Biography - I. N. BEEM
One of the old and reliable business houses of Ottawa has, as a member of the firm, the subject of this article, I. N. Beem, who is of German descent, though his family has been located in the United States for several generations. His grandfather, Michael Beem, was a hero of the Revolutionary war, and the same spirit of devotion which he manifested toward his country in that crucial period of its history has animated his descendants. He married and reared to maturity eight sons and three daughters.
One of the sons, Jacob Beem, born in 1799, was the father of our subject. He was an early settler in Licking county, Ohio, and lived to attain the age of seventy-six years. His wife, whose maiden name was Phoebe Rose, was a daughter of Philip Rose, and was a native of the Buckeye state. She survived her husband several years, dying likewise at the age of seventysix years. They were the parents of ten children, of whom, Milton died in Oregon; Orrin, a soldier during the civil war, was accidentally killed at Marion, Ohio; his home was in Richmond, Ohio; Albert died at Macomb, Illinois; Jacob is a farmer of Richwood, Ohio; P. Andrew and Stephen G. were soldiers in the Union army in the war of the Rebellion; both died in the service; Arminta Frances is the wife of Adam Marrow^, of Union county, Ohio; and Lewis and Benjamin F. are residents of Richwood, Ohio.
I. N. Beem was born in Licking county, Ohio, August 7, 1832. He received a liberal education for that day in the schools of the neighborhood and Columbus, Ohio; learned the tailor's trade of his uncle, Philip Rose, and came to Illinois in 1850, settling at Magnolia. He engaged in the merchant tailoring business. He entered a quarter section of land from the government, near Wenona, and moved on and improved it. He remained at that town for three and a half years, then going to Henry, where he gave his time and attention to the grocery business for several years. He went to Columbus, Ohio, and engaged in the merchant tailoring business until 1866, when he went to Arkansas, and raised a crop of cotton. In 1867 he came to Ottawa, and in 1871 became a member of the firm with which he has continued ever since. This well-known business house, which was established in 1867 under the style of Fiske, Strickland & Wing, has gone by its present title, Fiske & Beem, for the past twenty-eight years. Prosperity has smiled upon the efforts of this firm to give ample satisfaction to their customers, and their straightforward, just methods of transacting business merit the esteem which they enjoy.
On the 31st of January, 1856, Mr. Beem married Miss Mary Clarkson, a daughter of William and Sarah (Alexander) Clarkson, of Putnam county, Illinois. Three children bless the marriage of our subject and wife, namely: William Orrin, who is carrying on a fruit farm at West Plains, Howell county, Missouri; Frances, who became the wife of Charles Bradford, and died, leaving one child, Clarkson Beem; and Fred Clarkson, of Kansas City, Missouri. William O., the elder son of Mr. Beem, married Miss Bronson and has three children, Fanny May, Belle and William. Mrs. Mary C. Beem, who was a member of the Episcopal church, died in 1874. Three years later Mr. Beem was united in marriage with Miss Vilda Prescott, whose death occurred in 1880, one child, Vilda, being left to mourn her mother's loss. The lady who now bears the name of our subject, to whom she was married in 1882, was formerly Miss Annie M. Connell, of Columbus, Ohio.
The handsome residence of the Beem family is located at No. 609 Illinois avenue. Socially Mr. Beem stands high in the Masonic order, being connected with Occidental Lodge No. 40. In his political views he is an uncompromising Republican, and at present is serving in the capacity of alderman of Ottawa.
F. L. Fiske, the senior member of the firm of Fiske & Beem, has been an honored citizen of Ottawa for the long period of forty-three years, and has been prominently associated with its progress. He was born in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1840, and thus has passed the best years of his life here. He is independent in politics, using his ballot without regard to party, solely with reference to the principal issues and nominees in question. He stands well in various social orders of this place, and is justly accounted one of the most popular of our pioneer citizens.
Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 274-276.