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Mary Frances Sampson Beadle (1831-1920)

Voyage: 1890

Ship: Pactolus

Mary Frances Sampson was born in Duxbury, the daughter of Capt. Alfred Sampson, Sr. and Welthea P. Joyce. She was raised in a house built by her grandfather, Studley Sampson, at 309 Washington Street. For much of her life she lived with her parents. In the 1860 and 1870 US Census, Mary is listed as a bookkeeper; in 1880, she is listed as a clerk in a store.

Her life changed dramatically in 1883 when, at the age of 51, she married Capt. William Beadle (1841-1812). Capt. Beadle was born in Salem, MA and had gone to sea at age 15. He was a very successful master mariner by the time he met Mary F. Sampson. In 1890 Mary traveled overland to Port Townsend, WA and joined Capt. Beadle aboard the Pactolus, a 1,045 ton, 191-foot long ship engaged in the Pacific and China trade. She voyaged to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macao and Hawaii. She returned to the east coast via train through the Rocky Mountains. A portrait of the Pactolus was donated to the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society in 2010 along with information about the Beadles.

After retiring from the sea, Capt. Beadle settled down to life in Duxbury with Mary. A newspaper article described the couple, “[Capt. Beadle] was a dapper little man who always wore white in the summer. Mrs. Beadle was an imposing woman who made it her duty to make a formal call on each newcomer.” Mary Frances Sampson Beadle died in 1920 at age 89. She is buried in Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury.


Vertical File, “Beadle Family,” Drew Archival Library

Mary Frances Sampson Beadle (1831-1920). Collection of the Drew Archival Library, DRHS.
Beadle House, 309 Washington Street, Duxbury, MA.