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BEEKMAN, John C

Transcribed from:  The History of Florida:  Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., Vol. 
III, page 187, 1923.

BEEKMAN, JOHN C. The fine little City of Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County, had the assurance
of excellent service when this well known citizen assumed the position of postmaster in 1922,
for he had previously given an effective administration in the same office.

Mr. BEEKMAN was born at Farmington, Illinois, on the 11th of June, 1864, and is a son of
Rev. JOHN S. and HELEN B. (CRUSER) BEEKMAN, both representatives of the fine old Holland
Dutch element early settled in New York and New Jersey, Mrs. BEEKMAN's father, Judge CRUSER,
having given distinguished service in judicial office. JOHN S. BEEKMAN, a scion of the sterling
Dutch family of this name that played prominent part in the initial development and progress
of the states of New York and New Jersey, was born in the latter commonwealth, and that he became
a man of superior education and broad intellectual ken needs no further voucher than the statement
that he gave long and earnest service as a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church, both he
and his wife having been residents of Florida at the time of their death and both having been
descended from old and distinguished families in Holland, the kinship having included connection
with the royal family of Holland and also the distinguished Van Dyke family of which the great
artist of that name was a member.

The second in the family of four children, JOHN C. BEEKMAN acquired his early education in the
public schools of the State of New Jersey, and later he continued his studies at Princeton, New
Jersey, and New York City. In 1884 he was graduated in the New York College of Pharmacy, and
in the following year he came to Florida and established his residence at Crescent City. He has
resided for varying intervals at other places in this state, and while living at Tampa he served
as a member of its volunteer fire company, which made a fine record in the firemen's contests
which were then common in the state, he having been one of the crack runners with the hose
company which he represented. For a time Mr. BEEKMAN was identified with business interests
at Daytona, and in 1892 he removed to Tarpon Springs, where he engaged in the drug business
and also became prominently identified with the real-estate business. He has continued during
the long intervening years as one of the progressive and influential citizens of this place,
where he has served both as a member of the Municipal Council and as mayor of the city, besides
which he served six years as secretary of the Tarpon Springs Board of Trade and two years as
its president. He was the second man to be elected secretary of the Pinellas County Board of
Trade, and retained this office two terms. In the period of the nation's participation in
the World war Mr. BEEKMAN was a leader in local patriotic service, served as fuel administrator
and as a member of the county advisory board that gave effective service in connection with the
drafting of soldiers from Pinellas County. He was a vigorous worker in the furthering of the
various drives in support of the government war bonds, Red Cross work, etc., he having been a
member of the local Red Cross service board and also of the Home Guards. For a number of years
he has been actively affiliated with the lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
of Tampa.

Mr. BEEKMAN has been one of the wheelhorses of the republican party in Florida, has served as
a member of its state central committee and a member of the congressional committee of his
district, besides being influential in the councils and campaign activities of his party in
this state. He has served as chairman and secretary of the republican county committee of
Pinellas County, and in 1916 he was appointed postmaster at Tarpon Springs. He gave a most
excellent administration, and thus there was distinct popular approval in the community when
he again assumed this office by appointment in the spring of 1922. Mr. BEEKMAN takes deep
interest in all that concerns the advancement of his home state, and was formerly identified
with a large development company organized at St Petersburg with the avowed object of filling
in and reclaiming low marsh lands, more than 100,000 cubic yards of filling having added
immensely to the resources and advantages of the state. Mr. BEEKMAN was one of the leaders
in this movement and was directly instrumental in the filling in of an entire city block at
Tarpon Springs, this block being now well improved and having paved streets and other modern
facilities.

October 17, 1892, recorded the marriage of Mr. BEEKMAN to Mrs. VIOLA P. (BARKLEY) KENNEY,
who presides most graciously over their attractive and hospitable home and who is a popular
figure in the representative social activities of their home city, county and state. They
have no children.
Presented by  Nancy Rayburn

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