BEESLEY, BENJAMIN F., (deceased), formerly one of the most prominent and highly esteemed citizens of Jacksonville, Ill., was born in what is now Cass (then a part of Morgan) County, in 1838. He was a son of Benjamin and Susannah Beesley, natives of Philadelphia, PA., and Quakers in religious faith. In early youth he attended school for a time in Jacksonville, under the instruction of Newton Bateman, becoming well versed in the sciences. After his primary mental training was completed, Mr. Beesley received a good business education in St. Louis, and was considered so proficient in mercantile knowledge that, at the age of eighteen years, he was sent to New York City to purchase a stock of goods for a large store, which his father and his elder brother, John were then starting at Bath, Ill. In 1863 he located in Jacksonville, and until 1870 was associated with John Carter in the hardware and drug business. In the latter year he became a bookkeeper in the Jacksonville National Bank, and was soon promoted to be Assistant Cashier. In 1875 he was made Cashier, and for twenty years served in that capacity, enjoying the utmost confidence of management of the bank and the high esteem of the general public. He officiated as Secretary and Treasurer of the Illinois Central Hospital for the Insane for twenty years, and during that extended period served in a fiduciary relation in connection with many estates, and the business enterprises of numerous friends, to whom he thus rendered invaluable aid. For twenty years he was a member of the Board of Directors of the bank, and seldom missed one of its meetings. He was public spirited to an intense degree, and was always ready to devote his time and energy to the promotion of worthy measurers for the public good, even at the sacrifice of his health and personal interests.
On July 19, 1861, Mr. Beesley was united in marriage with Sallie Gordon, a daughter of William and Nancy Gordon, natives of the State. Five children resulted from this union, the second of whom, William Benjamin, died at the age of four years. Of the others, Alice May, after spending three years in Dresden, Germany, in the study of vocal music, under eminent preceptors, became a proficient singer, appearing in concert and oratorio both in Germany and the United States. For a number of years she was a member of the noted quartet choir of the Third Presbyterian Church, at Pittsburg, Pa. In 1892 she was married to Alexander F. Adam, of that city, and has one child, Dorothy B., now seven years of age. John Harold Beesley, the second son, is a business man of Bloomington, Ill.; Dr. James Gordon Beesley, another son, is a successful dentist, also of Bloomington , and Helen Louise, the remaining child, lives at home with her mother.
In politics, Mr. Beesley was a supporter of the Republican party. Fraternally, he was identified with the Knights Templar, and his religious connections were with the Presbyterian Church. In all the relations of life, Mr. Beesley was a model man and an exemplary citizen of the community, and his death was widely and sincerely lamented. His useful career was terminated by death July 14, 1892.