance, than Portland.
From the day of Mr. Beekman's advent into the life of the West he began to accumulate money. He was frugal and saving, but never small, mean or penurious. Indeed, he was quite the reverse, save that as a banker he was cautious with the money of his depositors. After four years with the express company it failed. Then Mr. Beekman took up the business on his own account and ran the business himself, being his own manager, bookkeeper, route agent and express rider. It was called a pony express, but he usually had one or two and sometimes three or four pack horses, and he the only rider.
His route took him across the Siskiyou Mountains, then overrun with Indians, who were constantly committing depredations. So he usually crossed over the mountain trail at night and by good management never had any trouble with the redskins. As early as 1856 he really started his bank, for he then had the large vault erected for storing the gold dust and other valuables and began to take dust for storage, charging 1 percent a month for keeping it. For carrying it to Redding, on the way to the mint, he received 5 percent.
When the through stage line began to run, the Wells-Fargo line, Mr. Beekman was made the Jacksonville agent of the company and served them faithfully from 1863 until 1906, a period of 43 years. In the 11 years that he carried the pony express it is said that he packed more than $15,000,000 worth of dust without the loss of a single dollar to any of his patrons.
Banking Business Is Begun.In 1859 he went into the banking business, there being at that time only his bank and that of Ladd & Tilton [in Portland] in the territory now comprising Oregon and Washington. In the building he then started in he did business up to the day of his death. It is true he retired from active business about four years ago and would take no new business. He endeavored to have his customers draw out their deposits, but something like $100,000 was still on deposit, most of it in the bank vaults, the last time I visited the quaint old place.
Then the same old sign swung over the door that hung there more than half a century ago. The same old notices were in the windows. Within, the place had the appearance of an old bookstore, as it was, and a number of the old schoolbooks were still left on the shelves, out of date for 50 years. There was hanging on the walls notices of sailing days from New York to Liverpool and Havre, the quotations of foreign exchange, the timetables of the pony express and Wells-Fargo lines, and various notices to customers and public.
There on the counter were the huge gold scales, in which I was told more than $15,000,000 had been weighed. As much as $75,000 worth of dust and nuggets had been weighed on them at once, but so delicate were they that a bit of dust scarce visible to the naked eye could be weighed accurately.
Many Panics Are Weathered.The Beekman bank weathered many panics, notably those of '73, '93 and 1907. These disturbances affected the Beekman bank not at all--save that it always had a few thousand or a few hundred thousand to help out less fortunate fellow bankers. The money of the depositors always was ready for them. Other bankers said that he was not a shrewd banker. Perhaps not, according to some standards. But he always had sufficient money to lend to his customers and plenty to pay every honest demand that could be made upon him.
Mr. Beekman always was a staunch Republican and in 1878 was made the candidate of his party for governor. He was defeated by the narrow margin of 41 votes. He had held many minor offices of honor and dignity, always having been a leader in everything for the betterment of his section of the state. But his race for governor was the only office of importance he ever ran for.
Just what Mr. Beekman's estate will amount to will soon be known, and that will set to rest a great many theories among his friends and acquaintances. It must be true that he was quite a wealthy man--whether a millionaire or not has been a subject of argument among his neighbors for several years.
But one thing is sure; every dollar he had was honestly made, and it is not believed that any man living can say that Mr. Beekman ever did a little, mean or dishonorable action in his life.
He lived to a good old age, but there are many, many younger men in Oregon whose passing would have been a far less loss to Oregon than the loss of Cornelius C. Beekman.
Oregonian, Portland, February 24, 1915, page 11
The banks of Jackson County closed today at 1 o'clock on account of the funeral of C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker of the county.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, February 25, 1915, page 5
ANOTHER PIONEER GONE
C. C. Beekman, Pioneer of Jackson County, Prominent Banker of Southern Oregon
for More Than Fifty Years, Died Monday Night Aged 87 Years.
Cornelius C. Beekman, the well-known banker of this city, died at his home on California Street at 9:30 o'clock Monday evening, February 22, aged 87 years and 26 days, after an illness of four days with hemorrhage of the bowels. His wife, his son Benjamin of Portland and his daughter, Miss Carrie of this city, were present at his bedside.
Mr. Beekman was for years one of the most striking figures in Southern Oregon, and for many years--more than an average lifetime--he was prominent in affairs of town, county and state, playing a leading part in the development and growth of this region. In his passing away, Jacksonville and Jackson County lose one of its best-beloved citizens--one always ready to advise and assist those in distress. He had a wide acquaintanceship with the old settlers of the state and was considered an authority on all questions regarding the early history and development of Oregon.
Mr. Beekman was essentially a self-made man: Born in New York state in 1828, he learned the carpenter trade; coming west via the Isthmus of Panama in 1849, he reached San Francisco, then making his way to the northern part of the state, working at his trade and later mining near Sawyer's Bar and Yreka for a year; in the early fifties he came to Jacksonville, where for awhile he rode as express messenger between this place and Yreka, Cal. Later he was appointed agent at this place for Wells, Fargo Co., who established an overland station here. Soon after coming here, he with T. G. Reames established a bank, and buying the interest of Mr .Reames afterward, Mr. Beekman has continued in the business ever since. A curious incident in this connection is the fact that in 1912 Mr. Beekman, feeling that he wished to close up his business and retire from the banking business, published a notice to the public to withdraw their funds from his care, but such was the disposition of his depositors that although he refused to take new deposits, yet on Dec. 31, 1914 his published statement shows that there was still $45,087.39 of deposits remaining in the bank. In conversation with the writer, Mr. Beekman once remarked that in his career as a banker, he had never loaned out money belonging to a depositor; that he considered it his duty to preserve the deposits intact and that in many instances he had paid back to the depositor the actual coins deposited.
Mr. Beekman was greatly interested in educational affairs; it is in fact largely due to his efforts that the district possesses the present fine school building. When the funds of the district were low, which was often the case, Mr. Beekman would cash the warrants for the teachers in order that they receive the salary when due. He was a regular attendant at the services of the Presbyterian Church and contributed largely to its support. He was a member of the Masonic order and took an active interest in the work of the order.
The funeral was held Thursday afternoon under the auspices of Warren Lodge, No. 10, A.F.&A.M. of this city, Rev. Shields of Medford officiating at the lodge hall and the officers of the lodge performing the ceremonies at the grave. Interment was had in the cemetery on the hill overlooking the home where our friend had lived and labored for more than an average lifetime. The funeral, in attendance, was one of the largest ever held in this city, friends and acquaintances coming in numbers from Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass, Central Point and the surrounding country to pay the last tribute of respect to the memory of their friend.
Jacksonville Post, February 27, 1915, page 1
The will of C. C. Beekman, who passed away last week at Jacksonville, is being probated. Wealth estimated at $500,000 is left to his wife, daughter and son.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, March 4, 1915, page 5
BEEKMAN WILL FILED
PIONEER JACKSONVILLE BANKER LEAVES $500,000 ESTATE.
Benjamin Beekman, Portland Lawyer, to Share Property
with Mother and Sister at Distribution.
MEDFORD, Or., March 4.--(Special.)--The will of Cornelius C. Beekman, pioneer Jacksonville banker, was filed for probate with the county clerk Thursday. The value of the estate will be determined by appraisers.
Wealth estimated at $500,000 is left to his widow and daughter, Carrie, and son, Benjamin B. Beekman, an attorney, of Portland. There are no bequests to charity or educational institutions. The will was drawn August 7, 1911, and was witnessed by Henry G. Dox and Dr. J. W. Robinson, both lifelong friends.
To his widow he bequeathed $100,000 in gold or its equivalent in bonds, the family home in Jacksonville and $5000 in gold to be paid within 60 days after his death. The will orders all money to be paid in United States gold coin. The household effects except a piano and the lots upon which the family home stands are given to his widow. To his daughter, Carrie, $5000 in United States gold coin is bequeathed and the piano with the provision that the money be paid in 60 days after his death. Provision not mentioned in the will was made for the daughter. The remainder of the estate, consisting of land, notes, mortgages, stocks and bonds valued at between $150,000 and $300,000 is left to his son, Benjamin.
Oregonian, Portland, March 5, 1915, page 7
Mr. Beekman's Will ProbatedJacksonville Post, March 6, 1915, page 1
The will of the late Cornelius C. Beekman, the well-known banker of this city, was admitted to probate in the county court this week.
The will provides for the payment of all deposits in the bank and all debts of the estate, in full and without unnecessary delay. To his widow he leaves the family residence with all furniture, etc., except the piano, which is given to Miss Carrie. In addition to the residence he bequeaths to his wife $100,000 in gold or bonds as she may elect and also another sum of $5000 to be paid her in gold coin within sixty days.
The will refers to provisions heretofore made to his daughter Miss Carrie, and in addition thereto bequeaths the sum of $5000 in gold coin to be paid her within sixty days from the date of his death. The residue of the estate, consisting of real property, bonds, stocks, mortgages, notes etc., is given to his son Benjamin B. Beekman without any restriction whatever. His son and daughter are named as executors of the will, to serve without bonds and without interference by the court.
The will was made in 1911 and is witnessed by Henry G. Dox and J. W. Robinson of this city.
CORNELIUS C. BEEKMAN.Penn Yan Democrat, Penn Yan, New York, March 12, 1915, page 1
On February 22, 1915, Cornelius C. Beekman, a banker at Jacksonville, Oregon, died at the age of 87 years. He leaves his widow, one son and one daughter. He was born in Dundee, and was a brother of T. DeWitt Beekman, of that village.
In 1849 Mr. Beekman went to the Isthmus of Panama, thence to San Francisco, and in 1850 he located in Jacksonville, Oregon. He was an express messenger for several years and then engaged in banking. In 1912 Mr. Beekman, wishing to retire, announced that he would not receive any more deposits at his bank. However, many depositors left their money in the bank, and on December 31, 1914, he had $45,087.39 in deposits.
Notice to Creditors.
IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE STATE OF OREGON, FOR JACKSON COUNTY.
In the matter of the estate of
Cornelius C. Beekman, deceased.
Notice is hereby given that the undersigned have been duly appointed executors of the estate of Cornelius C. Beekman, deceased, by the County Court of the State of Oregon, for Jackson County, and have qualified as such.
All persons having claims against said estate are hereby notified to present the same with proper vouchers and duly verified, to the undersigned, at the late place of business of said Cornelius C. Beekman, known as "Beekman's Banking House" in Jacksonville, Oregon, within six months from the date of the first publication of this notice.
Date of this notice and of the first publication thereof is May 1st, 1915.
CARRIE C. BEEKMAN,Jacksonville Post, May 1, 1915, page 2
BENJAMIN B. BEEKMAN,
Executors of the estate of
Cornelius C. Beekman, deceased.
In another column the executors of the estate of C. C. Beekman, deceased, publish a notice of the voluntary liquidation of the Beekman's Banking House and request their depositors withdraw their deposits without unnecessary delay. Mr. B. B. Beekman, who is winding up the affairs of the bank, is paying out the deposits in full as fast as they are called for.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, May 1, 1915, page 3
BEEKMAN BANK TO BE CLOSED
"All creditors of said Beekman's Banking House are hereby notified to present their claims against the same to the undersigned, at the place of business of said bank, in Jacksonville, Ore., for settlement and payment, and all depositors thereof having either general or special deposits therein are requested to withdraw the same without unnecessary delay."
This plain, unvarnished bit of legal verbiage is the first sentence of the final chapter of an institution around which so much of the history of southern Oregon and Jackson County has been written. The order to withdraw "without unnecessary delay" all deposits means that the Beekman Banking House will close its doors in a short period, after over half a century of financial life. The order is made in accordance with the will of the late C. C. Beekman, its founder, and is signed by the administrators of the estate, B. B. and Carrie C. Beekman. Some of the deposits have been in the bank for years.
The state bank examiner has granted permission for the voluntary liquidation of the pioneer institution, and already the work of paying out the deposits has begun.
Medford Sun, May 4, 1915, page 4
Beekman Bank to Close Doors
The Beekman banking house at Jacksonville is to close its doors, and all creditors are notified to present claims against the bank and depositors are requested to withdraw their money. This ends the fifty years' life of one of the oldest and the most unique of Oregon banks. Thousands of dollars have passed through this bank in the gold rush days with nothing but the word of the late C. C. Beekman as security. Some of the depositors have been in the bank for many years. The order closing the bank is made in accordance with the will of the late Mr. Beekman.
Ashland Tidings, May 6, 1915, page 1
REPORT OF THE CONDITION OF THE
BEEKMAN'S BANKING HOUSE
at Jacksonville in the State of Oregon
at the close of business
May 1st, 1915.
STATE OF OREGON,
County of Jackson,
I, Henry G. Dox, cashier of the above-named bank do solemnly swear that the above statement is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
HENRY G. DOX, CashierSubscribed and sworn to before me this 6th day of May, 1915.
D. W. Bagshaw, Notary PublicJacksonville Post, May 8, 1915, page 2
Beekman's Banking House and the Bank of Jacksonville publish statements of condition May 1, in this issue of the Post. The former bank is in course of voluntary liquidation and is closing up its affairs as rapidly as possible, and the latter is steadily increasing in amount of deposit and volume of business generally.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, May 8, 1915, page 3
BEEKMAN'S ESTATE IS $318,845
Inventory of the estate of the late C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker of Jackson County, places his total wealth in Jackson and Klamath counties at $318,845.72. This does not include property in northern California that will be probated in Siskiyou County. The schedule of his holdings, which consist of seventy typewritten pages, itemizing each and every article, was filed with the county court his morning.
The personal property of the deceased amounted to $282,955.72. The real estate is valued at $35,890. County warrants totaling $51,062.31 are listed, and $15,335.49 is listed as due from banks. Gold to the amount of 100 ounces, with a value of $1650, is also named. The above are the principal items in the schedule. Sixty $1000 bonds of the Spring Valley Water Company, San Francisco, are listed at $45,000.
Medford Sun, May 25, 1915, page 4
The inventory of the estate of the late C. C. Beekman, of this city, was filed Tuesday morning and shows a total of his property in Jackson and Klamath counties to be $318,945.72. This does not include the property in California. The inventory itemizes every article and consists of seventy pages of typewriting. The value of the personal property belonging to the estate is given as $282,655.72 and the realty at $35,890. County warrants to the amount of over $51,000 and gold to the amount of $1650 is included in the list of property, also $45,335.49 which is due from banks.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, May 29, 1915, page 3
Inventory of the estate of the late C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker of Jackson County, places his total wealth in Jackson and Klamath counties at $318,845.72. This does not include property in northern California that will be probated in Siskiyou County. The schedule of his holdings, which consists of seventy typewritten pages itemizing each and every article, was filed with the county court Monday.
Ashland Tidings, May 31, 1915, page 1
BEEKMAN, CORNELIUS C------BEEKMAN, CORNELIUS C------, banker, was born in New York City, Jan. 27, 1828, son of Benjamin B. and Lydia (Compton) Beekman, a descendant of one of the notable Dutch families of New Amsterdam. His father, who subsequently became a resident of Yates Co., N.Y., was a building contractor and a sash and door manufacturer. Cornelius C. Beekman received his education in the public schools of Yates Co. In 1850 he went to California, via the Isthmus of Panama, and for a brief period, or until he had saved a working sum, he was employed as a carpenter in San Francisco, receiving as wages an ounce of gold ($18.00) per day. A year later he engaged in mining in northern California, at Scott's Bar, and at Sawyer's Bar, Yreka. He then entered the service of the Cram, Rogers Express Co., a branch of the Adams Express Co., was a messenger of that company, and later assigned as their agent at Jacksonville, Ore., then a new camp. In 1856 the company failed, and he then embarked independently in the express messenger service, and throughout a period of seven years made semi-weekly trips in the saddle between Yreka and Jacksonville, over the Siskiyou Range, and also conducted a service between Crescent City, Cal., and the northwest California coast, over the Coast Range. His was called a pony express, but he used three or four horses, and was the only rider. At the beginning of this service he received five percent for the transportation of gold dust and one dollar each for letters and newspapers; during the life of his private express he packed more than fifteen millions in gold dust. He established a quasi-banking business at Jacksonville, then one of the great gold camps of the world, in 1856, charging depositors one percent monthly for the safekeeping of gold dust, and five percent monthly for loans. His was the second bank in the Pacific Northwest, being antedated only by the celebrated Portland institution of Ladd & Tilton. In the original building in which this business was founded he continued until his death. His bank and banking house were unique. In a manner methods in vogue in pioneer days were continued to the last. In 1863 he was appointed agent at Jacksonville of the Wells, Fargo Express co., and continued forty-two years in that capacity. This position gave him exceptional opportunity to handle and ship gold with the least publicity, and he was the agent for millions shipped to San Francisco for mintage. He was also a dealer in foreign exchange, and was booking agent for the famous California Stage Co. From 1887 until 1901 he was associated with Thomas G. Reames, under the firm name of Beekman & Reames, continuing the business in his own name after the death of Mr. Reames in 1901. In the early days no receipts were given for deposits, and none were asked. Withdrawals were made without cheque; he alone kept the record, and customers never required an accounting. The Beekman Bank was never under a cloud; no financial storm ever shook it. The financial panics of '73, '93 and '07 came and went, but patrons of the bank knew of them only through reading the newspapers. In 1912 he announced his retirement from the field of banking, but his customers did not take him seriously and declined to withdraw their balances; although he refused further accounts it was necessary for him to continue practically until his death. A provision in his will stated that the first duty of his executors should be to make an accounting of these deposits and pay them.
He was very active in public affairs. As Republican candidate for governor for Oregon in 1878, he was defeated by but 49 votes. He served as mayor of Jacksonville, president of the school board, and for fifteen years was regent of the University of Oregon. He took a prominent part in the movement which resulted in Jackson County voting $500,000 bonds for the extension of the Pacific Highway across her borders, and he was a dominant factor in many civic and municipal undertakings. He held membership in the Masonic lodge, chapter and shrine, and was a 32º Scottish Rite Mason. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was a co-donor of the Failing-Beekman Prize Fund at the University of Oregon. He was regarded as the best-informed man in Southern Oregon on historical data connected with the early development of the state. He was married at Jacksonville, Oregon, Jan. 29, 1861 to Julia Elizabeth, daughter of William and Caroline Hoffman, of Jacksonville, Oregon; she survives him, with two children: Benjamin B. of Portland, and Carrie C. He died at Jacksonville, Ore., Feb. 22, 1915.
Attributed to Benjamin Beekman; found with the finding aid to the Beekman Papers, Mss 916 Oregon Historical Society Research Library. Julia Beekman died in 1931.
The express office, combined with Beekman's banking house, which was one of the first banks in the state, is also unchanged by time, and one feels as he enters its doors today as if he had stepped back over half a century. In it are the gold scales, used in those early days, and notices on the walls, dimmed by time, still read, "Gold dust shipped to the Atlantic states," "Gold dust exchanged for United States gold coin."
And there is an advertisement for the Oregon and California stagecoach with a picture of that ancient vehicle proudly exhibiting the comforts and safety of travel behind its six prancing horses, with an armed express messenger on the box beside the driver.
The counter, worn by time and use, where miners used to empty their buckskin pokes of nuggets, still holds, as if ready for instant use, tin candlesticks with half-burnt tallow candles in them. About the rusty box stove, still arranged in a companionable circle are the crude chairs and rough-hewn benches where the leading men of the community once sat and discussed momentous affairs. There may be more imposing banks in the state of Oregon than this little one, but few--if any--through which so much wealth has passed.
Helen Colvig Cook, "Mrs. Floyd Cook's Article on Removal of County Seat," Medford Mail Tribune, November 28, 1926, page 10
Impressions and Observations of the Oregon Journal ManBenjamin B. Beekman is a native son of Oregon. "My father, C. C. Beekman, was born in New York City on January 27, 1826," said Mr. Beekman. "He came to California by way of the Isthmus in 1850. He was a clerk in western New York. Prior to leaving for California he bought a chest of carpenter tools. He took passage on a British barque at the Isthmus and seven weeks later landed in San Francisco with just enough money left to pay for one night's lodging. He found doctors, lawyers and clerks were glad to get work at anything they could do. When it was learned he had a chest of carpenter's tools he secured work at once at an ounce of gold a day as a carpenter. Before long he secured work as a ship's carpenter on the river between San Francisco and Sacramento. With the money he had saved from his wages he became a silent partner in two restaurants in San Francisco, one of which was located on the present site of the Chronicle building.
Fred Lockley in Oregon Journal
* * *"The following year he started for the mines near Eureka. The party of which he was a member was snowbound for two weeks and finally were forced to kill a mule and eat mule meat. He spent that winter at Scott's Bar. He and his partner took out $8000 in gold dust that season. My father went to the Klamath River, where he put in a wing dam to take out water from the river. The high water in the fall of 1852 swept out the dam, so Father lost the $4000 he had invested there. He went to Yreka, where he built miners' cabins. He recovered from $200 to $300 cash and made $20 or more a day. While in Yreka three different miners employed him as attorney before the miners' court. He won all three of his cases. The father of Henry Wadsworth, who is cashier of the Wells, Fargo Bank at San Francisco, was agent for the Cram Rogers Express Company. This was a branch of the Adams Express Company. My father became well acquainted with Mr. Wadsworth and helped him at times.
* * *"When the Cram Rogers Express Company extended their services to Jacksonville, W. O. Brastow, afterwards superintendent of the Wells, Fargo Express Company at San Francisco, and my father became express messengers between Yreka and Jacksonville. Occasionally Father made a trip from Jacksonville to Crescent City to meet the vessels which came in there. He carried gold dust to the vessels and brought back letters and gold coin to Jacksonville. When the Adams Express Company failed, in 1855, Father continued the express service between Yreka and Jacksonville. On account of the danger from road agents and Indians, my father bought the best horses he could secure. For one Spanish horse he paid $1000. For the stretch over the Siskiyou Mountains he used mules, as they were more surefooted. The distance from Jacksonville to Yreka was around 65 miles. Father made two trips a week on horseback, and sometimes three. In 1856 he established a gold dust office at Jacksonville. This soon became a bank, and was the first bank started in Oregon. U. S. Hayden, who was first alcalde of Jacksonville, was Father's first agent. In 1848 my father built a bank at Jacksonville on California Street. This bank had a strong vault. Father ran this bank until his death, in 1915. From 1887 till 1900 Father was a partner of T. G. Reames, the firm name being Beekman & Reames.
* * *"My mother's father, William Hoffman, took up a place four miles east of Jacksonville, where he ran a dairy and chicken ranch. His home was always known as the 'White House,' as he had put weatherboards over the logs and painted it white. Father stopped there on his trips and thus became acquainted with my mother, Julia Elizabeth Hoffman. They were married on January 29, 1861. They had three children. My sister, Carrie, lives in Jacksonville. I was the next child. Lydia died in 1873 at the age of six years. My mother was one of six daughters. Her father crossed the plains with his family in 1853. Dr. McKinnell, one of the first homeopathic physicians to settle in Portland, was in their wagon train. My mother's father, William Hoffman, served as county clerk of Jacksonville for many years. He was an elder of the Presbyterian Church of Jacksonville for many years. My mother's sister was Mrs. Mary A. Vining of Ashland. Her son, Irving Vining, is president of the State Chamber of Commerce. Mrs. George B. Dorris of Eugene is her daughter. So are Mrs. Charles A. Hardy, also of Eugene, and Mrs. Jerry Bronaugh of Portland and Mrs. Charles A. Macrum of Mosier. Mrs. Anna Linn, whose son, Fletcher Linn, you know well, is also my mother's sister. Another sister of my mother is Mrs. Kate Hoffman of Jacksonville. Another sister is Mrs. J. C. Whipp of Nevada. Her son, Verne Whipp, is with the Union Savings & Loan Association of Portland.
* * *"I was born at Jacksonville, August 3, 1863. My earliest recollections are of a smallpox epidemic which raged in Jacksonville in the late '60s. I remember very distinctly of having to take sulfur and molasses three times a day so that we wouldn't catch the smallpox. This smallpox, which started late in the fall of 1868, was brought to Jacksonville by some half-breed Indians. The doctors pronounced it chicken pox, but it proved to be smallpox of a confluent, malignant type. School was dismissed, and all religious and other meetings were discontinued. A pest house was established south of town. My father, who was a member of the board of city trustees, changed his clothes after coming home so that we would not be exposed. The mother of George M. Love, Receiver of the land office at Burns, was among the first to die. She and her youngest child were buried at night. Colonel W. G. T'Vault, who started the first newspaper in Southern Oregon [if you ignore the Umpqua Gazette], the Table Rock Sentinel, which was started in 1855, also died and was buried at midnight by the Catholic priest there. George Funk was another of the well-known citizens that died of smallpox. More than 40 residents of Jacksonville died in November and December, 1868.
* * *"My next recollection was of the grand ball given to celebrate the completion of the new two-story school house. My father and mother attended this ball and parked me with the musicians. Next September I started to school, Mrs. J. McCully being my teacher. Her daughter, Isabel, or Issie McCully, as we called her, is still a resident of Jacksonville. Next year Mrs. McCully opened a private school, assisted by her daughter Molly, who later married Professor J. W. Merritt. I attended this private school for several years."
Medford Mail Tribune, December 5, 1926, page 10
BENJAMIN B. BEEKMANBenjamin B. Beekman is a member of an old and honored family of Oregon and has an intimate knowledge of the history of the commonwealth. For many years he occupied a position of prominence in legal circles of Portland and is one of the best known Masons in the state. He was born August 3, 1863, in Jacksonville, Oregon, and is a descendant of Maarten Beekman, who married Susannah Jans and emigrated from Holland to America in 1638. Their son Hendrick Beekman and his wife, Annetje Quackenbush, were the parents of Marten Beekman, who married Elizabeth Waldron, and their son John Beekman fought in the Revolutionary War, in the Somerset County, New Jersey, militia. He and his wife, Arriantje Tunison, were the great-great-grandparents of Benjamin B. Beekman.
His father, Cornelius C. Beekman, was the son of Benjamin B. Beekman (1804-1879) and Lydia (Compton) Beekman (1860-1891) and was born January 27, 1828, in New York City. In 1830 his parents removed to Dundee, Yates County, in western New York, where his father established himself in business as a building contractor and sash, door and blind manufacturer. He received his education in the public schools and when sixteen years old began to learn the carpenter's trade, under his father's direction, and in the course of several years became a skilled workman. He then became a clerk and salesman in a general merchandise store and was so employed when the exciting news of the discovery of gold in California spread throughout the East. He soon decided to seek his fortune in the new Eldorado. His mother was strongly opposed to his going so far away and dissuaded his father from giving him financial assistance to make the trip. However, he obtained a loan of the necessary sum from his employer on his note, which he secured by a life insurance policy with premiums thereon paid several years in advance. This loan he repaid within a few years and many years thereafter reciprocated the favor by a loan to his old employer when in financial straits. In the spring of 1850 he started on the momentous journey to California. Three companions went with him as far as New York City, but there their courage and desire for gold failed them and they returned to their homes. Undaunted, and wisely and providently providing himself with a carefully selected chest of carpenter's tools, he took passage for Colon by way of Havana. He crossed the Isthmus and arrived safely in Panama with his precious tools, but found several thousand men, most of whom had paid for through transportation to San Francisco, anxiously and impatiently waiting for steamer accommodation. Having paid for transportation to Panama only and learning that a British bark was in the harbor, he hired natives to row him out to the vessel, and, after desperate appeal and persuasion, secured passage to San Francisco from an, at first, very gruff and obdurate captain. On his return to shore he was surrounded by men who, upon learning that no additional passages would be sold by the captain, began to bid for his passage. The bidding had reached a bonus of $500 when he peremptorily declined to consider any offer. The vessel was becalmed on the way and seven weeks elapsed before he arrived at San Francisco, eager and fearless, but with just enough money for a day's board and lodging. On the morning after his arrival he set forth in search of work. Being a skilled workman and equipped with the necessary tools, he at once secured employment and received wages of an ounce of gold per day. He delayed going to the mines, as there were many unfavorable rumors relative to the opportunities for obtaining paying claims. Desiring, however, to be nearer to the scene of mining activities, he secured a position as ship's carpenter on a boat plying between San Francisco and Sacramento. At Sacramento he soon learned that, while large numbers were still equipping and leaving for the various mining sections, almost as many were coming out and reporting that all desirable claims had been staked and that many claims were about worked out. After several months' service on the river boat he resumed his work at San Francisco at the ounce of gold per day wage and bought an interest, as silent partner, in two restaurants, one of which was located on the present site of the Chronicle building. The following year he started for the mines in northern California, going by way of Eureka on Humboldt Bay. The party, of which he was a member, was snowbound in the mountains for several weeks and, with, provisions exhausted, was forced to resort to mule meat to sustain life. The party, however, reached Scott's Bar in safety and during that season he and his partner worked a claim which yielded them eight thousand dollars in gold dust. At the close of the season he went to the Klamath River and, with a. number of associates, constructed a mining wing dam, which was swept away by high water following the early fall rains, and he lost all that he had made at Scott's Bar. He then went to the mining camp of Yreka, where for a short time he followed the carpenter's trade, building miners' cabins and making twenty dollars or more a day. While in Yreka he acted as attorney for three miners before the miners' court and, although opposed by an experienced attorney, won all three of his cases. Captain Wadsworth, father of Henry Wadsworth, for many years cashier of the Wells Fargo & Company Bank at San Francisco, was the Yreka agent of the Cram Rogers Express Company, a branch of the Adams Express Company. Mr. Beekman became well acquainted with Captain Wadsworth and often assisted him in his work and had charge of the express office while Captain Wadsworth was absent at meals and at other times. When the Cram Rogers Express Company extended its service to Jacksonville, Oregon, in the late fall of 1852, Mr. Beekman and W. O. Brastow, afterward superintendent of the Wells Fargo Express Company, upon Captain Wadsworth's recommendation, became the express messengers between Yreka and Jacksonville. Occasionally Mr. Beekman made trips between Jacksonville and Crescent City to meet vessels which came in there. He remained in the service of the Cram Rogers Express Company until 1856, when the company failed as a result of the failure of the Adams Express Company. He immediately established his own express messenger service between Jacksonville and Yreka, a distance of about sixty-five miles, and for nearly seven years thereafter made two and, in busy seasons, three round trips per week. In the same year he established a gold dust buying office in Jacksonville, placing in charge thereof U. S. Hayden, who was elected by the miners as supreme alcalde of Jacksonville to review an unpopular decision of the first alcalde. The gold dust buying establishment soon developed a banking business. He personally operated the express messenger service, riding horseback and using three mounts to cover the distance of sixty-five miles. He secured the best horses obtainable, one favorite mount, a thoroughbred Spanish horse, costing him a thousand dollars. During the periods of Indian hostilities he made the trips at night and used mules over the Siskiyou Mountain trail, finding them more sure-footed, less noisy and better able to keep the trail. At the beginning of his messenger service he received five percent for the transportation of gold dust and gold coin and one dollar each for letters and newspapers carried. In 1863, when the Wells Fargo Express Company extended its service northward into Oregon, he retired from the messenger service business and obtained the agency of the company at Jacksonville, which he retained for forty-two years, as it enabled him to ship gold dust, gold coin and currency without publicity. In 1858 he erected a bank building on California Street, Jacksonville, in which was constructed a commodious and strongly built stone vault, which served for many years as the strongbox of the people of the Rogue River Valley and the adjacent territory. In that building he continued and successfully conducted his banking business until his death on February 22, 1915. In the earlier years of the banking business, instead of paying interest on deposits, he received one percent a month for the safekeeping of gold dust and gold coin. In 1887 he associated Thomas C. Reames with him in the banking business under the firm name of Beekman & Reames, continuing the business in his own name after the death of Mr. Reames in 1900.
Mr. Beekman was regarded as one of Oregon's foremost men and in 1878 was the Republican candidate for governor, losing the election by only sixty-nine votes. In 1887 he was appointed a regent of the University of Oregon, serving until 1903, and, with the late Henry Failing, of Portland, was the donor of the fund for the Failing and Beekman prizes at that institution. He was a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and had the honor and distinction of serving as worshipful master of Warren Lodge, No. 10, A.F.&A.M., for twelve consecutive years. He represented the finest type of the Oregon pioneer, and his memory is revered by all who were privileged to know him.
Julia Elizabeth (Hoffman) Beekman, the mother of Benjamin B. Beekman, was born in Attica, Indiana, October 1, 1839. Her parents, William Hoffman (1801-1885) and Caroline Barbara (Shaffer) Hoffman (1813-1900) were born in Maryland and were married in Baltimore in 1836. In 1853, after seventeen years' residence in Indiana, William Hoffman, with his wife and six daughters, and accompanied by his sister and her husband, Dr. Henry McKinnell, the pioneer homeopathic physician of Portland, made the overland journey to Oregon, arriving in the Rogue River Valley in October of that year. For two years he operated a dairy and chicken farm about four miles east of Jacksonville, residing in a frame house painted white and for several years known throughout the valley as the "White House." In 1855, having been elected county auditor under the territorial government, he removed with his family to Jacksonville. There he built a permanent home, with spacious grounds, where he and Mrs. Hoffman passed their remaining years serenely and happily and where their six daughters were married. He served as county clerk from 1859 to 1866 and also as U.S. Commissioner, by appointment of Judge Matthew P. Deady, and engaged in the hardware business for a number of years. He was a devout and faithful elder of the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church and took a keen interest in religious and public affairs. His was a hospitable home made additionally attractive by the presence of six eligible daughters. The messenger route of Cornelius C. Beekman ran directly past the Hoffman dairy farm, and there he first met the daughter Julia, a meeting which culminated in their marriage at Jacksonville, January 27, 1861. To them were born three children: Benjamin B., Carrie C. (a resident of Jacksonville), and Lydia L., who died in 1873, when a child of six years. For several generations past the Beekman family has been inclined to the use of a middle letter without a middle name. Of the six Hoffman sisters, five (Mrs. Mary H. Vining, of Ashland; Mrs. George B. Dorris, of Eugene; Mrs. Florence Whipp, of Fallon, Nevada; and Mrs. C. C. Beekman and Mrs. Kate F. Hoffman, of Jacksonville) are still living (1928), the youngest being seventy-eight and the eldest ninety-one years of age. The other sister, Mrs. David Lime, passed away in 1907.
With the passing of the '50s the hardships, perils and privations incident to pioneer life in the Rogue River Valley came to an end, and the rough and turbulent mining camp of Jacksonville was transformed into a prosperous and well-ordered town and became the principal business, financial and political center of Southern Oregon. The '60s and '70s may be regarded as the closing and golden years of the pioneer era in that section of the state, and the boys and girls of that period lived amid an environment not only of rare natural beauty but also of plenty and contentment, and enjoyed, in abundant measure, the advantages and opportunities of well-settled and progressive community life. The childhood and youth of Benjamin B. Beekman, as of the average boy of that time and place, were happy and full of the joy of living and untouched and untroubled by the harder and more exacting conditions of the earlier years. In 1869 he started to school in the newly erected two-story public school building, his teacher being that worthy pioneer woman, Mrs. Jane McCully. The following year Mrs. McCully, with her daughter Mollie, opened a private school, in which he was a pupil for several years. Later he was taught by Professor W. J. Stanley and Professor Banford Robb. In the fall of 1875 he became a student under Professor John W. Merritt, who was a graduate of a normal school in New York and an exceptionally capable educator. He studied under Professor Merritt for five years and holds him in grateful and affectionate remembrance for his unfailing kindness and inspiring influence. Frank A. Huffer, now a well-known lawyer of Seattle, was Mr. Beekman's classmate and constant companion. Although the Jacksonville public school was of grammar grade, by special permission of the board of directors and through the kindly interest and zeal of Professor Merritt, they received instruction in Latin, higher mathematics and other high school subjects and were able to matriculate at the University of Oregon as full freshmen and to graduate at the end of the usual four-year period. During 1879-80, their last year under Professor Merritt, they had night lessons in Latin and Greek at the home of their instructor, the Friday evening lessons being usually curtailed and followed by hardly [sic] contested games of chess, the two students being matched against the teacher, with victory generally resting with the latter. In the fall of 1880 Mr. Beekman and Mr. Huffer entered the University of Oregon. Mr. Beekman was graduated with the class of 1884 and Mr. Huffer, who was obliged, by financial reverses, to drop out for a couple of years, with the class of 1886, each receiving the degree of B.A. During the year 1884-85 Mr. Beekman was an instructor of Latin, Greek, algebra and geometry in the preparatory department of the University and was urged by President Johnson and other members of the faculty to continue his work as a teacher in that institution, but he preferred the profession of law. In 1886 he matriculated in the law school of Yale University, from which he graduated in 1888 with the degree of LL.B. Immediately following his graduation he was admitted to the Connecticut bar and, upon his return to Oregon in the spring of 1889, was admitted to practice by the supreme court of Oregon. In the fall of 1889 he came to Portland and associated himself with the firm of Watson, Hume & Watson and also with Robert G. Morrow, now circuit judge for Multnomah County, until 1893, when he became a member of the firm of Watson, Beekman & Watson. This relationship was dissolved by the death of Judge J. F. Watson in 1897 and was succeeded by the firm of Watson & Beekman, which continued until the death of Judge E. B. Watson in 1915. Mr. Beekman was a member of the faculty of the University of Oregon law school in Portland from 1907 to 1915. After closing the affairs of the firm of Watson & Beekman he retired from active practice in the latter part of 1916 and has since devoted his attention to personal affairs and to various organization activities.
Mr. Beekman's fraternal, social and other affiliations and associations have been numerous and varied. In 1889, shortly after coming to Portland, he enlisted in the Oregon National Guard and was a member of old Company K, of the First Regiment until 1892. While a student at Yale University law school he became a charter member of Waite Chapter of the legal fraternity of Phi Delta Phi. He is a charter member of the University Club of Portland and served as its president in 1909-10. He is also a charter member of the Oregon Historical Society and has served as a director thereof since 1921 and is at present (1928) its vice president. In 1920 he donated a fund to the society, in memory of his father, the income whereof is used to provide four annual prizes and medals as awards for meritorious essays written by Oregon school girls and boys between fifteen and eighteen years of age, on subjects relating to the history of Oregon and the United States. He became an early member of the Oregon Society of the Sons of the American Revolution and served as the president of the society from 1921 to 1926. He is a life member of the Multnomah Amateur Athletic Club and is also affiliated with the Multnomah County, the Oregon and the American bar associations. In 1923, when the Oregon Alpha Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, was installed at the University of Oregon, he was initiated as an alumnus member. He is a Knight Templar and a Scottish Rite Mason, has served continuously since 1910 as commander of Multnomah Council of Kadosh, No. 1, in the Scottish Rite, at Portland, and in 1913 was honored with the thirty-third degree by the Supreme Council of the Rite. He is also a life member of Al Kader Temple of the Mystic Shrine. In 1909-10 and again in 1924-25 he served as grand orator of the Grand Lodge of A.F.&A.M. of Oregon. In recent years he has been active in the promotion of the observance of Constitution Day and in the work of the Portland Americanization Council. He is a staunch Republican in politics, and while he has never aspired to official position, he has steadily maintained a deep interest in public and community affairs. Aspiring to high ideals, he has used practical methods in their attainment, and his life has been a constantly expanding force for good citizenship.
Fred Lockley, History of the Columbia River Valley from The Dalles to the Sea, volume II, Chicago, 1928, pages 343-347
An incomplete list of Jackson County pioneers and the dates of their arrivals in Oregon was discovered during a perusal and sorting out of old papers and articles of the pioneer Beekman Bank of Jacksonville last summer.
Benjamin B. Beekman of Portland, son of C. C. Beekman, founder of the bank and prominent figure in early Southern Oregon history, and John Renault of Jacksonville went over the papers together, no attempt having been made to do so since the elder Beekman died in 1915.
The list of names is contained in an early newspaper, only part of which remains. No masthead or dateline appears on the newspaper section retained, but dates appended to legal notices printed therein show the paper to have been printed in the first week of July, 1882.
The newspaper fragment is one of many discovered among belongings of the Beekman family and property of the bank, which had its beginning as a Wells Fargo express office in 1852 [sic]. The newspapers are from Southern Oregon and Northern California communities and include a copy of the Medford Daily Tribune in the year 1908, many of the other sheets being much earlier. A Sacramento paper, dated in 1864, is among the earliest.
Gold "Pokes" FoundOther articles of historical interest found among the bank's possessions include gold "pokes," leather pouches used to send gold dust and carrying the seal of the Wells Fargo express.
An autographed photograph of President Rutherford B. Hayes and an impressive collection of old stamps are other discoveries. Renault stated that he threw away close to a billion dollars of canceled checks during last summer's cleanup, the old bank having served as a clearing house for the largest proportion of money passing in and out of the region until its closing in 1912.
Janet Wray Smith, "Jackson County Pioneers Listed in Fragment [of] Old Jacksonville Newspaper," Medford Mail Tribune, April 2, 1937, page 5
Benjamin B. Beekman
The death of Benjamin B. Beekman at 81 removes from among us one of Portland's most notable figures. Tall, very erect, he had a distinguished bearing that marked him for the observation of every stranger, and it was a bearing that did not belie his inner attainments. He held the degree of LL.B. from Yale University, was a Phi Betta Kappa, had been a faculty member at the University of Oregon, and had practiced law in Portland with such associates as the late Judge Robert G. Morrow, Judge J. F. Watson and Judge E. B. Watson. He had retired from the practice of his profession but retained a valued interest in Masonic lodge work, in Oregon history, in cultural movements, and was a director of the Oregon Historical Society. He was the donor to the latter of the Beekman essay fund, made in commemoration of his father.
The Beekman name, moreover, is notable in Oregon annals. Benjamin's father, Cornelius C. Beekman, came to the Pacific coast in 1850 and in 1853 became express messenger between Yreka, Crescent City, Cal., and Jacksonville, Or. In 1856 he embarked in the pony express business on his own account and during the Civil War carried The Oregonian"s telegraphic dispatches from Yreka. For many years he conducted a banking business in Jacksonville in connection with his express company connections, was a regent of the state university and was the Republican candidate for governor in 1878, when he was defeated by W. W. Thayer, Democrat, by only sixty-nine votes.
The Beekman bank in Jacksonville was noted in early days for its informality and for the complete and never-violated trust the people of that section placed in its proprietor. It is said that prior to the advent of state banking regulations, Jacksonville citizens would bring in their pokes of gold dust or coin, and Mr. Beekman would tab them and put them in his vault. Withdrawals were made by depositors asking for their pokes. The elder Beekman lived to an advanced age with stainless reputation and high popular regard. The last may be said, too, of Benjamin B. Beekman.
Oregonian, Portland, February 24, 1945, page 6
Death Claims Early Teacher
Benjamin B. Beekman, 81, retired attorney and early-day instructor at the University of Oregon, died early Friday at the Portland Hotel after an illness of a year. He had lived there 50 years. Funeral arrangements are in charge of J.P. Finley & Son.
Mr. Beekman was born in Jacksonville, Oregon's famous gold-mining city, on August 3, 1863, the son of C. C. Beekman, early-day express messenger and pioneer banker. The annual Oregon Historical Society Beekman essay contest is named for the father.
Law Degree at YaleBen Beekman was one of the first pupils to attend the new Jacksonville two-story schoolhouse, which was opened in 1869. In 1880 he graduated from the town school with enough credits to enter the University of Oregon. He received his B.A. degree there in 1884 and the following year was an instructor there in Latin, Greek, algebra and geometry.
A graduate of Yale law school, he was admitted to the Connecticut bar an din 1889 to the Oregon bar. That fall he became associated with the firm of Watson, Hume & Watson in Portland. He retired in 1916.
A director of the Oregon Historical Society, he was an ardent student of Oregon history. He was a veteran of Company K, 1st Regiment, Oregon National Guard, in which he served from 1889 to 1892. At Yale he was a charter member of Phi Delta Phi and here a charter member of the University Club, serving as its president in 1909-10.
A life member of the Multnomah Club, he was active in the Sons of the American Revolution and was a 33rd degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and commander of the Multnomah Council, Knights Kadosh.
A sister, Carrie C. Beekman of Jacksonville, survives.
Oregonian, Portland, February 24, 1945, page 7
C. C. Beekman (1828-1915), Pioneer Banker,
Who for Long Was 'Mr. Southern Oregon'
A Pacific coast pioneer of 1850, express messenger in dangerous days, Wells Fargo agent, rough-and-ready banker was Cornelius C. Beekman, respected and beloved all over southern Oregon. From his native metropolitan New York he headed for the wilds, never returned to the crowds. His voyage from Panama to San Francisco took him seven weeks, but, arrived there, he made $18 a day as a carpenter. He established his own Jacksonville-Yreka express, kept it up seven years. He developed a gold dust-buying office into a bank; at first he charged 1 percent a month for safekeeping of money and dust. The history of Beekman's bank is the history of much of early southern Oregon. Beekman was in Jacksonville 63 years. Gold scales remained on his counters long after their use had passed. Customers used to come in and get their money informally. "Set it down against my account," they'd say. Beekman ran a close race for governor in 1878; was regent of U. of O. 16 years. "Finest type of pioneer."
"100 Men of the Oregonian Century," Oregonian, Portland, December 26, 1950, page 9
From Jacksonville, Oregon, by way of the Medford Mail Tribune, comes a story which will interest all of those who are interested in preserving the old buildings and landmarks of the West. The story says the Beekman Bank building at Jacksonville, site of the first bank in the Pacific Northwest, will be repaired and restored as nearly as possible to its original condition. I quote: "The building was erected in 1856 by the late C. C. Beekman, pioneer banker of southern Oregon. Announcement of restoration plans was made by Arthur D. Platt, attorney for Beekman's daughter, Miss Caroline C. Beekman. Platt and Lancaster Pollard, superintendent of the Oregon Historical Society, were here and in Medford several days inspecting the building and planning the rehabilitation work. The work will include replacement of rotted-out casing in an outer wall, a new roof, and replacement of a corrugated metal porch with shakes, similar to those used in the original construction. It will not be known how extensive the work will be until replacement of the casing is undertaken, persons interested in the project stated. Among the historic articles still in the building are the gold scales which were used to weigh the gold, valued at millions of dollars, that was shipped from the famous mines of the Jacksonville region. In addition to serving as the original bank of the Northwest, the building was also the headquarters of Beekman's stage line and of the Wells Fargo company."
Oakland Tribune, August 31, 1952, page 30
Money Left for History
Beekman Chair Posed at U.O.
The late Carrie C. Beekman, daughter of a pioneer Oregon banker, left a bequest estimated at well over $100,000 to perpetuate the teaching of Northwest history at the University of Oregon, according to her will, filed Wednesday in probate court.
Miss Beekman, who was 93, died in a Portland rest home on July 12.
Her will specifies that the balance of the estate, after other bequests are paid, be used to establish the Beekman Professorship of Northwest and Pacific History at the university. The professorship is to be dedicated to the memory of her father, Cornelius C. Beekman, and her brother, Benjamin B. Beekman.
Bank FoundedMiss Beekman's father founded the Beekman banking house, Oregon's first bank, at Jacksonville in gold rush days. The bank building has since been given to the Oregon Historical Society.
She also left $2,500 to the Jacksonville Presbyterian Church and about $75,000 in bequests to individuals. The estate was estimated at $213,000, but the exact value won't be known until after an inventory is made.
Oregonian, Portland, July 30, 1959, page 8
Historical Bank Is New Landmark
JACKSONVILLE, Ore. (AP)--The C. C. Beekman Bank building in Jacksonville will be designated next month as a national historic landmark.
The bank opened in the 1850s, when gold was discovered in southern Oregon. But it did not operate for profit.
It served simply as the community strongbox. Depositors often received the exact same money they had put in earlier.
Gettysburg Times, Pennsylvania, July 8, 1967, page 6
Last revised April 5, 2018