Class of 1907: Homer Beattie – Post # 1

Today we celebrate the birthday of another member of the Class of 1907, and uncover a few mysteries that need solving, as well.

homer-beattie-commencement-photoOn Monday, September 17, 1906, Homer Beattie celebrated his seventeenth birthday. Unlike his classmate Irene Eline, featured in my previous post, Homer’s family did not live in the blue collar section of Norwalk. They resided in the better part of town south of Main Street, at 137 Benedict Avenue [1]. Homer’s father, Albert Milo (A.M) Beattie, was a lawyer by profession, and had served as Clerk of Courts for Huron County in the 1880s before returning to his own law practice. He was a leader in the community, active in civic organizations and a member of the school board. In 1901, he was a founder of the Norwalk Steel and Iron Company, and became its first president. In 1906, he maintained an office in the Gallup Block on Main Street. Homer’s mother, Dora Beattie, nee Sullivan, had received a good education, not common for women in those days. [2]

Although more spacious than Irene Eline’s home, the Beattie’s residence on Benedict Street was crowded by today’s standards. Beside his

residence-of-a-m-beattie-norwalk-ohio

From “Find a Grave” article for Albert Milo Beattie.

father and mother, living in the house were Homer’s sisters Blanche, age 26 and Anna, age 22, and his elder brother, John, age 20. All three were teachers. He also had a younger brother in the home: Arthur, age 11, who like Homer was a student[3]. Now comes the first mystery. Although I can find no direct evidence that he resided at 137 Benedict Avenue, Homer’s maternal grandfather, Josiah Sullivan, who lived most of his life in Pennsylvania, died in Norwalk in 1907 [4]. From what I can tell, Josiah had no other family beside his daughter Dorothy living in Norwalk at the time.

Here’s the second mystery: In her 1908-09 diary, my grandmother, Harriott Wickham (a fellow classmate of Homer Beattie), mentions a close friend named Rastus Beattie [5]. I find many clues in her descriptions of this friend that make me think he is Homer.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will post at least three articles about Homer Beattie. One article will explore his heritage on his father’s side. Another will look at his mother’s line, with a special emphasis on her father’s final days. And I’ll post what my grandmother wrote about “Rastus” Beattie, and try to determine if she was really talking about her fellow classmate, Homer Beattie.

Stay tuned!

Notes

 [1] Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Kenton Ward 2, Huron, Ohio; Roll: 1288; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1241288., 1900

[2] Firelands Historical Society (Norwalk, Ohio). The Firelands Pioneer (new series). (Norwalk, Ohio: The Firelands Historical Society, 1882-1937), Volume 25, page 220-221, Jun 1937.

[3] My estimate of who was living at 137 Benedict Street in 1906 is based on the following sources:

(a) Huron County, Ohio. 1900 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Kenton Ward 2, Huron, Ohio; Roll: 1288; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 0031; FHL microfilm: 1241288., 1900

(b) Norwalk, Ohio Directory; Year Range: 1909 – 1910; Page #: 8; Publisher: The Williams Directory Company; Publication Year: 1909 – 1910

(c) Norwalk Ward 2, in Huron, Ohio, United States. 1910 U.S. Census Population Schedule, Norwalk Ward 2, Huron, Ohio; Roll: T624_1200; Page: 4A; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 1375213., 1910

[4] Obituary, Norwalk Daily Reflector, Page: 3 Column: 4, 8 Jun 1907.

[5] Today Rastus has a pejorative and racist meaning that it did not have in 1906.

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2 Responses

  1. […] Class of 1907: Homer Beattie Post # 1 […]

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  2. […] 29, 1908 – I have another bid and it’s about time. Rastus Beattie asked me to go with him, and I accepted. I guess Charlie Y. is going to take Edna now. Irene stayed […]

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