The technical education of the doctor of medicine avails him but little unless he has laid a foundation for it of broad general knowledge and made a careful study of human nature. When he took up the practice of medicine Doctor Albert M. Beal brought to the profession a mental equipment such as few men acquire in a lifetime. For years he had been an educator, teaching the common branches in the public schools and later specializing in college. Having as a student earned the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts, he later found opportunity to perfect his knowledge of law so that he was admitted to the bar after successfully passing the prescribed examination. With this preparation the mysteries of medicine and surgery were quickly mastered and success was his from the beginning of his professional career.
Doctor Beal was born October 31, 1853, in Zuma Township, Rock Island County. His parents were Daniel N. and Betsy (Spencer) Beal, pioneers of the community. The son attended the country schools and later the public institutions of learning of Port Byron and Rock Island. At the age of seventeen he began teaching school at what is now Barstow. He entered Western College of Iowa when his preparatory studies had been completed, and graduated with the class of 1876, taking the degree of Bachelor of Arts. The following year he was principal of the Hampton, Illinois, schools. In 1879 he received the degree of Master of Arts from his alma mater, which was in that year removed to Toledo, Iowa. Mr. Beal at this time received a call to the chair of physics and chemistry of Western College and accepted and held that post twelve years. Previously, however, he had read law, being admitted to the bar in 1879. From 1876 to 1879 he acted as assistant to the president of the Moline Water Power Company.
Having decided to fit himself for the practice of medicine, Mr. Beal in 1890 began attending a regular course of lectures in the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Des-Moines, delivering at the same time a course of lectures on chemistry and medical Latin. During 1891 and 1892 he served as president of Western College. In 1894 he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. He immediately began practicing at Toledo, Iowa, but after a few months, in December, 1894, he located in Moline, where he has remained since, and where he has built up a large practice. Doctor Beal is a member of the Illinois and Iowa Central District Medical Association and of the Illinois State Medical Association.
At the age of sixteen Mr. Beal became a member of the United Brethren Church. He served as superintendent of the Brethren Sunday School at Toledo for some time. Since coming to Moline he has become identified with the First Congregational Church. He has always been an ardent Republican. Casting his first vote for Rutherford B. Hayes for President. While a resident of Toledo he served three successive terms as Mayor, resigning on his removal to Des Moines. He was the first clerk of South Moline Township. Fraternally he affiliates with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America.
At Andalusia, Illinois, October 31, 1876, Doctor Beal married Miss Etta Thompson, daughter of Henry L. and Mary (Buffum) Thompson. She died November 11, 1880, leaving one daughter, Mamie. A second marriage was contracted January 1, 1884, with Miss Carrie E. Middekauf, of Polo, Illinois, a native of Ogle County. Five children resulted from the second alliance: Etta Grace, Daniel Middekauf, Althea, Albert Milton, who died when one year old, and Walter Hubert.