My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company.  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.

* * * *

EDWARD C. BEETEM. In April, 1802, one Samuel Beetem bought two small tracts of land in the lower end of Frankford township. This is the first appearance of the Beetem name on the records of Cumberland county, and the purchaser was the progenitor of the large Beetem family that has figured prominently in the affairs of this county for over one hundred years. After residing in Frankford township five or six years he removed to the part of Dickinson township which has since been erected into Penn township. Here, in 1808, he purchased from Thomas Norton a tract of land known as “Norton’s Choice,” containing 158 acres. Later he acquired other lands in the vicinity and engaged extensively at farming and also at distilling. In April, 1814, he bought from Daniel Smith, “innkeeper,” a farm lying along the road to Pine Grove, on which there was a tavern stand which he kept for several years. He was an intelligent, enterprising citizen, was in close touch with the people, and in 1813 Gov. Simon Snyder, reposing especial trust and confidence in his integrity, appointed him a justice of the peace for Dickinson township, which office he filled long and satisfactorily, and for more than forty years he was popularly known as “Squire Beetem.” He died July 8, 1856, at the age of eighty-nine years. He was a prominent member of the Lutheran Church, and in August, 1819, he and his wife, Mary, for the consideration of one dollar, deeded to the wardens of “the German Lutheran and German Presbyterian Church called Beetem’s Church,” 121 perches of land, which is the land now occupied by the Lutheran Church and graveyard at Centerville. Samuel Beetem was married twice. His first wife was Mary, who died Feb. 11, 1834, at the age of seventy-two years and twenty-three days. On May 28, 1835, he married Mrs. Nancy Turner, who died May 2, 1862, aged eighty-six years. He and his two wives lie buried on the ground that he and his wife Mary donated to “Beetem’s Church” in 1819, now the Lutheran Church at Centerville. Samuel Beetem and Mary, his wife, had issue as follows: Abraham, born Aug. 28, 1789 (died Aug. 12, 1833); George, Nov. 23, 1792 (died Jan. 3, 1852): Jacob, Jan. 9, 1794 (died March 24, 1859); and Catherine. He had no children by his second marriage.

Abraham Beetem, eldest son of Samuel, was known as Capt. Beetem. He married Elizabeth Smith, and began life in the same locality in which his father settled in 1808. He engaged in farming, first as a cropper, but later acquired land of his own. He also engaged in distilling and milling, and also manufactured flax seed oil and plaster. His distillery and mill properties were located where the village of Huntsdale now is. He was a man of great energy and rare business qualities, but died in the prime of manhood, Aug. 12, 1833. His wife died Feb. 2, 1872, and both are buried in Ashland cemetery, at Carlisle. Capt. Abraham and Elizabeth (Smith) Beetem had the following children: Samuel, born Aug. 17, 1816, (died Jan. 29, 1901); Jacob; Elizabeth; John; George Smith, born Jan. 8, 1824 (died May 30, 1892); Abraham; Mary; and Joseph, born Dec. 16, 1830 (died Feb. 8, 1894).

Jacob Beetem, the second of these eight children, was born in Dickinson (now Penn) township, July 20, 1818. He grew to manhood in that part of the county, was educated in the public schools and learned the carpenter’s trade. Afterward he went to Philadelphia, where he worked at his trade and studied architecture. Upon reaching man’s estate lie took up his abode in the town of Carlisle, where he followed the occupation of carpenter and builder until his death, which occurred Sept. 7, 1856. His industry and superior workmanship brought him much to do, and during the period of his activity he erected some of the largest and most important buildings in the county. He was a man of good judgment, and his advice in mechanical, business and social affairs was often sought by those who knew him. Like his parents and grandparents before him, he was a consistent Lutheran, and took a warm interest in the affairs of his church. He was a good musician, led the choir of his church for twenty years, and purchased the first organ that found its way into the Lutheran Church of Carlisle.

Jacob Beetem married Isabella Wunderlich, a daughter of Simon and Catherine (Crane) Wunderlich, and granddaughter of Benjamin Crane and Catherine, his wife. Catherine Crane, the grandmother, was remarkable for her great longevity. For a long time prior to her death the venerable woman was an invalid and much of the time confined to her bed. She lived in the family of her daughter, Mrs. Ann Matthews, in a small house back of the Episcopal church, and on the night of July 1, 1863, when the Confederates shelled Carlisle, narrowly escaped a tragic death. Against her wishes and protests the family took her out of her bed and away from the house, beyond the range of the enemy’s fire. This proved a wise precaution, for soon after her removal a shell entered her room and completely demolished the bed in which she had been lying. She died in the following December, at the great age of 103 years. Her husband died in 1831, thirty-two years before. To Jacob and Isabella (Wunderlich) Beteem the following children were born: (1) William L., born Aug. 27, 1841, was killed under the following circumstances: About 3 o’clock on the morning of April 23, 1861, a mounted courier came galloping into Carlisle with news from Hanover that a large body of men, — presumably Rebels — was marching upon that town from the direction of Maryland. Soon a second courier came with the confirmation of the startling report. Carlisle was aroused by the ringing of bells, and the Carlisle Infantry, commanded by Capt. Robert McCartney, marched at double quick out the Baltimore turnpike to meet the supposed invaders. Before the company reached Mt. Holly, the news met them that the report was false, and after taking a rest the soldiers turned about and came back. William L. Beetem and Jacob Wunderlich out of curiosity had followed the company in a buggy, and when the march homeward began they proposed to some of the soldiers that they give them their muskets to carry back in their buggy. Several passed their guns over to the young men, but in the handling one was discharged, the ball passing through Beetem’s body in the region of the heart, killing him almost instantly. An hour afterward his widowed mother was apprised of the sad occurrence by the arrival of his dead body at the door of her home in Carlisle. (2) Ann C., born Sept. 9, 1843, died Feb. 15, 1887; all her lifetime she lived in Carlisle, and died unmarried. (3) Marian, horn May 23, 1846, died Aug. 26, 1846. (4) Bella M. became a teacher, and taught successfully in the schools of Carlisle for a number of years. Afterward she married Rev. Edward Devine, who now is pastor of a Methodist Church in the Philadelphia Conference, and to them three children have been born, a son named Edmund Devine, and two who died in infancy. (5) Emma married Dr. C. W. Krise, a physician of Carlisle, who died Jan 23, 1900, aged fifty-one years. His widow and two children, Helen E. and Raymond Worth, survive him. (6) Edward C. is the subject of this sketch. (7) Jacob S. born Oct. 5, 1856, is a druggist, and resides in Wilmington, Del. He married Miss Belle Ogborn, of Lancaster, Ohio, and to them two children have been born, Catherine and Eleanor.

Edward C. Beetem, the sixth child of the family and the subject of this sketch, was born Aug. 28, 1852. As soon as he reached the legal age he was sent to the public schools, which he attended until he was fourteen years old. That completed his scholastic education. He then went to work in a grocery store; afterward he clerked in different dry-goods stores in Carlisle, both for the sake of employment and as a means of preparation for a business career. He continued to be employed in this way until October, 1873, when he and the late John C. Stephens, under the firm name of Stephens & Beetem, founded the Carlisle Carpet House, located first for nine years on East Main and afterward for sixteen years on South Hanover street. This house was the leading retail carpet store in the county from the time it was established until 1901, when the firm relations were terminated by Mr. Stephens’s death.

After engaging in the retail carpet business for four years Messrs. Stephens & Beetem began the manufacture of carpets. In 1882 they erected a large building on South Bedford street, where they continued until their business outgrew the capacity of their factory and it became necessary to provide a larger plant. In July, 1901, after Mr. Stephens’s death, the old firm was succeeded by a new one consisting of E. C. Beetem, W. E. Johnson and C. G. Beetem, the last named member being the only son of the head of the firm. Thus organized they continued, on a more extensive scale than formerly, the manufacture of linens, domestics, finest rag and yarn homemades, jutes, all-wool and Venetian carpetings. During the summer of 1902, they erected, at the corner of Louther and Spring Garden streets, a large new plant named the Carlisle Carpet Mills, measuring 250 x 50 feet, the main building three stories and the wings one story high. Here is given constant employment to a force of fifty skilled workmen, producing a large output of carpetings which finds a market throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the Western States. The business is under the immediate personal direction of the three members of the firm, is managed with the most commendable care and enterprise, and contributes much to the general prosperity of the community.

Edward C. Beetem was married, Sept. 16, 1880, to Miss Celia L. Bentz, daughter of Jacob and Celia L. (Noell) Bentz, and a member of another large representative Carlisle family. To this union there have been born the following children: (1) Charles Gilbert, born Nov. 24, 1881, was educated at Metzger College, in the public schools of Carlisle and at Dickinson Preparatory School. Subsequently he graduated from the Carlisle Commercial College and as soon as he reached his majority became associated with his father in the carpet manufacturing business. He is secretary and treasurer of the new firm and is a very industrious and promising young man. (2) Mary Isabella, born June 14, 1886, and (3) Edith Louisa, born Feb. 26, 1889, are at home and being educated at Metzger College, one of Carlisle’s excellent institutions of learning.

Like his paternal and maternal ancestors Edward C. Beetem was baptized into the Lutheran Church. He long was a member of the choir and was otherwise prominent in the First Lutheran Church of Carlisle. His wife’s family were Presbyterians, and since their marriage Mr. Beetem, out of deference to his wife’s lifelong church associations, has united with the Second Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, where the entire family have for some years been worshiping.

* * * *

This family biography is one of numerous biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania published in 1905 by The Genealogical Publishing Company. 

View additional Cumberland County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Cumberland County, Pennsylvania Biographies

View a historic 1911 map of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

View family biographies for other states and counties

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.