BECK. The Beck family, one of the oldest and best known in Armstrong county, has a record dating back many years in the history of Pennsylvania. Its representatives have been men of honor and reliability, who have borne their part in the material development of the several communities to which their business instincts took them. Many of these men have devoted their attention to agricultural pursuits, but some have made a success along other lines.
Jacob Beck, born in 1780 in Westmoreland county, Pa., was one of the pioneers of Armstrong county, settling in what is now Wayne township, near Echo, where he bought a large farm. This he cleared and developed. At the same time he owned and operated an old style carding machine. His remaining days were spent on this farm, where he died July 2, 1855, aged seventy-four years, six months, seven days, and he is buried at Echo. His first wife was Catherine Wegley, and after her death he married (second) Barbara Clever, who died Jan. 15, 1858, aged seventy-three years, eleven months, sixteen days. By his first wife Jacob Beck had the following children: Elizabeth, who married Christ Soxman; George, who died in St. Louis, where he had done business, as an ironmaster (going there in his younger days, with very little, he and Mr. Corbett entered into a partnership in the iron business, and he died a bachelor, leaving a fortune of some eighty-five thousand dollars); Jacob, who died at Dayton; John: Katie, who married Thompson Boyle; Dr. Adam, who died in Wayne township; and Simon.
Simon Beck, son of Jacob, was born at the homestead in what is now Wayne township, in 1825. In early life he attended Meadville College, and taught school for several years, being a well-informed man. Securing the homestead, he operated it for many years and also ran the carding machine. Finally he removed to Echo, where he built a fine home in which he died Sept. 7, 1899, aged seventy-three years, nine months, twenty-eight days. He also taught singing school and was active in the work of the Methodist Church, to which he belonged, and which his father had founded at Echo. Simon Beck married Margaret Kline, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Keppel) Kline, and by this marriage had the following children: Hannah E., who married Joseph Baum, and died in 1907, aged fifty-three years; Joseph K., living in Kittanning; Catherine, who married Wesley Bowser, and died in September, 1910; John A.; Margaret, who married William H. Cogley; Emma, who married William Schrecengost, and died Nov. 27, 1891, aged thirty-one years, eleven months; Sadie, who married John A. McIntire; William G., mentioned below; Susan M., who married S. J. McElwain of Echo; Simon H., of Echo; Jacob G., late of Echo, who was killed in a pumping station at Musgrove on the B. R. & P. Railroad March 7, 1909; Adam, who died when seven years old; Alonzo C., and Ida F., who married William H. McElhaney, of Kittanning. Mrs. Beck died Feb. 8, 1891, aged fifty-seven years. She and her husband lie side by side in the M. E. cemetery at Echo. He married (second) Margaret Wadding, by who he had no children, and who is now making her home at Echo. Mr. Beck was a man of strong personality and striking appearance, being six feet two inches in height. He always took an active part in all the affairs of his locality. A skilled penman, he taught writing, and was often called upon to engross public documents, which are still in existence as proof of his ability in this line.
John Beck, another son of Jacob Beck, and brother of Simon Beck, was also born on the homestead. He followed farming, clearing off a good property and building a log house which he later replaced with a more substantial residence. Here he lived until 1873, when he moved to Dayton, where he built the house in which he died June 1, 1876, in his fifty-seventy year. Like other members of the family, he is buried at Echo. He was a consistent member of the Methodist Church at Echo, and active in promoting its good work. Politically he was a Democrat. John Beck married Lavina Geiger, daughter of Benjamin and Esther (Turney) Geiger, of Westmoreland county, near Greensburg, and she survives her husband, making her home at Dayton, Pa. The following children were born to John Beck and wife: Benjamin F., who lives at Eddyville, Pa.; Sarah; Mary, who died after marrying Caston Spenser and going to live in Tennessee, where her death occurred; George, who lives on the homestead of his father; Lucy, who married Martin L. McIntire, of Wayne township; Adam B., who died young; and Annie, who lives with her mother.
Kline. George Kline, the maternal grandfather of Alonzo C. Beck, was born in Westmoreland county, Pa., and later settled at Livermore. He was a shoemaker by trade, but later, going to Echo, bought a farm of 160 acres of land in that vicinity. This property he cleared. His wife was
Elizabeth Keppel, daughter of John Keppel, and member of another prominent family in Westmoreland county. Mr. and Mrs. George Kline had children as follows: John; Andrew; George; Jacob; Sarah, who married John Schrecengost; Mary A., who married George McIntire, and died at Echo; Margaret, who married Simon Beck; Hannah, who married John Kinter; Henry, who is living at Wilkinsburg, Pa.; Elizabeth, who died young; Catherine, who married George Beck and (second) John Soxman; Rosanna, who died young; and Susan, who married Robert Rimer.
Alonzo C. Beck, member of the mercantile firm of Kinter & Beck, of Dayton, PA., was born at Echo, Wayne township, Feb. 28, 1877, son of Simon and Margaret (Kline) Beck, above. During his boyhood Alonzo C. Beck attended school in his home township, later going to Dayton Union Academy for three sessions. Following this he embarked in business at Rural Valley, but after a year came to Dayton and established himself in a furniture business. Within a year he sold this business, and, forming his present partnership with A. W. Kinter, the firm of Kinter & Beck was brought into existence. The partners handle furniture, hardware, harness, stoves and similar goods, being the largest dealers in their line in Dayton. They control an immense trade from Dayton and contiguous territory, and during the dozen years of its life the firm has shown a steady and healthy growth.
Mr. Beck was united in marriage with Margaret Kinter, daughter of Craig Kinter, of Wayne township, and two children have been born of this union, Delano W. And Margaret Lucille. Fraternally, Mr. Beck belongs to the Odd Fellows, and is a charter member of the Encampment; he also belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America and the Maccabees. The Methodist Church of Echo holds his membership. A Republican in politics, he has served very acceptably as councilman since coming to Dayton, and in November, 1913, had the honor of being elected burgess by an exceedingly large majority. At present he is a trustee of the Dayton Normal Institute. Soon after locating at Dayton he bought his residence on Church street, so that he has substantial interests in this thriving borough, and is justly numbered among its enterprising young business men.
William G. Beck, mail carrier, of Echo, was born on the old Beck homestead in Wayne township, Sept. 3, 1867, son of Simon and Margaret (Kline) Beck, being a brother of Alonzo C. Beck. In his younger days Mr. Beck attended the township school, and assisted his father on the farm, later taking a commercial course at Mount Union, Ohio. Returning home, he was employed in various ways until 1895, when he located at Echo, conducting the store at that place for seven years. Selling his stock, he engaged with the railroad company for a few years. When rural free delivery was established, he became the carrier out of Echo, receiving his appointment Sept. 15, 1905, and is still engaged as such. For seven years he served as postmaster at Echo, so he is thoroughly conversant with postal matters. A stanch Republican, he has served his district as school director. The Methodist Church holds his membership, and he is deacon in same, as well as one of its liberal supporters. The pleasant family residence at Echo which he owns was built by him in 1904.
In 1895 Mr. Beck married Della Best, daughter of George and Elizabeth (Seachrist) Best. Mr. and Mrs. Beck have the following children: Margaret, Marie, Mabel, Ruby, Everitt, Anna and Eleanor.
One of the rising young men of the township, Mr. Beck shows the public spirit so characteristic of the Beck family, and can be relied upon to do his full share in advancing the interests of his community.
Source: Pages 393-395, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed July 1998 by Joyce Sherry for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)
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