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Yuma County Pioneer Photographs:

Asa B. Beam, Charles J. and Viola A. (Beam) Barber, Lansing

In 1850 Hillsdale County, Michigan, Henry Beam is 53, Avis 51, Clarinda 18, Asa 15, and Viola 8.

In 1860 Jackson County, Michigan, Asa Beam is 25, Mary 23, with John ,1.  Next is Henry Beam 63 and Avis 61, with Viola 17.

 In 1870 Hillsdale County, Michigan, Henry Beam is 53, Avis 51.  They have Clarinda 18, Asa 15, and Viola 8.

In 1870 C.J. Barber 27 and Viola 26 are in Hillsdale County, a farm hand for the O.P. Tiffany family.

 In 1880 Oceana County, Michigan, Charles J. Barber 36 and Vida A. 36 have Clarence W. 8, Rosa M. 5, and Minnie M. 4.

Charles proved up a quarter in 1895,  timber-claimed a quarter in 1904, both in 1, 3S 43W, and Clarence proved up one in 2, 3S 43W in 1899. 

In 1900 Lansing precinct, Charles J. Barber born June 1843 in Ohio, and Viola A. born August 1842 Ohio, have Clarence W. Aug 1870 Michigan.

Charles and Viola are alone in 1910 and 1920 Lansing precinct. Clarence is next to them in 1910, married to Myrtle two years, with "Noarm", ten months old.

Charles proved up 160 acres in 20 and 21, 2S 43W in 1922.

Viola A. (Beam) Barber 1842-1920 and Charles are buried in Armel.

Charles died in 1923.

In 1900 Denver, John F. born Sept 1874 in Iowa is a printer, with Minnie M. - she's had two kids, one living.  Willie F. Dec 1896 was born in Colorado.

In 1910 Lansing precinct, John F. 35 and Minnie M. 34 have William 13, Frank J. 9, and Clarence L. 6.

In 1920 John F. Baxter 45, Iowa, and Minnie M. 43, Michigan, have Frank F. 19, Roy C. 16, and Nellie V. 6, all three born in Colorado.

Rosa M. (Barber) Chase 1874-1941 # 81851901,  and her husband Herman Merrill Chase 1867-1948 are buried in Armel.

Minnie Minton (Barber) Baxter 1876-1924 is buried in Armel # 81841842.

In 1930 Armel, Frank Baxter is a laborer, 54, born in Iowa, Elizabeth 60, Michigan, first married in 1890.  They have Nellie V. 16, born in Colorado.

In 1920 Wray, Clarence W. is 47, Myrtle M. 33, Kansas, with Norm M. 10, Violet M. 6, and Leota M. 2, all three born in Colorado.

All five are in Corvallis, Oregon in 1930, with no occupations.

Norman is a mechanic in 1940 Oregon, and # 29080550 has him buried in Corvallis -1909-1943.

Per one tree, Leota married Ralph Houtchens in 1939, and in 1940 they're living with Ralph's brother in Bend, Oregon. Ralph is a mechanic, born in Washington, 26, Leota 23.

# 807538 has Leota Matilda Houtchens - March 22, 1918-April 25, 1994 buried at Willamette National Cemetery.  Ralph and their son Edwin Dale Houtchens 1940-2002 are buried there, too.


In 1880 Gratiot County, Michigan, Asa P. Beam is 65, born in Ohio, Mary E. 62 New York, with Avis 19, Betsy 16, Hiram 11, Muso 5, and Maggie 3.

Asa was appointed Lansing postmaster in 1889, then Asa P. Bean in 1892, succeeded by William Couch in 1893.

From "History of Gratiot Co." (Tucker, 1913): "Asa P. Beam died at his home in Lansing, Colorado, 11/9/1893 at the hand of an assassin. A prominent resident of Lafayette [twp., Gratiot Co., MI] for many years, he was a candidate for county Clerk in 1878 on the Greenback ticket."

Gratiot County Herald
Ithaca, Michigan, December 22, 1893

Many Gratiot people were acquainted with Asa P. Beam, for many years a highly respected citizen of Wheeler. Hoping to better himself financially, about seven years ago he went west, and finally became postmaster of Lansing, a town in north-eastern Colorado. Here he was highly respected and was not known to have an enemy in the world. On the morning of November 10th, Mr. Beam was found cold and dead only a few feet from the doorway of his office, with three bullet holes in his body. The story of the crime and arrest of the supposed murderers as told by the Denver News is essentially as follows:

Mr. Beam's post office is in the store of E. S. Gratzinger. About 9 o'clock, on the evening of the fateful day, Mr. Gratzsinger went to his home, 200 yards away, at 9:30 Mr. Beam's light was burning brightly and he was seen to pass between it and the window. That is the last time he was seen alive. At 5 o'clock the following morning his body was found as stated above. The murderers left little or no clue. A pair of mittens left in the store, the size of the bullet wounds and the fact that Mrs. Philips, wife of J.T. Philips who is a brother of P.M. Philips of Ithaca, had seen three men riding that way on the Haigler, Nebraska road, was all that could be learned. The detectives from Denver were put on the trail, however, and Tuesday evening, December 5, they arrested three young men who live on a ranch about seven miles from Lansing. Their names are Thomas Chase and his two cousins Freeman and Herman Chase. The community were greatly surprised at the arrest of these young men, but the detectives are sure that they have the right parties. One of the maddest features of the entire story is that Mrs. Beam, who has not seen her husband for seven years, was just preparing to move to Lansing when she learned of his death. The motive for the terrible deed was undoubtedly robbery, but the perpetrators of the ghastly deed seem to have been frightened from their purpose as nothing was disturbed in the office."

Joseph T. Phillips had proved up a quarter in section 23, 3S 43W in 1896 - one mile straight north of one location of the Lansing post office.  Francis Greatsinger had cash-claimed a quarter in section 35 in 1890, a mile south of that location.

December 1893

Lee Yount wrote in his diary "The mail carrier found the postmaster dead (1894). He didn't know just what to do, but decided to take the P.O. equipment to Benkelman, Nebraska. "

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