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The region was first settled sometime before 1836 by a small group of pioneers led by William Hammill who arrived in 1827. Hammill was one of the two Home District councillors for Tecumseth in 1842. In 1852 Robert Clark, a blacksmith, purchased a large portion of the land and opened a blacksmith and gunsmith shop. His practice of selling building lots to new settlers was largely responsible for the land being cleared to make way for the eponymous village Clarksville. Clarksville was later renamed Tecumseth when the Tecumseth post office was moved into the village. The name was changed again in 1878 when a second post office in Essex County also took the name Tecumseth. The rather odd choice of Beeton was adopted because the then-postmaster, D.A. Jones, practised the bee trade in the region. In fact, Beeton's annual Honey and Garden Festival can probably be traced back to Jones.
Beeton was a stop on the Hamilton and North-Western Railway. The railway split just north of the townsite, at a location then known as Allimil, running northeast through Cookstown to Barrie and northwest through Alliston to Collingwood. The line was later taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway, eventually turning into Canadian National Railways. Canadian Pacific Railway constructed a second line just to the west of town, and the CNR right-of-way was closed in the 1970s. The portion of the CNR railway running from Beeton south to Tottenham is now used for the South Simcoe Railway, a heritage railway.
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