Mount Mora Cemetery
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� 2008, Mount Mora Burial Records

Record Last Updated On: 6/7/2021
Death Date: JUL/26/1878 Interment Date: JUL/28/1878 Birth Date: DEC/25/1810
Age at Death: 67y7m1d Cause of Death: CHOLERA
Location at Death:  SAINT JOSEPH, MISSOURI
Physical Location at Death: residence on Main street
Sex: M Nativity: AMERICAN Ethnicity: CAUCASIAN

Armstrong Beattie was Saint Joseph's first full-time banker. When he arrived in 1852 the only banking services in the community were being supplied by John Corby in the rear room of his general store at Main and Edmond Streets, where he had the first metal safe in St. Joseph. In 1844 Josiah Beattie, a relative of Armstrong Beattie, had purchased from Joseph Robidoux a nine-room log cabin at the northeast corner of Main and Jule Streets. Josiah Beattie covered the logs with siding and converted the building into a tavern and hotel. He did not make a success of the tavern, so in 1846 he sold the property to William Fowler, who built on the site a brick building which he called the City Hotel. It was in a storeroom under the building that Armstrong Beattie opened his bank in 1852. The St. Joseph Gazette of January 28, 1853, carried his advertisement:

A. BEATTIE Banker and Dealer in Exchange St. Joseph, Missouri

'Buys and sells exchanges on all the Eastern, Western and Southern cities and sells on San Francisco and Sacramento City, California in sums to suit. Collections made on all the principal cities of the Union and proceeds promptly remitted for at current rates of exchange. Land warrants bought and sold. Office on Jule Street in the City Hotel Building.

Military Branch:Capt under Gen. Loan, Union, Civil War Military Rank: War Service:
Other Special Distinctions/Memberships:
Child of: James Beattie & Hester Fulton
Spouse of: Eliza Jane Snoddy
Mother of:
Father of:
Other Known Relatives:

Here is a story that Armstrong Beattie's friends did for him ten years after his death.

Armstrong Beattie Source: St. Joseph Weekly Herald, 1887-08-18


"My attention was called the other day, "said a gentleman yesterday, "to an article which appeared in THE HERALD a few days ago in regard to the ghost of Armstrong Beattie. I was not at all surprised to hear that his ghost was walking in the street. It has probably gone from the Home of the Friendless to Mt. Mora cemetery looking for a monument to his memory. Probably the most neglected grave in Mt. Mora cemetery today,he continued, is that of Armstrong Beattie. On the rise in the northwest corner of the cemetery in the center of the curve of the western driveway, and only marked by the presence of a friendly hack berry tree at its base, are reposed the remains of a man who in his day was one of St. Joseph's most enterprising and public spirited. By his side is the grave of his wife, and nothing save the old pine board which has long since gone to decay calls the attention of the passerby to the fact that he stands before the grave of a man who, in his day, did more for St. Joseph than any of his fellows. My attention was called to the grave by the keeper of the cemetery, who told me that the universal remark of visitors, when he had pointed out the grave is, "and is that the grave of Armstrong Beattie? How neglected! FIRST BANK IN ST. JOSEPH, and indeed, the first one established in northwest Missouri. The bank was established in the old City Hotel, now the Occidental, in the east room fronting on Jule street. From that time until his death his life was devoted to advancing the interests of St. Joseph, filling nearly every office of importance and trust within the gift of the people. In 1855 he was elected councilman from the Third ward and was again elected in '56. The following year he was elected mayor and filled this important office six terms, in 58, 60, 66, '77 and '78. On the day following his death I clipped the following editorial from THE HERALD, which expresses the sentiment of the whole community at that time: "He was a very charitable man, though unostentatious in his gifts, and not making presents for the sake of personal glory. He aided those in distress, no matter how humble in station, and he helped businessmen to tide over seasons of financial depression. All this was done, and constantly done without the knowledge of the general public. Mr. Beattie was especially attentive to young businessmen, aiding them with money and credit, as well as with the best counsel. Of such a man no eulogium can be too warm or high. We have never known a more honorable man or one more justly entitled to be honored by the entire people. The funeral, held on the Sunday following his death was one of the largest ever attended in St. Joseph. The procession proceeded from the family residence on Main and Pouline streets to the Presbyterian church on the corner of Seventh and Jules streets, the Rev. Wm. Harris of the Baptist church, delivering the funeral services.


"What I want to suggest, continued the gentleman, is that a monument of some sort should be erected to mark his resting place. The people of St. Joseph, in my opinion, could do nothing that would reflect upon them more credit or glory. For years he was the main spring of the city's municipal and financial matters, and her leading spirit in all things. Is it possible that we are so soon forgotten when we are gone? I say it is a shame that this unmarked grave is allowed to remind us of our neglect. Had he been less to us that he was, it would not have seemed so strange, but the memory of Armstrong Beattie is to St. Joseph today, I believe, as precious as that of any of those who in early days contributed to our prosperity and helped to lay the broad foundation upon which we are now building so proudly."

Brief Biography:

Armstrong Beattie Source: Old Saint Jo, Pages 197-199


Armstrong Beattie Armstrong Beattie was Saint Joseph's first full-time banker. As his business grew, Armstrong Beattie was able to build his own bank building on Second Street between Jule and Francis Streets, and finally in 1872 he moved to the west side of Third Street, between Felix and Edmond, to the building which in Pony Express days had been occupied by the United States Express Company. That building is now owned by the St. Joseph Historical Society and until very recently it was still possible to read the old sing printed over the entrance: 'ARMSTRONG BEATTIE & CO., BANKERS" Armstrong Beattie was born at Ebing Springs, Virginia, in 1811 and was taken by his family at the age of ten to Howard county, Missouri. There his father died. For some years he was a hat maker at Columbia, Missouri. He married in 1841 Eliza Snoddy, and they moved to Huntsville in Randolph County, Missouri (near Moberly), where he was a merchant for ten years. The sister of Mrs. Armstrong Beattie was Margaret Snoddy who married Robert Wilson (U.S. senator 1861-1863). Armstrong Beattie took their son James M. Wilson into partnership in his bank, and after the death of Mrs. Wilson, her daughter Mary Ann was taken to live with the Armstrong Beatties at their home at Main and Auguste Streets, now the Memorial Home. It was there that Mary Ann Wilson was married to Rufus L. McDonald in May 1855. Mr. Beattie also took into his bank his nephew, Thomas Beattie Weakley, who in 1865 married Virginia O'Neill. Having no children of their own, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong Beattie nevertheless passed their influence along to the future in the McDonald and Weakley families. Armstrong Beattie was an active participant in the political life of St. Joseph, starting with election to the City Council in 1855 and 1856. The next year, 1857, he was elected mayor. He was re-elected four more times, in 1858, 1860, 1866, 1876. His place in the community was described in the St. Joseph Gazette of January 1, 1878: "No man has exercised a greater influence upon the character of business stability, integrity and progress of our City than Mr. Beattie. We are all greatly indebted to him. He has made his way in the world by unswerving integrity, energy, industry, and business capacity. No man is more widely or favorably known among the bankers of the West. Excellent in his business judgment and foresight, his business has steadily increased and in this year greater than ever before with Deposits of $3,170,000 and Discounts of $674,000. James Hull is the prompt and capable Cashier of the business. Whatever financial stress may burst upon the country, we shall expect to see, pointing out a harbor of financial safety to all, the modest sign: A Beattie, Banker Mr. Beattie was active in his business until a sudden and fatal illness on July 26, 1878. He was accorded a public funeral attended by city and county officials and business leaders, who marched from his home on Main Street to the First Presbyterian Church at Seventh and Jule. Among the pall bearers were ex-Governor Willard P. Hall, Milton Tootle, Joseph C. Hull, James McCord, John C. Evans, and Silas McDonald. Burial was in Mt. Mora Cemetery. The business continued after being incorporated as the Beattie Bank, Rufus L. McDonald was named by Hull as the executor, and he was required to give bond for $300,000.


The first banker of St. Joseph. Even though Armstrong Beattie had died in 1878, in 1887 a group of men decided that his plain memorial at Mount Mora was being neglected and forgotten so they built for him the impressive monument that exists currently.

Tombstone Material: N/A Tombstone Shape: N/A Tombstone Condition: N/A
Vault Type: Burial Number: 899  
Mausoleum: Ashes:  
Other Relatives in Plot: Eliza Jane Snoddy Beattie (wife)
Lot Location: 3
Block Location: 19
Section/Range Location: 5
GPS Coordinates:
Funeral Home:
Funeral Home City/State:
Cost of Interment: $0.00 Date Paid:
Photo(s) of Tombstone:

Armstrong Beattie
Courtesy Of:Mt Moura Board

Armstrong Beattie
Courtesy Of:Mt Mora Board
Other Photo(s):

Museum graphic
Courtesy Of:1959 Vol XI #1

Museum graphic
Courtesy Of:Winter 1959 Vol XI #1

Mr. Armstrong Beattie
Courtesy Of:

Unmarked and neglected grave of Armstrong Beattie
Courtesy Of:Mt Mora Board

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