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Joseph W. Beardsley (1820-1868)

Joseph Warren Beardsley was born in 1820 in New York state, and died August 27, 1868, also in New York.  He married Caroline Maxson and they had five children: Amelia Elizabeth, Arthur Maxson, Frank Warren, Clara (m. Edmund G. Babbidge), and Anna Cora.

Beardsley was a medical doctor, legislator, and store owner in Prescott, Wisconsin.

Obituary in the September 11, 1868, issue of The Prescott Journal:

DEATH OF EX-SPEAKER BEARDSLEY.—We regret to learn of the death of Dr. Joseph Warren Beardsley, of Prescott, in this State.  He died at Illion [sic], New York, on the 27th of August at the age of 48 years.  Dr. Beardsley served several terms in the Wisconsin legislature, and was elected speaker of the assembly by the republicans and war democrats in 1862.  He was afterwards an earnest and active democrat, and in all the relations of life was much esteemed for the frankness and sincerity of his character.  He was borne in Herkimer county, New York, where he died, and belonged to a family noted in that State for its ability and prominence.—Milwaukee News.

Obituary in the September 3, 1868, issue of The Pierce County Herald:


DIED at Ilion, N. Y., on Thursday the 27th ult., Dr. J. W. BEARDSLEY, of Prescott.

Siste, viator—stop, traveler; ponder!  A friend is gone.  A kind-hearted man has departed.  A generous citizen has left us.  A skillful physician has portioned his last prescription.  An active merchant cancelled his last bill, accommodated the last customer.—An extensive commercial man has discharged his last freight, signed the last bill of lading, paid off his last laboring crew.  An elderly wheat and wool dealer has untied his last bag and sacked the last bale.  The visitor of the unction metropolis has been greeted for the last time, with an ingenuous shake of the hand, by one who never failed to tender it to protestant and catholic, jew [sic] and gentile.  DR. J. W. BEARDSLEY has left this mundane sphere, and his exit is now chronicled.

Curriculum—the career or course of life, of this gentleman, publicly, we should be happy to write, but will forbear through this source.  In so far as he acted with reference to the local issues of this county, in 1862, when chosen to the House of Legislature for Union sentiments, we will venture an expression of forgiveness; his central friends being satisfied that he was greatly imposed upon by their base opponents, the resort of whom, outraged many other worthy men of the county besides the Representative.

De mortuis nil nisi bonum—say nothing evil of the dead.  Frailty affects us all.  Of a genial and social temperament, DR. BEARDSLEY was; and often from the care and toil of business would he snatch himself away to indulge with a friend.  Governors, Judges, Congressmen, Generals, Presidents, tolerate the same freedom.  For the spirit world, he has now taken his departure.  A constant wife mourns the loss of her first choice—children grieve at the deprival of an indulgent parent—neighbors lament, and resident citizens are sad on account of the final absence of an obliging and humane physician—society bemoan a void in their midst, and the business community sorrow at this dispensation of Divine Providence.  His masonic virtues we may all strive to emulate—his gentlemanly qualities endeavor in vain to excel.

Ad altiora—upward to something higher, has our brother ascended, whose companions and associates may soon hail his seraphic spirit in the celestial kingdom—in the world of spirits, where uncharitableness is unknown, where seraphim and cherabim [sic] unceasingly chant their requiem, and where the heavenly host sing eternal hosannas to the blissful immortal.


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