Chief Chambers B. Beach

Chief Chambers B. Beach

Chief from 1884 - 1886

C. B. Beach was born April of 1844 in Ohio. He spent some time in Indiana, and then moved to Nebraska when he was about twenty-four years old. He was married to Emma (Floyd) Beach until her death in 1898 at about the age of 37. Chambers and Emma had at least two children, Lulu (Beach) Shahan, and Goldwin F. Beach. C. Beach served in the civil war as a Private with Co. K of the 70th Illinois Infantry. He became Lincoln's Police Chief in 1884 and served until 1886.

Obituary - Nebraska State Journal - July 9, 1910

The funeral of C.B. Beach, who died in Denver Thursday morning, will be held from the First Presbyterian Church Sunday afternoon at 3 o'clock. The body arrived in Lincoln yesterday afternoon.

Mr. Beach has been in Denver only about two years. Prior to that time he lived in Lincoln nearly forty years, having moved to this city from Indiana early in 1868. He was well known to Lincoln people as one of the oldest settlers. While here he engaged in various occupations. He served as constable for a time, was employed with one of the lumber companies and was for a time chief of police. He also served for a long time as patrolman on the Lincoln police force.

Mr. Beach was a veteran of the civil war, having served in one of the Indiana regiments. He was sixty-six years old. He leaves a wife, a son and a daughter. The daughter, Mrs. Coe Shahan, was with him in Denver, where he had gone for his health. The son lives in Kansas City. He also has a brother, Alfred B. Beach, who lives in Lincoln at 2031 L Street.

When the capital of Nebraska was moved from Omaha to Lincoln when Nebraska was admitted to the Union, Mr. Beach and his brother, Thomas, now deceased, hauled the state house records from Omaha to Lincoln in a wagon.

From "History of the City of Lincoln" 1889, A.B. Hayes & Sam Cox, pp. 110-113

The incidents attending the removal of the capitol are interesting. The people of Omaha seemed to be determined to prevent the taking away of the Government effects, and hence it was deemed better to send the State library and other capitol belongings away by night, so as to avoid any opposition. Accordingly Auditor Gillespie secured a contract from Mr. J.T. Beach, of Lincoln, for moving the goods. Mr. Beach had arrived in the town in the spring of 1868, and the removal was made in the early winter, probably about the middle of December. Mr. Beach is now nearly fifty years of age, the fourth of October, 1889, completing the first half century of his existence, and he remembers the occurrences of those days very distinctly. Mr. Beach was born in Brown County, Ohio, October 4, 1839, where he lived until he was ten years old. At that time his parents moved to Indiana, where he lived with them for a number of years. In 1861, he enlisted in the army, in the Tenth Indiana Infantry and served three years. So that when Mr. Beach came to Nebraska, in 1868, he had had recent training that well fitted him for the work which he undertook to do.

Securing the services of a Mr. Carr, yet a resident of Lincoln, to help him, Mr. Beach started with a two horse team and Mr. Carr with four horses, to move the capitol to Lincoln. They crossed the Platte at Ashland, the drifting ice making the crossing very difficult and dangerous. Along with these two men was Luke Cropsey, a son of A. J. Cropsey who rendered valuable assistance during the trip. The trip occupied nearly a day and a half, for on the second morning, (Saturday,) at 11 o'clock, the party, with two covered wagons, drove into Omaha, and put up at the old checkered barn, one of the early landmarks of the "city by the Big Muddy." In the afternoon Mr. Beach went to the State House, and had a conference with Mr. Gillespie, who strictly enjoined upon him secrecy as to his mission to Omaha, and made arrangements for loading the furniture. After night-fall of Sunday the library, furniture, desks, and everything else that was wanted at the new capitol, were loaded into the two covered wagons, ready for the return trip.

At 4 o'clock Monday morning the start for Lincoln was made, and miles of ground had been covered before the people of Omaha awoke. Mr. Beach and his assistants came by the way of Plattsmouth. When that hamlet was reached the snow was coming down fiercely and heavily, and a stop was made until morning, as it was considered too dangerous to cross the river in the condition in which the ferry then was. About ten o'clock in the morning the ferry was repaired, and the party crossed the river with much inconvenience and considerable danger. The journey was continued until night-fall, through a blinding snow storm. As night approached Stove creek was several miles distant, and the only shelter visible was the dugout of a settler on an open prairie. Going to the door of this cabin Mr. Beach asked for shelter the night for himself and two companions, and a place to shield their teams from the elements. The settler refused, on the ground of want of accommodations; but our travelers were not thus to be refused, and upon pressing their need were allowed to shelter their horses by a hay stack, and bunk themselves upon the floor of the cabin. The night passed, and the morning came Mr. Beach informed his host that the party was without money, told him what their errand was, and offered to pawn two watched as security for the payment of the amount due for the night's lodging; and breakfast. This the old settler refused, and the teamsters departed for Lincoln, which place they reached on Wednesday night, promising to send their pay for their lodging as soon as they Lincoln, which promise they kept. Five days the journey occupied, and when it was finished the whole of the State library and other needed capitol appliances were safely lodged within the walls of the building.

The cost of transferring this property was over $100. Mr. Beach took $60 in money with him and a check of $40 on a Lincoln bank. When the money was exhausted in Omaha, Mr. Beach tried to cash the check, but the Omaha banks proposed to charge him a ruinous discount, and had it not been for the kindly assistance of Mr. Gillepsie, who cashed the check free of charge, a row would have resulted. Mr. Carr avers that he has never been paid in full for the services of himself and his four-horse team while engaged in this enterprise, and as no one seems to dispute his claim. It is probable that someone, possibly the city of Lincoln, owes him more than simple debt of gratitude. But the whole affair was conducted in a most satisfactory manner, and the capitol was in reality lost to Omaha.

At that time the people of Omaha were not very well pleased with the course the events were taking, which the following incident will illustrate, and will also serve to show how carefully the work of removal was done. A few days after the library had disappeared across the prairie, John R. Meredith, of Omaha, dropped into Auditor Gillespie's office in the afternoon, and, noticing the empty shelves, inquired where the library had gone.

"It has gone to Lincoln," said Mr. Gillespie.

"Who sent it there, and by what authority was it sent?" was Mr. Meredith's next question.

"I sent it there," said Gillespie, "by authority vested in me by the State Legislature." Meredith left, and soon Gen. S. A. Strickland stormed into the Auditor's office, with about the same interrogatories, which were answered in the same manner.

"Where is the library?" said the General.

"In Lincoln, the State capital," calmly answered Gillespie.

"By the eternals that library is coming back here, and it's coming right away," stormed Strickland.

All this buster and blow did not disturb Gillespie, who quietly asked how the General purpose was to be accomplished. Gen. Strickland then said that the library belonged to the Territory of Nebraska, and as Omaha was the capital of the Territory, the library belonged to Omaha, and that he would get an order from the Secretary of the Interior for its replacement in Omaha. Mr. Gillespie smiled, and merely asked that when Gen. Strickland received his letter he might be allowed a chance to read it, which the General readily acceded to. Matters quieted down and remained so for some weeks, when one day Mr. Gillepsie asked Gen. Strickland if he had heard from Washington yet. The General unwillingly admitted that he had, and that the reply was unfavorable to Omaha's claims. This ended the skirmishing and kicking. The capital was removed, and since then no attempt of alarming proportions has been made to have capital location changed.