Joshua S. Beam, a native of North Carolina, was born in 1826, the seventh of a family of twelve children. His parents, Peter and Ann (Long) Beam, were both born, reared, lived and died in North Carolina. John T. Beam, a weaver by trade, one of the ancestors, came from Germany and worked seven years for a man who paid his passage to America.
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The subject of this sketch went to Arkansas in the spring of 1850 with his brother-in-law. In April 1852, he started to cross the plains with an ox team, and arrived in California in September of the same year. After his arrival on the coast he worked in the mines and quartz-mills for two years. He spent five years in Mariposa County. In 1857 he moved to Monterey County and remained five or six years.
In the fall of 1863 he came to San Bernardino County and purchased twenty-five acres where he now lives. He has made several additions to his original purchase, and now owns a fine farm just east of the city, on which he has erected a very commodious two-story house, containing some fifteen or twenty rooms. He raised alfalfa, etc., for fifteen years, but has recently turned his attention to the dairy business. While in Monterey County, in 1859, he was married to Miss Ellen R. Craw, born in Pennsylvania, the daughter of Edward Craw, one of the pioneers of this county. Mr. and Mrs. Beam have nine children: Peter E., George A., Martha A., wife of Robert Sparks; Joshua F., Jane, Ida May, Rufus and Lee, twins, and Carrie. Mr. Beam takes a lively interest in educational matters, and has been official connected with the school interests of his district for several years. He is also a member of the official board of the Methodist Epiocopal Church South.