Emanuel Becher
Ellenor Chesney
Isaac Becher


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Mary Amanda Shaw

Isaac Becher

  • Born: 7 Aug 1806, Lancaster Co., PA
  • Marriage: Mary Amanda Shaw on 5 May 1826 in Lancaster Co., PA
  • Died: 1873, Lima Township, LaGrange County, Indiana at age 67

bullet  General Notes:

John William BEECHER b: Abt 1827 in Pennsylvania
Isaac Newton BECHER b: Abt 1828
Alexander Washington BEECHER b: 25 Jun 1831 in New Holland, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Mary Amanda BEECHER b: Abt 1832 in , Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Ann Ellen BEECHER b: Abt 1834 in , Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Nellie E. BEECHER b: 9 Sep 1835 in , Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Anthony Robert BEECHER b: Abt 1838 in , , Pennsylvania
James Harvey BEECHER b: 1846 in Tuscawarus Township, Stark County, Ohio
Gustavous Winfield BEECHER b: Feb 1848 in Tuscawarus Township, Stark County, Ohio
Margaret BEECHER b: Abt 1852 in Tuscawarus Township, Stark County, Ohio

Tehama County Pioneers Book 1979 Note: From the family history research records compiled by Keith Lingenfelter:
Born Ohio, died Lima, Indiana 1873 married Mary Shaw born Pennsylvania 1802 living in 1891
1. GUSTAVE WINFIELD BEECHER born Ohio 1849 married Jennie (*) born Ohio 1852, Tehama 1870 census, Red Bluff 1880, Red Bluff rancher 1872
2. HENRY BEECHER born Ohio 1859 died intestate Jan 30, 1915, listed sister only heir, nephew of Mrs George Champlin
3. FANNY BEECHER born Ohio 1862 married George Lee Guffey born 1861
4. JOHN WILLIAM BEECHER born Ohio 1857. Red Bluff laborer 1880
B. NELLIE BEECHER born Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania Sept 9, 1835 died Red Bluff June 27, 1908 married San Francisco Nov 24, 1867 George Champlin born Rhode Island.

GEORGE CHAMPLIN born Providence, June 14, 1827 died intestate Vina Aug 19, 1903
married San Francisco Nov 24, 1867 Nellie Beecher born Lancaster Co, Pennsylvania
Sept 9, 1835 died Red Bluff June 27, 1908, daughter of Isaac Beecher born Ohio died
Lima, Ohio 1873 and Mary Shaw born Pennsylvania 1802 (alive in 1891). George to
Calif 1849, Tehama Co 1860, deed 1861, Tehama 1870 census, Red Bluff 1880, 2
Kelly Selcher, a descendant of the Shaw family that married Isaac, writes the following:
In 1838, Isaac and Mary Shaw Beecher traveled with their nine children: Alexander Washington, John William, Nellie E., Anna Ellen, Anthony Robert, Gustavius N. (or Augustus), Amanda M., James H., Jennie M., and Isaac Newton Beecher. Mary Ann Renfrew Shaw also made the journey at the old age of seventy-six, still in her usual good health. Crossing the Appalachians, Isaac Beecher wrote, "The slow murmer of the waters and majestic rocks and lofty would cause a meditation on the enquiring mind." They traveled through the counties of Franklin, Bedford, Somerset, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and Beaver, and after crossing the Ohioan border, they journeyed through Colombiana and Stark counties. The principle cities they stopped in were "Chambersburge, Cainelstown, Louden, Bedford, Schellsburge, Stoystown, Youngstown, Greensburge, Adamsburge, …sonville,Pittsburge, Allegheny, Economy, Bridgewater, Beaver, New Lisbon, New Garden, Paris, O……gh, Canton, Massillon, Brookville and East Greenvill where we are at present." The Beecher family arrived in East Greenville on October 13, 1838. Arriving in East Greenville, Isaac Beecher had no money and no one would buy his wagon and horses. Isaac could not obtain a job, so he sold his horse because he "wanted money badly," as he had to buy supplies for the coming winter.

Methodism was the principle religion in East Greenville. During the winter of 1838, there was "a great revival...{a} number added to the church and amongst the number was ...Mary Beecher your Aunt and a great many backsliders reclaimed and myself one of the number." Isaac remembered the last words Susanna Landes Shaw had spoken with him about his "soul salvation." With his new-found faith in Jesus Christ, Isaac wrote, "I hope and trust that if we should never meet again in this world that we will meet in heaven where pain and sorrow has no place where the is peace love joy and praising God and lallabyes to the lamb for ever and ever to all Eternity \endash May the lord Bless you all and be with." Eight people signed a petition to form a temperance society, even though there were a great many enemies of it in East Greenville, including many Methodists. Isaac Beecher wrote in a letter in February 1840 to his nephew, William, that East Greenville had temperance lectures so far.

Land was much cheaper in Ohio. Isaac wrote in 1839, "If a person comes out here and has a little money he may do much better than he can in Pennsylvania." Isaac wrote of the prices of goods in Ohio, "wheat is selling at $1.25c per bushel Corn 75cts Oats 15cts flour six dollars per barrel Porkham 12cts per pound Shoulder and flesh 10ct per pound Butter 16ctsper pound Eggs 9cts per dozen." During the summer of 1839, Isaac began "barking trees for a tanner and other jobs until hay and wheat harvest commenced." During the long hay season, Isaac received seventy-five cents a day helping with the hay harvest and one dollar a day for working others' wheat harvests. In the winter of 1839, Isaac was employed with sugar-making. Isaac wrote his nephew that with vegetables in abundance, it was "a fine time for poor people to live cheap." Isaac answered William's enquiries on the prospects of a tailor in Ohio, pointing out that land and everyday goods besides "good furniture" and feathers could be bought cheaper there.

Around 1842, Isaac Beecher experienced more financial difficult. He wrote his nephew, William: "Times are hard here, I must Confess that I never had a hard times in my life as I experience here no money and very dull Sale for anything if you have it for Sale We have been all in tolerable good health Since we have been in this place Except your Aunt Mary has been very much afflicted with the Rheumatic pain in her head, we have had one child born since we have been in this State it did not live long it has gone to its long home." Later in the letter, he wrote of possibly moving further west and then described how his children were growing:

It is probable that I might be in the State of Indiana in the latter part of this summer \endash as one of our neighbors are going out on a pedaling excursion with rifles. John William is growing very stout Amanda Mary is going to be very stout and tall Alex is slim and tall and very delicate Anna El…… will make a very smart child Anthony B is very lusty and hearty the have been very little help to us yet as there is no employ to be got for them and I have very little of my own for them \endash Every thing is very low for Housekeepers here but no money to be got \endash if I was once able to be …… owner of a track of land I might have Constant Employ for my children

John William Beecher wrote his cousin a note in the same letter that, "I have been going to school last winter and have been studying…geography." Alexander W. Beecher added, "I…have been going to School all winter. I have been reading and writing and Studying Arithmatic."

Isaac Beecher did not hear from his nephew, William, for five years. During that time, Mary Shaw Beecher "was taken down with fever" while "I was out west on my road homeward...I was taken very poorly, and with great difficulty arrived at home and to my surprise found Mary confined to her bed laying in a fever." Both feeling sick, Isaac and Mary "were confined to our beds for upwards of four weeks." They both recovered. Isaac wrote of the following fall, "I exposed myself too much, took cold and it settled in one of my lungs...I was confined to my bed and house for five months and caused hard times as to supporting my family." He eventually recuperated. Isaac described his children in 1846: "William is in his nineteenth year, and is very stout. He is considerable heavier than I am. Amanda M. was married on the 28th day of May to a gentleman named Paul Rhoads or Westmoreland County, Pa. Alexander Washington is in his fourteenth year. I intend to put him to the Taylor Trade, he favors the Shaws more than any of my family. Ann Ellen is in her twelfth year. Anthony Robert is in his ninth year...quite a stout hearty boy. James Harvey was born June 6th 1846...a remarkable fine child...weighed Eleven pounds when born. Two are no more...Isaac Newton by name is in the Methodist graveyard in New Holland, Lancaster {County} in the state of Ohio, Stark {County}.

In 1845, the growing season "was remarkably dry in this section of our County." The year had "very poor" wheat, corn, oats, and potato crops and trees with "no fruit at all." The following year, the crop trend went in the other extreme. Isaac Beecher wrote, "it is supposed that {there} has never been such a crop of wheat in the State of Ohio." He listed the food prices as: "flour per barrel $3 wheat 54cts bushel Oats 15 cts." In August 1846, the weather was dry and warm. Isaac further wrote, "This has been the season for the locust…they done considerable damage to fruit trees and others, it has been Seventeen years since they were here last."

Unfortunately, the once flourishing religion in East Greenville that Isaac had wrote about five years back, was now declining. At the Methodists peak, their membership was "upwards of eighty," but had since in five years been cut in half. Isaac cited pride, popularity and slavery as the issues responsible for the church's demise. At a time in our nation's history when there were few people openly against slavery, some the Shaw family members were abolitionist. Isaac wrote, "Slavery is another evil…it will have to be put away or Methodism will never flourish again." He added, "I believe it is a sin resting upon our Nation, we as a free and enlightened people {not to rail against} such an existing Evil in a land of Freedom." What must have seemed as a shock to William Shaw, Jr., Isaac wrote:

It is something like four years since I left the Methodist Church, my reason was at that time they has much haring and haggling amongst themselves that I saw plainly it would never do…there was no union among them. Those that as Wealthy looked down upon the poor class and did not do them any kind of justice. Mary left at same time I did…We have united ourselves, to the society called united Brethren in Christ. I have one of their papers laying before me intitled Religious Telescope Published in Circleville Ohio. They don't tolerate slavery in their church. Slavery in every sense of the word is prohibited. Free Masonry and other Secret Societies whatever name or order in every sense of the word is totally discountenanced and in no wise tolerated in our Society. The first conference was held in Baltimore Md in the year 1789. They are quite numerous in some parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana. I find more vital piety among them than among the Methodist in this day and age of the world. I did think at one time some years back that the Methodist was a favoured people of God, but they have strayed far from true piety and virtue. Although I am fully convinced there is hundreds and thousands amongst the Methodist that are truly pious, but as I have said before pride and popularity both in preachers and members have crept into the church and unless it is abolished they can never flourish as they did in former days… Temperance is a new link in the chain of Piety, for my part I am a teetotaler, abstain from everything that will intoxicate. I am a member of the Washingtonian Total Abstinence Society and have been Secretary of the Same and could be if I wanted it. We ought to use all our influence in favor of temperance in every sense of the word.


Isaac married Mary Amanda Shaw on 5 May 1826 in Lancaster Co., PA. (Mary Amanda Shaw was born circa 1810 in Philadelphia, PA and died on 20 Nov 1894 in Lima Township, LaGrange County, Indiana.)

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