Robert Chiles Beazley
ROBERT CHILES BEAZLEY is one of the veteran editors and newspaper men of Virginia, and for over thirty years has conducted the South Boston News, of which he was the founder, and which he has made one of the most successful newspaper enterprises in South Virginia.
He was born at Manchester, now South Richmond, in Chesterfield County, Virginia, May 9, 1865. His father vas the late R. Hunter Beazley, who for many years was widely known over Virginia and lived a life of great usefulness. He was born at Sparta in Caroline County in 1844, was reared and married there, and for two years after his marriage was in business as a merchant at Manchester. He early became prominent as a student of Masonry, and for some years traveled as a Masonic lecturer. In 1876 he located at South Boston, where he was in business as a shoe manufacturer and merchant.
In 1881 he was licensed a clergyman of the Baptist Church, and from 1887 until 1890 he was engaged in Colportage work for that denomination. In 1890 he became associated with his son as editor of the South Boston News. He died at South Boston in 1916. He was a Confederate veteran, entering the service when a mere boy as a member of the Sparta Grays, and finally became adjutant under Gen. Custis Lee. He had great ability as a public speaker and became prominent in both the Masonic and Odd Fellows fraternities. He served as clerk of the Hustings Court of Manchester from 1872 to 1876. He was an independent democrat in politics. R. Hunter Beazley married his first cousin, Carrie Virginia Farmer, who was born in Caroline County in 1843, and died at South Boston in 1917. Robert Chiles is the oldest of their children. Annie, living at South Boston, first married William Roberts, a lumber dealer, who died in Chesterfield County, and her second husband was John Headspeth, an auctioneer and farmer who died at Halifax. Roy P., the third child, is associated with Harry Walls on the Farmville Herald at Farmville, Virginia. Edgar T., the youngest, is associated with his brother Robert in the publication of the South Boston News.
Robert Chiles Beazley was eleven years of age when his parents came to South Boston. He was educated in private and public, schools, but left school at the age of fifteen to become a printer’s apprentice in the office of the Halifax Record at South Boston. He remained there until 1890, in which year he founded the South Boston News, ;and has been at the head of that enterprise in general now for a third of a century. In the year of 1890 R. H. Beazley, his father, anal R. C. Beazley begun the South Boston News. The latter conducted the mechanical end of the business, while the father was the editor and office man. The business was conducted in that way until sometime about 1913, at which time the father retired. The South Boston News is one of the newsiest and most influential papers in this section of the state, and has a large circulation in Halifax County. It is independent democratic in politics. Mr. Beazley owns the News Building, one of the best business structures in the city.
He is a director and almost a life member of the Virginia Press Association. During the World war he turned over his newspaper and plant to the service of the Government, made it an important medium of patriotic publicity, and published all data supplied by the Government free of charge.
Mr. Beazley is a democrat, and for twelve years has taught the Boys’ Bible Class in the South Boston Baptist Church. He is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Old Dominion Camp No. 106, Woodmen of the World, the Knights of Pythias, the Junior Order United American Mechanics and the Kiwanis Club. His modern home is located on Peach Avenue. Ho first married, in 1892, at Lynchburg, Miss Florence Nichols, daughter of William E. and Sarah (Woodall) Nichols. Her mother is deceased and her father now resides at Roanoke and for many years has been a newspaper publisher and writer. Mr. Beazley lost his first wife by death in 1896. The only child of that marriage is Catherine Virginia, a graduate of the South Boston High School, and now employed in the offices of the Craddock Terry Company at Lynchburg. She is the wife of Walter Vannoy, an employee of the Old Dominion Manufacturing Company at Lynchburg. On February 11, 1903, in Chesterfield County, Mr. Beazley married Miss Hattie Smith. She was born in New York State. They have on child, Robert Chiles, Jr., a. student in the public schools.