Historical Timeline and Notes, including Publication Mentions
1884: November 19th – Birth of James Lavega Beckham, per his death certificate, tombstone, and WWI draft registration. Note: His WWII draft registration states that he was born in 1885
1885: The brick building (now referred to as the Beckham Hotel) appears on the Sandborn maps
1907: June 27th – Marriage: James L Beckham & Irene Hunter (J.L. Beckham’s first marriage)
1910: Beckham starts operating hotel in Mineola
1912: March 17th – Interesting to note is that there are only 3 Beckhams buried at Cedars Memorial Gardens cemetery. James, his second wife Anne Lee, and an infant who was stillborn on March 17, 1912. (The infant was buried there when James was still with his first wife Irene)
1918: September 12th – World War I Draft registration for James LaVega Beckham. Permanent home address listed as Mineola TX. Birth date Nov 19, 1884; age 33. Present occupation; Hotel and Rest & Café Mgr. Nearest relative listed as Irene H. Beckman of Mineola, Texas. James LaVega was of medium height, had a stout build, gray eyes and black hair.
1920: January 5th – 1920 Census states that James L and his first wife Irene lived in Mineola. He was 34 and she was 29, both born in Texas. It also states that he owned a hotel and café in the city.
1922: January – Sanborn Map – Note the address was 106-108 E. Commerce Street. This is the first time the Beckham Hotel was marked on these maps. (The hotel was officially established between July 1921 and January 1922).
1922: January 26th – Mineola Monitor – Banquet is given for members of the Fire Department at the Beckham hotel and café.
1922: January 29th – Mineola Luncheon Meeting at the Beckham Hotel via The Houston Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 37, No. 300, Ed. 1 Sunday, January 29, 1922
1922: June 14th – Mineola Monitor – Ad for Beckham’s Hotel & Café. “Everything new and Modern – J.L. Beckham Prop., Mineola”
1922: July 5th – Mineola Monitor – Ad for Beckham’s Hotel & Café. “Everything new and Modern – J.L. Beckham Prop., Mineola”
1922: August 28th – Mineola Monitor – Article about the improvements to the streets and sidewalks states that J.L. Beckham owns property on Johnson streets (25,583 ft. S. fr. Alley)
1925: October 8th – Mineola Monitor – Article from Oct 10, 1935; Blackboard with up-to-date quotations installed Beckham hotel
1926: February 25th – Mineola Monitor – Mineola Lions Club in Beckham
1927: March 10th – Mineola Monitor – Retail Merchants Association Meeting
1927: April 14the – Mineola Monitor – Hotel Visitor Ed Crump & Hail Damage report
1926: April 22nd – Mineola Monitor – Grand Saline Boosters Visit
1926: April 22nd – Mineola Fire hosted a dinner served Beckham Hotel – via The Grand Saline Sun (Grand Saline, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 23, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 22, 1926, Page: 1 of 8
1927: May 19th – Mineola Monitor – Junior Senior Banquet
1927: June 16th – Mineola Monitor – Hotel installs two new ice producing refrigerators
1927: June 16th – Mineola Monitor- Retail Merchants Association Meeting
1927: September 22nd – Mineola Monitor – “Remodeling the Beckham Hotel” Article states that work will commence on the building Monday September 26th. Contract for this hotel has been let to G.E. Shirley of Dallas. It also states that Mr. Beckham will have a separate apartment for his own home and that this year completes the sixteenth year of Mr. Beckham’s affiliation.
1927: September 9th – Mineola Monitor- Lion Club Ladies Night
1927: October 6th – Mineola Monitor – Lions Club World Traveler Speaker
1927: October 13th – Mineola Monitor – two articles
1927: November 3rd – Mineola Monitor – Hotel Café Ad
1927: November 7th – Mineola Monitor
1927: December 15th – Mineola Monitor – Hotel Robbery
1927: December 22nd – Hotel Robbers Arrested
1927: December 23rd – Hotel Robbed 12/20/27; via The Tyler Journal (Tyler, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, December 23, 1927 Page: 6 of 8
1928: February 2nd – Mineola Monitor – Hotel Addition is being completed; $40,000
1928: January – Sanborn Map – Note map says it is “Being Remodeled” it also states that it was at 106-108 E. Commerce Streets.
1928: March 22nd – Mineola Monitor
1928: April 19th – Mineola Monitor – Hotel Grand Opening Details
1928: April 26th – Mineola Monitor – On Friday April 20th the New Beckham Hotel held open house to celebrate the formal opening. Another article was found issuing formal congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Beckham on their opening of the New Beckham Hotel. This article states that the Johnson Furniture Company of Shreveport furnished the hotel and C.H. Leinbach of Dallas was the Architect. Another article in the same newspaper states that the New Beckham Hotel purchased a $1500 talking machine. This machine also has a hook-up connection to the radio. Flash Light System installed at Beckham. Article states that this is the only concern (place) in Mineola which has a flash light telephone service. Their PBX telephone board is equipped with the system used by all the up-to-date telephone systems over the nation. (Note: The architect also designed the 1925 Wood County Courthouse which was added onto in 1949, but still stands today)
1928- May 3- Mineola Monitor
1928- May 24- Mineola Monitor- Dance- The Ladonia News (Ladonia, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 18, Ed. 1 Friday, May 4, 1928, Page: 7 of 8
1928- May 24- Mineola Monitor- Junior Senior Banquet
1928- May 10- Mineola Monitor- Junior Senior
1928- June 7- Mineola Monitor- American Legion Meeting
1928- July 5- Mineola Monitor- Democratic Convention
1928- August 2- Lions Club Performance-The Grand Saline Sun (Grand Saline, Tex.), Vol. 36, No. 38, Ed. 1 Thursday, August 2, 1928
1928- August 23- Mineola Monitor- Sons of Confederates Meeting
1928- November 15- Mineola Monitor-Princess Banquet
1928- November 22- Mineola Monitor-Beckhams Entertain
1928- December 6- Mineola Monitor- Arrest at the Beckham
1929- February 7- Mineola Monitor- Death at Hotel
1929- March 21- Mineola Monitor- Sunshine Bus Company Meeting
1929- April 11- Mineola Monitor- Hotel Addition
1929- April 18- Mineola Monitor- Dancing Advertisement
1929- May 23- Mineola Monitor- Shivers Pharmacy Open in Beckham
1929- October 24- Mineola Monitor- Beckham announces addition
1929- November 1- Tyler Journal
1929- November 15- Mineola Monitor
1929- December 5- Mineola Monitor – Beckham Social
1929- December 19- Mineola Monitor – Beckham Sports Banquet
1930’s (during the 1930’s) – As per the book “Mineola and it’s Mayors – 101 years” by Ora Pritchett Bruner.
During the first part of the depression of the 1930’s, Mineola received some federal government help in the form of opportunities to work. A sewing room was set up in the Beckham Hotel, and later moved to 108 ½ North Johnson Street. The city furnished some of the equipment, some was donated by merchants, and the city paid the rent. The federal government paid the workers and furnished the materials for making cotton garments which were distributed to needy persons. Georgia Copeland Babb and Bernadine Jennings Henry served as supervisors at different times.
An office was rented from J.L. Beckham for the Civil Works Administration (C.W.A.) which was in charge of Joe C. Park for a time. Payments to workers on public improvement projects, who were hired on this government program, were paid through this office.
1930 April 18 – 1930 Census – Mineola, Wood County, Texas – James is still married to Irene H. Beckham – Living in the residence at the time the census was taken: James L Beckham, age 45 – Irene H. Beckham, age 43 – Louis A Turnbull, age 36 – George M. Brandon, age 42 – Robert P. Warren, age 27 – Sara M. Warren, age 20 – Earl H. Glace, age 32 – Ruby D. Glace, age 22 – Joe Bob Hubbard, age 22. (Note: This census states that James was married at age 22 and his wife Irene was 20. They were both born in Texas – He is listed as proprietor of a hotel – other people living there are listed as “Roomers”
1931 – Jan 1 – Article in the personal column in the Mineola Monitor states that Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Shows of Dallas were Christmas guests of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Beckham.
1931 – Jan 15- Mineola Monitor
1931 – February 5 –Mineola Monitor- American Legion Meeting
1931- Feb 12- Mineola Monitor- Sick Guest recovering at hotel
1931- Feb 26- Mineola Monitor- Junior Party at Beckham & Bridge Party with Beckhams
1931- Dec 29- Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas)
1932 – January- The Grand Saline Sun (Grand Saline, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 47, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 29, 1932, Page: 6 of 6
The Tyler Courier-Times (Tyler, Texas) · 25 Jun 1933, Sun
1934 – August 16 -Mineola Monitor-Invitation Dance- Frank Tanner Eleven Rhythm Kings
1934 – August 23 -Mineola Monitor-Tap Dance Exhibition
1934 – August 30 -Mineola Monitor-Labor Day German Dance- Bill Forbes Southern Orchestra
1934 – Oct 11 -Mineola Monitor-Halloween Dance
1934 – Nov 22 – Mineola Monitor – Thanksgiving Dance- Cline’s Collegians
1934 – Nov 29 – Mineola Monitor article states that a Thanksgiving Dance to be held at the New Beckham Hotel Ball Room on Thurs Nov 29. Announced by J.L. Beckham.
1934 – December 20 – Mineola Monitor- Christmas and New Year Dance
1934 – December 27 – Mineola Monitor- New Year Dance- Babe Lowry and her Ten Rhythm Sweethearts
1935 – January 24 – Mineola Monitor- Cline’s Collegians Dance
1935 – February 28 – Mineola Monitor- Tommy Douglas Harlem Aristocrats Dance
1935 – March 14 – Mineola Monitor- Celestin Orchestra
1938 – April 30 – Mayor George Norman York was sworn in as mayor of Mineola. E.Q. Hearn and J.L. Beckham served as commissioners. Beckham was elected mayor pro tem. as per the book “Mineola and it’s Mayors, 101 Years” by Ora Pritchett Bruner (Pag 178) Note: As per this same book, (page 179), a city hall was built in 1939, and the cornerstone was laid carrying the names of the Mayor, Commissioners and other city employees. J.L. Beckhams’ name is on it. I do not know if this building is still there. Page 184 confirms that a new mayor was elected on May 1, 1941, (Joseph Clarence McGlothin) and E.Q. Hearn and J.L. Beckham also served as commissioners during his administration.
1935 – April 4 – Mineola Monitor- Bill Roland Saturday Dance- J.L. Beckham
1935 – May 2 – Mineola Monitor- Tommy Douglas Dance
1935 – May 16 – Mineola Monitor- Cline’s Collegians Dance- J.L. Beckham, proprietor of the Beckham Hotel has secured the Cline’s Collegians orchestra from Dallas for a return engagement to play for the Homecoming dance which was held Saturday June 1.
1935 – May 23 – Mineola Monitor-meeting of the Highway 15 Association that convened in the Convention Hall of the Beckham Hotel. It states that Mineola was represented by several men including county commissioner J.L. Beckham.
1935 – May 30 – Conoco District Meeting
1935 – June 27 – Mineola Monitor-July Fourth German Dance, Louie Clancy
1935 – July 25 – Mineola Monitor-Grady Gilder, Imperial Orchestra Dance
1935 – August 29 – Mineola Monitor-Bert Benton Original Nighthawks, farewell dance
1935 – October 10 – Mineola Monitor- Harry Walker Band Dance
1936- March 26- Mineola Monitor- Mrs. Beckham in Float
1937- January 4- Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, Texas) · 4 Jan 1937, Mon
1937 –February 4-Mineola Monitor- Delphian Club meeting & Newsstand moving by Beckham Hotel
1937 –February 18-Mineola Monitor- Delphian Club meeting
1937 –March 4-Mineola Monitor-Beckham Coffee Shop Ad
1938 – Irene Beckham – Registered California Voter
1938 – January 27- Mineola Monitor-Chamber Meeting & Lions Meeting
1938 – June 23 – Mineola Monitor – Western Union now located at the Beckham Hotel effective Wednesday June 22. It was transferred from the former location at the east end of the passenger depot to the New Beckham Hotel. And Junior Chamber of Commerce Sewing Machines needed
1938 – June 30 – Mineola Monitor – New FHA Meeting
1938 – July 7 – Mineola Monitor – War Veterans Colony Meeting
1938 – Aug 11 – Mineola Monitor – New Beckham Hotel Coffee Shop under personal management of Jim Wallis. Article states that Jim Wallace assumed charge of the New Beckham Hotel coffee shop and that he was formerly night clerk at the hotel. He was succeeded by George Nyman. Note: George A Neyman died 7 January 1992 in Mineola. He is buried at Cedars Memorial Gardens.
1938 -September 15 – Mineola Monitor – Reclaim Mineral Well Meeting
1938 -October 27 – Mineola Monitor – Pontiac Dealer wanted
1938 – Dec 1 – Mineola Monitor – Commissioner J.L. Beckham is in a Dallas hospital undergoing an eye operation. He expects to be home by the middle of the week. Saved to verify he was still city commissioner.
1938 – Dec 8 – Mineola Monitor – Gunter’s School of Dance
1938 – Dec 29 – Article in the Mineola Monitor stating that the Gunter’s School of Dancing would reopen on Mon Jan 2 and the studio was located at the Beckham Hotel. Also an article on a prenuptial party at the Beckham Hotel
1940 – April 8 – 1940 Census – States that J. Levega Beckham, age 52 – Widowed – operated the hotel. The following people are listed as Lodgers: Joe Allen, Robert Lee Cooksey, Albert Neely, Richard D. Dutton, Welson? Thomas.
The Tyler Courier-Times (Tyler, Texas) · 5 Jan 1941, Sun
1942 – Feb 22 – Article found in the Mineola Monitor about J.L. Beckham running for city commissioner.
1942 – March 1 – Article found in the Mineola Monitor about the Red Cross sewing room which was located at the Beckham Hotel.
1942 – April 16 – Article from the Mineola Monitor stating that the Bus Station which is located at the Beckham Hotel is being remodeled.
1942 – Sept 24 – “Fire Damages Hotel Beckham Thursday” – Article in the Mineola Monitor. Fire originated in a second-floor linen closet shortly after 7 AM Thursday (Sept 17) “resulted in considerable smoke and water damage to the hotel. Note: In this article, it states that there was another fire 10 years ago this week in January 1932.
1942 – October 22 – Looking Back at the files of the Monitor article from the Mineola Monitor. Article is looking back to October 20, 1932 and states that work is progressing rapidly on the New Beckham Hotel.
1942 – November 26 – Looking Back at the files of the Monitor article from the Mineola Monitor. Article is looking back to an unknown date (presumably Nov 1932) and states that The New Beckham Hotel is nearly completed and will be ready for public use around the first of the year.
1942 – World War II Draft Registration for James LaVega Beckham – states that he resides at the Beckham Hotel, Mineola Texas. NOTE. It states that he was born November 18, 1885 instead of 1884. It also states he is 56 years old. This document does not have a date, but the form was revised 4/1/42. This is the only document on which the birth year has been listed as 1885.
1949 – February 15 – Mr. W.M. Fleetwood dies at the Beckham Hotel of a Heart Attack.
1950’s – We believe that Mr. Lillie ran the hotel from sometime during the 1950’s until 1987. (In the book “Men and Women in World War II from Wood County”. His entry reads as follows: Lillie, Andy E. – Sgt. Andy E. Lillie, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Lillie, Mineola, attended Lindale High. Entered Army, 1942, trained at Camp Wallace, Texas. Served in Panama Canal Zone. Awarded GC Medal. Discharge in 1946.
1975 – October 25 – Death of James Lavega Beckham – Death certificate states he was born Nov 19, 1884 in Texas. That he was an Inn Keeper and resided at 115 E Commerce Street (at the hotel still!). He was 90 years old and married when he passed away. His wife was Mrs. Anne Lee Beckham. He died at Medical Center Hospital in Tyler (Smith County). He was the son of James and Liza Threadgill Beckham. Buried at Cedars Memorial Gardens cemetery, Mineola. (Note. His death certificate states that the cemetery was called Mineola City Cemetery, which has evidentially been renamed Cedars Memorial Gardens).
Kenneth Threadgill and James Lavega Beckham were 4th cousins 1x removed. Yes! The famous Threadgill’s in Austin, Texas. “When bootlegger and country music lover Kenneth Threadgill opened his Gulf filling station just north of the Austin city limits in 1933, he had more on his mind than just pumping gas. After all, just months before he had stood in line all night to be the first person to own a beer license in the county. And soon after, his joint would become a favorite for traveling musicians interested in grabbing a drink after their gigs.
The quintessential beer joint continued to flourish into the sixties and changed with the social climate of the era by inviting the folkies, hippies and beatniks to his Wednesday night singing sessions with open arms. Threadgill’s love for people and music smoothed out the conflicts that usually occurred when longhairs crossed paths with rednecks, and because of this, a new culture tolerance emanated from the tavern, which had a profound effect upon its patrons and the music that came from it. Not to mention it was here that Janis Joplin developed her brassy style that would propel her to become the first female rock and roll superstar.” (https://www.threadgills.com/history)
1977 – April 21 – Death of Anne Lee Beckham (burial in the Cedars memorial Gardens cemetery, Mineola.)
1977 – After April 21 – Lester Jay and his wife Dorothy Jay inherited the hotel when Mrs. Beckham died. Lester was Mr. Beckham’s stepson. They never lived there, or had anything to do with the day to day operations. As far as we know they are both still living in New Iberia, La. The Lillies moved into the managers Apt., and lived there until sometime around 1987, when the hotel was sold.
1986 – Part of the movie “Positive I.D.” was filmed at The Beckham. Positive I.D. is a 1987 American crime film written and directed by Andy Anderson. The film stars Stephanie Rascoe Myers, John S. Davies, Steven Fromholz, Lauren Lane, Gail Cronauer and Matthew Sacks. The film was released on October 27, 1987, by Universal Pictures.
1988 – Jerry & Rebecca Penrod purchased hotel and lived in the managers apartment and had a “Craft Mall” inside the ballroom.
1991 – Warren Louis & Lawanna L Bean purchased the hotel
1993 – John Defoore purchased the hotel and lived in the managers apartment
2012 – Ronald & Connie Messner purchased the hotel
2016 – Expedition Texas – Episode 702 – Mineola Beckham Hotel Expedition Texas: Beckham Hotel
2018 – Current owners purchased the hotel
2019 – Ballroom Reopened
2020 – Ironhorse Bar & Cigar Lounge opens in the hotel
2021 – Hotel Rooms are open again