As transportation for cattle improved, the pasture was no longer necessary, said Scott Beckley, a Walton grandson of the Beckleys. Family stories say the couple wanted to build their dream home on the land. But rather than hang onto it until realizing that dream, the couple sold it in 1949 to the town of Walton for $1 so it could be turned into a children’s ball field.
“At the time, the only places in Walton to play baseball were on the very small field behind the school ... or in vacant lots around town,” wrote Jones in a letter explaining the family’s request.
“It was a win-win situation,” Scott Beckley said. “He got out from underneath the tax burden with no benefit to the land, and the town got an area to build parks and ball diamonds and basically whatever they wanted to do.”
The couple, devoted fans of the Chicago Cubs, saw their four grandsons — Scott Beckley, his brother Todd Beckley, Jones and his brother Jeff Jones — play ball on their former cattle pasture. While their granddaughter, Andrea Culp, Logansport, wasn’t a ball player, she agreed with her cousins about the need for a little recognition for their grandparents.
The ball field board of directors voted early this year to OK the name change.
“My mom is the last one” of the family who was living at the time the land became the ball park, Jones explained. “We just thought, they’d never gotten any recognition for this, so we thought it would make my mother happy.”
Sarah Einselen is news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at email@example.com or 574-732-5151.