Death of John Beattie

Death of John Beattie


“Rockford’s Aged and Wealthiest Contractor Dead”

Mr. Beattie was compelled to take a block of West State Street land, now worth $70,000, for a debt of a few hundred dollars.

Beattie was urged to erect a building on the block across from the courthouse that would stand as his monument when he was gone.

At the time he had completed some work on the courthouse and this property was given to him for his work.

On the day he became possessor of the property, he wept, thinking he had been defrauded payment for his work.

But Rockford grew and became a city, and an elegant courthouse supplanted the old one. Improvements were made all around Mr. Beattie’s property, until what he thought was not worth hundreds of dollars could be sold for $60,000. His North Main property is estimated at $50,000, at least.

In addition, he owned a number of houses in the city, fine farming land in Argyle, and a lot of mining land. His estate is estimated at $200,000 – $300,000.

He built G A Sanford’s House and Dr. Lane’s. John Beattie came to Rockford in 1837, in the company of D D Alling and William Peters.

Mr. Beattie lived in the house where he died for forty years. He purchased that property about the same time as the West State Street property.

Mr. Beattie had been in poor health for some time. He sprained his ankle last September.

He was born in the north of Ireland and was of Scottish-Irish descent. He came to America when quite young. He was opposed to change and was a very quiet, secretive man, quite averse to talking of his affairs and very cautious and slow in business affairs. He attended Second Congregational Church, but was a member of no societies.

He leaves a wife, two sons, Ed and George, both of Helena, Montana and men of large means, and two daughters, Misses Mary and Anna Beattie, both of Rockford.


Source: Daily Register, 12/04/1899

Beattie Is… Festival – 1986

Beattie Is…

Arts festival

“Beattie Is… Begins Thursday”

About 1,000 volunteers help with the booths

Some of the musical activities include Mike Williamson’s “Let It Be”, the Phantom Regiment and Cadets, the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra, and The Men Of Our Times.

Beattie  Is... Festival

Source: Rockford Register Star 06/03/1986

John Beattie

John Beattie

Came to Rockford 1837

Built House at 223 Park Avenue in 1845

He was an immigrant Scotch-Irish carpenter – He came with oxen and wagons

He settled in Rockford when unable to cross the Kishwaukee River

Born in Ireland 06/21/1811

He partnered with William Peters when building business

Died 12/03/1889
Source:  Nuggets of History, Spring 1977