He graduated from the law department of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1883, was admitted to the bar the same year, and commenced practice in Westerville, Ohio.
He was editor and proprietor of the Westerville Review in 1884, of the Adrian, Michigan Daily Record 1884-1886, and of the Ann Arbor Argus 1886-1905. He was also mayor of Ann Arbor 1888-1890, postmaster of Ann Arbor 1894-1898, city treasurer 1891-1893 and 1903–1905, and city assessor 1906-1913. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention at Saint Louis in 1916.
Beakes was elected as a Democrat from Michigan"s 2nd District to the United States House of Representatives for the Sixty-third and Sixty-fourth Congresses, serving from March 4, 1913 to March 3, 1917.
He successfully contested the election of Mark R. Bacon to the Sixty-fifth Congress and served from December 13, 1917, to March 3, 1919. He was defeated by Earl C. Michener for reelection in 1918 to the Sixty-sixth Congress.
After his service in Congress, he resided in Washington, District of Columbia He is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
And was assistant chief of the industrial cooperation service of the United States Department of Commerce from April to July 1919 and a staff member of the United States Veterans" Bureau from 1919 until his death in Washington, District of Columbia, aged 66.
Married Annie South. Beakes, July 7, 1886.