Henry F. Beckham, M. D. The first physician and surgeon in point of time to locate permanently at Roosevelt, the subsequent years have done nothing to disturb his priority as the leading man of his profession in that locality, and Doctor Beckham is today the favorite household friend and physician of a large number of the best families, both old and new settlers, in that part of Kiowa County.
In younger years Doctor Beckham was on intimate terms with adversity and has had an exceedingly varied career since his early teens. Born at Houston, Tennessee, January 16, 1867, he attended a few terms of district school near his birthplace, and at the age of fourteen ran away from home and during the next few years saw a great deal of the country. He spent most of the time in Tennessee and Arkansas, and at the age of nineteen arrived at Batesville, Arkansas, and a short time later went to Mountain View in the same state. In the meantime he had gained a somewhat more than ordinary education in literary branches, though every course of book instruction was well supplemented by practical experience with men and real life. At Mountain View he was engaged in teaching school for a time and then set out to prepare himself for the profession of his choice, taking up the study of medicine under Dr. J. W. C. Hinkel. In 1890 he passed the Arkansas state medical examination and was given a license to practice, but soon afterwards entered the Georgia Eclectic College, from which he was graduated Doctor of Medicine in 1892. In that year he began practice at Mountain View, remained there as a physician from June 21 to September of that year, and then returned to his native state and set up an office at Olive Hill. After about ten months there he went to Hillsboro, Texas, and in April, 1893, came into Oklahoma, being engaged in practice at Arapaho until January 13, 1895. At that date he returned to Hillsboro, Texas, but in September of the same year went back to Olive Hill, Tennessee, and was quietly engaged in his professional labors there for seven years.
Doctor Beckham arrived at Roosevelt, then a raw prairie townsite, in the newly opened district of the Kiowa and Comanche Reservation, on April 17, 1902, and since that date his reputation has been steadily growing as an able and conscientious medical and surgical practitioner. His offices are on Main Street.
This branch of the Beckham family came from England to North Carolina during colonial days. Doctor Beckham’s father was J. Z. Beckham, who was born in North Carolina in 1901 and died at Houston, Tennessee, in 1876. After his first marriage he removed from North Carolina to Houston, Tennessee, where he became a planter and owned several farms. At an earlier date while living in North Carolina and long before the railroads had invaded that part of the South he conducted the tallyho stage across the mountains over the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee. Prior to the war he had been a whig in politics and afterwards, following the example of most of the mountain people of Eastern Tennessee, was a republican. He was three times married, and his third wife, Mary McMullin, was the mother of Doctor Beckham. She was born in Tennessee in 1826 and died at Dyersburg in that state in 1913. Her children were: Amos, who is a farmer at Foss, Oklahoma; Jacob, a farmer near Roosevelt; Andrew, a farmer at Foss; L. M., who lives at Roosevelt; Dr. Henry F.; Samuel A., a farmer near Dyersburg, Tennessee; and Joshua, who died at Houston, Tennessee, at the age of thirteen.
While Doctor Beckham has made his profession the main object of his endeavors, he has also accumulated considerable material prosperity, and is setting a beneficial example as a diversified farmer on his two adjoining farms of 320 acres situated three miles east and a mile south of Roosevelt. His land comprises the south half of section 417. In the way of public service he has also been active, has served as health officer of Roosevelt for a number of years, and is now deputy county physician under Dr. G. W. Stewart of Hobart. He has also served as clerk of the school board at Roosevelt. In politics he is a republican, is a member and deacon of the Christian Church, and is affiliated with Hobart Lodge No. 881 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
On February 28, 1893, at Houston, Tennessee, he married Miss Martha C. Beckham, a very distant relative, who was born near Houston, a daughter of William Beckham, now deceased. Doctor Beckham’s children are: Byron, who is now farming one of his father’s farms; Marrell, who has finished a preparatory medical course in the University of Oklahoma and is now continuing his studies for the profession under the direction of his father; Marcia, who lives at home and is taking a correspondence course in nursing; Lawrence, employed in the office of the Roosevelt Record; L. Lloyd and Venus, both of whom are in the public schools.