REV. MARION BEASLEY, devoting his life and energies to agricultural pursuits and to the work of the gospel as a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church in Montague county, was born in middle Tennessee, his natal place being in Hardin county, and the date of his birth March 4, 1834. His parents were Daniel and Julia (Ezell) Beasley, both of whom were natives of Tennessee, where they spent their entire lives. The father was a farmer by occupation and in his political affiliation was a democrat. He was called to various public offices by his fellow townsmen, who recognized his worth and ability and he served as justice of the peace and constable for a number of years, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity. His life was at all times honorable and upright and gained for him the good will and trust of those with whom he associated. He held membership in the Missionary Baptist church and for several years he survived his wife. She had two brothers, Fielding and Louis Ezell, but Mrs. Beasley was the only daughter in the family. By her marriage she became the mother of nine children: Mrs. Elizabeth Odum; Mrs. Mary J. Wadkins; Mrs. Sallie Hugpeth; George, who died at the age of fourteen years; Mrs. Susan Strong; Martha, the wife of J. Goldsmith; Miriam, the wife of T. Goldsmith; Marion, of this review; and Jasper, who died in Missouri.
Marion Beasley spent his youth in the place of his nativity. He was left an orphan when eleven years of age and since that time has made his own way in the world, gaining advancement through his diligence and earnest effort. He has always made the best possible use of his opportunities and as the years have gone by his labors have gained him a creditable measure of prosperity. He was married in western Tennessee and there settled, following the occupation of farming for four years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Missouri, where he purchased land and improved a large farm. He was thus engaged up to the time of the Civil war. Having studied the issues of the party he espoused the cause of the Confederates, enlisting in 1861 under General Wadkins and afterward serving under General Jefferson Thompson. His service was confined to Missouri. He joined the first company raised in his part of the state and he continued with his command until two years had passed when on account of ill health he was parolled and went home. Later he rejoined his command, however, and remained therewith until the close of the war. While at home he was made a prisoner and held for six days, after which he was released. The ravages and devastation of war caused him the loss of all his personal property so that he had to make a new start in life. In 1878 he sold his property and came to Texas, settling first in Young county, where he raised a crop. He afterward purchased property in Montague county from the Brodus & Jordan Ranch Company. He thus became owner of four hundred and eighty acres, on which he has made good and substantial improvements and he now has two hundred and fifty acres under a high state of cultivation. He carries on general farming, in which he is meeting with fair success and he also raises good stock. He is well pleased with the country, its possibilities and its surroundings, having pleasant neighbors here, the country having become settled up by a thrifty and enterprising class of citizens. In his own business career he has made consecutive advancement, for he incurred indebtedness when he bought his land but has this all cleared away at the present time, and has upon his place many valuable improvements which indicate to the passer-by that he is a practical and progressive agriculturist.
Mr. Beasley also divides his time with the work of the ministry. He was converted in the Methodist church in Missouri, becoming an active worker in its behalf and after four years began preaching as a local preacher, while since coming to Texas he has been made a regularly ordained minister and in 1894 joined northwest Texas conference. He has since had a regular circuit, extending through Montague and Cooke counties and he now has four charges. He has united many couples in the holy bonds of matrimony, has conducted various funeral services and indeed has done much active work as a minister during his residence here. Mr. Beasley has been married twice. He first wedded Miss Cynthia Winters, a lady of intelligence, who did much to assist him in his church work and encourage him in all life’s relations. She was left an orphan in early life, and little is known concerning her family history. She has one sister, Mrs. Jane McLyea. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley became the parents of ten children: John, who died at the age of eleven years; Archie, who died at the age of seven years; Mrs. Nancy J. Goldsmith; Mrs. Lottie Smith; Mrs. Rachel McKnew; Mrs. Cynthia Perry; Marion N. and Lorenzo, both of whom follow farming; Mrs. Minnie Morgan; and Mrs. Lucy Porter. The wife and mother died at Somerset, Texas, in 1890, in the faith of the Methodist church, of which she was a devoted and earnest member. In 1892 Mr. Beasley was again married, his second union being with Mrs. James Stalling, whose first husband died in Cherokee county, Texas, leaving a widow and four children: Mrs. Mollie Allen; Mrs. Adeline March; Walter, who died in childhood; and Beulah. Mrs. Stalling was a daughter of Samuel Horton, who was born and reared in Texas and was a farmer and slave owner who spent his last days in Cherokee county, this state. His children were John, Sandy, Henry, Wade, Reuben, Mary, Adeline, Lottie and Nancy.
Mr. Beasley is a stanch democrat but without aspiration for office, his life being devoted to his agricultural interests and his work as a minister of the gospel. His influence has been a potent element for good and he has contributed in substantial measure to the moral development of the community.
Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. II, pp. 611-613.