BEERUP, William. - To have lived for over sixty years in one section of the country; to have reached the remarkable age of ninety-one years; to have seen the changes that have come over the country, is not the lot that falls to everyone. In 1838 the first puff of a locomotive was heard in Illinois; the following year William Beerup, now a highly esteemed citizen of Springfield, was working for the Northern Cross Railroad Company. He was born September 6, 1820, in Sidney, Canada, a son of John and Mary Beerup. John Beerup was born in Albany, N. Y., and for many years conducted a blacksmith and horse-shoeing shop at Sidney, Canada. At an early date he came to Illinois, stopping in Chicago for a time to work at his trade, but later came to Springfield, where the rest of his life was spent.
William Beerup was educated in the country schools of Canada, leaving home at the age of ten years and two years later going to New York learned the blacksmith trade in the shop of John Beeby, at Southport, N. Y. He worked for two years on the Welland Canal in Canada, and for three years on the Erie Canal, at which time the late President Garfield was working as tow-boy. For a time he was employed at his trade in St. Catherine's, Canada, but eventually came to Springfield. When the Wabash railroad was in course of construction he was employed by that company, and saw the railroad business in Illinois grow from its earliest infancy to its present stupendous size. With the railroad has come every kind of change for the progress and development of the State, so that in taking part in the building up of the railroad, Mr. Beerup has in reality been helping build up his State.
Mr. Beerup was married in Springfield, in 1848, to Catherine E. Tolley, who was born in Jacksonville, Ill., August 27, 1828, a member of a family which came to Morgan County, Ill., from Kentucky at an early day. Her father was born in Virginia in 1754, and after settling in Illinois took up farming and continued agricultural operations for the rest of his life. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Beerup, of whom but one survives, Adaline, the widow of John Jerry, living at No. 616 South Douglas Avenue. Her daughter, Miss Maude Jerry, is a teacher in the Stuart School. Mace Shumake, the only grandson of Mr. Beerup is living at No. 108 South Pasfield Street, and is connected with the Springfield "Record" as a linotype operator. He married Miss Jennie Kenyon, of Danville, Ill., a native of New York State. They have four children: Lester, Helen C., Gladys S. and Marion F.
Although he has attained the age of ninety-one years, Mr. Beerup is still strong and hardy, in full possession of his faculties, and in the enjoyment of perfect health, as is
his wife,l who has reached the age of eighty-two years. they reside in their home, at No. 619 Douglas Avenue, and in addition own a large farm near Springfield. Mr. Beerup has
always been a Democrat. Mrs. Beerup attended Abraham Lincoln's wedding and she and her husband were personal friends and neighbors of Mr. Lincoln.