Reasin Beall

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Beall Reasin.jpg
  • Reasin Beall
  • 3 December 1769
    Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Presbyterian
  • 20 February 1843
    Wooster, Ohio
  • Nancy Donnelly McNamee (b.1791–d.1880)
  • Rebecca Johnson (b.1796–d.1840)
  • Elizabeth J Beall (b.1796–d.1833)
  • Margaret Ann Beall (b.1799)
  • Keziah Beall (b.1803)
  • Nancy Beall (b.1805)
  • Rebecca Beall (b.1809–d.1834)
  • Harriet Beall (b.1810)
  • Reasin S Beall Jr (b.1819–d.1821)

Spelling Variations in the Given Name

The name Reasin is thought to have Biblical origins from the word "Rezin", an ancient Biblical Syrian king, whose name later came to be synonymous with "good will."

  • Rezen
  • Reasin
  • Reason
  • Reasen
  • Reazen
  • Rezin

Biographical Sketches

General Reasin Beall

Excerpts from Ben Douglass' History of Wayne County, Ohio pages 322-325

Born in Montgomery County, Maryland on December 3, 1769. At the age of fourteen Mr. Beall entered the office of Hon. Thos. Scott, at one time a member of Congress, a gentleman of considerable note in the public affairs of Pennsylvania; he remained there until he was 21 years of age. In 1790 an expedition was fitted out and marched against the Indians at the heads of the two Miami rivers. The command of this corps was given to Gen. Harmar. Mr. Beall served in this expedition as an officer in the Quartermaster's Department and was with the army when a severe action was fought between a detachment under Col. Hardin and the Indians near Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1791.

On General Wayne|Wayne's being appointed to the command of the Northwestern Army, Mr. Beall received a commission as Ensign and after some time spent in the recruiting service, went to headquarters at Legionville on the Ohio River, near the present site of Enconomy in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. It was in this campaign which succeeded that Mr. Beall became acquainted with General William Henry Harrison who later was President of the United States. Mr. Beall remained with the army until 1793 when he resigned and again returned to his friends in Pennsylvania. In 1801 he moved to Steubenville, Ohio then in 1803 to Lisbon where he lived until he came to Wooster, Ohio in 1815. While residing at New Lisbon he received the appointment of Clerk of the Supreme Court also the Common Pleas Court. Soon after this he was chosen Colonel of a regiment and a few years later was made a Brigadier General. The war of 1812 found h*im in that capacity. On the surrender of General Hull at Detroit, Michigan a general panic seized the people, many of them fleeing from their homes and seeking places of safety. He immediately organized a detachment and in a few days put himself at the head of several hundred men and marched to the support of the frontier inhabitants of Wayne and Richland counties. After the war. General Beall returned home. In the spring of 1813 President Madison issued his proclamation for a special session of Congress and the seat for the northern district being vacant, General Beall was chosen to fill the vacancy. He serviced in Congress during that the succeeding session. The Office of Register of the land office for the Wooster Land District becoming vacant in 1814, General Beall was appointed and resigned his seat in Congress. It was then that he moved to Wooster. He retired from public office in 1824. At the great Whig Mass Convention at Columbus, Ohio on the 22nd of February, 1840 he was chosen to preside over its deliberations and was afterward chosen one of the electors of President and Vice-President and had the honor of casting his vote for his old friend and military associate, General Harrison. His death occurred on February 20, 1842. General Beall was for many years a member of the First Presbyterian Church

Excerpts from "Beall Saga Continues" by Jeff Musselman from Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Spring Quarterly Newsletter Apr.-Jun. 2005: 1-4.

In 1783, we find our first mention of young Reasin Beall, then only fourteen years old, entering the service of the Honorable Thomas Scott. Scott had once served in Congress and was a well-known man in the public affairs of Pennsylvania. At the time young Reasin came to him, Scott was “prothonotary” of Washington County, Pennsylvania. To undertake an apprenticeship at such a young age was far from unusual on the frontier. Indeed, performing as an “understudy” was precisely how most professionals in that age learned their trades, having limited access to formal education. Reasin’s attachment to Thomas Scott and the life of public service would guide him throughout his entire career.

We know little of Reasin’s teenage years except for the fact that upon reaching age 21 he left Mr. Scott’s employment and received “the most flattering testimonials of good conduct.” Reasin’s twenty-first year was significant for another reason: it was the year President Washington resolved to do something about the continual frontier raids on western Pennsylvania. As we explored in our discussion on Zephaniah Beall, frontier fighting between the settlers and the Ohio American Indian population was continual. Ironically, many of the Indians raiding into Pennsylvania were among our earliest Wayne County residents.

President Washington commissioned General Josiah Harmar in 1790 to attack and destroy the villages of the Miami, Shawnee, and Delaware Indians near Miamitown, (now Fort Wayne) Indiana, which had served as the heart of the resistance. General Harmar’s army included 320 regular army troops and 1,133 militiamen from Kentucky, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, one of whom was Reasin Beall. The militia was woefully inexperienced in Indian warfare, as was Reasin himself. Some didn’t know how to load their muskets; others didn’t even own a musket. In the late summer of 1790 we know that Reasin Beall, probably for the first time, sailed down the mighty Ohio River to Fort Washington (now Cincinnati), where General Harmar was assembling his troops. Autumn was always the preferred season to attack Indian villages on the frontier, since destroying the Indian’s crops and food reserves for the winter season would cripple their ability to make war.

On September 26, 1790, Colonel John Hardin and his Kentuckians moved north in advance of Harmar’s main force to seek out hostile villages. He successfully scouted the area, though strangely every village the group encountered was abandoned. This was because the Miami Chief Little Turtle had scouts watching Harmar’s every move, and had pulled all civilians out of the villages in hopes of luring Harmar into a trap. As fate would have it, it was under Colonel Hardin that Reasin Beall served. Beall had been appointed an officer with the Quartermaster’s Department and was ordered to accompany Colonel Hardin’s Kentuckians.

On October 19, 1790, Little Turtle’s trap was sprung. Harmar had again sent Hardin’s men (approximately 210) ahead of the main body to seek out Little Turtle and the Shawnee chief Blue Jacket. As the Indians descended upon Hardin’s men through the dense woods, the fighting soon degenerated to hand to hand combat. Of the thirty regular troops who accompanied Hardin, only seven survived the ambush, but fortunately, Hardin was able to pull his men from this trap and regroup with Harmar. A mere three days later, however, Harmar decided to again use Hardin to seek out the enemy. Harmar sent him forward with just three hundred militia and sixty regulars, who were quickly overwhelmed by the vast numbers of hostile Indians. His core company of sixty men was quickly reduced to only ten survivors. As they fought their way back to the main force, Harmar finally decided to retreat to Fort Washington. In all, one hundred and eighty men were left in the woods of Ohio.

Upon returning to Fort Washington on November 3, 1790, the army was disbanded and Beall traveled back up the Ohio River to his home in Washington County, Pennsylvania. General Josiah Harmar was later tried for incompetence, but acquitted. For years to come, future expeditions in the area continued to uncover the bleached bones of militiamen whose bodies had never been recovered for proper burial.

It is clear that few lessons were learned from this debacle, as the next year, 1791, General St. Clair (Governor of the Northwest Territory) was commissioned to lead 1,200 more militiamen back up the exact same route Harmar followed to again attack Little Turtle and Blue Jacket at Miamitown. President Washington’s hand was forced by the fact that Harmar’s defeat had only encouraged greater unrest on the frontier. This time, though, the outcome was even worse: over 900 militiamen were killed when the Indians surrounded them at night. Though Custer’s defeat at Little Big Horn (where 268 troopers were killed) is better known, St. Clair’s defeat (or “St. Clair’s Shame” as many then referred to it) is still the worst loss ever suffered by American soldiers at the hands of the native population. Not surprisingly, Beall was not a participant in St. Clair’s campaign. Whatever the lesson learned from his first foray into the military life, there appears to be no desire to return to it anytime soon.

By 1792, Beall’s 23rd year, the Ohio frontier was in full-blown crisis. Now, British agents actively moved throughout Ohio encouraging Indian rebellion with hopes of recapturing the Ohio land for themselves. The lesson that a band of untrained militiamen could not overcome a resolved and well-led group of Native Americans was a hard one for President Washington to accept. With that in mind, upon the urging of Secretary Knox, President Washington called upon his old friend and ally, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, to raise America’s first professional army, one well staffed, well equipped and well trained, who could march on the Ohio Indians and end these raids once and for all, while demonstrating to the British that the young United States was capable of securing its borders. President Washington’s statement to Wayne was that “another defeat would be irredeemably ruinous to the reputation of the government.” This army of 5,000 men would be known as the Legion of the United States, or “Wayne’s Legion.” It would go down in history as the first standing professional army in American history, and is still considered the “father” of our modern armed forces.

It is in Wayne’s Legion that Reasin Beall reappears, this time enlisting as an ensign. On March 7, 1792, just two days after Washington signed into effect the United States Militia Act, none other than President Washington himself signed Beall’s commission as an officer. Studying Wayne’s Legion, one finds a veritable “who’s who” of prominent family names in Pennsylvania and Virginia. All on the frontier understood that this effort was much different than the campaigns of Harmar and St. Clair. This operation was blessed by Washington himself and commanded by the venerable Anthony Wayne. Why Beall re-enlisted will never be known, but he did so quickly, and brought experience to the effort. Likewise, we do know there were enormous expectations placed on the young men whose fathers had served under Washington and Wayne in the Revolution. In most instances, there simply was no choice for the young man. This generation was America’s first post-Revolutionary generation, and high expectations were placed upon them. Given Zepheniah Beall’s service in the Revolution, strong feelings on the subject were probably as pronounced in the Beall household as any other; to serve as an officer in the Legion of the United States was the ultimate family honor of its day.

The initial ardor of Beall and so many other young officers was quickly cooled, however. Wayne would not commit the same folly Harmar and St. Clair had; his army would be supremely disciplined and well drilled. Wayne was so committed to preparing his army, in fact, that they literally spent the next eighteen months relentlessly training in Indian warfare. The discipline these young frontier men faced was also unlike anything they had ever experienced. Desertion resulted in instant death by firing squad or hanging. Before his army ever deployed down the Ohio River, numerous officers tendered their resignations. After a year and a half of drilling, Wayne’s Legion was prepared to leave “Legionville” (near Beaver, Pennsylvania) and move down river to Fort Washington.

Of Beall’s service under Wayne, we know only that he was a battalion quartermaster, and that he became close friends with the 19-year-old son of a Virginia planter, William Henry Harrison. This friendship and mutual respect forged in the service would last a lifetime. Many friendships, however, were shattered by the harsh discipline imposed by General Wayne. Upon moving down the Ohio River to Fort Washington (Cincinnati), Wayne was beset by a litany of requests by officers to resign their commissions. They had now been in the service two years without encountering a single engagement and the young men were getting restless. The reputation Wayne had with these young officers was almost certainly different than that he held with their fathers at home! General Wayne refused to accept officer’s resignations and granted no leaves, even in the quiet winter months. An active hostility was forming against Wayne.

One young ensign had also apparently had his fill of this army life. According to Wayne’s Legion historian Alan D. Gaff, “Ens. Reasin Beall, who had been threatening to resign seemingly almost every day since receiving his commission, announced on New Year’s Day, 1794, that he was “determined not to make the army my Profession.” Wayne agreed and approved his resignation two days later; Beall went home to Washington, Pennsylvania, and got married.”

Why was Beall’s resignation accepted when so many others were not? Again, we’ll probably never know but perhaps Beall simply wore down the old General. A pertinent factor not to be overlooked, though, is William Henry Harrison’s role in Wayne’s Legion. Beall’s friend was General Wayne’s personal aide-de-camp, and few had greater access to the General than Harrison. Was Beall’s lifelong admiration for his old friend based upon a debt of gratitude for obtaining his release from the army and permitting him to marry his sweetheart? Again, we’ll never know. We do know, however, that Beall returned home and, at age 25, married his sweetheart, Rebecca Johnson at her father’s home shortly after her 17th birthday. Reasin and Rebecca would spend the next 46 years together in wedded bliss.

How ironic it is that the man who was “determined not to make the army my Profession” would to this day be remembered in this community as “General Beall!” The following year, Wayne went on to defeat a force of 2,000 Indians and British at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, thereby securing the Treaty of Greenville and opening up the Ohio territory to settlement, making possible America’s eventual westward expansion. Though many of us have long believed that Beall served at Fallen Timbers, the reality was he had returned home to a domesticated life the year before. At 25, Reasin was determined to live the remainder of his life as “citizen Beall”, not “Ensign Beall”. He was married, beginning a family, and enjoying a life in the civil service.

Excerpts from "Beall Becomes General" by Jeff Musselman from Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Summer Quarterly Newsletter Jul.-Sep. 2005: 1-4.

When last we left Beall in 1796, he had resigned his commission with Wayne’s Legion, swearing off a military career. He returned home to Pennsylvania and wed the future Mrs. Beall. A scant five years later, Beall moved his wife and young daughters to Steubenville, Ohio. The reasons for his move were probably the same as most others. With the Harrison Land Act of 1800, Ohio was becoming a veritable “land of milk and honey”. Fortunes in land speculation were being made in Ohio. Probably not coincidentally, 1801 was also the year Reasin’s father Zephaniah passed away. Thus, we witness the end of one saga in the Beall family history, and the beginning of another in the new Ohio lands.

After just two years in Steubenville, opportunity presented itself to Reasin. In 1803, the year of our statehood, Columbiana County was formed from portions of Washington and Jefferson Counties. With this newly formed county came newly formed opportunities. Calling upon his past experiences as “prothonotary” in Pennsylvania, Reasin was appointed as the first Clerk of Courts in Columbiana County. He moved to New Lisbon (now “Lisbon”), a town directly east of Canton and south of Youngstown, near the Pennsylvania border.

In Ohio’s earliest days, county militias were required by state law. Although the territory had been relatively quiet since General Wayne’s campaign against the Ohio Indians, there was still unrest. War parties occasionally strayed into settlements, and the British were still a force in Canada bearing down on Ohio. With this in mind, the first Columbiana County militia was formed. As we see with Zephaniah’s passing, the heroes of the Revolution were fading into history. Due to the fact that few, if any, residents had any military training or experience, Reasin was appointed as the first Colonel of the Columbiana County Militia. The residents must have been relatively pleased with his conduct of the militia, as in 1806 he was named commander of the combined militias of Columbiana, Jefferson, and Washington counties. With these new responsibilities also came promotion. At 37 years old, Beall rose to the rank of “General” of Ohio militia.

The defining moment of Beall’s military career came six years later, in 1812. The War of 1812 has too long been a forgotten war. Many of us have heard of Fort McHenry or the Battle of New Orleans, but little else. It was a unique war in that while all Americans had a common enemy — the British — each region had a unique and somewhat isolated experience in combating them. For those in the old Northwest Territory, the British were a continual thorn in the side. Since the Revolution, they were actively arming hostile Indians and encouraging the uprising of a new and dangerous Shawnee Chief Tecumseh. For almost forty years this had been a favored tactic of the British, who hoped to create unrest in the Ohio lands and someday recover that fertile area for the crown.

When the war began, the American plan was simple: form an army in Detroit and march on Canada. The hope was twofold — the British army in Canada would be put on the defensive instead of invading Ohio, and secondly, perhaps sympathetic Canadians would join the cause (which didn’t happen). General Hull was put in command of this small initial force of Ohio and Michigan militia. Hull became a notorious figure in Ohio and Michigan history shortly thereafter. Though he outnumbered the British and Indian forces surrounding Detroit, he lost his nerve and convinced himself the converse was true. The British officer capitalized upon this fear and provided Hull the opportunity to immediately surrender. His grounds were that the Indian allies could barely be contained, and if battle ensued the British could not be held accountable for the atrocities which might meet Hull’s men. With this, in August 1812, Hull surrendered his entire force without a shot fired in anger. The impact of Hull’s surrender upon Ohioans cannot be understated.

What Hull’s surrender in Detroit did was immediately put all Ohioans at risk. Now, there was absolutely nobody to stand in the way of a joint British and Indian invasion from Canada. Hull’s name became a curse. In fact, he would later stand court martial and receive a death penalty sentence, which was never carried out. The thought of an invasion from Canada might seem far-fetched today, but it was very real in 1812. A veritable panic set in among the Ohioans that their lives, and all they had worked for, could be destroyed in the blink of an eye.

It was precisely at this moment that General William Henry Harrison, Beall’s old comrade, was appointed commander of the Army of the Northwest. His immediate plans were to call forth all available militia and move north to meet the British head on. In September, 1812, Governor Meigs called out the militia to secure the frontier regions. Accordingly, Beall proceeded to Canton and awaited all able-bodied men to rendezvous with him there. Over the course of two to three weeks he continually drilled his small army. With two thousand men under his command he proceeded west, not knowing what he may encounter. Beall had many acquaintances in the region, and was leaving his newborn first grand-child, Reasin Beall Stibbs, home in Columbiana County.

The pressure on Beall must have been incredible. At the time, his men were all that stood between the British army with its Indian allies and his family back home. He had faced combat only once in his life, and he was twenty years removed from that event. Nonetheless, he simply could not fail in his undertaking. The stakes were too high.

The first news he received came from Richland County. There, a German farmer with his family and a frontier minister had been killed by the local Delaware Indians. These would come to be known as the Zimmer and Copus massacres. We now know that these killings bore little connection to the events in Michigan. Tensions had run high in the region between those natives who remained in the area while the first settlers moved in. The Zimmer massacre actually occurred because he was a newly arrived German farmer who objected to the Delaware allowing their ponies to roam freely through his fields. Hence, he tied clapboards to the horses’ tails. This was the ultimate insult to a Delaware, and a prime example of a “conflict of cultures.” It was also a capital offense in the minds of the Delaware people. Likewise, Copus thought the local tribes trusted him, but in fact, many viewed him as a spy. On that same bloody night, a knock came to Copus’ door. When he opened it he was shot in the chest. These deaths were immediately seen as the beginning of a widespread Indian uprising against the settlers in the region. This night is also the basis for the original Johnny Appleseed legend of his running from cabin to cabin to warn settlers of an Indian uprising.

The news reached Beall just after arriving in Wooster. One can only imagine the fear and trepidation his men felt. The fight they had hoped to take to Michigan was now apparently before them, just days away from their farms. Thus, Beall made the fateful decision that his primary responsibility was to secure the central Ohio counties of Wayne, Richland and Knox against whatever threats there might be. His main force entered the county near Mt. Eaton and likely proceeded along modern day State Route 250 to Wooster. Here, they made camp in “Camp Christmas” (modern day Christmas Run Park). Many also sought shelter in Fort Stidger, which was the county’s largest blockhouse. This “fort” sat at the location of the Lutheran church on the northeast corner of Larwill and North Market Streets in Wooster. Beall immediately ordered more blockhouses to be built. These were to provide local residents a refuge in the event of an attack. Most availed themselves of these blockhouses during the nights, then returned to “normal” activities during the day. Convinced that Wayne County had been secured, Beall ordered his army west to Richland County.

Along the way, his army came across the trading post of Jean Baptiste Jerome, after whom Jeromesville is named. Jerome was French Canadian by birth and married to a Delaware woman. He was considered a friend to local Indians and early settlers alike, and many credited his generosity with keeping them alive in their earliest days of settlement here. Nonetheless, Beall issued a controversial order — Jerome and his family were to be arrested and kept imprisoned at Fort Stidger during hostilities. Perhaps Beall’s old prejudices against the Indians had flared, or he felt he simply had no choice. Despite the pleas of local residents, the order was carried out. Sadly, Jerome’s daughter died from illness while in captivity at Fort Stidger.

Jerome, however, was the least of Beall’s concerns. He was wandering blindly in an unknown area with no idea what or who was in front of him. On one particular cold and rainy night, a shot rang out in the dark. A sentry saw movement in the woods. Immediately, drums beat, bugles sounded and horses neighed as Beall’s volunteer cavalry mounted and charged in the direction of the supposed enemy. The infantry fired a massive volley. No sooner had the cavalry left than they returned to Beall; no enemy was found and it was assumed they had retreated. At dawn, the outposts discovered that the “enemy” had in fact been a herd of cattle roaming through the woods. Seventeen of them had been shot dead! In later years the soldiers would jokingly refer to this engagement as “The Battle of Cow Pens” — a play on the legendary Revolutionary War victory at “Cowpens”.

Though it was something the men could laugh about in later years, the incident evidences the tension running through the camp. Frankly, the men had no idea who it was in those woods. As well as they knew, it might well have been the British Army marched south from Michigan.

Shortly after this incident Beall halted his army in Richland County to make camp. Here, he would begin reconnoitering the local area so that he could report to Harrison any potential threats. It seemed, however, that the counties in his charge were safe for the time being. Harrison moved on to Upper Sandusky, where he instructed Beall to funnel troops via Wayne County to his command. It’s estimated that another 2,500 soldiers would march through Wayne County and Wooster on their way to join Harrison’s main army. Militias as far away as Petersburg, Virginia were ordered to march to Wooster, Ohio, and to submit themselves to Beall’s direction in order to seek out Harrison’s Army of the Northwest. While camped in Richland County, Beall began having what he termed “Camp Council.” This was a meeting of interested parties to keep citizens informed as to what was occurring.

About this time an interesting incident occurred. Food was becoming so scarce that men were forced to half rations. Faced with hunger and the uncertainty of an unsettled country, talk of returning home began to make its way through the ranks. One evening, a sentry named Hackethom was standing sentinel when a stranger on horseback, following by seven mounted Indians, approached him. When the sentry shouted “halt!” the stranger stated he wished to pass through. The young man demanded the countersign, which the stranger didn’t know. The stranger said “I must pass,” and began to move his horse forward. The youngster cocked his musket and the man again halted. If he moved again, he was a dead man. After Hackethom called forth the other sentinels, one of the older men addressed the stranger as “General Harrison.” As Harrison rode by, he turned to Hackethom and said, “That’s right, young man. Let no one pass without the countersign; it’s the only way to keep’em at gun’s length.” He then proceeded to Beall’s tent.

The next morning at 6:00 am. all troops were assembled. Some fifty of them had their blankets and knapsacks buckled on, ready to begin home that day. At that moment, the commander- in—chief of the Northwestern Army (whose presence was unknown to the troops) emerged from Beall’s tent. He mounted the trunk of a large tree and addressed the troops. He began his speech by declaring: “I have been informed that rebellion against the authority of your general has been threatened, and that the mutiny is to be consummated this morning by the mutineers departing for home. Soldiers, if you go home, what will your neighbors say? Will not they frown upon you? How will your wives look upon you? They will shut the door against you.” He went on to state, “The Indians have already commenced their incursions in your State, and already have barbarously murdered several families. Should we abandon the defense of the State, the British army could safely march to the Ohio River and take possession of the State. You are defending your wives and children, your fathers and mothers and your property. ...Your sufferings are light compared with those of your sires in the war of the Revolution... Fellow soldiers, cultivate a spirit of subordination, patriotism and courage, and ere long the recent victory gained at Detroit by the enemy shall be refunded with double interest, and ultimately the haughty British lion shall be subdued by the talons of the American Eagle.” It was said that throughout this speech men, one by one, unbuckled their knapsacks and let them drop to the ground. By the end of his address, not a man was prepared to leave and it’s said after that day no better soldiers could be found. With that, Harrison mounted his horse, bade Reasin goodbye, and left camp.

A relatively unknown controversy of Beall’s military career occurred shortly hereafter. Up to this time, Beall’s troops were strictly Ohio militia and had not been mustered into the service of the United States government. His orders from the Governor had been simply to “secure the frontier.” By keeping the majority of his troops in Richland County, he believed he was doing so. Likewise, he continued to direct troops to General Harrison, who was appointed by the federal government. About this time General Wadsworth, Major General of Beall’s militia division, ordered Beall to march his brigade to Cleveland; Beall refused. There are probably various reasons for his insubordination. The “official” cause was that Beall was simply following the Governor’s orders to defend the frontiers, and if he left our region for Cleveland he would be abandoning this purpose. A secondary cause was likely that he was torn between Harrison’s requests and Wadsworth’s. If Beall moved north he would no longer have the ability to keep troops moving to Harrison in Upper Sandusky via the Wayne County corridor. Last, but not least, Beall had an active dislike of all things “Western Reserve.” We forget today that the county line between Medina and Wayne was also the southern edge of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Before the War, Beall had been actively wrestling with the citizenry north of Wayne County. As he had economic interests in Wayne County, as well as the fact that Wayne County was filled with mostly Pennsylvanians (like him), he battled on numerous occasions for economic development south of the Western Reserve. Beall was not averse to using the term “yankey” to describe those north of Wayne County. If this was how he felt about the Connecticut Western Reserve before the war, how anxious was he to abandon the citizens of this region for Cleveland’s defense? The answer was that he preferred to face court martial rather than obey Wadsworth’s orders. To this end, Wadsworth was accommodating. General Perkins arrived in his camp and asked for his sword. A court—martial of Beall was ordered for insubordination. Beall was acquitted and thereafter ordered to march his force northwest to Lower Sandusky (Fremont). At this juncture, most men’s enlistment terms had expired. He was ordered to disband his army. Many returned home, while others reenlisted with General Harrison’s forces and went on to fight at Fort Meigs.

The long awaited British/Indian invasion occurred the following spring of 1813. By May of that year, Harrison had assembled enough troops south of Toledo to build a fort — Fort Meigs. He was assisted by a young artillery officer from Wooster, Joseph Larwill, who was also responsible for the only known drawing of Fort Meigs. The invasion of Ohio was stalled by the men of Fort Meigs, and after two unsuccessful sieges, the British and Indians retreated back into Canada. It was then that Harrison went on the offensive, invading Canada and winning back the honor of Michigan’s and Ohio’s militias.

When the army disbanded his command Beall elected to go home. His mission was accomplished and his military career had officially ended. Some of Beall’s men would later opine that they never got to really fight the British or Indians, but for the “Battle of Cow Pens.” What they accomplished, though, cannot be diminished. If you resided in Wayne County in the autumn of 1812, General Beall and his army were your saviors. In a time when all was in jeopardy and no one knew if they and their families would be swept away by Indian attacks or a British invasion, Beall’s men came to the rescue and brought calm and order to the frontier families.

With this, Beall marched back to New Lisbon and resumed his “domestic” life. His training under Wayne and his friendship with Harrison had served him well in this time of crisis.


  • Husband: Reasin Beall
  • First Wife: Rebecca Johnson
  • Second Wife: Nancy Donnelly McNamee from Milford, N.Y.
  • Children of Reasin Beall and Rebecca Johnson and grandchildren:
    • Elizabeth J. (Beall) Stibbs (b.1796 February 29 - d.1833 June 12) m. 1810 Joseph Stibbs
      • Reason Beall Stibbs
      • Joseph Stibbs
      • Thomas Stibbs
      • Margaret Beall Stibbs
      • Henrietta Stibbs (b.1847-d.1859)
    • Rebecca Beall (b.1809 July 19 - d.1834 March 13)
    • Reasin S. Beall Jr. (b.1819 April 17 - d.1821 August 15)
    • Margaret Ann (Beall) Cox (b.1799) m. Rev. William Cox, a brother of Thomas Cox
      • Jane "Jennie" K. (Cox) Connell m. Col. John M. Connell
      • Ellen (Cox) Ewing m. General Thomas Ewing
    • Maria E. (Beall) Cunningham (d.1846 June 20) m. Dr. John Cunningham (b.1792-d.1892)
      • Theodore Cunningham
      • Cushman Cunningham
      • Rebecca B. (Cunningham) Oliver (b.1840-d.1927) m. Hon. David Brown Oliver; they settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      • Mary E. Cunningham
    • Keziah (Beall) Cox (b.1803) m. Thomas Cox, a brother of Rev. William Cox
      • William Cox
      • Maria E. (Cox) Van Meter m. 1842 Solomon Van Meter
      • Joseph Cox
      • Cyrus S. Cox
      • Terressa Quinby (Cox) Van Meter m. Joseph Van Meter
    • Nancy (Beall) Spink (b.1805) m. General Cyrus Spink
      • Rebecca Beall (Spink) McMillen m. John W. McMillen
      • Solon Spink
      • Julian Spink
      • Martha D. (Spink) McBride m. Henry McBride
      • Sophronia Spink
      • Amanda Spink
      • Reasin B. Spink
      • Annie B. (Spink) Stout
    • Harriet (Beall) Christmas (b.1810) m. William Christmas
      • Mary Jane Christmas
      • William H. Christmas
      • Caroline Christmas
      • Rebecca Beall Christmas
      • Emma Christmas
      • Edmund Beall Christmas
    • Mary "Jane" (Beall) Culbertson Stoddard (m. in 1834-APR-01 Thomas Culbertson, after his death in 1879, in 1886-AUG-21 she married Professor Orange Nash Stoddard).


Vital Records


  • Reasin Beall: December 3, 1769 in Mongomery County, Maryland.


  • 1794 married Rebecca Johnson at her father’s home shortly after her 17th birthday.
  • 1840 married a widow named Nancy Donnelly McNamee from Milford, N.Y.


  • Reasin Beall Feb. 20, 1843, at exactly 11:45 p.m. at his home on E. Bowman St. in Wooster, Ohio.


  • Wooster Cemetery Sec 3 Plot 106
Gen. Reasin Beall gravestone in Wooster Cemetery section 3 plot 106. Photograph by Jason Winkleman

Census Records

Include citations for Federal, State, and Local censuses.

Places of Residence

The house located at 546 E. Bowman St. in Wooster, Ohio was built by General Reasin Beall. Photograph by S. Zimmerman
  • 1769-1783 Montgomery County, Maryland
  • 1783-1801 Washington County, Pennsylvania
  • 1801-1803 Steubenville, Ohio
  • 1803-1815 New Lisbon (now "Lisbon"), Ohio
  • 1815-1843 546 E. Bowman St. Wooster, Ohio

Court Records

Court records may include wills, estates, guardianships, civil and or criminal activity.

  • His will is recorded in Wayne County, Ohio Will Book 3 beginning on page 59

Tax Records

These include personal tax (chattel such as horses, cattle, carriages) and real tax (land).

Land Records

List any known property owned by the individual.

Denomination Affiliations


  • 1792-1796 enlisted as an Ensign in the Legion of the United States commanded by "Mad" Anthony Wayne, also known as "Wayne's Legion."
  • 1803 Appointed as the first Colonel of the Columbiana County Militia.
  • 1806 Named Lieutenant Colonel (commander) of the combined militias of Columbiana, Jefferson, and Washington counties of Ohio: FIRST REGIMENT, SECOND BRIGADE, FOURTH DIVISION, OHIO MILITIA under Brigadier General Robert Simison.
  • 1812 Reasin Beall served as a Brigadier General of Ohio Volunteers from SEP 8, 1812 until NOV 3, 1812 during the War of 1812. General Beall's Ohio militia was called out to secure the frontier regions of Ohio. After marching his force northwest to Lower Sandusky (Fremont) most of his men’s enlistment terms had expired. Beall was ordered to disband his army and his military career ended.
Beall's military service reference.[4]


  • 1783 Entered the service of the Honorable Thomas Scott the “prothonotary” (a position better known as Clerk of Courts) of Washington County, Pennsylvania as an apprentice.
  • 1803 first Clerk of Courts in Columbiana County, Ohio.
  • 1813-1814 a Representative from Ohio for United States House of Representatives.
  • 1815 Moved to Wooster, Ohio where he lived out the rest of his life with his family on his farm.

Community Involvement

List any involvement with the community.


  • In 1840 Reasin Beall presided over the Whig party's convention in Columbus, Ohio. There the 71-year-old gentleman rose and had the distinct honor of casting Ohio's Whig vote for presidential nominee and his old friend William Henry Harrison.


  1. Wayne County, Ohio Property Tax Records, 1816
  2. Wayne County, Ohio Property Tax Records, 1816
  3. Wayne County, Ohio Property Tax Records, 1814
  4. The Pictorial Field-book of the War of 1812: Or, Illustrations, by Pen and ... p.343 Published: 1868 By Benson John Lossing.
  • Musselman, Jeff. "The Life of the Beall Family Patriarch" Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Summer Quarterly Newsletter Jul.-Sep. 2004: 1-2.
  • Godwin, Shawn. "Our Far Flung Correspondents Stibbs Family Research Contributes to Our Understanding of the Beall House's History as Exterior Restoration Continues." Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Summer Quarterly Newsletter Jul.-Sep. 2004: 9-11.
  • Musselman, Jeff. "The Beall Family Saga Continues...Zephaniah Beall" Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Fall Quarterly Newsletter Oct.-Dec. 2004: 1-3.
  • Musselman, Jeff. "Beall Saga Continues" Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Spring Quarterly Newsletter Apr.-Jun. 2005: 1-4.
  • Musselman, Jeff. "Beall Becomes General" Wayne County Historical Society of Ohio Summer Quarterly Newsletter Jul.-Sep. 2005: 1-4.
  • Locher, Paul. "Reasin Beall: Survivor of family tragedy" The Daily Record Sep. 3, 2006.

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