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William Gabriel Beck
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Birth: Mar. 9, 1819
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1901
Jefferson County
Iowa, USA

Note: The exact burial plot for William G Beck and his wife Margaret Ramsay Beck is not recorded. Lot 3 by what is now the public grounds section of Old Fairfield Cemetery has a Beck family monument (now toppled due to vandalism) for four of the Beck children: Willie, Mollie, Richard, and Kate. It is likely that WGB and MRB are also on this lot, but without a headstone for them nor specific burial records it cannot be stated for certain that they were also buried on that same lot.


The Fairfield Ledger
January 30, 1901

A Pioneer Gone.

William Gabriel BECK, whose residence in Fairfield dated back to 1847, died at his rooms in the Leggett house, this city, Saturday night. He had been in feeble health for some time from disease and weakness incident to old age, and his departure was not unexpected.

Mr. BECK was born at Uniontown, Penn., March 9th, 1819. He was one of a family of nine children, only one of whom is now living, Richard S. BECK of Los Angeles, Cal. When a child his parents removed to Wheeling, Va., where the father died in 1830. The family removed to Kentucky and thence to Springfield, Ill. The year 1847 found its members in Fairfield, where the mother, Mrs. Sarah BECK, operated one of the best known public houses of that time, the National hotel, which was located on the north side of the park, where the Slagle & Acheson block now stands. The son was employed in the hotel for some time, and in 1851 became a route agent for the Western Stage company, which had lines all over Iowa, and in 1854 removed to a farm. In 1856 he removed to Owen county, Ken., where he resided until 1860, when he returned to this city. For several years he resided on a farm south of the city, but later removed to the town and was engaged in business ventures of various kinds.

Mr. BECK was married to Margaret RAMSAY, daughter of Alexander RAMSAY, another pioneer settler, in this county October 8th, 1848. They were the parents of eight children, only three of whom are now living, James A. BECK and Mrs. Fannie WELDAY in this city and David R. BECK at Missoula, Mon. The wife, who has been in feeble health for many years, survives the husband.

In early life Mr. BECK became a member of the Baptist church, and later united with the Congregational churech of this city. He was a man of strong convictions, much more than average intelligence and a wide range of reading. He was intense in his actions and loyal in his friendships. His tenacity of purpose was almost remarkable, and when serious illness overtook him he struggled against it in most surprising manner. His family will have the sympathy of the community in its affliction, and many old friends will sincerely mourn his death.

While Mr. BECK's memory was rich in recollections of pioneer life, and he always knew his story and told it well, there were none of his reminiscences more interesting than those of Springfield, Ill. His mother, Mrs. Sarah BECK, kept a tavern in the early days at Wheeling and engaged in the same business at Springfield, Ill. She was a woman of unusual energy and much executive ablity, and any house she operated was certain of the best possible patronage. At Springfield her hotel was the scene of many a notable gathering of Illinois politicians in the early '40's, and there were times when as much legislation was transacted within its walls as in the capitol itself.

When Abraham LINCOLN married Mary TODD he had just established himself in practice as a lawyer at Springfield, after several terms of service in the legislature, and he and his wife made their home with Mrs. BECK. Robert TODD LINCOLN, the only surviving child of the martyr president, was born beneath her roof August 1st, 1843, and she aided in ushering him into the world. There was a warm intimacy between the family of the great statesman and that of his landlady, and the BECKs were very familiar with the domestic life of the LINCOLNs and with the peculiarities of Mr. LINCOLN. On Mr. BECK's mind, of course, the drolleries of Mr. LINCOLN made the greatest impression, and he always had a fund of LINCOLN stories at his command, many of which have never found their way into print.

It is a remarkable coincidence that in Fairfield within the past month two aged people should pass away who were intimately acquanted with the early life of Abraham LINCOLN - Mrs. Nancy C. PREWITT (Nancy C Rutledge Prewitt , buried in nearby Evergreen cemetery in Fairfield) and Mr. BECK. The one was a daughter of James RUTLEGE of New Salem, Ill., where Mr. Lincoln was a clerk in young manhood, and whose sister, Ann RUTLEDGE, was his first love; the other was Mr. BECK, of whose mother the LINCOLN family were guests for several years.

Family links: 
  Sarah Evans Beck (1792 - 1877)
  Margaret Ramsay Beck (1824 - 1908)
  James A Beck (1849 - 1930)*
  Willie S Beck (1851 - 1852)*
  Infant Beck (1855 - 1855)*
  Mollie E Beck (1856 - 1870)*
  Charles Evans Beck (1859 - 1899)*
  Fannie Beck Welday (1861 - 1912)*
  Richard S Beck (1864 - 1874)*
  Kate W Beck (1867 - 1881)*
  William Gabriel Beck (1819 - 1901)
  James S Beck (1821 - 1891)*
*Calculated relationship
Old Fairfield Cemetery
Jefferson County
Iowa, USA
Created by: Richard K Thompson
Record added: Oct 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60828973
William Gabriel Beck
Added by: Richard K Thompson
William Gabriel Beck
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