No grander monument can be placed at the head of the grave of any man than the noble work that the pioneers did in this section of the country, when they fought back the bloodthirsty hordes of savages and invaded the wilds of nature, to reclaim for homes and civilization’s abode these regions which was done at the expense of much trying labor, great hardships, perils of serious nature and self-denial all the way through. Among this worthy class and deserving of special honor for his faithful life and excellent achievements, is the esteemed subject of this memoir, to whom we grant the tribute of an appreciative and kind people, and which his memory especially deserves.
Mr. Beggs was born in Cass County, Illinois, on June 20, 1839, where his early childhood days were spent. Later he went to Kansas, and in 1871 he crossed the plains to Silver City, Idaho, making the entire trip with wagons. In the fall of 1872 he came to the Wallowa valley and he assisted to build the first wagon road into this favored spot. Being thus one of the most to be remembered pioneers of this county.
On November 15, 1868, Mr. Beggs married Miss Jennie Gaston at Oswego, Kansas, and to them were born three children: John G., born December 24, 1869: Henry C., born May 8, 1872: and Harvey F., deceased. Mr. Beggs enlisted in the Twenty-first Illinois Infantry, Company E. on June 24, 1861, as private, but was discharged on account of disability on October 10 of the same year. On March 10, 1862, he re-enlisted in the same company for three years and served throughout the entire war, being honorably discharged at the close. He was promoted to second lieutenant on January 22, 1864. He participated in many skirmishes and numerous battles and was with Sherman on the memorable march to the sea. Fraternally he was affiliated with the Masons. On June 11, 1873, while Mr. Beggs was working to preserve the Wallowa river bridge from the danger of driftwood he accidentally fell into the torrent and was drowned. His death was mourned sincerely by all who knew him and he left a record good and true.
His son, John G., owns a half section of land on Mud creek, all well improved, and also he has a half interest in two hundred and eighty acres near Chico, which is also well improved and his property interests demonstrate him to be one of the leading men of this section. Henry C. owns three hundred and twenty acres four and one-half miles east from Wallowa. This is well improved and is a valuable place. He also is numbered with the prominent men of the county. John G. is a member of the Masons and of the Maccabees. The mother is now Mrs. William R. Minor, near Wallowa.