OBITUARY OF RALPH BEATON
This obituary was published in
The Corsicana Daily Sun* in 1922.
Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.
BEATON FUNERAL WILL TAKE
PLACE SATURDAY MORNING AT
10 O’CLOCK FIRST METHODIST
Funeral services for Ralph Beaton, who died yesterday afternoon at 3:25 o’clock after an illness of several weeks, will be held at the First Methodist Church on Saturday morning at 10 o’clock.
The Rev. D. K. Porter, pastor of the First Methodist Church, will conduct the services, assisted by Rev. C. R. Wright of Fort Worth, a former pastor here.
The active pall bearers will be as follows: Victor Nagglar, John Mays, Aaron Ferguson, D. N. Rice, Joe Simkins, C. T. Banister, Charles Jester and Lee Jester.
All of Mr. Beaton’s many friends will be considered honorary pallbearers.
When Ralph Beaton, citizen, patriot, and gentleman, passed away yesterday, Corsicana suffered an irreparable loss. The entire citizenship of this community joins with the rest of the state in mourning his untimely death. A man who placed the welfare of his state and community first and that of himself second, he made a record as a citizen which will be equaled by few and excelled by none.
Those who knew him best declared today, in expressing their sorrow over this death, that in the long and useful life which he has spent in this place, never once has he been known to be on any but the progressive side of a public question. When the time came that a matter of importance was before te city for action, Mr. Beaton always came forward with his sage advice and wise counsel, and his opinion was ever accepted and respected as coming from a public-spirited man of experience and discernment. In it all, he was unostentatious. He possessed to a remarkable degree the virtue of modesty and his was a particularly unselfish life and service.
Native of Corsicana.
Mr. Beaton is a native of Corsicana and has resided here throughout his entire life of 69 years. He was born on October 3, 1853, the son of Major and Mrs. Alexander Beaton, pioneer citizens of this city. Beaton street, the principal thoroughfare of the city, was named in honor of Major Beaton. The mother, Mrs. Beaton, now lives at the home of her son, Major Beaton having been dead for some time. She is now 92 years of age.
Mr. Beaton studied to be a lawyer but early decided that he did not like to follow that profession and devoted himself to other lines of endeavor. He introduced in Corsicana the system of free delivery of groceries.
He early became interested in water wells and drilled several artesian wells in Corsicana. In one of these wells, which was drilled near the present artesian well in the city limits, a showing of oil was found, Mr. Beaton at once caught a vision of an oil field in and around Corsicana. His associates here and the citizenship in general were skeptical, but, not discouraged, he went east and interested Guffey and Gailey, Pennsylvania oil operators in coming to Corsicana. They came and, together with Mr. Beaton, Aaron Ferguson. H. G. Damon, Fred Fleming, and Dr. S. W. Johnson, formed the Corsicana Development Company. A well was drilled near the artesian well but no oil was found. Another well was drilled just northeast of the union depot and it likewise was a failure. A third well was put down in east Corsicana and a thirty-barrel producer resulted. Old citizens of Corsicana say then that it was Mr. Beaton who discovered and first developed the Corsicana oil field.
The Corsicana Development Company later sod out to the Southern Oil Company for $300,000. Mr. Beaton, Dr. S. W. Johnson, and Fred Fleming were associated in this company.
Interested in Water System.
After retiring from the oil business, Mr. Beaton again interested himself in water and supplied various steam plants with fresh water. Later at the suggestion of Captain James Garitty, a close friend, he took over the water system for the entire city of Corsicana and furnished the city with a high type of artesian water, his concern being called the Corsicana Water Supply Company with Mr. Beaton as president.
On August 1, 1918, this company sold its mains and other property to the city of Corsicana for the sum of $170,000.
When recently it became evident that the outstanding civic need in Corsicana was a modern hotel, Mr. Beaton personally set about to erect such a hotel and, with the old Beaton Flats on Eleventh street as a starting point, he constructed the large and modern Beaton Hotel, which is now a valuable asset to the city.
Mr. Beaton was a director in the Continental Savings Building Association, of which his son, Ralph A. Beaton, is general manager. This association was organized in 1916.
Prominent Church Member.
Mr. Beaton was one of the most prominent members of the First Methodist church. He was a regular attendant upon the services of this church and was quite interested in such work. He is spoken of by all who know him as being a very religious man, and a man who lived his religion every day.
Mr. Beaton is survived by his wife, his mother, Mrs. Jane Beaton, and five children, Ralph Beaton, Jr. of Dallas, Mrs. Hawkins Kimball of Dallas, Walter Beaton, Mrs. A. H. Kerr, and Miss Alice Beaton of Corsicana, all of whom were with him at the time of his death. The wife and mother are quite sick at this time with dengue fever and several other members of the family are just up after an attack of this fever.
*Corsicana Daily Sun (Corsicana, Tex.), Friday, September 8, 1922, p. 1, cols. 1-2.