Samuel Willard Beakes (Jan 11, 1861 - Feb 9, 1927) represented Michigan's 2nd District in the US House from 1913 to 1919, after previously serving as Mayor of Ann Arbor from 1888 - 1890. Beakes was born in Sullivan County, New York, and attended Wallkill Academy in Middletown, New York. He graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan in 1883, was admitted to the bar the same year, and commenced practice in Westerville, Ohio. Beakes is buried in Ann Arbor's Forest Hill Cemetery.

Political Life

Beakes served as mayor of Ann Arbor 1888-1890, postmaster of Ann Arbor 1894-1898, city treasurer 1891-1893 and 1903-1905, and city assessor 1906-1913. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at St. Louis in 1916.

Beakes was elected as a Democrat from Michigan's 2nd District to the United States House of Representatives for the Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1913 to March 3, 1917.

He successfully contested the election of Mark R. Bacon to the Sixty-fifth Congress and served from December 13, 1917, to March 3, 1919. He was defeated by Earl C. Michener for reelection in 1918 to the Sixty-sixth Congress.

After his service in Congress, he resided in Washington, D.C. and was assistant chief of the industrial cooperation service of the United States Department of Commerce from April to July 1919 and a staff member of the United States Veterans' Bureau from 1919 until his death in Washington, D.C., aged 66.


Beakes served as editor and proprietor of the Westerville [Ohio] Review in 1884, and the Adrian, Michigan Daily Record 1884-1886 before returning to Ann Arbor.

Beakes bought the Ann Arbor Argus newspaper in June 1886, and published it until 1898 when it merged with the Democrat and Ypsilanti Weekly Times newspapers to be the Ann Arbor Argus-Democrat. He gave up his interest in the paper in 1905 when he retired.

Past and Present of Washtenaw County

In 1906, Beakes authored a book, "Past and Present of Washtenaw County" for the S.J.Clarke Publishing Co., out of Chicago. This 1000-page reference volume is accessible via the Bentley Archives: as page-by-page scans and as full text with OCR.