BIOGRAPHY OF GRANVILLE L. BEEDLE:
Born in Gold Flat, California (near Nevada City) at the Beedle home at the corner of Gold Flat Road and the Grass Valley Turnpike (now road) on April 12, 1888, to Charles Wesley Beedle and Mary Elizabeth (Holmes) Beedle.
Charles died when Granville was four years old. Granville’s siblings were Fred, who was 17 years older than Granville, Sadie, Edna and Alice. Granville was the youngest. At 4-1/2 years of age Granville attended Gold Flat School. During the fifth grade, the family moved to Piety Hill, Nevada City, where Granville continued through the second year of high school. Granville’s first job at eight years old, was delivering milk for a farmer.
He held odd jobs during his school years. He quit school after the eleventh grade to attend the Grass Valley Business College in Grass Valley, California. There he learned short-hand, typing, bookkeeping, and the sight method of addition ( a very rapid method of adding that he used throughout his life). For about three months he was employed as a clerk at the post office. I remember that he worked in a shoe store, the Webber Store, in Nevada City. It must have been tough because the woman who owned the store did not know how to run a business. Even the banker couldn’t explain about notes, bills, and discounts. Granville quit this position on the advice of the banker and another man. (However, as a result of this job he was always very particular about how our shoes fit. He’d seen so many misshapen feet caused by shoes that didn’t fit.} After the shoe store, Granville went to Nevada and worked with his brother Fred at the Columbia Mine for about a year.
As a boy, Granville played cornet in the Nevada City Marching Band. The images below include a picture of the band in 1902 (Granville is bottom row, left), a roster of the band members, and a list of the rules by which the band members were to abide.
He carried newspapers as a boy and worked as a reporter on the Miner Transcript, a Nevada City weekly newspaper. He went to Sacramento about 1913. There he first worked in the U.S. Land Office for about three months. He then worked for the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce for about two years, first as a stenographer, then as Assistant Secretary. Granville met Carol Enid Simpson at a dance and picnic in Fair Oaks in Sacramento, California. Granville was assistant manager of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce. They were married in the living room of the home of Carol’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. Lynn C. Simpson at 1616 “H” Street in Sacramento, on a rainy Saturday evening on December 18, 1915. Simpson was managing editor and part owner of the Sacramento Union, where Carol worked covering music and drama events.
Granville worked for the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce for 18 months, then held jobs including that of office manager for Mentor – Leavitt Company (Overland Automobile Agency) in Sacramento and Orland, California, from 1917 to 1921. Granville was wholesale agent for the agency. Business was great until the 1921 Depression came along. They sold Lexingtons and Willys-Knights, of which he sold 19. They ran about $1500 and cost Overland $800. Granville rented a theatre and put on two shows to packed houses which included a movie provided by the company, followed up with a talk. In the year that followed, only one car was sold; a Lexington 6, sold to the American Legion at cost. Carol assisted him in sales. She knew how to drive, and this impressed the ladies. Initially, Granville did not know how to drive. While in Orland, Carol & Granville lived in four different homes. The first was on “Bungalow Row”, which has been renamed South Street, and the address was 21 South Street. Lynn Beedle was born in this home. They only lived here one month. The last Orland residence as 521 2nd Avenue.
The Overland Automobile Agency was followed by a 20-year stint in trade organizations ( including the Lithographers Association) in San Francisco (1921 to 1924), then Los Angeles (1924 to 1937), then back to San Francisco (until 1940), a job with the War Production Board during World War II, and finally, for Westinghouse Air Brake Co, San Francisco, as office manager. He retired from that position at the age of 65.
Retirement however was short-lived as he went back to work for the Mill Valley Record, a weekly newspaper, selling advertising. He then worked for the Mill Valley Review, another weekly newspaper. This was followed by many years as Secretary – Manager of the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, finally retiring when he was about 82 years old. As Secretary-Manager, he set up the first office for the Chamber in Lytton Square.
Granville and Carol first moved to Mill Valley in 1922. Although they departed and returned numerous times, they returned to Mill Valley permanently in 1940, residing first at 29 Renz Road ,then in 1955 moving next door to 25 Renz Road. Both houses were on property purchased by Carol’s mother, Mammee, after the death of Lowry, the oldest brother, in 1922. The house at 25 Renz Road was originally built as a library to house the books from Sylvester Simpson’s law library. Carol and Don Healy lived in this house from 1945 until July of 1947. The house had two levels with the bedrooms on the upper level and the kitchen, living room, closet and on the lower level. At this point, one had to walk outside to get from one level to the other. The staircase was added later when John and Ginny resided there.
Granville was very active in the Mill Valley Commuters’ Club, an organization that assured a smooth and orderly transition from ferry boat service to Greyhound bus service across the new Golden Gate Bridge. This took place in the early 1940’s.
Granville also served on the Board of Trustees of the Mill Valley Community Church and was active in the church during their entire residence in Mill Valley.
Granville Beedle’s Resume.
Recollections of Granville L. Beedle
(These were written between 1969 and 1977. As the handwriting was very small it was difficult to make out and transcribe every bit of it, hence the gaps.)
If I hadn’t been born in Nevada City in 1888, I wouldn’t have quit High School after two years, a full year early and taken a full year business course at the Grass Valley Business College. I either rode by bike or if stormy took the trolley, “electrified” which ran hourly. I wouldn’t have gone to work for the Nevada City Miners’ Transcript (a daily) because I could take dictation; this editor was a Carolinian, better known as a “Cousin Jack”. I don’t think that he had ever dictated before I met up with him. As a result, I later became his _______( can’t make out the writing)-up man. Also, I was working part-time at the time of the San Francisco Earthquake, and it happened that I was at his office when the earthquake occurred. So when telegrams came to the Western Union office near ours, I got the news of the quake and phoned the people who had relatives or friends in San Francisco at that time. And then, years later when I was living in San Francisco and working for the Greater Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, I met Carol’s father, who was part-owner and editor (of the Sacramento Union) and chairman of the “Know Your County” Committee. It arranged monthly dinner meetings at various nearby communities; Fair Oaks, ?, etc.. At the latter event I met Carol through a friend of hers and mine, Reinheart McCloskey, a Sacramento Dentist; now retired but still living in Sacramento. Then Carol and I saw each other at a couple of other like events, but at the Empress Theater where the community held several of its events, one in particular when Carol and I danced very frequently together, we became better and closer friends. Until one evening at the Empress where another friend, Fred Holcomb, and I attended and sat in the front row of seats upstairs by coincidence and looked down on the reserved seats and Floyd said: “a friend of yours just looked at you”. I looked down, waited until Carol and her mother came out, and made a date with Carol; her mother saying afterwards, “Carol, the idea, you just met that man, and invited him to come and see you!” Lynn (Carol’s father) said: “I have seen him quite often and have no objections”.
This culminated in our marriage in their living room at 1616 “H” Street on a rainy Saturday night. We were to take their car. We got just around the corner and it stopped in a mud puddle. As I got out, Ray and a couple of friends, with gales of laughter, asked if they could be of assistance. So they started the car and sent us on the way with Carol driving. But I could not drive will enough to park it in the folk’s garage in the alley in the rear of their house. So Carol had to and we walked back to our apartment. The next morning Carol took the car back.
My ———– career with Mentor-Leavitt, covering the area from Sacramento to Red Bluff, Redding and Etna Mills and back via Chico to Sacramento, to —– as far as auto goes, to Orland where you, Carol and Gin were born. During the depression things were tough for us. I remember having to get someone who owes us for labor and parts to pay up iif they could so we could eat. I remember I parted with “my last Penny” and so did Mom on me ———- —— time. Never would I have been able to “make it” alone of it had it not been for Carol and her folks.