William C. Beaty

William C. Beaty

JANUARY 6, 1828 - JULY 26, 1895

William “Bucky” Crawford Beaty was a farmer and public spirited citizen of Halton County. He was born on January 6, 1828 on a farm in Trafalgar, Halton. He was the third eldest of the thirteen children of John Beaty and Elizabeth Stewart. His father had emigrated to Upper Canada from Ireland in 1818, becoming one of the first settlers of the Trafalgar township. The family farm was built on land that was awarded to him by the crown.

Beaty struggled with his education in his early days, but persistence brought him success, and eventually in the fall of 1848 he passed an examination before the superintendent of schools and received a certificate entitling him to teach. He also attended the grammar school at Palermo (then one of only three grammar schools in Canada), which was headed by principal Alex Hall. During his time at this school he made a profession of religion and became a member of an organization known as the Disciples of Christ. In 1850 he took a leading part in establishing a congregation of the Disciples at Omagh (a church which is still in service today), of which he became a prominent member. He married Elizabeth Robertson on February 13, 1866, and together they had a grand total of five children: Ada, John Albert, Donald, Robert Norman, and Catherine.

However, throughout his life Beaty was most strongly associated with the agricultural interests of his county, and he was known for being one of the most progressive farmers of the community. He had inherited the family farm from his father upon his death. He demonstrated a skillful and proficient handling of farming equipment, something that often won him renown. For example, in 1854, he successfully operated a mowing machine in his neighbourhood, and in the following year, at a trial of mowers, he performed such an impressive feat by cutting half an acre in thirteen minutes and forty-five seconds that the manufacturers, Billington & Forsyth, presented him with an honorary plough. In 1856, the County Agricultural Society offered a prize for the one who had most successfully operated a reaping machine, and Beaty received it, having cut 168 acres of fall wheat in twelve days.

In addition to his agricultural interests, Beaty took on various integral positions in important local organizations that were integral to the betterment of the community. In 1856 he was elected secretary and treasurer of the Trafalgar Agricultural Society, a position which he held for six years. In 1857, he was elected to the same position in the County Society. His years of efficient service and dedication to the organization were rewarded in 1864 when they presented him with a gold watch and chain. In addition to this, he joined the Trafalgar Council in 1864, and in 1867 he was elected deputy-reeve, a position he held for three years.

Beaty also tried his hand at politics, through which he met with considerable success. He took an active part in the organization and work of the Liberal-Conservative party, and in 1867 he was elected president of the of the Conservative Association. During his time in office he took an active part in supporting the Credit Valley Railway and in obtaining the necessary legislation to legalize the bylaw. The other public offices that he held throughout his career were Justice of the Peace, quartermaster 3rd Battalion Halton Militia, commissioner in Queen’s Bench, and postmaster at Omagh. On July 26, 1895, after a long and fruitful life, he passed away.

Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture