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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.