Descendents of Rice and Sarah (Adams) Beadles

The original version of this article appeared in the Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter, (Oct 1992) Vol. XXIII, No. 4.This updated version has been edited and adapted for HTML by the author.

The descendents of Rice and Sarah (ADAMS) BEADLES were among the early settlers of Bernadotte, Cass, Farmers, Lewistown, and Pleasant Townships in Fulton County, Illinois. Seven of their eleven children and forty-five of their forty-nine known grandchildren lived in Fulton County. Many of their descendents are buried in Randall Cemetery, near Bernadotte, in Baughman Cemetery, near Smithfield, and in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown.

Rice BEADLES was born about 1757 or 1764, probably in Virginia [2]. His birth place and ancestry are not certain, but by 1786 he made his home in the border region of southern Virginia – northern North Carolina. On March 14, 1786, he married Sarah “Sally” ADAMS, the daughter of Nathan (also called Nathaniel) ADAMS of Pittsylvania County, Virginia [3]. Sarah was born in Virginia in 1768. Rice and Sarah made their home in Virginia for about ten years. Although the exact date of the family’s movement to central Kentucky is not known, it likely occured in the late 1790s.

Rice and Sarah had eleven children [4]:

 John          13 Jun 1787
 Lewis         21 Jul 1788
 Anna	       07 Jul 1790
 Mary          07 May 1792
 William       22 May 1793
 Anderson      03 Feb 1799
 Elizabeth     15 May 1801
 Joel          23 Aug 1803
 Rice, Jr.     10 May 1806
 Sarah         19 Jun 1809
 Nathan        26 Aug 1811

By 1799, Rice, Sr. lived in Lincoln County, Kentucky [5]. Several of the children were married in Lincoln and neighboring Mercer County. Rice, Sr. died in 1825 in Lincoln County. The inventory of his estate suggests that he was a somewhat wealthy farmer [6]. Rice is buried in Wilson Station Cemetery, near Junction City, in present day Boyle County, Kentucky [25].

Sarah moved to Fulton County along with several of her children. In 1830 she was a member of the Presbyterian Church of Fulton County [7]. She died in November of 1834. She may be buried in Randall Cemetery near Bernadotte, where her son Nathan erected a marker to her memory.

Many of Rice and Sarah’s descendants still reside in Fulton County and in surrounding west central Illinois. Many others carried on the westward expansion, particularly to Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma.

John BEADLES 1787-1829

In 1829, Rice and Sarah’s eldest son, John, died in Mercer County, Kentucky. His wife had died previously [8]. John and his wife are buried in Wilson Station Cemetery, near Junction City, in present day Boyle County, Kentucky [25].

Some of John’s six children were raised by his brothers and sisters, and all six lived in Fulton County, Illinois at some point during their lives [9]. John’s son John R. BEADLES, was a carpenter in Lewistown, Illinois until his death in 1853. John’s other son, William L. BEADLES came to Fulton County prior to 1841 and lived in Bernadotte Twp. until 1874 when he moved to Butler County, Kansas. John’s daughter Susan BEADLES married Garrett COZINE. The COZINEs moved to Indiana prior to settling in Lewistown Township about 1850. Daughter Sarah BEADLES married Reuben BENNETT. I believe Reuben lived in Lewistown Township by 1850 [10]. Daughter Mary married James McCALL and they were enumberated in Farmers Township in the 1850 census. Daughter Elizabeth married Abiah CLINE of Farmers Township [11]. Elizabeth BEADLES CLINE and two of her daughters are buried in Randall Cemetery, near Bernadotte.

Lewis BEADLES 1788-1810

Rice and Sarah’s son Lewis married Betsy CULTON. Lewis died in Lincoln County, KY [12] and is buried in Wilson Station Cemetery, near Junction City, in present day Boyle County, Kentucky [25]. His son Lewis was born a few months following his death. The boy died in his teens.


Daughter Anna married Elijah RICHARDSON, of Lincoln County, Kentucky [13]. Many of Anna and Elijah’s descendants lived in Pike County, Indiana [14].

Mary (Polly) BEADLES RANDALL 1792-1863

Rice and Sarah’s daughter Mary (Polly) married William RANDALL, and they migrated to Warren County, Kentucky and then to Washington County, Missouri, before moving to Fulton County, Illinois before 1850 [15]. Several of Mary and William RANDALL’s descendents lived in Fulton County, many of them in Lewistown. Several of their grandchildren are buried in Randall Cemetery in Bernadotte Twp. Their son, James H. RANDALL married Sarah HULL, daughter of Philip and Sarah HULL. James was a farmer and later entered the mercantile business, and his son, Robert RANDALL, was a physician in Lewistown [16]. William and Mary’s son Robert S. RANDALL was a lawyer in Bushnell, Illinois. Other descendents of William and Mary BEADLES RANDALL include: Nancy RANDALL CAMPBELL, Sarah Matilda RANDALL CROUSE, Elizabeth RANDALL HIBBARD, Mary MESSPLAY HULL, Sarah RANDALL MESSPLAY, Lindoyah RANDALL MOREHEAD, and Hattie RANDALL UTZINGER.

William BEADLES 1793-1824

Rice and Sarah’s son William died in Lincoln County, KY [12] and is buried in Wilson Station Cemetery, near Junction City, in present day Boyle County, Kentucky [25].

Anderson BEADLES 1799-1845

Anderson BEADLES was living in Fulton County by 1835 when he purchased land in Bernadotte Township. His first wife died in Kentucky and he married Milla PIGG in 1833 in Casey County, Kentucky. After Milla’s death in 1838 and prior to his own death in 1845 at age 44, Anderson married Nancy WILCOX [17]. Anderson was a farmer. He and three of his children are buried in Randall Cemetery. His daughter Irena married George COZINE of Lewistown. Anderson’s son John R. BEADLES married Mary SHINN, and they and their descendents resided in Canton, Illinois. Anderson’s son Alonzo BEADLES married Lavenia HOYLE. In 1860, they lived in Farmers Township, but later moved to western Iowa.

Elizabeth BEADLES PIGG 1801-1836

In 1833 in Fulton County, Elizabeth BEADLES became the first wife of Anderson PIGG of Bernadotte Township. Anderson’s sister Milla had married Elizabeth’s brother Anderson BEADLES in Kentucky 3 months earlier. Elizabeth died in Feb 1836.

Joel BEADLES 1803-1843

Joel BEADLES probably moved to Fulton County about 1830, a year after his marriage in Kentucky to Thelia McGEE. He settled in southern Cass Township, where he was a farmer. Joel died in 1843 at the age of 39 years [18]. Before her death in 1852, Joel’s widow married Charles BOAZ. Joel and Thelia and three of their children are buried in the Randall Cemetery near Bernadotte. Their son James H. BEADLES also farmed in Cass Township, and his son Milton L., owned and operated a lumberyard, hotel and livery in Smithfield. James’ daughters Hattie and Mary Della married William HOWETER and Chester McCUMBER. All but Milton are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown. Joseph H. BEADLES, son of Joel, served in the Civil War, and spent most of his adult life in Mercer County, Missouri. Joel’s son William T. BEADLES was a physician in Bushnell, IL, and owned part of Beadles’ Block in Lewistown, IL. He is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. Joel’s daughters, Lamira and Mary, married the RECTOR brothers, Wilson and Newton, of Cass Township. Many of Wilson and Lamira RECTOR’s descendents lived in Cass Township, and are buried in the Baughman Cemetery near Smithfield. Newton and Mary RECTOR did not remain in Fulton County.

Rice BEADLES, Jr. 1806-1878

Rice BEADLES, Jr. was living in Pleasant Township, Fulton County by 1836. He and his first wife had eleven children. Rice and many of his children moved to Mercer County, Missouri about 1856. Those descendents remaining in Fulton County, Illinois included: the COOPERs, the SHAWGOs, the HUTTONs, and William W. BEADLES of Table Grove, IL. Rice Jr.’s first wife and their youngest daughter are buried at Howard Cemetery in Pleasant Township. His second wife was Clarissa PORTER FULTON, and his third wife was her sister, Delia PORTER MOSS [19].

Sarah BEADLES MAXWELL 1809-1869

Sarah BEADLES was living in Fulton County by 1830 when she is listed as a member of the Presbyterian Church [20]. In 1833 she married Hugh MAXWELL, a farmer in Farmers Twp [21].

Nathan BEADLES 1811-1892

Nathan BEADLES, the youngest child of Rice and Sarah, was apprenticed as a tailor in Kentucky [22]. Between 1829 and 1834, he moved to Lewistown, Illinois, where he opened a tailor shop. In 1835, he married Lamira SMITH, reportedly at a camp meeting on the banks of Spoon River, near Bernadotte. She died in 1842, and Nathan married Luan LEEPER. Nathan was involved in the building of the Beadles Block in Lewistown. He never had any children, but he was involved in the lives of his nieces and nephews. He signed guardianship papers for several of them [23]. At least four of them lived with him at various times. He willed nearly his entire estate to his relatives [24]. He and his wives are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown on a plot surrounded by a wrought iron fence. Their tombstone consists of one large white marble arch. His sister Mary and her William RANDALL are buried in the same plot.


[1] The contents of this article are the result of the efforts of several people. I am grateful to everyone who has shared their research with me, namely: Don Beadles, James M. Beadles, Guy Bordner, Alice Echerd, Kathy Gales, Kenneth Krider, Lyndall Pigg, and Joan Randall.
[2] The entry for Nathan Beadles in the 1871 Atlas of Fulton County, IL lists Rice’s birth date as 1764. Information passed through the family gives this date as 1757.
[3] Marriage records of Pittsylvania County, Virginia show that Nathan ADAMS gave his consent for his daughter Sarah’s marriage.
[4] The names and birthdates of the eleven children are also from information passed throught the family. Many of them are supported by census records and dates on tombstones.
[5] In 1799, Rice Beadles is listed as a householder in Lincoln County, Kentucky. See “Early Kentucky Householders” (1986) by J. F. Sutherland, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore.
[6] Probate records of Lincoln County, Kentucky.
[7] Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter Vol. XII. No. 3.
[8] Probate records of Mercer County, Kentucky.
[9] Guardianships for several of the children can be found in Mercer County, Kentucky and Fulton County, Illinois. Marriage records for these counties list the marriages of all six children.
[10] A Reuben BENNETT is listed in Lewistown Twp. in the 1850 and the 1860 Census. Comparison of the children listed with those listed in Nathan BEADLES’ probate record suggests the family enumerated in the census was that of Sarah BEADLES. Sarah was not enumerated in either census, so she was likely deceased before 1850. I believe Sarah is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Lewistown, IL.
[11] see 1850 Census.
[12] Probate records of Lincoln County, Kentucky.
[13] Marriage records of Mercer County, Kentucky.
[14] Probate record for Nathan Beadles, Fulton County, Illinois.
[15] History of Fulton County, Illinois, by Chapman and Co. 1879, Marriage Records of Washington County, Missouri, and 1850 Census of Fulton County, Illinois.
[16] History of Fulton County, Chapman and Co. 1879; Fulton County census records.
[17] Marriage records of Fulton County, Illinois.
[18] Probate records of Fulton County, Illinois; tombstone in Randall Cemetery.
[19] Marriage records of Fulton County, IL; Mercer County, MO genealogy society.
[20] Fulton County Historical and Genealogical Society Newsletter Vol. XII. No. 3.
[21] Fulton County, Illinois marriage records.
[22] Portrait and Biographical Album of Fulton County, Illinois. 1890.
[23] Guardianship records of Fulton County, Illinois.
[24] Probate records, Fulton County, Illinois.
[25] Cemetery Records of Boyle County, Kentucky. 1993. by Boyle County Genealogical Association.

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