The farming interests of Wall township find a worthy representative in August Beck, who owns and cultivates one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 7 and has made it a well improved property. He was born in Posen, Germany, on the 27th of November, 1852, but since the spring of 1853 has been a resident of Illinois, having been brought to America by his parents, Gottlieb and Christina (Dreages) Beck. The father died in 1885, at the age of sixty-five years, and the mother passed away in Minnesota in 1907 at the age of eighty-one years. He was twice married and Fred Beck, of Melvin, is a son of the first marriage. The children of the second union are: Gottlieb, now deceased; August, of this review; William and Henry, who are residing in Minnesota; Albert, deceased; and Julia, the wife of Isaac Thompson, of South Dakota.
When the family came to the new world they settled in Chicago, where August Beck had the opportunity of pursuing his studies in the public schools until about fourteen years of age. The family then removed to Marshall county, Illinois, where they lived for two years, and in 1868 came to Ford county, where they have since made their home. August Beck remained under the parental roof until his marriage and was early trained to habits of thrift, industry and economy, developing thereby characteristics which have proven of value to him in his later business career. On starting out in life on his own account he rented land, which he cultivated for about five years, his industry and careful expenditure during that period bringing to him the capital which enabled him to purchase his present farm of one hundred and sixty acres on section 7, Wall township. He has placed upon it all of the buildings and modern improvements and it is now a desirable property, from which he annually derives a good income. He is practical in his methods and as the result of his work in the fields he yearly harvests good crops, for which he finds a ready sale on the market.
In February, 1880, Mr. Beck was married to Miss Mary Rose, who was born in Williamsburg, New York, now a part of Brooklyn, February 6, 1856, and in 1865 was brought to La Salle county, Illinois. by her parents. Henry and Anna (Schmidt) Rose, who in 1876 removed to Ford county. They were natives of Hesse, Germany, and arrived in the Empire state about 1842. After coming to Illinois, Mr. Rose spent most of his life in Ford county, but at length retired and removed to Streator, Illinois, where both he and his wife passed away, their graves being made in the cemetery there. Mr. Rose was more than eighty years of age at the time of his demise and his wife had almost reached the age of eighty years at her death. While in New York he was employed as foreman in a chemical factory in Williamsburg. The family of this worthy couple numbered three sons and a daughter: Henry, a resident of Chicago; Mrs. Beck; and George and Fred, who are also in Chicago. Henry was extensively engaged in merchandising in Streator at one time and his brother George was associated with him, but they both became followers of Alexander Dowie and removed to Zion City, Henry Rose putting much of his money in that place.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Beck have been born eight children: Anna, the wife of Dan Myers, of Melvin; George, at home; Elizabeth, the wife of Calvin Matthews, of Melvin; William, Laura, Walter, Edwin and Florence, all yet under the parental roof. The family are members of the German Lutheran church at Melvin and Mr. Beck gives his political allegiance to the republican party but has never been an office seeker, preferring to give undivided attention to his business interests. Almost his entire life has been spent in Illinois and he is imbued with a spirit of enterprise and progress, which have been the dominant factor in the upbuilding of this section of the country. As he has lived for many years in Ford county he has a wide acquaintance here and his friends know him as an enterprising agriculturist and a man of genuine worth.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 615-617.

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