Jacob Beal was born in Indiana, Dec. 1, 1838. He responded to the call of President Lincoln for volunteers in 1861 in the Civil War, and enlisted in Company K, 53rd Ohio Infantry. He, with the rank of Sergeant, was with Sherman on his famous march to the sea.
In 1867 he married Matilda Root. He and his family came to Minnesota in 1873, living in Glencoe for one year and then settled in Independence Township. The family was active in the life of the Methodist Church at Armstrong. He passed away in 1915 at the age of 77. He had five sons, Harvey, Alfred, Grant, Edward and Alonzo.
Grant Beal married Eva Batdorf, daughter of John and Margaret. They bought the Batdorf farm of 160 acres located in Section 10 of Independence township in 1915. This farm was the homestead of Emeline Smith, and sold to Hollis Hall in 1861. When it became the property of John Batdorf he built an addition onto the house and built a barn with some of the boards which had been part of the stockade at Rockford where the nearby settlers gathered during Indian uprisings. The boards plainly showed the holes made to shoot through. Grant and Eva had Clarence, Florence, Floyd, Tracy and Lillian. Clarence marriied Clara Foust in 1923. Their children were Willis and Marilyn. In 1922 the north half of the 160 acres was sold to Clarence Beal and since 1963 has become the property of Clarence's son, Willis, the fourth generation of this relationship on this same property. Willis marries Marion and had Clarence and Clara's daughter, Marilyn married Robert Hamilton of Independence and had Bobanette, Donald and Ruth. Florence married Mayer Marystone and lived in Independence on County Road 90 all her life. Tracy married William Engel of Independence.
Edward Beal was a teacher who taught the Armstrong, Maple Plain and Mound schools and later moved to Minneapolis where he passed away. His wife, the former Nancy Styner died in 1931. There were two daughters, Helen and Dorothy.
Alonzo, also son of Jacob Beal was the father of Harold who passed away in 1962, having lived in Minneapolis for a number of years and later returning to the old home place in Independence with his wife, the former Eleanor Dexter of Long Lake. They had four daughters and one son, Hope, Neila, Judith, Jennifer and Daniel. This farm was part of the original claim of Zeno Rubottom, settled in 1855 and later deeded to John Rubottom in 1868. Alonzo Beal was local mail carrier out of Maple Plain from 1911 to 1917.