Posted by: Brad Beaman | June 5, 2011

Edwin Wagner Beaman

Edwin (Ed) Wagner Beaman was born November 11, 1906  to Jacob Walker Beaman and Anna Wagner in Webster City Iowa, Died April 23 1985, Fort Myers Florida.

University Of Illinois

Had to quit U of I swimming at the peak of  success 3 back stroke wins against University of Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. He broke out with a rash caused by chlorine water. He is allergic to chlorine. He even had to be careful of it in the dairy business, as we used to store our equipment (I let others take that part of the job).

Ed Beaman tried to walk on football team and had concussions at first two practices and coach advised him to try another sport.

Married May 16, 1928 to Ethyl Virginia Doren (born Aug 24, 1909 in Decatur, Ill.)  in Coral Gables, Miami Dade Florida.

Business Career

Beaman & Son Dairy was located in Decatur, IL and was started by Jake and Edwin probably while Edwin was still in high school.  Edwin worked at this diary for two years after high school.  Then he attended The University of Illinois for almost two years. When Edwin dropped out of college to get married, Jake had sold the business.

Edwin then started Beaman Dairy in Decatur, IL.  Even with Virginia’s help trying to collect overdue bills during the Great Depression, he could not meet the debt payments and went under.  Edwin often said that he would have made it if the machinery had been paid for. He continued to deliver milk to those who had overdue bills. He received a note from one customer that the milk delivered kept them alive when the family had no income.

Edwin  worked for two diaries in Decatur and the family moved in with the Dorens to  pay off his debt.

Edwin was hired as manager of Princeton Dairy in about 1938. The original name of Princeton Dairy was Princeton Creamery.  A year or so later, he bought Princeton Dairy. One day when Edwin went into Farmers Bank in Princeton, one of the officers said he wanted to talk to him.  He asked Edwin if he knew the owners (three sons) were trying to sell the dairy.  Edwin had not known that but also did not have the money to buy the business.  The bank officer offered to loan him the money personally, not through the bank.

Political Career

Elected to the Indiana State Senate 1942 and served 12 years. He also served as director of commerce and industry, Revenue Commissioner, Administrative Assistant to Governor Harold Hanley, Republican State Chairman, and Legislative Assistant to Senator Homer Capehart in Washington, D.C.

At the General Election held on November 7, 1950, Edwin Beaman received a total of 11,090 votes and the said Killion received 11,026 votes. It was important because this vote decided which party would be the majority in the Indiana Senate.  Beaman was declared elected and a certificate of election was issued to him. Petitioner Killion subsequently, and within the time allowed by statute, filed a petition for recount under the provisions of said Art. 27, supra, in the Gibson and Pike County Circuit Courts. Recount commissioners were appointed by the Judges of both courts and ordered to meet and assume their duties at a time fixed by each court. Actions were filed in court that a writ of mandate and prohibition issue to restrain further action Details of the recount and court case are found at:   Edwin Beaman election court case

 Edwin Beaman with Richard Nixon

Beaman, Edwin W. — of Princeton, Gibson County, Ind. Republican. Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1960







click to read letter 1982




  1. Hello Brad,
    Thank you for the information about your grandfather’s dairy farm. Do you know what year he went out of business? I have a Beaman Dairy Co. milk bottle that I am researching. Do you know if there is a date code on the bottles? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Nora,

      Beaman Diary in Decatur Illinois went out of business during the great depression about 1932. Most likely the date of your bottle would around 1930 give or take a couple of years.

      If you want to send me a picture of the bottle I will get the family experts to give their opinion on the date.

      Brad B

      • Thanks, Brad. I am not familiar with how WordPress works to send photos. Is there a link or do I need your email address?

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