Bishop Beals born in 1832 in Versailles, New York to Amplius and Olive Beals. His father was a physician, and he and his family were members of the Universalist church. In 1856, when living in New York City, Beals joined the congregation of Rev. E. H. Chapin and he became interested in Spiritualism. He attended a demonstration by 14-year-old medium, Miss Libbie Lowe, and was struck with wonder. He said that she woke the latent power of mediumship within him.

Beals served in the New York Infantry during the Civil War and was discharged due to a disability in 1861. It wasn’t until after the death of his mother in 1865, that he began a career as a public teacher and speaker. He worked as a trance speaker, poet, singer and musician.

In an interview for the Carrier Dove, vol. 3 no. 10 October 1886, Beals stated, “I do not recollect a time that I was not visited with strange, prophetic dreams and trance-like visions. I have always been conscious of the nearness of the spiritual world. I was, even in childhood, a worshipper at the shrine of nature, and later in life I found her sweet influences far more in harmony with my religious aspirations than were the religious doctrines of popular churches.”

Mrs. C. H. Decker Buchanan said that Beals was sensitive and preferred to let “his works praise themselves. The circling waves of harmony surround his efforts; his resolves spring from the purest motives, and when understood must endear him to all who are associated with him socially.”

During the mid-1870s through the 1890s, Beals traveled through New York and New England, across the Midwest, including Kansas, Missouri and Illinois, and then went west to California, where he spoke in Santa Barbara, Stockton, and San Francisco. His lectures included: “The World’s True Redeemer,” “The Evolution of Thought,” “New Dispensation,” and “What is Truth?” His lectures were often accompanied by music, song and his own poetry.

Beals moved to Oakland, California in the 1880s and married late in life to Eliza Cone in 1895. The Waterloo Press, 7 March 1895, described him as one of many curious people. “…this professor, who is of ordinary stature with long (will-be-silver) locks of hair swinging to and fro about his head attracting the attention of everybody, made his appearance in this city last week.” It continued, “He compared men of today with those of from one hundred to five hundred years ago and said that men are now governed by laws of mercy.”

Beals returned to his home state of New York and died in 1909 while living in the Lily Dale area.

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