Amelia Elizabeth Beam Lathan

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Amelia Elizabeth Beam was the wife of William James Lathan (click text to see his bio.). You may click the images to the left and see a larger version of the photo. Bible records state that she was born in Santuck, Union County, South Carolina. These same family records state that her parents were, Jesse Beam and Rhoda Posey. This Beam family has not been research by William C. Lathan, Jr. this web site's creator. There is a family history researcher who has extensive records on various Beam lines. One such line includes a set of parents named Jesse Beam and Rhoda Posey but the researcher has no record of an Amelia Beam.

It appears from a letter, based on content and letterhead used, that Amelia attended Mecklenburg Female College in Charlotte, N.C. Today this school no longer exists having been torn down around the turn of the 20th century. The building the school was housed in was, prior to its use as a girl's school, a military school. The art work on the letterhead and photos owned by the Charlotte, N.C. Historical Society, show a single, large, fortress like building with "Ramparts" at the corners. The building was surrounded by well manicured grounds. A listing of courses taught during the 1884 term, this also from records owned by the Charlotte Historical Society, indicates that the school offered a "Classical Education" that included Latin, Greek, Mathematics, English Literature among others. A transcript of this letter is included below.

Another letter written by Amelia and addressed to, J. B. R. Carter, is included below. In this letter she requests that the addressee gives her regards to some of her nieces and nephews. This letter like the one mentioned above give a little insight into the nature of Amelia.

Also, included below is a transcript of her Confederate Home records and here will.

The envelope on the first letter was addressed to:

J. B. R. Carter
R. F. D. 3 Box 29
Chester, S.C.

There was no postage visible on the envelope but that doesn't
mean it wasn't processed through the U.S. Mail as Rural Carriers
frequently collected postage in cash without applying the stamp.
This was especially true in cases of local delivery.
Blackstock, S.C.
March 3(?), 1914

My dear Nephews and Nieces & Bro

I received your letters. I sure appreciated them all but have
so many letters to write can't keep up with them. I haven't been well
for some day's, haven't we had a big snow. I wasn't out in it much as
my cows are dry and so I didn't have anything to go out for. I had
planted some peas & onions and lettuce, don't know if they will do
any good or not. Well you spoke of a trouble up at Anna's. I didn't
hear anything about it though. I wasn't there any after Thursday. I
sure think they had a bad spirit in them for the things there were her's
until she was put under the ground. I didn't expect anything else. Will
Smith and Maimie were good to us all, Which I thank him for. I have
been in trouble about Mattie she has gone Home after the third
operation. Tell Maimie Irene is expecting a visitor anytime. I have
been quilting some for Rob and Hellen, have been piecing some
quilts, also. Mr. Lathan isn't very well. His leg's are aching and
throat is sore. Have you heard from Bro Jessie any. God Bless and
Keep You Yours.

Loving Aunt Amelia Lathan

Snow in South Carolina?
Of possible interest is that on March 25, 1914 parts of South Carolina received 18 inches of snow. This storm set a state record. The snow she describes in her letter is surely what was dumped by this storm.
Below is the second letter. It is the one that was written on stationary of "Mecklenburg Female College, Charlotte, N.C." Although a date line with: Charlotte, N.C., __________________, 186_ , is printed on the stationary Amelia didn't fill in a date. However, judging from the letter she was most likely a teen or preteen when she wrote the letter.

Dear Sister,
I expect you think ire this I am not
going to answer your much welcome letter, and you know it was much
excepted and perused with pleasure. I hope my darling Sister you
will pardon your negligent Sister this time and she will be more
punctual the next time. My Society met this evening an I will not
have time to write you a long letter this time I will tell you what
my Society is going to ware at the commencement going to wear
Swiss dresses and blue sashes around our shoulders trailing
with our dresses. Well are you not coming up to the examination
Sister here is my picture it is as pale as it can be. I have (not
been ?] off a great deal. I am quite pale now and am wishing to
get home to get something good to eat. Well sister this is quite
short but you must excuse. (Anea?) sends much love to you.
Give my love to Aunt and Uncle (Harden?), excuse this sister
I have hurried at this so I do not know whether you can read
this or not, tell me whether you think this photograph is much
like me or not, do not let any one see it - please write soon.
To you

Sister Amelia E. Beam

Below is a transcript of the third letter. The copy I have does not include the envelope. The subject of the letter is the death and funeral of her husband, William James Lathan. It is obviously addressed to her children but due to the missing envelope it isn't clear exactly to whom the letter was sent. Her spelling is preserved in this transcript.

Columbia, S.C.
Confederate Home
April 11, 1927

Our Dear Children,
We were called to give up Father last
Monday the fourth he had not suffered so much pain but he
was confined. Couldnent walk, hadn't made a step in more
than two years. Took two orderlys to raise him up and dress
him or anything else. Sara, Virginia and Joe, Lewis Waid &
Carrie came. A large crowd was at Hopewell. We took him
from Columbia undertaking parlor in motor hearse,
Wednesday. Sara, Joe, Virginia and Carrie and Lewis went
home Thursday. They wished me to go but I have a most
distressing cough and Virginia is much colder than here and
the ones here didn't wish me to go just now. Well, answer
as soon as possible and tell me what each of the children
is doing. Rob got left in Augusta so wasn't here.
Beautiful morning. Well write real soon.
Mother Lathan.
Confederate Soldiers' Home Inmate (Patient) Record.
The following is a transcript of the entries in Amelia's records. Amelia died in the Confederate Soldiers' Home.

Name: Mrs. Amelia Lathan

Where from: Chester Co.

Date of birth: Aug 22, 1852.

Age: 74

Single, Married, Widowed: Married is checked

Name of father: Jessie Beam

Birthplace of father: Fairfield Co.

Maiden name of mother: Rhoda Posey

Birthplace of mother: Does no know

When did you enter C. S. service? Husband

Company: "D"

Regiment: 17th S.C.

Brigade: blank

Where you wounded in service? blank

Names of relative or friends with whom to communicate in case of illness or death:

Name: T. A. Lathan (Toy Alanzo Lathan - a son)

Postoffice: Columbia, S.C.

Telephone office: 3009 Park St.

Telegraph office: blank

Admitted in Home: Sept. 15, 1926 (Compiler Note: This was about a month after her husband William James Lathan)

From: Chester County

Discharged from home: blank

Cause of discharge: some notes spilled over from below (see next entry)

Died in Home: March 6, 1932 at 9:45 P.M. (Compiler Note: These entries covered both this block and the block above.)

Caused of death: blank

(in another column to the right of these questions)

Medical Record to be taken by Physician in charge:

Personal history: very good

Family history: negative

Previous history: Suffers from a fall she had 2 years ago injuring her left forearm.

Present history: Good-Suffers from a chronic cough. Otherwise-in good health for her age-Varicose veins.

Special examination of urin: (misspelled on form) Neg-

Special examination of lungs: Lungs-Chronic Bronchitis, Heart-Enlarged-Mitral Disease, Blood Pressure-210/120

Subsequent history: blank

Discharged from home: blank

Death in home: blank

Cause: blank

(signature) Geo K Nelson, M.D.

There will of William James Lathan was contested by his son, William Walter Lathan. As part of the case, Amelia was deposed. The contestation was over ruled. Her answers are included below (in part)

Deposition of Amelia Lathan (in part)

14. Did you or your husband convey any other land to any of your other children in
1918 or any other time"
Ans: Not that I remember - Objected to by McDonald & McDonald

Cross Examination by Mr. Mc Donald

I am 76 years old at present time.

Mr. Lathan was 87 when he died.

He was paralyzed 18 of Feb. 1926.

Never walked any more after being paralyzed.

Dr. Lews (sp.? hard to read) of Blackstock treated him first and Dr. Brawley next.

Mr. Lathan was in real good health before being paralyzed. No children
were living with them at the time he was paralyzed. Mr. Toy Lathan was in
Columbia at that time.

Mrs. Foster and Mrs. Waid both lived in Virginia. Had son W. S. Lathan living in
Macon. Luther Lathan lived in Texas. Mrs. Cooper, a daughter, living in
Columbia. Walter lived about 1/2 mile from us a place I gave him. Walter
was farming at that time. At time Mr. Lathan was paralyzed we were living alone.

Mr. Lathan required service to lift him after being paralyzed.
(line lost in copy process by State Archives)

He did not work very much before he was paralyzed. He was at Walter's
for a month or two after he was paralyzed. I was there too. Mr. Lathan
furnished everything while at Walter's that Mr. Lathan and I ate.

Question by R. N. Wise:

Ques: Did Walter Lathan ever do anything for Mr. Lathan without charge?
Answer: No. He got pay for everything he did.

(Signed Mrs. W. J. Lathan- in her shaky handwriting)

subscribed and sworn to )
before me this 1st day )
of August, 1928. )

(signed U. L. Rast) (L. S.)

This is to certify that the foregoing is the deposition and
testimony of Amelia (sp mistake in original) Lathan, testifying as a witness
in the above entitled cause, taken by me and reduced to writing by me a
Notary Public in and for the State of South Carolina, at 4:30 o'clock, on the
1st day of August, 1928, at The Old Soldier's Home, in Columbia, South
Carolina, in pursuant of the notice hereto annexed and made a part of this
certificate to be used as evidence in a certain cause pending in the Probate
Court of Fairfield County.

Amelia filed a will while a patient in the Confederate Soldiers' Home. The will was typed on Confederate Home letterhead stationary. It was signed in Amelia's hand (a little shaky with age) and witnessed by three people: Latane Folk - who is listed on the letterhead as "Matron", Christine Kirby - who is listed on the letterhead as "Nurse" and D. H. Merchant - who is listed on the letterhead as "Steward".
Amelia Elizabeth Beam Lathan's Will (a transcript)
Columbia, S.C.
June 4, 1931
Confederate Home
Columbia, S.C.

Dear Sir :

At my death I want you to pay my funeral expenses out of any money you may
have belonging to me, and if any is left, please divide as follows:

Share and share alike to Mrs. Magie Cooper, Luther Lathan, Walter Lathan, Robert Lathan,
Mrs Carrie Wade, Mrs. Sarah Foster, Toy Lathan, the share of Mrs. Mattie Robinson, deceased
to be divided among her children and the share of Sam Lathan, deceased, to be divided among
his children.

Witness my signature this 4th. day of June 1931.

(her signature as: Mrs W. J. Lathan)


(signatures of:)
Latane Folk
Christine Kirby
D. H. Merchant