Biography - C Beardsley

C. W. BEARDSLEY. Those old residents of the town of Litchfield, Ill., who came here to find a home in 1855, discovered that before them had arrived someone anxious to cater to their needs and their fancies. A merchant was displaying his wares in a pioneer store, and one of his windows was filled with an attractive collection of watches, clocks and the various articles connected with the jeweler's trade, which might be needed by the residents of a growing community. This window comprised the stock of Mr. Benjamin C. Beardsley, who afterward became one of the best-known and most prominent among the old settlers of Litchfield.
Benjamin C. Beardsley was born in 1820 at Venice, Cayuga County, N. Y., and his father died when he was a small boy. He and H. T. Beardsley were both taken by Nathan Tuttle, his uncle, a wealthy man, who offered to care for the boys and rear them. Benjamin was apprenticed to a watchmaker and learned the trade. He was in business in several places, at Cazenovia, N. Y., at Detroit and Adrian, Mich., and at the latter place he was married. He then took a trip through Kansas and finally decided to locate in this place, which his far-seeing judgment perceived would one day be a flourishing town. His means were small and at that time he was only able to fill one window of the only store, but in two years, in 1857, he built the house where his business is still continued. The location is No. 36 State Street, and at that time his two-story house of brick was considered quite fine. He filled the store with a proper stock and continued in business, enlarging and changing as time went on, until the time of his death, in January, 1888. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and was Treasurer of St. Orner Commandery. He had been bereaved of his wife some time before. His possessions in real estate were considerable, and he was a man respected by all at the time of his death.
C. W. Beardsley, the immediate subject of this sketch, was born February 15, 1855, in Bradford County, Pa., and was the son of H. T. and Mira (Fuller) Beardsley. His father carried on a general merchandise trade but did not live to old age. His death occurred in Pennsylvania.
Our subject was educated in Bradford County and finished in this place, where he had come at the age of thirteen years. He was apprenticed to his uncle Benjamin and continued with him for nine years. He then accepted a position on Cortland Street, New York City, and after a service thereof three years he went back to his native town of Canton, Pa. Here he opened up a business and remained at it for four years, but sold it at the expiration of that time and went into Tioga County and established the first jewelry house in Hoytsville. He there met the lady whom he later married. She was Miss Emma Dodd, the daughter of George L. Dodd, a prominent hardware merchant of that town, and her marriage occurred September 4, 1884. Our subject became a prominent man in this place, was made Justice of the Peace and bought a large amount of land and platted it and disposed of it in the new town. Here he remained five years, but then changed his residence to Elmira, N. Y., and went into the same business that engaged him previously. He was doing well in that city, when he received a message from his uncle who had been almost a father to him. The old gentleman was ill and desired our subject to come to him and take charge of the business which he had built up. He desired the old name to be perpetuated. This was a summons that one of the disposition of our subject could not withstand, so he sold out his new block of buildings in the beautiful old city of Elmira, disposed of his business and removed to this place with his family a few weeks before the death of his uncle. He took charge and settled up the estate of his uncle, and the old gentleman's last days were full of peace as he realized that the honorable old name would not be forgotten in commerce in his chosen home.
Mr. Beardsley has built a brick block which now is occupied by the Daily News, and has built five dwelling-houses here and has purchased a fine residence. He was a member of the Board of Education for two terms and is the President of the Litchfield Paint and Color Company, which was incorporated in November, 1891. Mr. and Mrs. Beardsley have one child, who has been named for the kind uncle, and thus will not only the business, but also the name, of Benjamin Beardsley go down to another generation.

Extracted 10 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 426-427.

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