John T. Beal, son of John and Mary (Cullins) Beal, was born in Milam County, Texas, on October 24, 1847. He attended school at Salado during the winter of 1866–67 before beginning a freighting business between Cameron and Bryan. He was also in the lumber trade at Belton for a time. He later entered the cattle business with J. W. Powers and drove several herds of cattle to Kansas. He and his son H. D. moved a herd of cattle to Borden County in 1879. In 1880 Beal became general manager and part owner of the Jumbo Cattle Company. When the company failed in 1898, he became foreman of the St. Louis Cattle Company in Crosby County. He moved to Lubbock in 1900 and to Ranger Lake, New Mexico, about 1905. Beal was married to Anna Stoneham and was the father of eight children. He ranched in New Mexico until his death, at Elida, New Mexico, on December 24, 1916.