Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside Co. 1885
19 Mar 2008
Transcribed by Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society
William A. Beswick, a prominent agriculturist of Clyde Township, and a resident on section 30, was born where he now lives, Jan. 1, 1850. Richard Beswick, his father, was a native of Yorkshire, England, and was of unmixed English lineage. When he was 18 years old he emigrated to the New Work and settled in the province of Ontario. He was there married to Sarah Patrick, a native of the province, and born of Scotch parents. After that event they removed to Illinois and settled in Clyde Township, then it its pioneer days. The father secured a claim, where he began the labors and efforts o a pioneer settler on the unbroken prairie, building at the outset a home suited to the necessities of a family. A few years later the wife died, leaving two children. Of these a daughter survives. A son died not long after the mother. The second wife of Mr. Beswick was Mrs. Hannah (Knight) Humphrey. She is a native of Maine and was married to her first husband in Ohio, where he died and left her with two children, both boys, one of whom is deceased. After she became a widow she came to Illinois and married Mr. Beswick. They had five children, and the mother is still living on the homestead estate, aged 64 years. The father died on the farm July 7, 1884, aged 74 years.
Mr. Beswick of this sketch lived at home until he was 25 years of age, and his first important step was h is matrimonial alliance with Mary, daughter of Frederick and Sarah (Milnes) Wood, which occurred Jan. 1, 1875. The father of Mrs. Beswick was a native of England and came in childhood to the United States. When he was 20 years of age he came to Illinois and located in the then new county of Whiteside. His wife was born in Massachusetts and came to Whiteside County when she and it were in the early periods of their existences. After their marriage they became the owners of unbroken prairie, which they improved, and which they made their homestead. They now own 200 acres on which they are living in retirement.
Mrs. Beswick was born April 22, 1854, on section 29, Clyde Township, and was reared at home and educated in the public schools. Her children by Mr. Beswick are all living and were born as follows: Elmer M., Nov. 24, 1876; Lorenzo, Feb. 13, 1878; Sarah, Aug. 26, 1879; Richard F., Oct. 10, 1881; and Hannah, June 21, 1883.
On settling in life Mr. and Mrs. Beswick rented a farm which they managed for some time. In 1876 they bought 80 acres of land on section 30, which was partly improved, and included 20 acres of timber, whose value in a prairie country needs no demonstration. The estate of Mr. Beswick now includes (1885) 189 acres, and of this 160 acres are under cultivation. He has a well earned repute as a grower of stock, and has a fine herd of thoroughbred Durham cattle and a valuable lot of Poland-China swine. The buildings on the homestead place are first-class farm edifices and greatly enhance the value and appearance of the place. In addition to his own farm, Mr. Beswick has been conducting the agricultural affairs of 400 acres of land situated on sections 30 and 31.
He is a Democrat in political views and connections. He has been active in local township affairs and has served in several official positions. He is a Director in the Mt. Pleasant Mutual Fire Insurance Company.