Rear Admiral Beatty was born at Jefferson County, Wisconsin on November 26, 1853. He was appointed to the US Naval Academy September 23, 1871. Graduated in June, 1875, he was commissioned Ensign after a year’s service at sea, and attained the rank of Rear Admiral on April 27, 1912. He was placed on the Retired List of the Navy in that rank November 26, 1915, came back to active duty during the World War and served until October 6, 1919. He died at his residence in Charleston, South Carolina on March 16, 1926.
Rear Admiral Beatty saw the gradual evolution of the Navy, having served in old square riggers, steamers with full sail power, monitors, and other craft including modern battle cruisers and battleships. He assisted in the improvement of naval artillery practice, and in the development of electric range finders.
Ships in which he served include USS Minnesota, training ship, on the Asiatic Station, 1878-1881; the Despatch, in home waters; the monitor Miantonomah; the dynamite boat Vesuvius, and the training ship Adams, up to 1898. He subsequently served in the monitor Monterey, USS Wheeling, gunboat; USS Glouchester, USS Wisconsin during the world cruise of the Atlantic Battleship Fleet; USS Virginia, 1914; USS Florida, flagship of his command of First Division, Atlantic Fleet; USS New Jersey; and USS New York.
Among duties ashore, Rear Admiral Beatty served at the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; Bureau of Yards and Docks, Navy Department; commandant, Navy Yard, Washington, DC and Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory there; and his last assignment to duty during the World War was in command of the Navy Yard, Charleston, South Carolina.
Rear Admiral Beatty had received the Spanish Campaign Medal, 1898; Philippine Campaign Medal, 1899; China Relief Expedition Medal, 1901; Mexican Service Medal, 1914; Victory Medal, Base Clasp; and was presented a bowl by the Emperor of China in 1907.
The destroyer DD-756 has been named USS Beatty in his honor, and is the second in the United States Navy to be so named, the first, DD-640, having been sunk in the Mediterranean on November 6, 1943 as a result of enemy aircraft action.