Monterey County California Genealogy and History

Monterey County: Biographies



W. F. BEASLEY

W. F. Beasley, veteran California hotel man is senior member of the firm of W. F. Beasley & Son, proprietors of the widely known popular Hotel el Camino Real in King City, Monterey county, pronounced by competent judges and the general run of the tourist population of this section of the state to be the most up-to-date and the best equipped hotel in the county. He is a native son of California and has been a resident of this state all his life, engaged in the hotel business since the days of his young manhood, for his father was one of the pioneer hotel men of a different section of the state and W. F. thus practically "grew up" to the business for which he has shown such ready aptitude and in which his son now also is engaged, this business thus having been prominently represented by three generations of the Beasleys in California. W. F. Beasley was born in Mariposa county, this state, October 28, 1857, and is the firstborn of the seven children of Robert E. and Elizabeth (Bailey) Beasley, both representatives of old families in the south, the latter of whom had come into this state with her parents from Texas in 1854. Robert E. Beasley was a Tennes-seean by birth but a Texan by rearing, for his parents had moved with their family from Tennessee to Texas when he was but a lad and in this latter state he grew up sturdy and self-reliant. In 1849 he came to California and after adventuring around a bit in the mining region started a hotel along the coast, not far north of Santa Cruz, and also became engaged in the retail meat business. He continued in active business until 1867 when, on account of ill health, he moved back off the coast to the highlands in San Benito county and there his last days were spent, his death occurring on November 18, 1869. The hotel he established there in San Benito county was long thereafter carried on by his widow, who was left at his death with a large family of small children to care for.

As will be noted by a comparison of above dates, W. F. Beasley was but twelve years of age when his father died and as the eldest of the children thus bereft of a father's care he early began to assume mature responsibilities in his efforts to help his mother in the trying task that confronted her. His schooling ceased after his father's death and he thereafter worked at farm labor and at such other jobs as his hand found to do in San Benito county, also helpful in such ways as possible about the inn which his mother was maintaining in San Benito, and he remained there until he was eighteen years of age when, in 1875, he took up his location in Monterey county, where he ever since has made his home, with the exception of five years spent in business in San Francisco. In 1908 Mr. Beasley leased the old Hotel el Camino Real in King City, an old established hostelry that had not been brought up to date and which had but eighteen guest-rooms, and started in there in the hotel business, doing what he could with the facilities at hand to carry on a modern hotel. In 1915 he was able to buy the old hotel property and having meanwhile bought the vacant lot adjoining he at once erected on this lot an extension to the old hotel. Two years later, in 1917, when the present modern hotel was erected by Mr. Beasley-the Hotel el Camino Real-this extension was veered around to the rear and the older structure razed to make way for the improvement, the general direction of this reconstructive process having been under the charge of Mr. Beasley's son, W. C. Beasley, long his partner in the operation of the hotel, and the present manager. This hotel now has about one hundred rooms and is ample for present needs. It is built of reinforced concrete, three stories and a basement, with its own laundry, heating and refrigerating plant, and is otherwise equally well equipped.

In December, 1886, Mr. Beasley was united in marriage to Miss Sarah May Betts, who also was born in this state, in Humboldt county, a daughter of James T. Betts, one of the pioneers of that county. Mr. and Mrs. Beasley have two children: The son, William C. Beasley, and a daughter, Edna, the wife of E. C. Lawrence of the King City branch of the Bank of Italy. William C. Beasley, junior member of the firm of W. F. Beasley & Son, proprietors of the Hotel el Camino Real, married Edith Halter and has one child, a daughter, Jeannie Dolores. He is affiliated with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Foresters of America and the Woodmen of the World. W. F. Beasley is an active member of the King City Chamber of Commerce and is affiliated with the fraternal orders of the Knights of Pythias, the Foresters, the Elks and the Eagles.

Source: History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California : cradle of California's history and romance : dating from the planting of the cross of Christendom upon the shores of Monterey Bay by Fr. Junipero Serra, and those intrepid adventurers who accompanied him, down to the present day. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1925, 890 pgs.