Beardslee, Frederick E.
Frederick appears in the 1860 Flushing Census on page 699, the 19 year-old son of George W. Beardslee,
an electrician. Frederick has two siblings; Caroline, 15 and George L., 13. Two Irish servants are also enumerated,
Mary Nolan, 25, and Mary Powers, 19, a seamstress.
His father had invented a successful magneto-electric generator, patented in 1859. An article in the May, 1976
edition of the Civil War Times Illustrated states: “The inventor had been manufacturing his magneto machines
commercially for several years at College Point, Long Island with financial backing from the firm of Poppenhusen
and Konig, dealers in gutta-percha and India rubber.”
The Army had been seeking a portable source of electricity to power the telegraph in the field and Beardslee’s
invention, with modifications, made it possible.
Frederick became a Second Lieutenant in the United States Signal Corps, certainly because of his background
and familiarity with the field. After his service he returned to College Point and appears on page
two hundered twenty-one in the 1870 Census, unmarried and working as an Assistant Inspector on the railroad.
On March 13, 1876 he married Laura Dingee in Brooklyn at a Methodist Episcopal Church. A child named Lester Eugene
is born on January 6, 1878 in Mexico where Frederick had relocated to work as an electrician. He is later baptized
at the Park Avenue Primitive Methodist Church in Brooklyn on September 20, 1879.
After the family returned to the U.S. Frederick had a number of jobs according to his cousin William F. Beardslee,
whose signed affidavit was included in the pension file.
Frederick was an accomplished electrician and had no difficulty finding work. He did, however, have difficulties
that lead to his suicide on September 3, 1888 at the age of forty-four. He had been depressed according to pension
documents, and his death certificate indicates that he poisoned himself at 76 Beekman Street. The certificate also
confirmed that he was an electrician and, indeed, the son of George W. Beardslee.
Frederick is buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn and Laura remained in Brooklyn living at 421 Henry Street
. It is not known when she passed away.
Dave, it is interesting to note and something I did not catch a long time ago,. Laura Beardslee's last Henry Street
address in Brooklyn was two blocks up from the apartment house, 163 Henry Street, in which the Poppenhusen family
lived in the late 1840's and early 1850's, their early years in the United States.
A description of my book follows:
"This Gunner at His Piece" tells the stories of 226 Men with ties to College Point,
New York who took part in the Civil War. It is a good source of genealogical information and traces
their lives before, during and after the American Civil War.
The men served in 82 different Army units, and in the Navy, both on land and on sea.
They were engineers and artillerists, and one was a musician in the Marine Band.
The majority claimed Germany as their country of birth, 12 men were prisoners of war,
38 were wounded and 24 died in the service of their adopted homeland.
The book also tells a portion of the story of this small village in Queens, New York
and includes war-related items culled from the pages of the Flushing Journal, the weekly newspaper
that served the mostly German community. Here you can read about Conrad Poppenhusen,
the "Benefactor" of College Point, and his rubber factory where he employed many of the men
before and after the war. Read the story of Sergeant Adam Wirth and the GAR Post 451 that was
named in his honor, and David L. Schultz and the Sons of Union Veteran's Post named for him.
The 226 mini-biographies include letters written by soldiers to the folks back home, photographs
and other town-related ephemera. They are a microcosm of what was happening in similar small villages
throughout America in 1861 and thereafter.
The link to my website is: www.jimhaasbooks.com