Monday, August 15, 2011

Cabinet Photo of James Francis Beattie, b 1824 New York; d. 1882 Michigan

Cabinet photograph of an older man identified on reverse as "Grandpa Beattie, James Francis Beattie, Frank M. Beattie's pa".  The photograph was taken by the Whalen studio, perhaps the studio of Abel J. Whalen, who operated in several Michigan locations from 1862 to 1897.

Note of September 27, 2015:  A reader has provided more information on Frank's wife Olive Myrtle Hale, which can be seen here.   The reader descends from Olive's first husband Frank Erwin Terwilliger, shown below in an image provided by the reader.

From online research, hopefully correct: (corrections gratefully received)

James Francis Beattie was born 21 January, 1824 at Newburg, New York, the son of Thomas Montgomery Beattie and wife Admira (Crist) Beattie, who were married at the Goodwill Church at Montgomery, New York on 12 February 1814.  They moved their family west about 1829 and eventually located in Ionia County, Michigan about 1838.

James Francis Beattie's paternal grandparents were Robert and Jane (Crowell) Beattie. His maternal grandparents were Christian and Catherine Almira (Kimbergh) Crist.

In 1847 at Keene Township in Ionia County, Michigan, James Francis Beattie married Drusilla Covert, also from a family that had moved from New York to Michigan. She was born 8 February 1831 at Jerusalem, New York, the daughter of Benjamin and Sabrina (Runyan) Covert, born in Virginia and New York respectively. The family settled in Keene Township in Ionia County, Michigan about 1845.

Her paternal grandparents were Peter and Amey (Parker) Covert. Her maternal grandparents were Benjamin and Hannah (Bostwick) Runyan.

James Francis Beattie and wife Drusilla (Covert) Beattie operated a farm at Keene, Michigan. They had at least six children:
  1. Clarissa Beattie, born 19 October 1848 at Keene, Michigan; m. John Wallington of Michigan 
  2. Francis M. Beattie, [I assume the Frank M. mentioned on the back of the photograph] born 5 August 1850 at Keene, Michigan; m. Olive Myrtle Hale of Michigan 
  3. Thomas L. Beattie, born 11 December 1853 at Keene, Michigan; married Addie C. Sutton, born in New York 
  4. Harriet Beattie, born 29 September 1860 at Keene, Michigan; m. Edson A. Jepson of Michigan 
  5. Benjamin Beattie, born 11 November 1862 at Keene, Michigan; m. Jennie C. Cullums of Michigan 
  6. Catherine Beattie, born 20 Oct 1866; died July 1870 [if she is the Kattie, buried at Pinckney Cemetery in Ionia County, Michigan] 
James Francis Beattie died 17 May 1882 at Keene, Michigan. His widow Drusilla died at Keene on 15 January 1915. Francis M. Beattie died 19 September 1929 in Ionia County, perhaps at Keene.

It would be interesting to determine the identity of the person who wrote the identification on the reverse of the photograph. I don't know if Frank M. Beattie had any children of his own, but he was a stepfather to the children of his ex-wife Olive Myrtle (Hale) who had two husbands before him, and one after. Perhaps he remained close to them.

His father James Francis Beattie had died before he would have known these children, but perhaps this photograph remained in Olive's possession.

If you have any corrections, additions or insights regarding any of the information provided here, please leave a comment or contact me directly.


  1. Hi, I'm the one who have you the Frank Erwin Terwilliger photo. I regret to inform you that I just found out last night that it's not him, it's a double 1st cousin 1x removed of his. I do have photos that are of Frank but I can't remember how I I contacted you before to send them to you. My email is