Lois - Beatty Family - L039

Who are these Beattys?

Posted by
Lois (Griffes) Kortering L-39
, lekort @ comcast.net

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Click here for full size back side of card

I have this postcard picture that everyone in our BEATTY family loves, but we have not been able to identify the people as our BEATTY family or our MCDONALD family. My maternal grandmother was Edith BEATTY (1889-1956), and my maternal grandfather was Winfield MCDONALD (1888-1967).

This is the message on the back of the picture postcard:

"Earl - How does this look to you? This is Pa's rig. The big day. That is Will in black, standing by the horse head and this picture is taken in front of my house."

My questions about this picture have always been:

1. Is "Earl" actually Clarence Earl Beatty? Clarence was the 1st-born of the 12 children of John Clinton and Sarah Jane (HAGGERTY) BEATTY and was born 04 December 1880, Claybanks, Oceana, MI and was known by his middle name by some people. He married 1st, Cecile (ADAMS) before 1909 and had a daughter and a son. The daughter is still living in Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI at age 94. Clarence married 2nd, Hazel Marian (COWLES) 06 April 1923, Grand Rapids, Kent Co., MI, and there was a daughter and a son from this marriage, also. Only the daughter is still living and in her early 70s. Clarence died 18 March 1963, Grand Rapids and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery, as was his second wife, Hazel, who was our family historian for over 30 years.

2. Is "Pa" actually John Clinton BEATTY, father of the 12? The parents of John C. BEATTY were James Lewis BEATTY IV, born 20 November 1819 in Stark Co., OH, m. 11 December 1840, Mercer, Mercer Col., OH to Ann/Anna Maria (WILCOX). James L. BEATTY died 17 October 1888, South Bend, St. Joseph Co., IN in the County Poor House and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Walkerton, St. Joseph Co., IN. Anna Maria was born 26 February 1824, Walkerton, St. Joseph Co., IN and died 19 March 1874, Chesterton, Porter Co., IN.

3. Is "Will" actually Willard Beatty? Williard/Willard was the 6th-born of the 12 children, and he was born 11 March 1893, Claybanks, Oceana Co., MI. Although I do not think he was ever referred to as "Will," possibly some of his siblings called him "Will.". Willard married 1st, 1915 Mae (NORTON), 2 children and Mae both died early in their marriage.

Willard married 2nd, before 1921, Hazel "May" (REEVES) and they had nine children. There were many tragic events in this family. One set of twins and another daughter died as infants, and the daughter of the 1st-born set of twins died at age 25, just 8 hours after her mother and the mother of Willard's nine children. There were five young children left motherless by the daughter and five children under 25 left motherless by the mother.

Presently, there are two surviving children of Willard and "May," one almost 80 and one in his late 60s. There are many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Willard died 03 December 1970, Traverse City, Grand Traverse Co., MI, 3-5 years after their youngest daughter Mary Jean (BEATTY) MCLAUGHLIN disappeared, leaving five very young children, ages 8 years to 6 months. Mary Jean, the youngest of the nine, was born 13 June 1938, so she could still be alive at age 65 and simply does not want to be found.

4. Is it Ernest Beatty's house in Battle Creek? Or could it be the house of one of the other brothers? The person who wrote the postcard message lived in this house.

When I found the postcard, recently again, I saw my own handwriting in pencil written lightly upside down on the postcard--and I had written "Bill McDonald?"--so that must have been my first impression back in 1989 when I found the picture at my mom's house after her death.

I kept thinking that this postcard was sent to my grandmother, Edith (Beatty) McDonald, but after finding it again, I was wrong. There is no stamp and no address. There is a William McDonald on my grandfather's side, but there is no Earl McDonald, as far as I know.

There are several Williams in the family of William Henry Beaty, brother of John Clinton Beatty. That William was the only one who dropped one "T" in his last name, and so did Willard, but, of course, there is no mention of the Beaty/Beatty name on the postcard, anyway. Also, there is no Earl Beaty in the family of William Henry Beaty, as far as I know.

5. Who is holding the reins? Is it the famous Clyde Beatty, as a grandson of Willard seems to suggest? He thinks that the "B" word to the left of the surrey top in the Wedding Carriage picture might be "Barnum," and that the surrey might have been loaned to the wedding party by P.T. Barnum.

If any Beaty or Beatty family has ever seen this picture or has any suggestions, please contact me.