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Beach, George Sr. (1800s)

George Beach, Sr. (November 29, 1788 - May 3, 1860) was the founding Cashier of the Phoenix Bank in Hartford, Connecticut, and a subsequent President. During the first half of the 19th century, Beach figured conspicuously in the business affairs of Hartford, and especially in its financial circles.

Beach was born on November 29, 1788 in Goshen, Connecticut in Litchfield County, as the son of Ebenezer Beach and Lucy Steele. He descended from an old and prominent family of Litchfield County. After the death of his mother, he returned to live with his grandfather until 1806. After completing his general schooling, he first entered business life in the firm of Pierce & Beach, who were engaged in the West Indies trade. During this time, he lived with their family. The trade of the firm was ruined by the War of 1812, and John Pierce withdrew and left Hartford.

On September 3, 1814, Beach was elected cashier of the Phoenix Bank at its organization. He served the post until September 8, 1837, when he was elected President of the bank. As a banker, Beach was always the friend of the young mechanics, tradesmen, and merchants endeavoring to gain a foothold, whose small loans he was disposed to favor, and the directors often yielded to his urgency in such matters. In 1825, when General Lafayette visited the United States, it was Beach's duty as captain of the Governor's Foot Guard to meet the General and escort him to a raised platform in front of the Phoenix National Bank, where the state reception was held.

From early life as an active Episcopalian, a member of Christ Church, his religious offerings took that direction generally, but not exclusively. He gave the land for St. Paul's Church in Hartford. The Widow's Home, which he built and maintained, was a most sensible charity - a large house subdivided into neat tenements, which he let gratuitously to deserving widows who had no home, and he was careful on that point.
Beach, George Sr. (1788-1860)

George Beach, Sr. (1788-1860)

He served as President of the bank until April 5, 1860, when he resigned on account of ill health. He retreated to the home after taking an active interest in the life of Hartford. On May 3, 1860, Beach died at his home on Farmington Avenue at the age of 71. The Hartford Courant, the day after his death, reported; "Mr. Beach was an estimable citizen and a large-hearted man. In benevolent projects, he took an active interest. His contributions were liberal, but unostentatious." Another source reported: "In his death, the community lost one of its valued citizens and useful men."

Family Edit

Beach married first to Harriet Bradley on April 15, 1808. She died in 1826.

  • George Beach, Jr. - m. (1) Sarah Nichols (2) Emily Wood (3) Fannie Curtis
  • Walter Phelps Beach - m. (1) Martha Ann Stacy (2) Maria Catherine Skinner
  • Joseph Watson Beach - m. Josephine Elizabeth Coffing
  • Charles Mason Beach - m. Frances Belknap
  • Henry Bruce Beach - m. (1) Mary Hanks (2) Frances A. Tomlinson (3) Georgeanna Smith
  • John Beach (Jun. 1, 1809 - Sept. 28, 1866) - unmarried.
  • Julia Beach (Jul. 30, 1815 - Jan. 4, 1878) - unmarried.
  • William Beach (Jul. 3, 1820 - 1888) - unmarried.
  • Sarah Beach (Jun. 29, 1810 - Jun. 27, 1836) - died young.
  • Henry Beach (Dec. 17, 1813 - Mar. 11, 1815) - died young.

Beach married second to Maria Nichols in 1827. She died in 1845.

  • Cyprian Nichols Beach - m. (1) Helen Tyler (2) Hettie Hart Jarvis
  • Emily Nichols Beach - m. Alexander Hamilton Polk
  • Isaac Toncey Beach - m. ?????
  • Mary Beach - m. John Gardner White
  • Francis Beach - m. Julia De Kay Morgan
  • Isaac Toncey Beach (Apr. 2, 1830 - Aug. 27, 1830) - died young.
  • Clement Beach (May 8, 1838 - Sept. 9, 1838) - died young.

Beach married third to Sophia Buckland Bull soon after. The couple had no children.

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