Sunday, January 20, 2013

Just Like An Onion The Layers Peel Away

Dear Uncle,

Brother Bill and I have been on the road to discovering the depth of the ancestors that we've been focusing on.  Our Beal Boys of the Civil War.

Bill has made contact with folks and institutions all over the US. He's downloaded files and looked at documents and cross referenced and fact checked.  But one of the best connections that he made recently was with the historian in Natick, MA.

This very kind gentleman is also researching the veterans of the war and since Bill had information, a collaborative effort is now the result.

One of the pieces of info sent to Bill was the obituary of your nephew Eleazar Carpenter Beal, son of your brother Calvin and his wife Sally Franklin,  It tugged on my heart.  I knew very little about the man but his obit was just lovely and spoke of the character of the man .  There was even a minor, veiled reference as to his opinionatedness- which as near as I can tell must be genetic in origin as the trait runs true throughout the family.

Eleazars Obituary ran in the Natick Tab shortly after his passing.  Although I do not have a date or page to cite I hope you will bear with me as I have transcribed the obit in it's entirety because I do believe that it is worth reading.


Eleazar C. Beal died at his residence on West Central Street, Saturday morning at 2 o’clock.  He was a native of Lyme, New Hampshire, one of fourteen children of Calvin and Sally Franklin Beal of that town and was born August 4th 1825.  He followed the fortunes of the elder children of the family and came to Natick a lad of fourteen years and worked at making brogans attending school in the winter terms kept by Vice President Henry Wilson and Edwin C. Morse.  He was an earnest worker, a diligent and faithful student and from his coming here had always been a resident of the town.  He was an active athletic youth and in the various exercises of that character in Natick was the front rank of the young men of that period.
When Henry Wilson raised the Massachusetts Twenty-second Regiment of Infantry, he enlisted as a private, and was assigned to the teams of the regiment.  He served his full time, receiving an honorable discharge and with the regiment he saw some of the hardest battles of the rebellion.
After his return from the war he engaged in the jobbing and express business and was for fifteen years the local agent of the Adams and the Railroad Express companies, resigning his labors when the infirmities of age compelled him to relinquish active pursuits and manual labor.
He discussed public questions with the same earnestness that he performed big labor: clinging with firm faith to what he conceived to be right and believing in justice with his fellowmen in all his dealings.  His positiveness brought him some antagonisms, but his opponents knew that his heart was in the right place and his motives were for the general good of his fellowmen.  No person was better known in Natick or had a wider circle of acquaintances.  A good citizen, a faithful soldier of the rebellion: he has gone to his rest with his ancestors, brethren and comrades.  He was a member of Gen. Waraworth Post 63 Grand Army of the Republic.  He leaves a widow, a son, daughter and several grandchildren to mourn his departure.
And so Uncle, I am sure you see why I felt the need to  have you read what the citizens of Natick felt about your nephew.  It was a fine, fine tribute to a caring man.
Until the next,
Your Devoted Niece

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