NATHAN BEADLES was born in Danville, Ky., in 1811, the son of RICE and SARAH (ADAMS) BEADLES, natives of Virginia, where his father died in 1819. His mother, with 3 sons and 2 daughters, came to this county in 1829 and settled near Bernadotte, where she died in 1834, and all the children have passed to their long home. The subject of this sketch came to this city in 1833 and engaged in Tailoring three years, when he began a mercantile pursuit, and engaged entensively in beef and port-packing for 15 years. He retired from the business pursuits of life in 1866, but subsequently engaged in real estate in this city and Chicago. He erected the block properly called BEADLES' Block, in 1874-5, at a cost of $45,000, and also erected the Methodist Church and parsonage. There is no man in this community who has done more for the advancement and growth of the city than NATHAN BEADLES. He was married in this county in 1836 to MISS. L. SMITH, a native of Banner County, Ky., who died in 1842. He was again united in same county to MISS. LUAN LEEPER, who died in June, 1878. Mr. B. served as County Collector in 1842, and cast his first vote for Gen. Jackson, being a life-long Democrat. Was Vice-President and Director of N. G. R. R., and is one of the oldest living settlers of this county.
History of Fulton County, Illinois
Vol: 2 Page: 785
Portrait and biographical album of Fulton County, Illinois
NATHAN BEADLES is well known and honored by the people of Fulton County not only as one of its pioneers, but as one of its most worthy citizens, and is now the oldest inhabitant. He came to Lewistown more than half a century ago when it was only a small village and cast in his lot with its early settlers, has been prominent in its upbuilding, and is today one of the substantial, wealthy men of the city.
Our subject was born on Kentucky soil August 26, 1811, Danville, Mercer County, the place of his birth. His father, RICE BEADLES, came of an old Virginia family, and was born in that State, in Lynchburg County, the son of another RICE BEADLES, who was also a native of the Old Dominion. The latter was reared and married there, and there spent his entire life. He was a planter and slaveholder, and a man of considerable wealth.
The father of our subject grew to man's estate in the home of his birth, and in due times was there married to SARAH ADAMS, daughter of JOHN ADAMS, both Virginians by birth. Soon after married MR. BEADLES and his young wife left their native State to build up a home for themselves in the wilds of Kentucky, the removal being made with a wagon. They were among the first settlers of Mercer County, where he bought a tract of heavily timbered land, and from that time until his death devoted his energies to superintending the clearing of his land and to tilling the soil. The mother of our subject also spent her last years on the farm in Kentucky, and her remains were buried in the Lewistown Cemetery in Fulton County, this State.
NATHAN BEADLES, of whom we write, is the youngest of eleven children, and the only one now living, and he has attained a greater age than any member of the family. His early life was passed amid the pleasant scenes of his Kentucky home on a farm. At the age of eighteen he was sent to learn the trade of a tailor, in Danville, serving a three years' apprenticeship. At the expiration of that time, in 1833, the pioneer spirit of his ancestry led him to cross the Ohio River from his native State, and make his way to the wilds of Fulton County to become a pioneer of the little settlement of Lewistown. He found this a thriving little hamlet, with a population of about four hundred people, the center of a wild, sparsely settled country, that was but little improved. Deer, wolves, wild turkeys, and other game were plenty and roamed at will over the prairies and bluffs or haunted the groves of timber, and Indians still traveled to and fro across the country, which had once belonged to them.
After his arrival here our subject immediately invested in property including his present location. There were two hewed log houses on the place at the time, and he opened a tailor shop in one, and when he married commenced housekeeping in the other. He has occupied the same ground for a period of fifty-seven years, though the rude log house in which he first made his home has been superseded by a fine brick residence, and here he has one of the most attractive abodes in this part of the city. The lawns around it are tastily laid out, and adorned with many beautiful rose bushes and other shubbery and flowering plants in profusion. The adornment of the grounds is due in a great measure to his lamented wife, a lady of true refinement, who was a great lover of flowers, and is kept up as a beautiful memory of her presence.
MR. BEADLES is a fine type of our self-made man, as from poverty he has risen to a position of wealth and importance in the community. When he arrived here in the flush and vigor of early manhood his only moneyed capital was thirty-seven cents, but his health, strength and brain were good substituties, and by their aid he has acquired riches, and is the owner of much valuable property here and elsewhere. He built and still owns Beadle's Block, the finest business block in the city, and he has other realty here, and has large possessions in Chicago. His financial ability is of a high order, and in all his transactions he has always acted with strict regard to veracity and honor. He is a sincere Christian gentleman, and in 1868 connected himself with the Methodist Episcopal Church. He has always been a Democrat, and cast his first Presidential vote for Gen. Jackson.
MR. BEADLES has been twice married. September 07, 1835, was the date of his first marriage, and at that time he was wedded to LAMIRA SMITH, a daughter of JOHN and ESTHER SMITH, and a native of Barren County, Ky. Their married life was happy and brief and was closed by her death September 28, 1842. The second marriage of our subject was with LUAN LEEPER, and was solemnized May 06, 1846. She was born in Barren County, Ky., and was a daughter of WILLIAM and MARGARET LEEPER. For more than thirty years MR. and MRS. BEADLES were permitted to walk life's road together, and then they were called to part until they shall meet where "the broken circles of life are rounded to the perfect orb;" the faithful wife, wise counselor and true friend dying June 06, 1878. Since the death of his wife his niece, MISS. M. J. BRADLEY, has presided over the household of our subject, and administers carefully and tenderly to his comfort.