Mr. Beattie was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, June 24th, 1818. In the fall of 1820 his father and family left Pittsburgh in a small family emigrant boat, and started down the Ohio River for the then far west. They landed at Shawneetown, Jan. 1st, 1821, and came on immediately by wagon to this County, and made a settlement where Mt. Beattie now resides. Here Mr. Beattie‘s father, James H., lived till removed by death May 18th, 1846. He was born near Newburg, New York, left there with his father and family when in the twentieth year of his age, and settled with them in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. He was there married to Miss Hannah Burkheart, by whom he raised only one heir, viz, the subject of this sketch. Just before starting west he married his second wife, formerly Miss Margaret Black, who accompanied her husband through to Illinois, and after proving herself an excellent wife for many years, she died in this County in 1840. She left behind her three living children – two yet surviving, viz., Francis H. and Robert T., both of this County. Mr. Beattie, on coming to this section of the State, settled down on a tract of land previously secured by his father, opened a farm, and made about the first improvements in Township 4 -5. He was a strict member of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, a man who had a marked individuality of character, firm principles, and was in industrious, hard-working farmer.
Mr. Beattie, our subject, was only two years old when the family reached Shawneetown, and has spent therefore the principal part of his life in Illinois, having continued a citizen of this County from the time he came into it. He has seen this county come up from almost a wilderness condition to its present high state of civilization and improvement, and has contributed his full share towards its cultivated transformation. During his early youth he had few educational advantages, worked hard on the farm, and being the eldest of the children, next to his father, the greatest amount of responsibility towards conducting the farm and supporting the family rested on his shoulders.
February 9th, 1854, he was joined in marriage to Miss Elizabeth McMillan, a native of Scotland, and a lady of many merits, who has made her husband a faithful companion, and has been a kind mother to their six surviving children, born in the following order:
- Mary J. Beattie.
- James H. Beattie.
- John A. Beattie.
- Jacob L Beattie.
- William M. Beattie.
- Hannah E. Beattie, died when about eight years of age.
Mr. Beattie has accumulated a fine property, comprising a farm of two hundred and forty acres, very finely improved, well drained, and a rich soil.
Mr. Beattie became connected with the Reformed Presbyterian Church in 1843, and continued in its fellowship till about 1870, when he became identified with the United Presbyterian Church, and he and his lady both at present membership in a congregation of this order at Sparta.