A Short Biographical History Of Nearly 70 Years Of The Life Of N. B. Beers, Written By Himself, January 1st, 1886
The war of the rebellmn broiifjlit to us our f uil slmrc of the bunlens that rested upon the country during (g contiiiiiance, arnl aller its, teriniiintion the demorallzing influences were sadly feit. The chief executive of the nntion, chosen from ninong our people, whose life was sacrificed in the cause of justice and humanity- I can say I remembeT blin as a personal friend. Por a nuniber cf years we were together u great deal aud I was as well aequalnted with Air. Lincoln ns with any oí my bio'hers. After lic bceame president we carried on a contldential coir.'spoiulencc. Thougb In politics we liad .-ome difieran ces of opiniou wc did not allow ÜMI to inteifere with onr frtendsMp. He well kaew that I loved the constitution aud the old llng of our country, but that I wal oppost'tl to the course pursued in earryrog on the war. He wrote to me in regard to some mensures and plans he was anxious about, and knowinjf that I was a civil enrineer and bad been In the service of the gnvcrnnient, he desired me to come to Washington, suying the gOTernment bad need ol me at that time. I had been actively engaged in the transaction of public business in our own communily which I feit bad some claims upnii me and I thougbt I could mke myMlf useful to tbem and 1 bejrged to be exeused, and one CON sillera ÜOD above all otbers was the illuess of my wifeI served as president of the board of trustees of the towu of Virginia eight years and after t uas ineorporaled as a city I was mayor two years and at one time during the war the offiVes piled upon me were these: Probate Judge, Master of Chaneeiy, Inspector of Public Bulldinfli County Superintendent of Scliools, and Sicrctary Stanton appointed me special Pólice during the war. I au look back with no small degree of sntisfaction to the rapid DfOgrMi the state has made wtthin a perlod of forty yeais. It has moie miles of railroad than any Dtüer state In the unión and au immeUM lake CDinmcrcp. ülaiiniu 70 miles of the sbore of Lake Michigan, it bas foreign Crade with Canada and with Kuropean ports. In DMUnfactnrlag industrie?, Illinois is elaased amon;; the lirst States of the unión. Immense quantHles'of wheat and coin u;v annually exported to Canada and lumber from Canada IntO the state And Chicago, its wondcrfiil City, whieb iu commercial iniportancu ruuks next to Tew York- the place I saw when ttiere was notblng tliere but the fort and a trading house. I have seen it grow up, have seen it raiseJ up 7}L ft. out of the mud, have seen it when it was burnt up, have seen it built up agaiu llner and bettei than beforc with a fair prospect of its contin ued growth aud prosperity. One of the most important Urinas for a great city, it possesses in its system of water works, one of the wonders of the world. In some portions of the city arteisan wells liave been made to contribute to the water supply, but there 3 no water obtained In this way so pure as the water of Lake Michigan. To those engaged in business In different pai ts of the city, the communication by the liues of street railroads, by brkiges over the rivcr and tundels under the river bas been so perfected tbat the most remote parts of the city can bc conveniently reached. It bas water througli a great extent oí coast line along the lakei, fteamers and vessela of the largest class enter its port, biingiug cnpper and iron ore Irom the Lake Superior región, niaking easy the transportaron of thase yaluable commodities so extensively used in the mauufacturing industries carried on ín the city. It hascommunicatiou witb all parts of the continent by rail. road, the tnink lines extendFng east to the Atlantic coast and westward to the Pacitic dope. WÜi all Ihe rush and turmoil experienccd here we tiud much bas been done to make the city altractive. A great anioiint of moncy and labor has been bcstowed upon the improvement of the public parks, those beautiful places of resort, where so hiany occaslonally ünd a biicf season of qulet and rest. The best liiterests of the people have b?v.n promoted in many waya, contrlbutlng largely to thtir intellectual, moral and religious advantages. My wife liaving had poer health for a number of years continued to fail gradually uutil her deatb which occurred March Mh, I8M in Virginia, Case Co., 111. My second marriage was on the 30th of September, 1874, when I niarrled Mrs. Jean Donaldson, at bpiingfleld, 111., and the next yenr moved to Chicago where I engaged iu the real estáte and loan business for a while, until on account of my health and age, 1 deemed it advisable to leaveChioago. 1 was not able to attend to business MÍ having a tbroat difllculty tbat sceined to be increased by the chilling breizes from the lake, and the dense NBOke produce by the general use of soft eoal Üiroueboul the iiiv, oauied Irritatlon and coughin, and while visitinj; among my frieiuls my attention was directed to Kalamazoo as a plcasaut place. The general appearanoe of the town was nvitinjr and the society of the people 1 believed was sucli as 1 would enjoy. In tliis 1 was uot disappolnted, but in regard to health I found I was luflerlng from malaria and alter a residence of two years moved from tbere to Aun Arbor. I am no loner able to endure the eares and perplexities of business and have soujiht rest aml rctireuient In thls fjuiet littlc city and nfter a residence of two years I do not desire to seek any other, and no other place where I would prefer to gjiend tho remainder of my days.