In 1893 James Beale was 25 years old and employed as Haymarket's railroad station manager. He bought a 1.5-acre site from C. C. Jordan, which was located across the street from the train depot.
Two years later Beale married Maude Herrell. During the next twenty years, Beale eventually opened his own store next to the train depot. He was also a member of the town's Masonic lodge and served as a vestryman of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
In 1916, while Beale was serving as mayor of the town, he died unexpectedly at the age of 48 and Maude sold the property in 1921. James, Maude, and four of their children are buried in St. Paul's cemetery.