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Below is a family biography included in The History of Barton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John Beam, principal of the school of Iantha, Mo., and commissioner of the public schools of the county, is a native of Hardin County, Ky., born September 22, 1856. His father, Simeon Beam, was born in Kentucky in 1833, and, in early life, was a farmer, but for the past twenty years has been a minister of the gospel, preaching the doctrine of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He located in Monroe County, Mo., in 1857, where he resided until 1884, since which time he has been a resident of St. Clair County. His parents, Jacob and Lucretia Beam, were born in Pennsylvania, and died in Kentucky in 1835 and 1861, respectively. Catherine Fields, wife of Simeon Beam and mother of our subject, was born in Kentucky in 1841, and became the mother of twelve children, of whom John is the fifth. He lived with his people until twenty-one years of age, then entered the Collegiate Institute in Shelby County, Mo., which he attended two years, and spent the next two years in Colorado, after which he returned to Barton County. Since that time (1881) he has been engaged in teaching school and farming, and, since 1887, has been principal of the school at Iantha. His recent election to the position of commissioner of public schools (with headquarters at Lamar) was a well-deserved compliment. He is a member of the A. O. U. W., and is a Democrat in politics, being elected on that ticket, in 1887, to the office of township assessor. In 1882 he was united in marriage to Miss Hattie Brown, who was born in Macoupin County, Ill., September 21, 1863, and is a daughter of Hon. Robert Brown, whose sketch appears in this work. She and Mr. Beam are the parents of three children, and are worthy and consistent members of the Christian Church.

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This family biography is one of 166 biographies included in The History of Barton County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Barton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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