George Monroe Beebe
Acting territorial governor. Democrat. Born: October 28, 1836, New Vernon, New York. Married: Cornelia Bennett Foster, June 12, 1861, St. Joseph, Missouri. Died: March 1, 1927, Ellenville, New York. Served as acting governor Kansas Territory from September 11 to November 26, 1860, and from December 17, 1860, to February 9, 1861, when Governor Charles Robinson became the first governor after statehood.
George Monroe Beebe was born in New Vernon, New York, on October 28, 1836, to George and Lydia (Wiles) Beebe. There he grew up and attended school. He attended Walkill Academy, Middletown, New York. He studied law and from the Albany Law University in 1857. Beebe was admitted to the bar that year and briefly practiced in Monticello, New York. He moved to Peoria, Illinois, and became editor of the Central Illinois Democrat. In 1858 he moved to Troy, Kansas Territory, and continued to practice law.
He served on the territorial council in 1858 and 1859. President James Buchanan appointed him to serve as territorial secretary in 1859. After territorial Governor Samuel Medary resigned in December 1860, Beebe became acting governor. He advocated that Kansas Territory be neutral in the looming civil war. He relinquished his role to Governor Charles Robinson, the statehood’s first governor, on February 9, 1861.
Beebe then moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1861. There he married Cornelia Bennett Foster on June 12, 1861. They moved to Virginia City, Nevada, in 1863 and he continued to practice law. He was an unsuccessful candidate for associate judge of Nevada state supreme court in 1865. He returned to Monticello, New York, and became editor of the Republican Watchman in 1866. There he ran an unsuccessful campaign for state senate in 1871. He was elected to serve in the state assembly in 1872 and 1873. He was commissioned by Governor Dix to serve as chief of artillery with the rank of colonel in the Fifth Division, National Guard of New York, in 1873. Beebe resigned in 1874 to enter Congress. He was elected as a Democrat to the 44th and 45th Congresses (March 4, 1875 to March 3, 1879). He served as chairman of the committee on expenditures for the U.S. Department of the Navy (44th Congress) and committee on mines and mining (45th Congress). He ran an unsuccessful campaign for reelection in 1878.
In addition to resuming his work with newspapers, he was a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1876, 1880, and 1892. He was a member of the New York state court of claims from 1883 until 1900. He lived in Monticello, New York, until 1892 when he moved to Ellenville, New York, where he retired from active business pursuits in 1900. Beebe died in Ellenville, New York, on March 1, 1927.
Entry: Beebe, George Monroe
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: February 2017
Date Modified: February 2017
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