John A. Beal

Born April 23, 1858; and died April 7, 1924
The following is from Tall Barney and HIs People Book about U. John A. Beal, II.

John A. Beals, II, married Cordelia C. Kelley born Jonesport 1861.

 

The Biographical Review XXIX, page 472, says: "Beginning in early life, John A. Beal assisted his father in his fishing business until he was twenty one years of age.  He was industrious and in every way reliable, and was placed in command of a fishing vessel before reaching his majority.  Upon coming of age he started in life for himself, continuing to make fishing trips to the Bay of Fundy.  Later he became interested in the curing and drying of fish and did quite a business.  These lines of work he continued down to 1885.  Then he opened a general merchandise store, which he has conducted successfully up to the present time (1898), in the fisheries... Making a specialty of the lobster industry, he has built two lobster smacks sine 1894, the 'Charlotte A. Beal,' commanded by James F. Beal; and the 'E. McNichol,' commanded by F.W. Beal.  He has built a new steam lobster smack,'Mina and Lizzie,' commanded by Charles H. Beal.  These smacks, doing the principal lobster business in Jonesport, during the lobster season carry twenty thousand lobsters weekly to the Portland markets...Captain Beal has done much toward developing the industries of Beal [sic] Island, more, indeed,  than any man now living here. He has also assisted liberally, both with financial and moral support, every progressive movement started on the island.  He was one of the generous contributors toward the new Holiness Church [now the Weslyan Church], which erected here in 1896-97m although he is not a member of the church organization."

John A. ran the first post office on the island.  He died 7 April 1924, his widow in 1946.  They had no children. 

A Life Sketch of Captain John A. Beal

On the Isle of Beals, in the town of Jonesport, Maine, on the 23rd day of April, 1858, a small boy first saw the light of day. Brought up by a Christian mother and a fisherman father, at the age of eleven years he made his first trip with his father in the schooner TRAVELER to the fishing banks in the Bay of Fundy.

 

For seven years following he fished as hand on vessels off the coast of Maine. A part of his winters were spent at fishing in the Bay of Fundy, and a part in going to school. It was on one of these winter trips to the Bay of Fundy that he came near to drowning, being lost overboard from an ice-coated bowsprit and coming up some distance from the vessel. His father, being a good swimmer, jumped overboard and rescued him just as he was going down for the last time. This was in the year 1871, when he was thirteen years of age.  

 

In the year 1875 he took command of the schooner ESSEX, fishing in her four years in the Bay of Fundy and off the coast of Maine summers and part of the time winters going to sea. In the winter of 1876 he came near being lost on the coast of Florida in a heavy gale on the lee shore, being saved only by a change of wind.

He took command of the schooner MAGNET in 1880, fishing off the Maine coast and Bay of Fundy for three years. In 1883 he was shipwrecked on Le Have Banks in a big gale, on schooner MARY E. HAGAN, of which he was captain at the time, being towed in by schooner JOSIE MAY. 

 

In 1884 he gave up fishing and built a grocery store and fish stand at Beals, which he ran for sixteen years, making good, and in 1901 selling out to C. H. Beal. That same year he built a dry and fancy goods store with Post Office. In 1902 he was appointed Postmaster for Beals, Maine, which office he held for eleven years. In the spring of 1913, owing to failing health, he was obliged to sell the store and resign from the Post Office.  As the result of a surgical operation, he practically lost the use of his left leg for life.

During the time since 1885 he has been deeply interested in shipping of different classes, has owned in thirty-four vessels, and has been managing owner of seventeen of them.  At  present he only owns in two, the schooners LOVINA M. SNOW of Rockland and LIZZIE J. CLARK of Jonesport, Maine. He has done considerable towards building up the Island, has built two stores, two fish stands, one church, nine dwelling houses, and has also been interested in other branches of business. He is done considerable traveling over the United States to the Pacific Coast and to the British Isles. He has served seven years on the Board of Selectmen for the town of Jonesport. He was married in 1879 to Miss Cordelia C. Kelley.  They have never had any children of their own, but have brought up two boys and one girl.  He is still engaged in the lobster business, owning in two lobster pounds. He never failed to get a trip of fish in the seven years going as master of fishermen.

American Fisherman, May, 1924, Page 24

* NOTE: This life sketch of Captain Beal was sent us just before his death, and was the last bit of writing from his hand. Our records show that Captain Beal was our third subscriber. From the very beginning he was always a strong supporter and valued friend. We are sure he would be happy to know that his last writing was published in – what he considered, and so wrote us – “the best little paper for fishermen ever published.” – Ed. Captain Beal Passes Away On April 3, 1924, Captain John A. Beal died at his home in Jonesport, Maine, and is now resting awaiting the “Great Captain’s” call, which he was prepared to answer, having become a Christian a few years ago. He was a member of the Adventist Church at Beals, and was always a faithful worker in church affairs. Captain Beal was a highly respected citizen, a member of the Jonesport Lodge F. & A. M. No. 108, and was always spoken of as the “father of Beals” (Maine). He was always mindful of those in need and ready to help a good cause. He was a staunch Republican in politics. Captain Beal leaves to mourn his loss a wife, Cordelia C. Beal; four sisters, Lucinda J., Amy A., Maggie S. Beal, and Charlotte A. Faulkingham; also five brothers, Freeman W., George W., Charles H., Nehemiah I., and Napoleon R., and a host of other near relatives and friends. - J. M. Anderson

Beals Historical Society, PO Box 280, Beals ME 04611

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