Elizabeth Fleming Parks Beamguard

From the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library
 Librarian, Huntsville Public Library Director

Born:July 12, 1908, Fayetteville, Tennessee
Died:July 19, 2003, Montgomery , AL


•  "BEAMGUARD, ELIZABETH FLEMING PARKS, cultural leader, librarian, Director of Alabama Public Library Service, Montgomery. She is the daughter of Joel Dotson, II, and Emma Winifred (Puckett) Parks and was born at Sylvan Hill, her ancestral home, in Fayetteville, Tennessee. This land was a grant to her great-great grandfather Parks for meritorious service in the Revolutionary War. She is a descendant of Sir Robert de Parke who came to America in 1630, and his wife Martha Chaplin. He was Secretary to John Winstrop, and as an American citizen became Robert Parke. The name was changed through the generations, and in the year 1670, the Virginia branch was headed by Thomas Parkes from whom Mrs. Beamguard is descended through Thomas Parkes, Jr., Aaron Parkes and wife Ona Dotson, Woodruff Parkes of North Carolina and his wife Dovie Cashion, to her father, Joel Dotson. Joel Dotson Parks was a pioneer cattleman in the Southeast and was the first advocate of crimson clover as a profitable agricultural product. His brother, Joseph, wrote the Constitution for the State of Washington. Mrs. Beamguard's maternal grandfather Puckett was an officer in the Civil War, one of the few survivors of the "Bloody" 8th Tennessee Regiment. A great great uncle, Hugh Lawson White, was one of the pioneer statesmen of Tennessee who assisted in writing its Constitution. His father was the owner of Whites Landing which later became Knoxville, Tennessee. Mrs. Beamguard was educated at home during the grammar school years; she graduated from Lincoln County High School; and earned the A. B. degree from the University of Tennessee, and the B. S. in Library Science from Emory Library School, Emory University, Georgia. She was married to Elbert Strode Beamguard of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and is now divorced. She has a daughter, Elizabeth Parks, who is now Mrs. Robert Lewis Swanson of San Francisco, California. Mrs. Beamguard was engaged in high school library work in Chattanooga, Tennessee from 1940 to 1944. From then until 1955, she served as Director of Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. One year's temporary assignment associated her with the Alabama Public Library Service and with the Coleman Library, Callaway Mills, La Grange. Georgia. In 1956, she served as Field Representative of APLS; she was appointed to her present position as Director of the Alabama Public Library Service in March of 1960. Mrs. Beamguard is a member of Alabama Library Association and has held positions on the Executive Council of that association. She is former President of Business and Professional Women's Club and former President of Altrusa International, both of Huntsville. She is also a member of the Executive Council, Southeastern Adult Education Association, and is serving as President of Public Library Section of the Southeastern Library Association. Mrs. Beamguard is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma sorority. Politically, she is a Democrat. Her religious affiliation is with the First Christian Church where she serves as a member of the Church Board in Huntsville, Alabama." - written in 1961. - Grove

Related Links:

•  Grove - Library of Alabama Lives by Frank L. Grove, © 1961, p. 32

•  Huntsville-Madison County Public Library 1 - Photo (Originally found at http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15431coll1&CISOPTR=158&CISOBOX=1&REC=3.)

•  Huntsville-Madison County Public Library 2 - Photo, First African American library in town (segregated) (Originally found at http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15431coll1&CISOPTR=70&CISOBOX=1&REC=1.)

•  Huntsville-Madison County Public Library 3 - Photo and caption (Originally found at http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15431coll1&CISOPTR=59&CISOBOX=1&REC=2.)

•  Huntsville-Madison County Public Library 4 - Photo and caption (Originally found at http://digitalarchives.hmcpl.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15431coll1&CISOPTR=257&CISOBOX=1&REC=4.)