Daniel W. Beadle, A Vintage Vignette
Daniel W. Beadle
A Vintage Vignette by John P. Rankin
May 21, 2009
At the intersection of Zierdt Road with Beadle Lane is a small cemetery with one marked grave and perhaps half a dozen unmarked grave depressions. The marked grave has two tombstones. One is a military marker, apparently recently supplied by the Veteran’s Administration. The other is a homemade concrete marker. The concrete marker now rests near the middle of the grave depression, with a footstone at the west end. The military marker is located in the center of the little cemetery, a few feet from the grave. The concrete marker has the name “D. W. Beadle” and shows that he was born in 1854. The military marker shows the name “Daniel W. Beadle”, with a birthdate of June 18, 1856. Both markers agree that he died in 1930, with no month or day of passing on either marker. The military marker further denotes that Daniel was a quartermaster sergeant in Company L of the 3rd Alabama Infantry with service in the Spanish-American War.
Since this Beadle grave suggests a namesake of Beadle Lane near Triana, further research was undertaken. The Beadle population of Madison County began with the arrival from Virginia (by way of Wilson County, Tennessee) of Abraham Beadle and his brothers Thomas, William, Osburn, John, Joel, and Edmund, along with their sister Elizabeth. A Vintage Vignette was printed in 2007 about Nancy Graham Beadle, bride of Abraham as his 3rd wife, when she was 17 and he was 72. The connection to Daniel Beadle comes through Abraham’s unmarried sister, Elizabeth. She died in 1858 after making out her will. That was soon after Abraham died in the same year, also leaving a will. Both wills specified that Joshua H. Beadle was their nephew. Which brother was the father of Joshua has not yet been determined from historical records. Joshua inherited the majority of Elizabeth’s estate and part of Abraham’s. He lived in Huntsville, where he was a merchant with numerous connections to the pioneer families of the Madison area.
Elizabeth Beadle was born in Virginia about 1785. She and Abraham and several of their brothers lived on what became the northeastern part of Redstone Arsenal. In Elizabeth’s will she specifically named a number of slaves. Two were left to her niece, Louisa Beadle Graham. One was a boy named Daniel, whom she described as being about four years old in 1858. The other was Malinda, about 14 or 15. By 1865 the slaves had all been freed. The next census (1870) shows “Mulatto” Daniel Beadle as age 18 with Melinda Beadle, age 25, in his household. Subsequent censuses show that Daniel’s father was born in Alabama and his mother was born in Virginia. Mary Beadle, 33, born in Virginia, headed the household adjacent to Daniel in 1870. Mary’s household included an older Mary Beadle, 60, also born in Virginia, as was Emily Beadle, age 40 in that household. All of these names and correlating ages were mentioned as slaves in Elizabeth Beadle’s will. Any of these slave women could have been Daniel’s mother, but no white Beadle male was identified as born in Alabama and of an age to have been Daniel’s father.
The 1880 census shows that Daniel had a wife named Irene W. Beadle with three children and his mother-in-law Sally Ellison living with them. Deeds registered in 1889 show that Daniel and his wife purchased from Sally Ellison land in the northeast (cemetery location), northwest, and southeast quarters of Section 16 of Township 5, Range 2W. The next available census in 1900 lists Daniel’s wife as Lou, with their marriage recorded as 1877. Lou was also the name on census records in 1910 and 1920, but she died before Daniel. The 1930 census shows Daniel living in the household of one of his granddaughters, Sallie Leslie Beadle Rice, wife of Alexander Rice. Daniel passed away in December of 1930, while owning the farmland and Lot 100 in the town of Triana. Sadly, his estate was valued as being less than he owed on mortgages plus the funeral expenses for himself and Lou. At least Daniel is buried on his own land.