Orin Mortimer BECKSTEAD

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Orrin Mortimer Beckstead

Also Known As: "Orin"
Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
Death: January 31, 1912 (81)
Carson City, Carson City, Nevada
Place of Burial: G.A.R. Cemetery, Carson City, Carson City, Nevada
Immediate Family:

Son of Francis Beckstead, Jr. and Maria (Mary) Bailey
Husband of Jane Ellen Beckstead
Father of Emma Jane Beckstead; Anna Laura Beckstead; Francis Robert Beckstead; Joseph Marcus Beckstead and William Fred Beckstead
Brother of Sidney Marcus Beckstead; Alexander D. Beckstead; Sarah Ann M. Beckstead; Joseph Beckstead; William I. Beckstead and 2 others

Managed by: Gwyneth McNeil
Last Updated:

About Orin Mortimer BECKSTEAD

Orrin Beckstead - Last Survivor of the Mexican War

Son of Francis Beckstead and Mary Beckstead

Born in Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario Canada

Served as a Private of the Mormon Battalion, Company A, with first cousin, Gordon Silas Beckstead. An uncle, William Ezra Beckstead, to Orin and Gordon, served in Company C.

Married Jane Ellen Roberts, abt 1861; b. 4 Jun 1848, Isle of Angles, North Wales; d. 14 Mar 1944, Carson City, Ormsby, Nevada


  • Emma Jane Beckstead, b. 3 Oct 1863, Jacks Valley, Douglas, Nevada
  • Francis Robert Beckstead, b. 25 Sep 1865
  • Anna Laura Beckstead, b. 31 Jan 1867, Clear Creek, Ormsby, Nevada
  • Joseph Marcus Beckstead, b. 2 Jul 1868
  • William Fred Beckstead, b. 10 Nov 1873

Note the story of hardships endured by the Mormon Battalion in Orrin's story to the Carson City, Nevada, newspaper, October 20, 21, 1909, for full account.

In part taken from a Carson City, Nevada newspaper, "The Appeal," dated October 20-21, 1909 - with headline:

"Orrin Beckstead last Survivor of the Mexican War" - "Every man, woman, and child in Carson City knows Orrin Beckstead, that gray-haired kindly old Pioneer and Mexican War veteran you see every day on the streets, and who proudly bears aloft the flag of his country on State occasions as the sole survivor of the Mexican War Veterans in the State and who, though bowed with the weight of four score years and more, still lives to tell of the thrilling events of our history during the administration of President James K. Polk. He is doubtless the last of the Battalion of 500 dragoons who volunteered their service to their company and enlisted at Council Bluff's Iowa, in 1846. The old man's eyes kindled with pleasure as he related interesting incidents of their long march, and then again filled with tears as his memory went back to the hardships he endured. His memory is good, but his limbs are weak, his steps uncertain, but the patriotism of his early youth is still there. Yes, Orrin Beckstead, that quiet gray-haired, kindly old man whom you see every day, was one of the history makers of this country, and for that reason an appeal reporter interviewed him and herewith presents a statement verbatim of what he claims to be the longest march ever made by troops afoot."

Orin Mortimer Beckstead lived in Carson City and he worked as a store keeper and had a minor role in local politics. He died of pneumonia was in his 83rd year. The Mexican War Veterans and GAR buried him with full military honors. ______

History - Served with Co. A Mormon Battalion of Iowa Vol. Inf during the War With Mexico of 1847-48. After the war he took part in the great trek in the 1850s of the Mormon faithful across America to find the Mormon homeland to the Great Salt Lake in Utah. There he lived until 1864 when he had some falling out with the church leaders over some of the church's teachings that he left Salt Lake City and moved to Carson City, Nevada. Though away from the mother church he still remained a Mormon until his death.

While he lived in Carson City he worked hard as a store keeper and dabbled in local politics until his death on Jan. 6, 1911, of pneumonia and old age. He was 83 years old. The Mexican War Veterans and GAR buried him with full military honors in The Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City NV. The Attached photo of Orin C-1869 was taken in Carson City NV By A.L. Smith Photographer CC NV. and is courtesy of the GAR Post No. 10 Records (They took over the records of the Mex-War Veterans when it folded with its last members death in 1922). The photo of his grave was taken in Sept. 2001. -- Herbert Rickards

Mormon Battalion, Company A

Re-enlistment of Mormon Battalion on the expiration of their term of service, July 16, 1847

Family links:

 Francis Beckstead (1810 - 1848)

 Jane Ellen Roberts Beckstead (1848 - 1944)

 Joseph Marcus Beckstead (1868 - ____)*
  • Calculated relationship

Burial: Lone Mountain Cemetery Carson City Carson City Nevada, USA Plot: Near GAR Section


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Orin Mortimer BECKSTEAD's Timeline

February 2, 1830
Williamsburg, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
October 3, 1863
Age 33
Jacks Valley, Douglas, Nevada
September 25, 1865
Age 35
January 31, 1867
Age 36
Clear Creek, Ormsby, Nevada
July 2, 1868
Age 38
November 10, 1873
Age 43
January 31, 1912
Age 81
Carson City, Carson City, Nevada
G.A.R. Cemetery, Carson City, Carson City, Nevada