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First, thank you for your interest in the BEECHWOOD family and their many collateral lines. If you have any questions, feedback, or problems while visiting this page, please contact me immediately.
Over the past 10+ years I've been quite successful in identifying my BEECHWOOD ancestors and their families here in the U.S. I've accumulated quite a collection of photocopies of vital records, census data, and published accounts of family members. If, while you are reading, you happen to find we share a common ancestor, please contact me--I'm more than happy to compare/share notes. As self-appointed BEECHWOOD family historian and genealogist, my goal is to publish a "thorough" account of the BEECHWOOD family.
Jacob BUCHHOLTZER emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1837, landing that September in Detroit, MI. While it's obvious the family changed their name ("Beechwood" is a direct English translation of the German "Buchholtz"), different branches did so at different times--and no official records of such name change have yet been found. Jacob's children used BEECHWOOD, but his eldest son's children were all listed as BUCHHOLTZ(ER) in their birth and baptism records; BEECHWOOD was in the marriage records.
Between 1837 and 1841, I have no record of Jacob. I know he was in West Turin, Lewis County, NY as of 1841. He shows up in several land records there, and the 1855 State Census indicates he was there for 14 years. Estimates indicate he married his first wife Elizabeth GROESBECK? KRESBACHY/KRESBAUGH? (sp?) about 1840/41. She died after 13 years of marriage--his second wife, Catherine SEELMAN/SELLMAN (sp?), is listed in the 1855 census. Some of this is based on Jacob's biography in "History of Neosho County, Kansas" by W.W. Graves. I suspect Jacob himself was the source for that information, as he was living when the book was published.
Jacob moved his family to Lewis, Lewis County, NY in 1859; there are other BEECHWOODs reported in that county at the same time, but I've found no familial ties with them as of yet.
In the summer of 1865, Jacob again relocated his family (wife and four children) from New York to Kansas, arriving that November to become the first area settler in a small corner of Osage Indian territory, known as Osage Mission, in Neosho County, KS. His biography indicates he was assisted by an Osage Indian scout, who led him to high, fertile ground near Flat Rock Creek, a small extension of nearby Neosho River. The scout then helped him build his first house, a log cabin. His second house was, of wood frame construction, was built on the same location by P. H. Dent.
In 1996 I journeyed from CT to KS and spent several days visiting the places my grandfather knew as a young boy ... BEECHWOOD HILL can still be seen off in the distance from the center of town (renamed St. Paul in 1901), though it's much less a hill than it used to be, thanks to several bouts of road reconstruction over the past 135 years. The wood frame house that stands today may be the third in that location. Most of the grain silo and a more modern garage/outbuilding are also standing. Only the grass-covered stone block foundation remains of the great red barn which once housed animals, feed, and farming equipment.
Although Jacob passed on in 1888, followed by his wife in 1890, his two of his three sons remained there long enough to start their own families. The eldest returned to New York in the late 1860s. My grandfather, John Jacob BEECHWOOD, was born on the Hill, as were his sisters and brothers. In 1909, John Jacob's father, William Nickolas BEECHWOOD, left his home of 44 years and moved the next generation of BEECHWOODs south to Coffeyville, Montgomery County, Kansas. Eventually, that generation scattered across the country to AK, CA, TX, GA, PA, NJ, CT & MA.
- Viola Beechwood (143 KB)
This is Viola Beechwood, circa 1915. She is the younger of the two daughters born to William and Mary Alice (Bell) Beechwood. Viola and her elder sister Mary were extraordinarily close, living together all their lives. Viola was reputedly an off-Broadway singer/performer by profession.
- Alice Magdalen Beechwood (108 KB)
A darling girl to look upon, Alice was the youngest child born to William & Mary Alice Beechwood. She died at the age of 3, though the cause is unknown. According to John Jacob Beechwood Sr. (as told to his children), his little sister was always sickly and had a cradle by the hearth. When John learned of her death after returning home from school one evening, he was not surprised. It was an event long expected by the family.
- Gr-Great Grandparents: John & Louise Bell (87 KB)
John Thomas Bell and Maria Louise Saunders Bell were the parents of Mary Alice Bell, wife of William Nickolas Beechwood. John was a widower with a young son when he and Louise married; they had 10 children, 7 daughters (of which Mary Alice was the eldest) and 3 sons. They settled in Osage Mission, Neosho County, Kansas in 1869.