Sunday, February 17, 2013
Henry A Beal and Beal Family
From an interview of a Beal descendant who was a professor at Ricks.
HF: Now Dr. Beal, in going back on the Beal name, could you kindly comment a little about your ancestry on your father’s side?
MB: My father’s family came from England in the late 1830’s and they lived for a time in Syracuse, the Syracuse, New York area. There missionaries of the L.D.S. Church found them, and they were converted and moved to Illinois. So they were at Illinois during the time of persecutions and at the time of exodus from that state.
HF: Did your father or parents have a family which they brought with them into the intermountain area then?
MB: My grandfather, Henry Allen Beal, and a brother named William, were the sons of John Beal and his wife. And they were converted to the church. My grandfather, Henry A. Beal didn’t join the church until the Florence or Omaha situation on the Missouri. He was baptized in the Missouri River when he was about twelve years of age. And subsequently, 1852 was the year when that family crossed the plains by ox team and came to Utah. Grandfather’s mother died on the way.
HF: What area of the Utah Territory did the Beal family settle?
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MB: After being in the Salt Lake Area for a short time, they moved to a newly established settlement at Manti in what came to be Sanpete County. And so my grandfather, as a young man, became actively engaged in pioneer work. In fact, he was one of twenty-five who moved from Manti to a settlement within seven miles called Ephraim and established that settlement, building a fort block in 1854. As a young man, he at least has this distinction, he married Mary Thorpe Morris. Later he married two other wives upon the advice and consent of the brethren. And altogether there were twenty-four children. Grandfather Beal was very active in the church; he held various offices. He became a member of the stake presidency of Sanpete Stake in 1877, and held that position until 1902. The rest of his life, for ten years, he served as patriarch in that place. He was active in the development of Snow Academy, as it’s known, Snow College today. In fact, his role in reference to education in that part of Utah is quite comparable to the role of Thomas E. Ricks in reference to the establishment of Bannock Stake Academy later properly named Ricks College in his honor.
HF: Dr. Beal, the name Beal is spelled B-E-A-L, is this correct.
MB: That’s correct.
HF: And from your grandfather, descendants from him and his three wives, pretty much constitutes the Beal’s that are in the church today. Would you say or are there other sources of Beal’s?
MB: I think this is the only Beal family; this is the foundation family of Beal’s in the L.D.S. church.
HF: Now before we just temporarily leave the Beal ancestry, could you comment on any particular physical characteristic and also a mental talent or some type of a talent characteristic that has perhaps followed down through the family tree?
MB: Well, Grandfather was a very sturdy, rugged type of person. Farr Beal Isaacson is one of his grandchildren; we’re full cousins. He was a husky man as I am, and the Beal’s, the Beal men that I have known generally have been quite healthy, rugged people. That’s one characteristic. Another that Grandfather had and he developed it considerably was a forthrightness in public speaking. He was a very strong speaker of the word. And this has characterized his sons and a number of descendants. I think there have been a number of teachers in the Beal Family. Two of my uncles, two of his sons, were professors at the University of Utah, and there are quite a few Beal’s who have gone into education. I think another characteristic of grandfather Beal’s descendants has been an interest in public affairs. I don’t know of any special talent. There are some who have skills in music and various other fields, but that, I think, describes the principle characteristics.