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Biography of Col. Ezra M. Beardsley

Perhaps throughout Rock Island County there is no name so often recalled or regarded among old settlers as that of Colonel Ezra M. Beardsley, unless it be those of the late Major James M. Beardsley, or the former’s brother, James M. Beardsley. The life of Ezra was one of incessant activity and brilliant success, and up to the time of his death and since he was highly esteemed as an exemplary citizen, a patriot of the most courageous and pronounced character, and a man whom all were delighted to call friend. Strong as iron, he was a child; gentle as a baby, he was an untamed lion when the question of right was in jeopardy. Ezra Beardsley was born October 14, 1827, at Ashland, Green County, New York, his parents being Elisha and Caroline (M. Marvin) Beardsley. He traced his progenitors back to the early portion of the Seventeenth Century, many of them having served in the Army and Navy during the various uprisings and wars which have made history for this nation. He came to Illinois in 1844, and until 1870, when he removed to Kansas, had been a resident of Rock Island County. In 1855 he was elected Sheriff; was admitted to the bar in 1859, after a thorough course in law; enlisted in the “three months’ service,” and was commissioned Lieutenant in the Sixty-ninth Illinois Volunteers. He was promoted to the rank of Post-Adjutant at Camp Douglas, then a military prison near Chicago. His humane efforts in behalf of the unfortunate prisoners of war at that time would of themselves furnish material for a large volume....

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