FRED C. BEECHER, of Ford City, Armstrong Co., Pa., examiner of statements of the State Insurance Department, was born Dec. 1, 1871, in Chautauqua county, N. Y., son of Ira T. and Amelia P. (Cook) Beecher. David Beecher, his grandfather, was a farmer, owning a farm at Lake George, N. Y. The family came originally from Connecticut, and is closely allied with that branch to which Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe belonged.

Ira T. Beecher is a man of vigorous personality and became quite prominent in the various lines with which he was associated. For several years he carried on a hardware business at North East, Pa. He was also a successful oil operator, having engaged in the business when it was in its infancy and accumulated a modest fortune by his good judgment and excellent management. He served as burgess, councilman, school director and justice of the peace at North East. He is also a prominent Mason, being a member of North East Lodge and Mount Olivet Commandery, Knights Templar. He has now retired from active business pursuits, making his home at Erie, Pa. To him and his wife were born two children, Fred C. and Blanche, the latter the wife of Charles M. Hatch, of Erie, Pa., general manager of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Railway company.

Fred C. Beecher received his preliminary education in the public schools at North East, Pa. At the age of fourteen he became messenger boy in a bank there, being thus employed two years. He then entered the University of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, from which institution he was graduated in 1894, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. During his college course he was the college reporter for the Philadelphia Ledger, then under the control of its noted founder, George W. Childs, and after leaving the university he became a member of the reportorial staff of the Ledger, with which he was connected until 1897. Returning to North East, Pa., he was engaged in the hardware business with his father for about one year, in 1898, becoming teller in the National Bank of McKeesport. He was there four years, until 1902, when he was elected cashier of the First National Bank of Ford City, Pa., of which place he has since been a resident. He maintained his connection with the bank until Jan. 1, 1911, when he was appointed reading clerk to the House of Representatives at Harrisburg, for the term of 1911-13; and later to his present position by Insurance Commissioner Johnson.

Mr. Beecher is a prominent Mason in his section of Pennsylvania, belonging to Kittanning Lodge, No. 244, F. & A. M.; Orient Chapter, No. 247, Royal Arch Masons, of Kittanning, which he is now (1912) serving as high priest; Pittsburgh Commandery, No. 1, K. T. and Syria Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mr. Beecher is a member of the Presbyterian Church and has served on the board of trustees. He is a man whose worth has been recognized in every circle in which he has moved, and whose services in the various offices to which he has been chosen have earned him the esteem of all concerned.

In 1897, Mr. Beecher was married to Sarah S. Collum, daughter of Maj. Richard Collum, who was a distinguished officer of the Union army during the Civil war. Four children have been born to this union: Frederick T., Richard S. C., Lee C., and David R.

Source: Pages 622 Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed September 2001 by Lynn Beatty for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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