Mrs Richard Leonard Beckwith (Sarah Maybell Monypeny Newsom) was born as Sarah Maybell Monypeny in Columbus, Ohio on 21 September 1865.
She was the daughter of William Monypeny (1830-1899) and Maria Brunson (1834-1920). Her father was Irish by birth, hailing from Co Armagh, whilst her mother was a native Ohioan. They were married on 5 February 1854 in Clermont, Ohio and Sallie's known siblings were: Charles (1854-1881), William Brunson (1860-1912), George Brunson (1866-1903) and Perrin Brunson (1878-1953).
Sallie appears on the 1870 census living in Columbus and her father was described as a commission merchant. She was married on 2 December 1885 to Logan Conway Newsom (b. 6 February 1851 in Ohio), a realtor, and they had a son, William Monpeny in 1887, followed by a daughter, Helen Monypeny, in 1892. The family remained in Columbus, Ohio and appear there on the 1900 census living at the home of Sallie's mother Maria in Montgomery Township. Sallie was widowed when her husband Logan died on 28 June 1901.
She was remarried in New York on 25 September 1903 to Richard Leonard Beckwith (b. 1874), also a realtor and from Connecticut. The couple settled in Manhattan and were frequent travellers.
In early 1912 Mrs Beckwith, her husband and daughter Helen had been touring Europe. Helen had become romantically involved with a young tennis player, Karl Behr, and part of the reason for this trip was to deflect Helen's interests and discourage the match. For their return to the USA the party boarded the Titanic at Southampton as first class passengers (the Beckwiths travelling on ticket number 11751 which cost £52, 11s, 1d) and they occupied cabin D35. At Cherbourg they were surprised to be joined by Karl Behr, who had travelled to Europe to pursue his courtship with Helen.
On the night of the sinking the Beckwith party assembled on the starboard boat deck following orders to abandon ship. Here they waited with Mr and Mrs Edwin Nelson Kimball and were soon joined by Karl Behr. When Mrs Kimball asked Bruce Ismay who was then assisting the boarding of lifeboat 3 if they could all go, Ismay replied "Of course madam, every one of you." The Beckwiths, Kimballs and Behr therefore entered lifeboat 3 and were saved.
Sallie and Richard Beckwith became the subjects of a famous photograph taken aboard the rescue ship Carpathia, showing them in conversation with two other first class passengers, Mr and Mrs George Harder.
Hard on the heels of her experiences on Titanic came the death of her brother William who died on 3 December 1912. Possible further consternation came when less than a year following the disaster Sallie saw her daughter Helen and Karl Behr wed, a match she disapproved of. She continued to live in Manhattan and also spent time living, it seems, in New Hampshire but she and her husband continued to travel frequently, visiting France, England, Monaco and Italy. She was a member of the Colony Club, and for many years had been on the board of managers of the West Side Day Nursery and Christadora House.
Sallie was widowed in 1933 when her husband Richard died aged 58; she was also fated to outlive her son William 1 who died in 1942.
Sallie herself died at her home, 224 East Sixty-First Street, Manhattan, on 11 February 1955 aged 89. She was later cremated.