“The Donors of Beattie Park” by Robert Borden (1977)

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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