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Long-Serving Harrison County Judge Passes Away

Image is a black and white head-shot photo of a smiling Judge Beetham

Judge T. Mark Beetham was a legal mentor in Harrison County across five decades.

Image is a black and white head-shot photo of a smiling Judge Beetham

Judge T. Mark Beetham was a legal mentor in Harrison County across five decades.

The longest-serving county court judge in Harrison County has died.

Judge T. Mark Beetham – on the Harrison County Court bench since 2003 – was 70.

“He was exactly what you’d hope for in a judge,” said Harrison County Common Pleas and Domestic Relations Judge T. Shawn Hervey. “He was fair and impartial, made timely and sound decisions, and everybody got their due process.”

Judge Beetham succumbed to a breakthrough case of COVID-19 last Saturday.

“He was very vigilant to all of the COVID regulations at the start of the outbreak, including being a vanguard in videoconferencing,” Judge Hervey said. “Unfortunately, he had some underlying health issues, as well.”

Judge Hervey’s 25-year relationship with Judge Beetham was a familiar one in the county’s small legal community, with the latter willingly mentoring young attorneys for decades.

The notion of passing on legal knowledge is lineal for the Beethams. After graduating from Yale Law School in 1975, Judge Beetham returned to his native Cadiz to practice alongside his father, Thomas Beetham. The judge’s son, T. Owen Beetham, is also a Harrison County attorney.

“Not many people of Judge Beetham’s skillset would come back to their small, hometown, but he did because he loved it,” said Judge Hervey.

One notable and timely expertise was Judge Beetham’s understanding of mineral rights and law. As “one of the country’s foremost experts,” according to Judge Hervey, that insight was used over the past decade with the oil and fracking boom in eastern Ohio.

Prior to his time with the court, Judge Beetham served as an assistant prosecutor in Harrison County, as well as solicitor for the villages of Cadiz, Freeport, New Athens, and Jewett.

“His loss leaves a tremendous void for someone who’s given almost the last 50 years of their life to Harrison County,” Judge Hervey said. “He’ll be irreplaceable.”

He is survived by his wife, Vickie; their three children; and three grandchildren.