JOHN CALVIN BEEVER. The postmaster of Coulterville and one of its citizens most deeply interested in public affairs is John Calvin Beever. He is a man active in the service of his fellow townsmen, and has held several offices of public trust.
John C. Beever was born in DeWitt county, on the 24th of February, 1867, and passed his youth in Washington county, upon the farm owned by his father, Ephraim Beever. An account of the Beever family is given more fully elsewhere in this work. Ephraim Beever married Rebecca Little, a daughter of David Little, who was a representative of one of the pioneer families of Randolph county. The head of this family was William Little, a native of Georgia. He later moved to Tennessee, and from there migrated to Kaskaskia, Illinois, in 1818. This old path-finder was a man of splendid attainments. He possessed a good education, had the advantage of a charming manner, and having a naturally fine mind he made a very interesting speaker, his talks on religious subjects being almost equivalent to sermons, although he was not licensed to preach. He cleared a farm in the Plum Creek neighborhood and became a powerful leader in the civic and social life of the community. It was in his house at Kaskaskia that the first sacrament of the Lord's Supper was administered, and he is supposed to have been the founder of the Covenanter church in the state of Illinois. He made his final home in the Bethel Creek district and this settlement also received the benefit of his active religious life. He died in this community at the age of eighty-four, but the influence of his remarkable personality was felt long after he had passed away. His wife was a Miss Edgar, and their son was the grandfather of John C. and W. George Beever.
David Little moved to Washington county, Illinois, in 1850 and here he lived the quiet life of a farmer on his place near Tilden. At the age of seventy-nine his long life came to a close in Grove township, in 1882. His wife was Nancy Linn, and their family comprised the following children: Mrs. Nancy Elder, of Coulterville; Rebecca, who was born in 1840, the wife of Ephraim Beever; Maria, who married Captain S. L. Coulter, of Oakdale; Mrs. John Piper, of Oakdale; John C., of Los Angeles, California; James R., who lives in Girard, Kansas; W. R., living at the old homestead in Tilden; and Mrs. Martha Edmiston, who is dead.
John C. Beever remained on the farm where he passed his youth until he reached his majority, when, deciding that he was better fitted for the
pursuit of a trade than for farming, he came to Coulterville and learned the carpenter trade. The capable young carpenter soon had all the business he could handle along the lines of contracting and building, and for a time he entered into partnership with his brother George. Many of the cottages, fine farm residences, and a well-built school house through the surrounding country, as well as the Methodist church, examples of the substantial structures which constitute the improvements in this section, are the work of his hands. When a vacancy occurred in the postmastership of Courterville, John C. Beever seemed good material out of which to make a new one, and he was appointed to the office on the 28th of February, 1907, as the successor of Rufus East. He has always held to the principles of the Republican party, and has performed the duties which he considers he owes as a citizen by serving on the town board and at present is a member of the school board.
During nearly two years, from January, 1910, to September, 1911, Mr. Beever was the owner of the only newspaper in the town, the Coulterville Republican.. The paper was established in 1885 and has always been Republican in politics. It is a five-column quarto, issued weekly and under the management of Mr. Beever stood for rather conservative principles. The interest that Mr. Beever evinces in a number of the fraternal orders shows that he is a strong believer in all that the word fraternalism implies. He is a Master and Royal Arch Mason and is a member of the local chapter. He is also a Modern Woodmen of the World and a member of the Modern Brotherhood of America, and the Odd Fellows.
On the 28th of October, 1890, in Randolph county, occurred the marriage of Mr. Beever to Louisa Favre, a daughter of Benoite Favre. The latter was born in France. The children of this couple were: Annie, of Coulterville; Mrs. Claris Alston, of the same place, and Louisa, who was born in 1870. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Beever are four in number; Edmonde, Fannie May, Roy and Zelda.