Transcriptions of the obituaries of William Beaton, (1829-1907), and his daughter Isabella Beaton, (1870-1929), from the Grinnell Herald

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Transcription of the obituary of William Beaton, (1829-1907), son of William Beaton and Agnes Adam, from the Grinnell Herald, Tuesday 22 January 1907

The Grinnell Herald



Grinnell, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan 22, 1907



Mr. William Beaton was born in St. Andrews, Canada East, Feb 10, 1829, of Scotch parentage. He began to learn the cabinet maker's trade at nine years of age, but somewhat later entered a piano and organ factory, learning every detail of the construction of those instruments.

At twenty he entered the Western Reserve College in Hudson, O.. His skill as a vocalist and violinist placed him in charge of the college, the Congregational and the Episcopal choirs, of a glee club,of one hundred and thirty-two voices, of chorus classes, and of all college music during his six years at Hudson.

He was married to Miss Loretta M. Hubbard of Cleveland, C., June 21, 1855 and, influenced by Henry M. Hamilton, a fellow student in college, came to Grinnell eight days later. Here his chief business at first was carpentry, and the superintendency of the Grinnell schools from 1859 until he joined the Band of the 8th Iowa Infantry during the Civil war. Since leaving the army his main business has been piano tuning. It was a pastime more than a business that he conducted the Congregational choir during ten or twelve of his first years here, and taught vocal and violin music during the evenings. The early settlers with great pleasure remember his quartette for he had a rare tenor voice, and his concerts by means of which he secured the first organ for the church which it ever owned.

His invariable affability and his generous kindness in assisting them gave him great influence over the young men, especially when he was their only teacher here in music. He loved the town and was always glad to influence students to come to the college, or families to remove to the town. His friends were limited only by the number of his acquaintances.

Mr. Beaton and his first wife joined the Congregational church here soon after their arrival. At her death Jan'y 1st, 1887, they had buried two young sons, and had two living daughters, both of whom survive them. They are Mrs. O. W. Park, and Miss Isabella Beaton, teacher in the Cleveland School of Music.

Mr. Beaton's second wife, (formerly Mrs. Maggie Tichnor), lived only a few years after their marriage. In 1893 he married Miss M. Ella Asay of Philadelphia, who survives him.

His funeral was conducted by Prof. L. F. Parker, at his late home on Sunday, the 29th inst., and at Hazelwood by the Masonic Lodge of which he was a member.

Transcription of the obituary of Isabella Beaton, (1870-1929), daughter of William Beaton and Loretta Hubard, from the Grinnell Herald, Tuesday 22 January 1907



Miss Isabella Beaton Passes

Loss of Talented Musician Is Called to Merge Into Greater Harmony


Was Known Both As A Pianist Of unusual Talent And As A Composer

Isabella Beaton was born in Grinnell, Iowa, May 20, 1870. Her parents came to Grinnell in 1855 from Ohio.

Her father, William Beaton, was educated in Western Reserve College, then located at Hudson, Ohio, but now in Cleveland, Ohio, under the name of Western Reserve University. By trade he was a cabinet builder and maker of organs. By profession he was an instructor in voice culture, a conductor of oratorios, a talented violinist and a singer possessed of a rare tenor voice.

Her mother, whose maiden name was Loretta M. Hubard, was educated at Cleveland Female Seminary. She was talented in drawing, fine needlework, and music, performing on both the piano and the violin.

Mr. and Mrs. Beaton came to Grinnell in 1855, and were an integral part of building up of an atmosphere of culture and high Christian standards.

Isabella united with the Congregational Church at an early age, April 3, 1887 and sang in the choir. She was a member of the Christian Endeavour in Grinnell, and belonged to the Christian Endeavour Society in Paris when she was studying abroad.

She graduated from Grinnell High School June 19, 1890.

While in college in Grinnell she played in the Ellis Orchestra, the musical organization made up of talented members of the Society named for Miss Ellis, beloved instructor. The literary society was organized in 1882, and Isabella has fondly cherished the diploma of the Ellis Literary Society dated June 20, 1890.

Isabella graduated June 25, 1890, from the Conservatory of Music of Iowa College at Grinnell, in the Courses of Piano, Voice Culture, Harmony and History.

Her musical education began at home at the age of four. At nine she entered the Conservatory. At twelve she made her first appearance before the public.

After her graduation from the Conservatory, she taught music five years in Harlan, Iowa. Then she taught a year in the Conservatory of Music in Iowa College at Grinnell.

I 1894, a legacy from her grandfather, Israel Hubbard, of Cleveland, Ohio, made possible the fulfilment of a long cherished ambition, the study of music in Europe. She had five years of study under Moritz Moszkowski; three years in Berlin and two years in Paris, the instructor having changed his residence. During that time she took academic studies in the University of Berlin, and the University of Paris. She devoted eight hours a day to her musical study, four hours practicing at the piano and four hours in studying the history of music theory and harmony, and in composition. A dainty composition for the piano, entitled Landler, and a Quartette for stringed instruments, were published while she was in Paris. These and others of her compositions have been performed by some the the finest orchestras both in Europe and in America.

Upon her return from Europe, Isabella made her home with her aunt, Miss Ruth Hubbard, of Cleveland, Ohio. She taught in the Cleveland School of Music. Each winter she gave twenty recitals in Cleveland, and also appeared in concert in other cities. Her selections were of the very highest classical music, and her repertoire consisted of nearly three hundred compositions, most of which she played from memory. A form of entertainment greatly enjoyed by her audiences in Cleveland consisted of improvisations, sometime with a little informal lecture on the subject matter embodied in the music.

While teaching the Cleveland School of Music she took academic studies in the Western Reserve University. She graduated in 1902 from the Women's College of that university, and in 1903 received the degree of Master of Arts.

On Dec. 31, 1910, she organized by Charter, under the state of Ohio, a School of Music of her own, which she called the Beaton School of Music in honour of her father.

During the World War and period of reconstruction, Miss Beaton was tireless in patriotic service. Because she could speak Italian, French and German fluently, she was sent into the home of foreigners to sell liberty bonds and give food demonstrations. She cherished a certificate of the completion of the course of study under the United States Food Administration in co-operation with the Cleveland Board of Education, Women's Committee, of Mayor's advisory War Committee and Ohio State University. She received a scholarship in Domestic Science in the Extension Service of the Sate University and took the course.

One of her greatest services for the betterment of the world was an active campaign against alcoholism. Her work in all these lines brought her much into contact with the city administration, and she was fully alive to the civic needs of Cleveland and interested in public welfare in all parts of the world.

Brought up from childhood to love the peoples of all nations, she was an active worker in the missionary societies. At one time she had a contract to go to Korea to teach music in a Christian school for girls; but the policy of the Board changed suddenly, and no missionaries were sent that year. She aided materially in the Near East work, and in the Hospital Association of American Women in Europe. She belonged to the National federation of Women's Clubs, The American Association of University Women, and the Musical Teachers'National Association. While in Europe she toured extensively by bicycle, and became a life member of the Touring Club of France, enjoying the magazine they published in French, beautifully illustrated. While in Harlan, Iowa, she joined the Order of the Eastern Star.

Her father was a Mason. Her grandfather, William Beaton, was a thirty-third degree mason, a cultured gentleman of the early days of Canada, a lawyer, teacher, and Notary Public. Her grandparents were born in Scotland. Her grandfather was Lowland Scotch, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, September 26, 1796. Her grandmother, Agnes Adam, born in Inverness, Scotland, October 31, 1796 was Highland Scotch. She had a brother, Mathew Adam, A.M., late Rector of The Royal Academy of Inverness, Assoc. R.S.S.A; Member of the Glasgow Philosophical Society, and teacher of Classics, Mathematics, Geography, Nautical Astronomy and mathematical Philosophy at 40, St. Andrews Square, Glasgo, Scotland.

This sturdy Scotch grandfather was the son of Alexander Beaton and Isabel Johnston. The name Beaton was pronounced in Scotland with the long sound of the vowel a. When William and Agnes, who were married in Inverness Nov. 20, 1817, came with their first babe to Canada, the name was pronounced in their new home with the long sound of the vowel e. And when their son came to America to seek an education in Western Reserve University, the name continues to be pronounced that way. When the early Beatons lived in France, the name was spelled Bethune. When they lived in Germany it was spelled Beethoven. The great composer Beethoven died one hunderyears before the birth of Isabella Beaton of Grinnell.

Isabella was entitled to membership of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Her mother's grandmother, Esther Tibbals, wife of Aaron Hubbard, was a daughter Ebenezer Tibbals who served on the Lexington Alarm. Some of Esther's furniture made for her wedding portion by her father and brothers, came into Isabella's possession. Isabella's mother, born in Cleveland, June 19, 1829, deceased January first, 1887, the daughter of Israel Hubbard and Rhoda Hulbert, was descended from one of the early governors of Connecticut. The names of two of her ancestors were written as patentees on the Charter of Connecticut, which was granted by King Charles 11, the charter which was placed in the charter Oak. One line of her ancestry arrived in America in 1630, one in 1633, and another in 1635.

Isabella was a member of the daughters of Union Veterans, which she joined to honor her father, and in which she has faithfully maintained her membership. Her father would be one hundred years old February 10, 1929.

Isabella Beaton was taken ill with influenza on the twenty-second anniversary of the fate of her father's death, January 16th, and died on the anniversary of the day he was buried, January 19th. Death was due to a weak heart, and hardening of the arteries.

Funeral services were held a 2 pm Tuesday, January 22, 1929, at 1216 main Street, where she has lived the past seven years as a member of the family of her sister Mrs. O.W. Park. Burial on the family lot at Hazelwood.