By Oma Jean Beckham Curlin
EDITOR’S NOTE: Longtime Millington resident Oma Jean Beckham Curlin reached out to The Millington Star to share her family lineage and legacy in regards to the developing subdivision Beckham Place off Wilkinsville Road. Curlin took The Millington Star on a trip down memory lane literally that can be viewed on Youtube at West 10 Media. Curlin also spoke on the process of her late father A.R. Beckham selling the property and placing in the contract the family’s namesake being placed any development. The 89-year-old Curlin is proud to see the start of the Beckham Place Subdivision in her lifetime.
Sometimes it takes a long time, even 60 plus years, for a dream to come true.
The development of Beckham Place Subdivision is an example of a long-awaited dream coming true. My father A.R. Beckham sold his farm and home on Wilkinsville Road to the Belz family in 1956 with the understanding they would eventually develop a subdivision on the property.
In 2019 his dream started to come true with the development of the Beckham Place Subdivision and in honor of him and his dream, I want to offer a bit of history of the property.
The farm included a residence a large barn and a ‘potato’ storage building along with the farm acreage. My family repaired and added to the residence which became a favorite place to gather for a great meal, family companionship and play.
I was living at home with my parents when I was selected as the first Miss Millington in 1950. Later I married Wallace Curlin and for a time we made our home in a renovated Potato House on this land. All of my nieces and nephews found this place to be a playground and sanctuary from the realities of the world.
If they could get to their grandparents’ home they were in earthly heaven.
My daddy was the most honest, honorable and considerate man I have ever known. He was a true Southern gentlemen in every sense. His word was his bond and a handshake from him was a contract to be fulfilled as he agreed.
He bought and sold land and farms for years without written contracts, the various deals being set up with a handshake agreement.
Daddy was an optimist whose glass was always more than half full and saw only the best in people. He trusted people with whom he dealt and was seldom disappointed. He treated everyone equal and had the ability to have a rapport with the wealthy or the less than rich with the same consideration and treatment to all.
He was an early example of diversity and equality. To me he will always be my sweet ‘Poppa.’
My dad always told me though the years until his death, the Belz family would be true to their word and fulfill his dream in time and I am pleased with this coming to fruition in my lifetime. Our Beckman family members are proud to lend our name to the subdivision and want to express appreciation to everyone who had a part in the process, especially the Belz family for holding on to my father’s dream.