Walter Beaman's paternal grandparents emigrated to Oregon from Iowa in 1862 when Walter's father, Justus, was just four years old.

    Justus and his wife, Sarah, and their children moved from Oregon to Sunset, Washington by 1905. Sarah's family had emigrated from Missouri. Walter had at least six brothers and sisters.

    Walter had worked according to one of the newspaper articles at the Morning Mine which is just across the valley from where he died while fighting the Boulder Creek Fire.  The crew leader on the Boulder Creek Fire was James G. Danielson.  Danielson describes the situation of the crew the night Beaman died:  as the fire came near men were "half mad with fright wishing to leave the place in order to reach some fancied security,  but the worst has not yet come.  Imagine,  if you can,  the wind suddenly changing,  the rock cut filled with sparks more dense than any skyrocket that could be shot off in your face,  with a temperature that in an instant cooked every exposed part of one's body,  with only a moment to realize your condition and then fall down unconscious,  and then as if this were not enough misfortune,  awake to find your clothes half burned off,  men crazy with pain,  some wanting to commit suicide,  some wishing to leave through fire and smoke and darkness for Mullan,  others throwing their arms around you begging for God's sake that you better their condition.  This I say with three hours' wait until daylight came and the long tramp to Mullan over debris is enough to weaken any man's mental as well as physical conditions.  Many times I could hardly withhold the cries of pain which came from my whole system.  Many times men nearly parted from the rest of the crew,  but with my utmost power I was able to keep the crew together." [ - from pages 173 and 174 of Year of the Fires by Stephen J. Pyne ]  Walter Beaman's body was recovered later that day.
 

Stephen J. Pyne Year of the Fires © 2001  page 215:  

“. . . Walter [Beaman] had worked only 12 hours on 19 August and another 12 on 20 August. His father claimed both his body and his $6 in due wages” 

- National Archives at College Park, RG 95, Records of the Forest Service,
Division of Fire Control, General Correspondence – Claims -- Beamair.

page 217:  

“Justus Beaman of Sunset, Washington, requested reimbursement for the interment of his son Walter, killed at Stevens Peak. The government offered $20 to cover expenses for which he had receipts. Of the $53.50 for undertaker's bill, the Forest Service subscription fund paid $30 and the Wallace Fire Relief Committee $23.50. Beaman advanced an additional claim of $12.25 for transportation to and from Wallace that officials considered 'undoubtedly valid' but denied since Beaman could produce no receipts and had 'not properly presented' his bill.” 

- National Archives at College Park, RG 95, Records of the Forest Service,
Division of Fire Control, General Correspondence – Claims -- Justus Beaman


    Walter is buried at the Pine City Cemetery at Pine City, Washington. Walter's parents are buried there, too, as well as a sister who died at age 10.

Note – Walter could not be found on any U.S. Census record.
No record of deaths other than Walter Beaman's death at the Boulder Creek Fire has been found. 
 

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