Born in Joliet, Illinois, William Beauley became a New York City architect and artist. He began his career in Chicago, working for several architects in the early 1890s for the World's Fair. After the Fair, Beauley studied in France under Maurice Yvon, architect of the French government.
In Paris, he associated with painters, and began sketching with them, which led to a life-long interest in painting. In New York, he studied at the Chase School with Robert Henri. He was a member of the Architectural League of New York (where he also won an award for his artwork in 1912), the Salmagundi Club, the American Art Association of Paris and the Philadelphia Art Club. During the New Deal in the 1930s, he was registered as a WPA artist. Two of his paintings are in the collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Art.