Few men have prospered in a greater degree than Alonzo Beal of Shawnee County. He came to Kansas when a boy, had a varied routine of experiences as a farm laborer, renter, western cowboy, and finally settled down to a carser which had brought him to a place where he is one of the largest land owners and cattlemen operators in this section of Kansas.
He was born near Newtown in Tuscarawas County, Ohio, November 20, 1862, one of ten children, seven of whom are still living. His parents were Harlan and Cynthia (Ashor) Beal. His father, who was a farmer, died in Ohio in 1867. The mother lived in Ohio until her death in 1895.
Five years of age when his father died, Alonzo grew up on the home farm with his mother, and at an early age had to assume more than ordinary responsibilities. In fact he contributed his labors to the support of the household. He had only a district school education. While living in Ohio he learned that better wages were paid farm hands in the State of Iowa and at the age of seventeen he set his steps in that direction. For about a year he remained in Lucas and Chariton counties of Iowa. His sister, Mrs. Edward Mitchell, was at that time living about three miles west of North Topeka. On arriving in Kansas Alonzo Beal spent a season in working for Mr. Mitchell, and then began farming for himself. He rented a farm for one year, then spent six months in Nuckolls County, Nebraska, clerking in his brother’s store at Superior, and then went on to the Northwest. At American Falls, Idaho, he hired out as a cowboy for one season, and drove a band of cattle to the vicinity of Cheyenne, Wyoming. From there he drifted back to North Topeka, and here found employment as clerk in the grocery store of W. G. Shaw.
In the meantime Mr. Mitchell, his brother-in-law, had bought land in Dover Township of Shawnee County. There, still before he reached his majority, Alonzo Beal took up farming as a renter, and had lived in that community ever since. Fortune had smiled upon his industry and intelligent management of affairs, and at the present time he owned 1,280 acres in one body, a part of which was the place he came to as a renter. He also had 300 acres in another part of Dover Township and 160 acres in Western Kansas. Mr. Beal now usually spends his winter in his home at Fort Myers, Florida.
Mr. Beal is an active democrat, is a Master Mason and a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. His first wife was Alice Warnock, who died in 1903, leaving three children: Olive May, Mrs. Wilbur W. Zacharias of Patterson, California; Harlan Edward; and Robert Bryan. For his second wife Mr. Beal married Jennie K. Wilson, daughter of Andrew Wilson, the well known cattle king of Kansas in the period of the ’70s and ’80s and of barbeene fame. He was also very prominent in the democratic party. Mrs. Beal was reared and educated principally in Topeka.