Indian wars and pioneers of Texas Page: 284 of 894
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INDIAN WARS AND PIONEERS OF TEXAS.
(Near Corsicana, Texas.)
Maj. Alexander Beaton was born at Inverness,
Inverness-shire, the most beautiful and romantic part
of the Highlands of Scotland, February 19, 1820.
His parents, Donald and Margaret (Beaton) Beaton,
died when he was in his thirteenth year. He
received an academic education in his native town,
and in his seventeenth year was sent to the city of
London, England, where he entered the office of
an accountant, where he remained for six years.
Shortly after his first arrival in London, he witnessed
the grandest sight and pageant of his life,
the coronation of Queen Victoria. He came to the
United States in 1843, in November of that year
landing at New Orleans where, until 1844, he filled
a position secured by him before he left London.
He left New Orleans at the beginning of the yellow
fever epidemic in 1844, the local physicians and
newspapers advising all unacclimated persons to
pursue that course. He went from New Orleans
to St. Louis and from the latter city to Bolivar,
Polk County, Mo., where he taught school and
read law until 1847 in the office of Col. Thomas
Ruffin, who was then known as one among the
leading members of the bar in Southwest Missouri.
In the summer of that year a call was made on the
State of Missouri to raise her Third Regiment of
Mounted Volunteers for service in Mexico, and
Maj. Beaton volunteered for service during the
war and became a member of Company K. of
said regiment. Col. Ralls, of Ralls County, Mo.,
was afterwards elected Colonel of the regiment,
which, after being duly equipped and made ready
for service at Fort Leavenworth, now in the State
of Kansas, started on.its march across the plains
in July, 1847, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where
it took the place of Gen. Price's command, whose
term of service had expired. Maj. Beaton went to
Taos, New Mexico, with three companies of the
regiment and remained there, doing duty as acting
adjutant of the battalion, until the end of the war,
when he returned to Independence, Mo., with
the entire regimental command, where with his
fellow-soldiers he was, in the fall of 1848,
honorably discharged from the service. He now
draws a pension of $8.00 per month as a Mexican
war veteran from the United States government.
Shortly after his discharge from the army, he
and Col. Ruffin came to Texas, stopped at Houston
for a brief period and then took a look at the town
of Washington, on the Brazos, which was much
spoken of at the time and believed by many to be
destined for the dignity of a city of importance at
some time. They afterwards visited and resided,
for varying periods, at Brenham, Chappel Hill, and
Richmond, Col. Ruffin locating at the latter place.
Maj. Beaton during his sojourn at Chappel Hill
taught school for a few months.
He arrived at Corsicana on the 16th of March,
1850, then a small frontier village of about one
hundred inhabitants, and has since resided in and
near that place. In a short time after his arrival
he was employed in the county clerk's office and
was later appointed to fill the unexpired term of a
former incumbent of the office of county assessor
and collector of taxes and, while so engaged, industriously
applied himself to the study of law.
He was admitted to the bar in 1851, license being
granted by Hon . O.M. Roberts, the presiding
judge, afterwards Chief Justice of the State Supreme
Court, Governor of Texas and, later, senior
law professor in the Texas University. Maj. Beaton
afterwards, for a period of over thirty years,
engaged in the practice of the profession, before
and after the war for some years as a copartner
of the now distinguished statesman, Hon. R. Q.
Mills, and since that time, until about ten years
ago, when he retired from active pursuits to his
"Gem Hill" home, near the city of Corsicana.
He has borne a conspicuous and helpful part in
the upbuilding of Corsicana. The start in the
making of Corsicana as a city was his successful
effort in getting a depot of the Houston and Texas
Central Railway located at the town in 1871. In
the attainment of this object he was ably assisted
by Mr. James Kerr, Sr., and Col. William Croft.
In honor of his services and liberality, without any
desire or asking for it on his part, the people named
the principal street in the city, Beaton street, in his
honor. He has been a life-long Democrat and has
done good service for the party and for the cause
of honest and accountable government. His forefathers
for many generations were members of the
Presbyterian Church, with whose Calvinism and
authoritative teaching he could not agree. He
now worships with his wife in the Methodist Church,
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Brown, John Henry. Indian wars and pioneers of Texas, book, 1880~; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth6725/m1/284/: accessed May 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .