From: "Laurel Baty" <laurelbaty(a)comcast.net>
Subject: Jonathan A. Beaty, widow Margaret, L2
Jonathan A. Beaty, Company "B" 2nd Tennessee Infantry & Company
"F" V. R. C.
(Cert. # 293,697); widow Margaret Beaty (Cert. # 972,933)
[This is a huge file, another Fentress County "twin-pack"-it has two Special
Examinations. Jonathan A. Beaty is thought to be the son of Alexander Beaty
and Mary Hull Beaty. -L. Baty, L252]
On October 3, 1881 Jonathan A. Beaty, aged 47 and a resident of Pickett
County, Tennessee filed a claim for pension. He enrolled August 10, 1861 in
Company "B" 2nd Tenn. Infantry and was honorably discharged on November 10,
1864. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall, has a dark complexion, black hair and
dark eyes. His birthplace is listed as Overton County, Tennessee on a
Surgeon's Certificate dated Sept. 18, 1907.
On April 17, 1912 Margaret Beaty, a resident of Cravens, Overton County,
Tennessee filed a widow's claim for pension. She is the widow of Jonathan
A. Beaty who enrolled in 1861 in Company "B" 2nd Tennessee Infantry. She
was married under the name of Margaret Winningham at Spurrier, Tenn. on July
10, 1866[this is an error based on the marriage certificate]. She states
"soldier's first wife dead, do not remember date of death." Jonathan A.
Beaty died on Nov. 10, 1907 at Wilder, Tenn. She lists the following
children under the age of 16: James Beaty born March 9, 1890 at Wilder,
Tenn. & Nora Pearl Beaty born May 10, 1895 at Wilder, Tenn.
A copy of the marriage certificate of J. A. Beaty and M. E. Winningham shows
that they were married Jan. 25, 1888 in Pickett County, Tennessee.
On April 5, 1912 Dudley Winningham, aged 52 and a resident of Cook Place,
Tenn. states "I have the Bible that the children's age is recorded in before
me & said record is as follows: James Beaty was born March 9, 1890. Nora
Pearl Beaty was born May 10, 1895. Both children are living; this old bible
has all the ages of said family that is J. A. Beaty's family record. In
regard to what I believe about the family record will say I believe the
record was written by Jonathan A. Beaty being acquainted with his
A letter is sent to the pension office dated Feb. 26, 1912 (spelling
corrected for clarity):
Commissioner at Pensions
I will inform you of J. A. Beaty's widow keeping a Bad House. I didn't
think she would make the first proof that she was very good enough to get
his money. But I have found out that a body can make any proof by certain
people for money. R. A. Winningham is her father. Him and her uncle is
making this proof mostly for their selves. I am J. A. Beaty's youngest
child by his first wife. I can't write nothing about the lease I want you
send a true agent in and see if my words hant true. Just send a man to
Collier Threets. She lives right there by him. You can go in and see that
she hant be capable(?) of drawing his pension.
I will give some names:
Will Sells, M. C. Threet, John Newbery, Mike Cravens, Will Willhite, Robert
From Huldah Threet, Wilder, Fentress County, Tennessee.
A Special Examination occurs in July of 1912 and the results of this
examination cause Margaret's pension claim to be rejected. Much of the
testimony in the first examination is recanted by the witnesses in a
subsequent examination that occurs in April of 1926.
On July 16, 1912 Susan E. Winningham, "going on 52 years old" and a resident
of Cravens, Tennessee states "I am the wife of Seth Winningham. Jonathan
Allen Beaty was my father. He died four years ago last Nov. 10. I saw him
dead. His first wife was Serena Reagan, my mother. She died in Adair Co.,
Ky near Breedentown on May 2, 1881. I saw her dead.my father's two youngest
children were Jim & Nova. They are said to be my father's children. They
are claimant's children-Nova is also said to be Wm Sells child. It has been
talked over the county."
On Feb. 19, 1925 Alex Beaty aged 60 and a resident of Cook Place, Tennessee
states "I am a son of Jonathan A. Beaty. My mother's maiden name was Rena
Reagan. She has been dead 46 years. She died in Adare Co. Ky, May 2d or
I will just give excerpts from Margaret's response to the first examination
and witness testimony from the 2nd examination.
State of Tennessee, Fentress County
Personally appeared before me, a clerk of Record in and for said county,
Margaret Beaty, Post Office, Jamestown, Tennessee, who being duly sworn
states that she is the widow of Jonathan A. Beaty of Co. "B," 2d Tenn.
Infantry. That she was notified that her claim No. 87937 was rejected April
28th, 1925, on the ground that "she was guilty of living in open adulterous
co-habitation since the death of the soldier."
She here states that this is false and untrue and is a grievous bitter
surprise to her. That since the death of the soldier she has lived a
chaste, clean, virtuous life, having been a member of the Baptist Church for
many years. She admits, however, that when she was a child she was
unprotected by proper parental care and in her adolescent age she had meager
opportunities for an education and suitable social relationship, and being
upon the mercies, indulgencies and intrigues of the world without anyone to
tell her of the many dangers which might be before her, she fell in love
with a young man who made proposal of marriage to her. Upon such proposal
and promise to perform she was persuaded to allow him to have knowledge of
her. As a result of this continued relationship there were born to them
three babies out of wedlock. Finally when she was grown to maturity and
realized the ruin to which such a life would lead her, she determined to
right her life habits. Her lover refused to marry her and be the lawful
father of their children, whereupon she determined with the help of all that
is good, to face the world alone. She was living this pure life and
overcoming every temptation and the good people were helping her in the way.
That about this time she met Jonathan A. Beaty who proposed honorable
marriage. They were lawfully married and lived together happily as husband
and wife until his death. That she has been a member of the Church for many
years. That since she came to a full realization of the error of her youth
before her marriage to the said Jonathan A. Beaty, she has known no man
except her lawful husband, and that her life in every respect has been fully
chaste, virtuous and clean.
She is glad of the opportunity to place these statements before the world
and is asking for character vindication. She hopes that this may be
sufficient to re-open her said claim.
Margaret Beaty (Her Mark)
July 10, 1925
On April 7, 1925 G. W. Reagan, aged 79 and a resident of Overton County,
Tennessee states "Beaty first married Rena Reagan who was a third cousin to
this affiant, he further states that said Rena has been dead many years."
A Special Examination is held in 1826. Here is brief synopsis of their
Margaret Beaty aged 68 and a resident of Jamestown, Tennessee states "I had
a son in the World War. His name is Jim Beaty...Mr. Beaty and I had four
children born to us, but one of them is now dead. The living ones are Ada
Smith, Jim Beaty and Nora Cravens wife of A. C. Cravens.I had three children
born to me before I married Mr. Beaty, but I was not married to the father
of those children-- the father of those children was Jim Beaty. I don't
know whether he is alive or dead. He married and left here before I married
Jonathan A. Beaty..Hulda Threet is the youngest daughter of Mr. Beaty. We
would have fallings out occasionally and I don't think she liked me much.
She went crazy when the World war commenced and I haven't had anything to do
with her since. I have heard the statement of Hulda G. Threet read. Lord
have mercy there ain't a word of it true."
On April 19, 1926 Claiborne Beaty, aged 84 and a resident of Jamestown,
Tennessee states "I knew the soldier Jonathan A. Beaty during his lifetime.
He BEARS THE BEATY NAME BUT I DON"T KNOW WHETHER HE IS RELATED TO ME OR
On April 19, 1926 D. Cravens aged 52 and a resident of Twinton, Tennessee
states "Mr. Beaty was generally known as Allen Beaty." He also states
Sells is the one I heard she was having immoral relations with, but I have
never believed it myself. It strikes me I heard that from Sells himself,
but I can't be positive about that. No, that was not general talk in the
community. If I am not mistaken it was the talk of Sells himself. No, I
never heard her name connected with any man but Sells and I don't believe
that was true. Sells is a mighty rowdy man in every respect. I would not
be disposed to place confidence in his word when it comes to matters of the
kind. I hate to say it for he is a second cousin of mine..I am very
distantly related to the claimant if at all."
On April 20, 1926 Thomas Sells, aged 73 and a resident of Twinton states
"She [Margaret Beaty] is a second cousin to my wife." He also states "It
was said that she had illicit relations with other men while the wife of
Beaty. I know nothing personally against her but the report was that the
old man Beaty accused her of having illicit relations with other men, in
fact he told me that several times himself." Don't know what became of Ez
[Beaty]. He killed Irving Richards."
On April 20, 1926 Joseph P. Cravens aged 64 and a resident of Twinton states
"She [Margaret Beaty] was the daughter of Anderson Winningham..There was
reported to be some discord in the family over Beaty's children and the
children would drive the claimant off occasionally, but Beaty would quiet
the matter down and bring her back again.knowing Sells character I did not
believe what he said. He is a cousin of mine.." "Yes, I know Hulda Threet.
She was confined to the asylum at one time. She is a step daughter of Mrs.
Beaty. She fell out with Mrs. Beaty because of the land left by her father,
I have heard it said that she went crazy because of that piece of
property..He [Will Sells] abandoned his wife and took up with a woman of bad
On April 20, 1926 William Seth Sells, age 53 and a resident of Overton Co.,
Tennessee recants his initial testimony and denies that he committed
adultery with Margaret Beaty. He also states "My mother and her mother were
On April 20, 1926 Will Robbins aged 50 and a resident of Twinton, Tennessee
states "She [Margaret Beaty] is my cousin."
On April 20, 1926 George W. Cravens aged 54 and a resident of Twinton states
"Will Sells is a cousin of mine.I am distantly related [to Margaret
Beaty]..He [William Hite a witness in the 1912 Special Examination] has
been up two or three times for making blockade whiskey. I would rather not
take his word. A man who will make blockade whiskey would do almost
anything else. Will Sells bears a bad character. The way he did his first
wife and kids is the worst thing I have against him. He deserted them and
took up with another woman."
From the Special Examiner's Report:
"If the evidence taken by Special Examiner Hardwick was out of the way it
would be an easy matter to settle this case, but we know how difficult it is
to secure evidence of this nature after the lapse of ten or fifteen years,
and also that the only source of information is frequently from people of
bad character. That there was talk about the relations of Sells and the
claimant after the death of the soldier seems to be shown, but as to whether
that was based entirely on the claims of Sells is not known.
I recommend that the claim be submitted to the Chief of the Board of review
for his consideration."
July 23, 1926
A. C. Cravens
I have to advise you the records show that on July 15, 1926, Certificate
number 972,933, was issued under the act of June 27, 1890, as amended, in
favor of Margaret Beaty.
A check for the amount due thereon to July 4, 1926, in the sum of $4481.37,
will be mailed to the pensioner in a few days. It was deemed advisable to
advise you of this fact,
1880 Leatherwood, Adair Co., KY p. 108B
Baty, Jonathan 50 father TN, TN, TN
Sarina 45 wife TN, TN, TN
Baty, Bettie 21 dau TN, TN, TN
Elich 16 son TN, TN, TN
Mary 12 TN, TN, TN
Hulda 4 TN, TN, TN
1900 6th Dist Fentress Co., TN p. 12
Beaty, Allen April 1832 68 married 16 years TN, TN, TN
Margaret June 1853 46 married 16 yrs 7 children, all living
Sarah dau March 1881 19 single 1 child, living
Dazzie dau Apr. 1885 15 TN, TN, TN
Aida dau Apr. 1889 11 TN, TN, TN
James R. son March 1892 8 TN, TN, TN
Nova dau Apr. 1894 6 TN, TN, TN
Eva dau Dec. 1897 2 TN, TN, TN
Ezra grson Aug. 1880 19 TN, TN, TN