John Jacob Beacher Sr.
(1812-After 1880)
Angeline Eisenhuth
William James Jacobs Sr.
(Abt 1820-1903)
Mary Ann Hough
Benjamin Franklin Beacher Sr.
Sarah Jane Jacobs
Benjamin Franklin Beacher Jr.


Family Links

1. Bertha Priscilla Snyder

Benjamin Franklin Beacher Jr. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

  • Born: 7 Feb 1878, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA 1 5 6 14 15 16 17
  • Marriage (1): Bertha Priscilla Snyder on 10 May 1905 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA 1 2
  • Died: 23 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA at age 71 1 5 6 14 17 18
  • Buried: 27 Dec 1949, Allentown: Grandview Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 1 5 6 14

  Noted events in his life were:

1. He appeared on the census in 1880 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 15 On Center Street in Shenandoah: Benjamin Beacher (age 35, occupation miner) and living in his household are his wife, Sarah Jane (33); daughters Emma (10), Laura (8), Sallie (6) and Angeline (5), son Benjamin (3),and daughter Mary (1). Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

2. He appeared on the census in 1890 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 His record appears in the Third Ward as Benjamin (age 12) living with his father, Benjamin (45) miner and Sallie, Linda, Benjamin 12, Mary, Archie 7.

3. Newspaper: The Evening Herald, 29 Jun 1893, Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 19 Scholars Graduate

Very Pleasing Exercises in Ferguson's Theatre


The Class was the Largest That Has Ever Graduate dfrom the Grammar Schools of this Town - A Lengthy Programme Rendered with Excellent Success

The sixth annual commencement of the graduating classes of Shenandoah's grammar schools took place in Ferguson's theatre last evening under the direction of Superintendent M. P. Whitaker and Misses Lizzie M. O'Connell, Anna Dengler and Bridget A. Burns, the teacher of the classes...

The class numbered 56, of which 39 were girls and 17 boys. All the graduates were attired in white and presented a very fine appearance when seated ont he terraced platform which had been erected at the rear of the stage.

The programme was an exceedingly lengthy one, comprising fifty-seven numbers, and it was 11 o'clock when the "good night" chorus was rendered.

[full list of numbers was given but we list only the one number performed by our ancestor]

Declamation, "The irrepressible Yankee," Benjamin F. Beacher;

The exercises closed with the presentation of diplomas by Patric Conry, president of the school board, and the rendering of the chorus, "Good Night."

4. He appeared on the census in 1900 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 20 The 1900 census recorded renting a home at 118 West Apple Avenue: Benjamin F. Beacher, coal miner, 55, born May 1845, widowed, living with son Benjamin, candy manufacturer, 22, Feb 1878, single; daughter Mary, 20, Dec 1879, single; and son Arthur G., 16, Jul 1883, single. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania and all could read, write, and speak English.

5. Residence: 118 West Apple Avenue in a rental home with his father on 5 Jun 1900 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 16

6. Minister: 10 May 1905, Shenandoah: United Evangelical Church, Schuylkill, PA. Reverend William Schieffly of the Shenandoah United Evangelical Church performed in Allentown, Lehigh County, the wedding of Benjamin and Bertha Beacher.

7. Book: History of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, 1907. 2 5
Beacher, Benjamin F., Jr., wholesale and retail dealer in confectionery, in the city of Shenandoah, is recognized as one of the representative young business men of his native country and such is his standing as a citizen and scion of one of the honored families of this section of the state that he is well entitled to specific mention in this volume. Mr. Beacher was born in Shenandoah, Feb. 7, 1879 [correction: 1877] and is a son of Benjamin F. and Sarah Jane (Jacobs) Beacher, both of whom were likewise born in Schuylkill county - the former in 1846 [correction: 1845] and the latter in 1851 [correction: 1846]. The paternal grandfather of the subject of this sketch was William Beacher, who was one of the pioneer lumbermen of Schuylkill county, and who died at Ringtown. The maiden name of his wife was Eisenhaut, a member of a family which was early founded in the southern part of this county. [correction: Jacob, not William, was his grandfather who married an Eisenhuth.] William J. Jacobs, the maternal grandfather of Mr. Beacher, was likewise an honored pioneer of the county and in the early days, before the establishing of railroad lines, he drove a stage between Pittsburg and Baltimore. He passed the closing years of his life in Shenandoah. Benjamin F. Beacher, Sr., still resides in Shenandoah, where his wife died at the age of forty-five years. Of their children two sons and five daughters are living - Arthur G., a prominent painter and decorator in Shenandoah; Emma, wife of Alford Harrox [Horrox], of that city; Laura, wife of Thomas Heywood, of Girardville, Pa.; Sarah, who resides at Mount Carmel; Angeline, widow of Isiah Womer, residing at North Braddock, Pa.; Benjamin F., Jr., the immediate subject of this sketch; and Mary, wife of William Derrick, of North Braddock. The father was a loyal and valiant solider of the Union during the Civil war, as a member of Company F, 7th Pennsylvania cavalry, which command made a gallant record. He is now living retired, making his home with the subject of this sketch. Benjamin F. Beacher, Jr., has passed his entire life thus far in his native city and was afforded the advantages of its excellent public schools. He was graduate in the high school as a member of the class of 1893, and initiated his business career by securing a position as clerk in a grocery store. He has ever since continued to be identified with mercantile affairs in his native city, and in 1901 established his present business enterprise, first occupying quarters at the corner of West street and Apple alley, where he remained two years. He then removed to 43 West Coal street, and two years later located in his present commodious quarters at 35 North Main street. At the time of his removal here he purchased the property which includes a substantial three-story block, 15 by 150 feet in dimensions, with the best of facilities for the operation of the candy factory and for the handling of the large wholesale and retail trade. The establishment is thoroughly metropolitan and its equals are to be found only in the larger cities. The products of the factory are held in high favor by the retail dealers throughout this section and the trade in the wholesale department, as well as the retail, is constantly expanding in scope and importance. The average annual business of the concern has now reached an aggregate of fully $40,000. Mr. Beacher has shown marked progressiveness and energy in the upbuilding of his fine business and has gained to himself and his establishment an enviable reputation for reliability. In local politics he maintains an independent attitude, but in national and state affairs he gives an unqualified support to the Republican party. He is a member of Horncastle Camp, No. 49, Sons of Veterans, and both he and his wife are zealous members of the United Evangelical church, taking an active part in the various departments of church work, especially the Sunday school, in which both are teachers. May 10, 1905, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Beacher to Miss Bertha P. Snyder, daughter of Charles H. Snyder [should be Henry C. Snyder], now a resident of Allentown, Pa. She was born in Shenandoah and secured her education in the schools of Frackville. Mr. and Mrs. Beacher have a winsome little daughter, Evelyn Ruth, who was born April 1, 1906.

8. He appeared on the census in 1910 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 21 The 1910 census recorded owning the home and candy store at 35 North Main Street: Benjamin F Beacher, confectionery merchant, 33, living with wife Bertha, 25; daughter Ruth, 4; and son Paul, 1. Also in the home was his father Benjamin Beacher, Sr., 65, and Cora Smith, an 18-year-old servant. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

9. Residence: 35 North Main Street in 1910 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 5 22

10. He appeared on the census in 1920 in Shenandoah, Schuylkill, PA. 23 Research note: cannot find a 1920 Census listing in Schuylkill County or Lehigh County for Benjamin with any variant surname spelling. Inspection of all addresses recorded on N. Main Street in Shenandoah Ward 2 shows the census taker did not record a household at 35 North Main St. which is where we knew the Beacher family to have lived. It appears the census taker simply missed there was a home a floor above his confectionery business.

11. Moved: 1924, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 24

12. He appeared on the census in 1930 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 25 The 1930 Census in Allentown recorded owning a $15,000 home at 224 South 16th St.: Benjamin F. Beacher, mechanical engineer, 53, living with his wife, Bertha P., 45; daughter Ruth E., 24, occupation piano teacher; and sons B. Donald, 16; John H., 13; Bruce F., 10;, and Robert L., 5. Their home had a radio. Everyone and their parents were born in Pennsylvania.

13. Residence: 224 South 16th Street on 16 Apr 1930 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 5 25 He owned the home that was valued at $15,000.

14. Newspaper: Allentown Morning Call: Beacher Family Entertains, 30 Jan 1932, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 26 The Men's Bible class of Grace E. C. church, Fifteenth and Turner streets. Rev. H. E. M. Snyder, pastor, sponsored an unusual supper party and program in the social rooms of the church last evening. It was called a "Family Night" and was attended by almost 100 persons, members of the class with their wives. So successful was the affair that it will be a regular event at intervals throughout the year. John I. Baker, president of the class, was a capable toastmaster during the dinner program, which featured two addresses by William Thomas and Rev. D. G. Reinhold. Mrs. H. C. Pottelger entertained with vocal solos. Following the dinner, there was an entertainment program staged by the Beacher family, which includes: Mr. and Mrs. B. Beacher, Mrs. Ruth Beacher Horn and Donald, John, Bruce and Bobby Beacher. The group formed an orchestra and offered instrumental numbers; there were also a number of songs, piano duets and solos, etc. The program concluded with a demonstration of various types of Indian war dances, performed by the Beacher boys in costume.

15. Occupation: electrical engineer on 11 Sep 1935 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 27

16. He appeared on the census in 1940 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 28 The 1940 Census recorded at 224 16th Street in Allentown Benjamin F. Beacher, 62, living with wife Bertha P., 54; and sons John H., 23; Bruce F., 20; and Robert L., 15. Benjamin owned the home valued at $10,000. Benjamin had completed 4 years of high school, his wife and Robert 2 years. John and Bruce had completed 4 years of college. Benjamin was employed as a utility man in an office. Bruce was a soil technician with the Department of the Interior.

17. Residence: 224 S.16th St., Allentown, PA on 16 Oct 1940 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 10

18. Residence: 224 S. 16Th St., Allentown, PA on 9 Jun 1943 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 29

19. Newspaper: Allentown Morning Call, 19 Aug 1945, Page 3. 30 Lieutenant and Mrs. R. L. Beacher of Panama City, Fla., are visiting Lieutenant Beacher's parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Beacher, of 224 S. 16th St. Lieutenant and Mrs. John Beacher will leave today for Tampa, Fla., where Lieutenant John is stationed at the Malaria Control Center.

20. Newspaper: Morning Call: David Beacher born, on 30 Jan 1946, in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 31 31 Mr. and Mrs. John Beacher of 54 E. Main St., Newark. Del., became the parents of their first child, a son, born at 11 p. m. Sunday in the Woman's General hospital, Wilmington, Del. Grandparents of the boy, who weighs five pounds, seven ounces, and will be named David, are Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bury of 26 N. West St., and Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Beacher of 224 S. 16th St.

21. Residence: 1948 Allentown City Directory: Beacher Benj F (Bertha P) r 1024 Chew in 1948 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 32

22. witnessed the occupation: Morning Call: The John H. Beachers Have Second Son of Jonathan Scott Beacher on 25 Feb 1949 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 33 33 The John Henry Beachers Parents of Son
Mr. and Mrs. John Henry Beacher of Teaneck, N. J. became the parents of their second son, Jonathan Scott, on Feb. 14 in the Holy Name hospital, Teaneck. The infant weighed 8 pounds. His 3-year-old brother David is visiting the maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bury, 26 N. West St., and the paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. B. J. Beacher, 1935 Green St. The mother is the former Isabel Bury.

23. Residence: 1933 Greenlead St on 23 Dec 1949 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 1 5 6

24. Cause of Death: Benjamin died at home due to cerebral apoplexy due to hypertension, 23 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 6

25. Newspaper: Morning Call: Will of Benjamin Beacher, 30 Dec 1949, Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 34 An estate with value $15,000 "and upwards" is disposed of in the will of the late Benjamin F. Beacher, this citv, who died Dec. 23. The will, dated May 8, 1947, and filed for probate with Register Russell F. C. Benfer, leaves the entire estate in trust to the widow. Bertha P. Beacher, and on her death to his five children. B. Donald Beacher, Salladasburg, one of the children, is executor.

26. Book: History of the Beacher Family, 1970.
"When Ma Horrox moved to Shenandoah from Jacksons Patch they lived at the corner of Coal and Jardin Streets in Shenandoah. The trolley to Shenandoah from Ashland, Girardville, and William Penn came into Shenandoah on Coal Street and went past the house. Uncle B.F. Beacher, Arthur Beacher and Grandpa Beacher all lived with her in the two and one-half story house. Uncle Ben made a candy store out of the 1st floor front room and while he was delivering candy to other parts, then Dad and mother took care of the store and before I went to school, I had a small bench that I use to stand on to wait on youngsters when they came into the store." - narrative by Hazel Horrox Miller, niece of B.F. Beacher.

27. Obituary: Morning Call: B. F. Beacher, Retired Bank Employee, Active Churchman Succumbs on 24 Dec 1949 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA. 18 Benjamin F. Beacher, former Shenandoah businessman and for 15 years before his retirement a stationary engineer at the Allentown National bank, died Friday at his home, 1935 Greenleaf St. He was 71 years old.

Mr. Beacher was a prominent member of Grace Evangelical Congregational church where his daughter, Mrs. Ruth Beacher Horn serves as organist. He was born in Shenandoah where he established and operated the B. F. Beacher confectionery selling both retail and wholesale throughout the coal refining years.

He came to Allentwon in 1924 and lived for a number of years at 224 S. 16th St. In 1926 he took the position at the local bank and remained there until 1941 when he retired.

Surviving are his wife, Bertha Beacher; the daughter Mrs. Horn; four sons, B. Donald, Salladasburg, Pa.;, John H., West Bergenfield, N. J.; Bruce F., student at Ohio State, and Robert L Beacher at the University of Arkansas. There also survive 11 grandchildren, a brother, Arthur, of Shenandoah, and two sisters, Mrs. Laura Heywood, Girardville, and Sarah Beacher, California.

28. Book: Beecher Family History: The Candy Man, 1978. 35

Written in 1978 by our family genealogist, Bruce Franklin Beacher PhD (1919-2004)

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BEACHER, JR. inherited his short stature from his diminutive parents. Less than five and one-half feet tall, he made up for this dimension with determination bordering on pugnacity. Nature gave him an additional nudge in the direction of belligerence when he lost his mother in childhood and had to rely upon an intemperate father and a cantankerous sister for his upbringing.

Born into humble circumstances in the uncertain and sometimes violent coal-mining, multi-national environment of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on February 7, 1878, "little Ben" was, enthusiastically received by parents still grieving from the loss of their first-born son, in spite of four interim daughters. The eldest, EMMA MARG, already nearly ten years old, took charge of the rotund youngster with a motherly instinct that prevailed throughout his life. His own mother, SARAH JACOBS, was too occupied with bearing and caring for children until her death when he was only eight years old. His father frequented the Rescue, Hook and Ladder fire station, of which he was a charter member, imbibing spirits freely while reliving his exploits as a Civil War cavalryman to his cronies.

Two sisters and two brothers followed Ben's birth but only half survived. He and brother ARTHUR GARFIELD (b. 1883) developed a close, lifetime relationship and lived on the streets of Shenandoah until marriage separated them. When mother SARAH JANE died they continued living with their father and youngest sister MARY ("MAMIE") on Centre Street briefly, then moved to Apple Alley and eventually in with elder sister EMMA MARG after she married ALFRED HORROX in "The Patch," a less-than complimentary term for the neighborhood of most recent immigrants to the coal-mining community of Shenandoah.

"Shan-door" as the town was called in the unique admixture of more than a score of foreign languages -used by its inhabitants, was well on the way to becoming-, the county's largest town as well as its most troublesome. Exploding with development after the discovery of its great coal seams it became a magnet for illiterate and non-English speaking laborers and an incubator of labor strife, racial prejudice and religious tension. The years of turmoil have been well documented, including the era of the Maguire uprisings and hangings.

But in later years, both BEN and ART BEACHER recalled with particular pleasure two of the more exciting events to youth -- the arrival of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1887 and the electric trolley in 1892. The day the latter began its runs on Thursday, April 7, 1892, was especially momentous and the boys raced up and down the streets in chase of the new cars, described in the weekly "Herald."

"When town folks arose this morning and chanced in the neighborhood of the P&RR freight depot at the north end of Main street they rubbed their eyes and rubbed them again. Were they awake? Was it imagination? No; it was a cold, well-carved fact. They were real, well-built, handsomely painted electric railway cars. They arrived early this morning--four of them--and are now at the depot awaiting orders of the electric railway company. The cars are numbered 1, 3, 5 and 7. The interior is constructed of maple and cherry. The seats run lengthwise and are comfortable and well-upholstered. The aisle between the seats is wide and allows ample room for passengers to pass from one end to the other. The regulation rods and hand straps for passengers who may be unable to obtain seats are also provided and in the roof are fixtures for four lights of the incandescent style to furnish illumination for the car. The apartments set aside for the motorman and the conductor are provided with similar fixtures, one each. The cars are an improvement on those used on many electrical lines. The motor man and conductor are protected by a framework amply fitted with windows so that while it gives them full protection in case of storms their view to the front, rear and sides is in no way cut off. Each car is provided with the latest improved brake appliance, in addition to the motor appliance. The upper parts of the cars are painted a maroon color and on the side on each side of the number is painted in gold "Mahanoy City, Shenandoah, Girardville and Ashland Street Railway." The concave portions of the bodies are painted the same color and bear the initials in gold, "M.C.S.G.&A.S.R." The trucks are, painted orange, striped with black. The cars attracted a great number of visitors to the depot today."

The fare was 10 cents one way and 15 cents for the return trip. It was some years before either Ben or Art had the cash to ride. A Chinaman named Sing Lee, who conducted a Shenandoah laundry was among the first passengers. It was related that when Lee alighted from the trolley he remarked, "No pushy, no pulley, hit goey like helly." The exciting service continued for 35 years.

With such diversions, Ben and Art found it difficult to stay in school. Before "Sister Marg" took charge, their father would send them off to school in the morning, but they would "play hookie" and head for the mountains and creeks instead. Finally Marg found out and insisted on seeing them to school each day. Several months later, she met a teacher on the street and asked about her brothers' progress. "I haven't even seen Ben in school for months, she said. It turned out that Ben would go into the front door of the school as Marg watched, then proceed through and out the back door unknown to her. But Art knew and kept the secret -- so he was paddled, too.

When the boys were on the streets, which was frequently, they invariably got into conflict, possibly because of their short stature. Ben usually did the fighting for both, but they were respected scrappers in a community where boxing was a popular pastime.

Ben (Jr.'s) lack of interest in formal schooling was no criterion of his intelligence and motivation. He was anxious to make his own way at an early age and quickly discovered that the consumers' weakness was "sweets." He cultivated the interest of the local candy merchant, a Mr. Kemmerer, who launched him on a retail candy sales career and taught him candy making as well. Ben's first equipment was a hand-drawn wagon which became well-known throughout the community. Perhaps he got the idea from his Grandpa Jacobs, Shenandoah's best known push-cart peddler, who plied his trade with kerosene well into his 90's. As Ben, Jr., gained in confidence and customers he added a small retail sales room in the front of Sister Marg's house on Apple Street. Finally he dropped out of school in the eighth grade and stayed from dawn to dusk on the streets, accumulating enough cash to buy out his patron and become a full-fledged confectioner. His fame in the family for saving pennies became a legend, and he never hesitated to employ his relatives -- at the minimum wage, of course.

By his mid-twenties he had filled a chest with coins, principally pennies (motivated, no doubt, by Ben Franklin's admonition that "a penny saved is a penny earned"). His thoughts now turned to longer-range goals in life. He had been chided about his bachelorhood and apparent showing of little interest in the opposite sex But he was not unaware of the young ladies, especially in church, which he faithfully attended singing tenor in the choir. No wonder a petite, brown-eyed visitor from Allentown captured his special interest one Sunday whom he eventually asked to walk home -- BERTHA PRISCILLA SNYDER.

Miss SNYDER actually was a native of Frackville, about a decade his junior, but, like Ben, Jr., of Pennsylvania German ancestry and Evangelical in religious persuasion. Her father, HENRY SNYDER, and grandfather WILLIAM SNYDER, could best be described as "pillars of the church," active in teaching, the latter in the German dialect. Both natives of the Mahantongo Valley swept into the mining industry, they eventually moved to Allentown when a mine injury altered Henry's toward the insurance trade Bertha's sisters -- MAUDE and BLANCHE-- and three brothers--ELI, WILLIAM (her twin), and KENNETH, along with she and her father became an especially close-knit-family after the untimely death of their mother The girls periodically visited with their Uncle Oscar Kehler and his wife (their dad's sister ALICE) and helped in his dry-goods store in Shenandoah It was on one of these visits that PRISCILLA met BEN BEACHER, JR

At first PRISCILLA (known as "Buff" to her family) was unimpressed, considering his short stature But eventually his good manners, hardworking nature, success as a candy merchant and religiosity prevailed over her sentiments and they were married in Allentown at 728 Cedar Street on May 10, 1905 by the Reverend William Schieffly, pastor of the Shenandoah United Evangelical Church where they had met The Reverend J. Brunner of the Allentown Seibert Church (where the Pennsylvania German dialect was still the spoken language) assisted during the ceremony.

The marriage of BEN and BUFF matured quickly with the birth of EVELYN RUTH on April 1, 1906 (subsequently to be designated "E. RUTH") to avoid confusion with a cousin, daughter of Ben's brother ARTHUR.) In her late years, BERTHA recalled her wedding night as the 'innocent sport of two children," remembering vividly the aroma of the chest full of hard-earthed coins at the foot of the bed. Happily, the couple maintained their "childish" relationship through forty-five years, bringing seven children into the world.

The marriage was tested early when fire destroyed their home and candy factory one fearsome winter night. Undaunted, BEN refinanced his business with the aid of his former patron KEMMERER and established a new home, store and factory at 35 North Main Street in Shenandoah. Happiness returned with the birth of a first son, PAUL CLEMENT on February 27, 1909, only to be shattered with his death from spinal meningitis a year later. A second son was born dead in October of 1912, but faith carried the family forward to the birth of a third son, B. DONALD on December 9, 1913. The blessing was repeated three more times with the arrival of JOHN HENRY on October 13, 1916, BRUCE FRANKLIN on May 24, 1919, and ROBERT LINCOLN on May 22, 1924.

RUTH BEACHER completed her elementary and secondary education in Shenandoah, demonstrating unusual talent at the piano. She then entered the Boston Conservatory of Music, refined her talent into teaching proficiency, and became a professional in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where the family had moved in the interim. Her father had always been concerned about cave-ins that characterized tie mining communities and became doubly alarmed when his former home on Apple Street subsided to the second level.

After the death of the grandfather, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BEACHER, SR., on November 23, 1922 (a result of pneumonia contracted following an emergency fire call in severe weather) BEN, JR. became determined to leave the declining community, sold his property, and moved the family to 224 South 16th Street in Allentown, a few doors from his wife's "UNCLE OSCAR KEHLER and AUNT ALICE." There he planned to reestablish a candy business, but fate determined otherwise, when HENRY SNYDER, his father-in-law collapsed of a stroke while on duty as a stationery engineer at the First National Bank in Allentown, and BEN stepped in to fill his shoes temporarily. He remained on the job at the bank for twenty years. His good nature and sharp wit became well-known at that institution before his sudden death from a stroke (after retirement) on December 23, 1949.

B. DONALD BEACHER inherited his father's wit, stature, and tenacity of purpose in life. During his elementary years in Shenandoah he, too, exhibited musical skill, first with the violin, then eventually with the trombone, becoming a bandsman in the Allentown High School and at Lehigh University. His mathematical abilities enabled him to pursue an engineering career along electrical lines during a lifetime of work in Pennsylvania. Like father also, he was family-oriented, married MARGARET E. HORAN of Allentown on September 17, 1935, and established his own "tribe" of one daughter and four sons.

JOHN HENRY was destined to be the family clown, barely surviving a bout with pneumonia in childhood, but developing quickly into a neighborhood and "gang" favorite as "PEANUTS," due to his impish size and behavior. His musical talent surfaced with the bugle and cornet, maturing also in band at Allentown High School and Penn State, where he pursued entomology and zoology interests aroused in the Boy Scouts. He persists in Lehigh Valley scouting history as "PEANUTS THE BUGLER."

BRUCE FRANKLIN arrived as a "war baby" following the Armistice and prospered into chubbiness, earning the nickname "FATSO" until stretching to nearly six feet. Before the move to Allentown he lost two close companions -- Grandpa Ben and a collie "Prince", both hiking companions in the hills around Shenandoah. But he soon became absorbed in music like the others, first on the baritone and later the tuba and sousaphone, serving as school, college and town bandsman. Boy Scouting also led him into a nature-oriented profession -- agronomy, and a career as a Federal agricultural scientist. BRUCE married a college sweetheart, BETTY MARGUERITE STRAYER, of York, Pennsylvania, and they brought BRENT FRANKLIN and DEBORAH BEL into the family circle after World War II. Along with brothers JOHN and ROBERT, he became a veteran of that war.

ROBERT LINCOLN completed the Beacher Family Band with a set of drums before turning also to the baritone for high school and college band participation and, like the others, was influenced by Scouting into an agricultural profession of agronomy, becoming a university teacher in Arkansas and eventually an international expert. He married DARLENE SMITH in Nebraska during World War II, and they added NANDY and GARY to the heritage chart. Dr. BEACHER gave his life in service to humanity in Sierra Leone in 1984.

BEN and BUFF had lived to see all of their living children marry and bring home grandchildren. Only RUTH, however, had made her home in Allentown, marrying ALDEN KENNETH HORN and raising ANNE LOUISE and JOHN ALDEN under the loving attention of their grandparents. The four sons moved outward with the BEACHER name to many other regions, if not worldwide transmitting the genes of JACOB THE ELDER and his forbearers into posterity and the world With many sons among the grandchildren, the name of BEACHER was assured a place in the 21st Century, God preserving the peace.

Benjamin married Bertha Priscilla Snyder, daughter of Henry Calvin Snyder and Lizzie Ann Smith, on 10 May 1905 in Allentown, Lehigh, PA.1 2 (Bertha Priscilla Snyder was born on 11 Jun 1885 in Frackville, Schuylkill, PA 1 3 36 37, christened in 1885 in Frackville, Schuylkill, PA,1 died on 5 Jan 1959 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA 1 37 38 39 and was buried on 9 Jan 1959 in Allentown: Grandview Cemetery, Lehigh, PA 1 37 39.)


1 Genealogy Research conducted by Bruce Franklin Beacher Ph.D. (1919-2004).

2 Schalk, Adolf W. and Hon. D.C. Henning, editors, History of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania (State Historical Association, 1907. Found in Pennsylvania State Library, R974.863 Sch. 13 V.2), Volume II, pages 44-46.

3 Bertha Priscilla Snyder, Bible of Bertha Priscilla Snyder.

4 1870 United States Census, Pennsylvania, Northumberland County, Chillisquaque Township, M593 Roll: 1384 Page: 13.

5 Zitkus, Mae Beacher (15 May 1978 Letter to Bruce Beacher).

6, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 106651. Benjamin F. Beacher. Father Benjamin Beacher. Mother Sarah Jacobs. Spouse Bertha F. Snyder.

7, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 63637. Ruth Horn. Father Benjamin F. Beacher. Mother Bertha Snyder. Spouse Alden K. Horn.

8, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate 113828. Paul Beacher. Father Benjamin Beacher. Mother Bertha Snyder.

9, Pennsylvania, Birth Records, 1906-1909 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Birth certificates, 1906–1909. Series 11.89 (50 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Certificate 43168. Evalyn Beacher. Father Benjamin Beacher. Mother Bertha Patience.

10, U.S., World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 (National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.), John Henry Beacher, b. 13 Oct 1916.

11 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 28 Sep 1941, page 21. Marriage Bruce Franklin Beecher and Betty Strayer.

12 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 24 May 1931, page 5. Wedding of Ruth Beacher and Alden Horn.

13 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 6 Jun 1940, page 22. Obituary of Henry C. Snyder.

14 Find A Grave,

15 1880 United States Census, FHL Film 1255192; National Archives Film T9-1192; Page 7C.

16 1900 United States Census, Enumeration District 168 Visit 128 Ward 3.

17, U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 (Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.), SSN 177128194 Benjamin F. Beacher.

18 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 24 Dec 1949, page 16. Obituary of Benjamin Beacher.

19 Library of Congress - Chronicling America Historic Newspapers (,;words=Beacher.

20 1900 United States Census, Benjamin F. Beacher, Shenandoah borough Ward 3, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania, United States; citing sheet 6B, family 128.

21 1910 United States Census, Year: 1910; Census Place: Shenandoah Ward 2, Schuylkill, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1419; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0086; FHL microfilm: 1375432.

22 1910 United States Census, Enumeration District 0086 Visit 0069.

23 1920 United States Census, Year: 1920; Census Place: Reading Ward 8, Berks, Pennsylvania; Roll: T625_1537; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 76; Image: 177.

24 Beacher, Bruce Franklin, Beau-Chere, The Beacher Family Newsletter, Issue 1 Dec 1977.

25 1930 United States Census, Enumeration District 37-38 Visit 430 Sheet 17A.

26 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 30 Jan 1932, page 7.

27, Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885 - 1950, B Donald Beacher and Margaret Elizabeth Horn, 1935.

28 1940 United States Census, Benjamin F Beacher, Ward 13, Allentown, Allentown City, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 39-56, sheet 9B, family 195.

29, Pennsylvania, Veteran Compensation Applications, WWII, 1950, Box Title : Bayne, James J - Beane, John C (Box 43). Bruce Franklin Beacher Service No. 37346274 Serial O-2064205.

30 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 19 Aug 1945, page 3.

31 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 30 Jan 1946, page 6.

32, U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995, 1948 Allentown City Directory, printed page 57, online image 31.

33 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 25 Feb 1949, page 24.

34 Morning Call (Allentown, PA), 30 Dec 1949, page 28. Will of Benjamin Beacher.

35 Genealogy Research conducted by Bruce Franklin Beacher Ph.D. (1919-2004), 1972 Article from Beacher Family History: Jacob and Angeline.

36 1900 United States Census, Henry C Snyder, District 2 Allentown city Ward 8, Lehigh, Pennsylvania, United States; citing sheet 6A, family 121, NARA microfilm publication T623, FHL microfilm 1241429.

37 Find A Grave,

38 Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania, Death Indices (Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, New Castle, PA, 16103. Online at .), Beacher, Bertha P., age 74, died Darby 1/5/1959, file 003905, hospital 23, county of residence 238.

39, Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1966 (Original data: Pennsylvania (State). Death certificates, 1906–1966. Series 11.90 (1,905 cartons). Records of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Record Group 11. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.), Death Certificate 3905. Bertha P. Beacher. Father Henry C. Snyder. Mother Lizza A. ?. Spouse Benjamin F. Beacher. Informant B. D. Beacher.

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