Biography of John A. Beaner

John A. Beaner, postmaster of Canastota, McCook County, South Dakota, was born on July 5, 1853, in Winnebago County, Illinois. Orphaned early, he was raised by George Fisher. Beaner worked as a farmer in Illinois and Iowa before moving to South Dakota in 1880, where he homesteaded in Turner County. In 1889, he relocated to Canastota, becoming the town’s first grain dealer. A dedicated Republican, Beaner served as postmaster under Presidents Cleveland and Roosevelt and has been involved in local Republican Party leadership. He is a Mason and a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Beaner married Mary E. Ellis in 1875, and they have one daughter, Gertrude M., married to Grant Roberts of Rock Valley, Iowa.


John A. Beaner, who is postmaster at Canastota, McCook County, has long been one of the representative citizens of this section of the state, prominent in the work of the Republican Party and in business affairs, having been the first grain dealer in the town, while he has at all times received the fullest measure of popular confidence and esteem.

Mr. Beaner is a native of the state of Illinois, having been born in Winnebago County on the 5th of July, 1853, and being a son of Joseph and Gertrude (Harig) Beaner. He was the only child and his mother died while he was an infant. The father of the subject was a carpenter by vocation, and his death occurred at Annapolis, Maryland, on March 11, 1863. He was a valiant soldier in the Union army during the war of the Rebellion, having enlisted as a member of Company I, Seventy-fourth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he participated in many of the important battles of the great conflict. He was captured by the enemy and was held captive in the famous Andersonville prison, where he contracted a disease that caused his death a short time after his release, so that our subject was doubly orphaned when a mere boy, being thereafter reared in the home of George Fisher. He attended the common schools of his native state until he had attained the age of sixteen years, when he assumed the active duties of life and became dependent upon his own resources. He went to Black Hawk County, Iowa, where he was engaged in farming for two years, after which he returned to Illinois and located in Durand Township, where he followed the vocation of farming until 1874. Thereafter, he was a resident of Jesup, Iowa, until October, 1878, when he first came to what is now South Dakota. He located in Turner County, where he remained about two months, and then returned to Iowa, which continued to be his home until 1880, when he again came to South Dakota, improving his claim of government land in Turner County and there giving his attention to farming and stock raising until 1889, when he located in Canastota, McCook County, where he has ever since made his home. Here he established himself in the grain business, being the first to inaugurate this line of enterprise in the town, and he continued to be actively engaged in the buying and shipping of grain for the next decade.

Though he is a staunch Republican in politics and an active and influential worker in the party cause, Mr. Beaner was appointed postmaster of Canastota under the administration of President Cleveland and served in this capacity for four years, while in 1902 he was again appointed to the office, under the regime of President Roosevelt, being the incumbent at the present time. He has been consecutively connected with the administration of post office affairs here for the past eleven years, having served for four years of this time as deputy. He is at the present time chairman of the Republican central committee of McCook County and has ably managed the party work in this field. Fraternally, Mr. Beaner is identified with Prudence Lodge, No. 119, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, in Canastota, and with Salem Chapter, No. 34, Royal Arch Masons, at Salem, the county seat. He is also affiliated with Canastota Lodge, No. 13, Ancient Order of United Workmen, in his home town. Mrs. Beaner is a member of the Presbyterian Church.

On the 8th of July, 1875, Mr. Beaner was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Ellis, of Barclay, Iowa. She was born and reared in Barclay County and is a daughter of A. J. and Jane Ellis. Mr. and Mrs. Beaner have one daughter, Gertrude M., who is now the wife of Grant Roberts, who is engaged in the meat business in Rock Valley, Iowa.

Source

Robinson, Doane, History of South Dakota: together with mention of Citizens of South Dakota, [Logansport? IN] : B. F. Bowen, 1904.

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