Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
WILLIAM BECK. About two
miles northeast from Harrington, one comes to the beautiful ranch of William
Beck. The estate consists of five hundred acres of choice wheat land,
which is in a high state of cultivation, and three hundred acres of pasture.
A good seven room residence, surrounded by barns, outbuildings and the
various other improvements needed on a first class ranch, are all in evidence
and the place is one of the good ones of this excellent Big Bend country.
In 1883 one could have seen the scanty equipment of Mr. Beck stopped on
the unbroken prairie, at a place near where his house now stands.
Bleak enough were the surroundings, as only the rolling hills and the howling
coyotes were to be found with the exception of a few straggling settlers
at long distances apart. Mr. Beck was a man of keen perception and
he became thoroughly convinced that this was a rich land and accordingly
he filed his homestead right and commenced the struggle of carving a home
and a farm out of the wilds. A year later he did the wise thing of
securing a pleasant and capable helpmeet and together they began the work
anew. For a time it was like rowing up stream and in the midst of
rapids, as scarcely no progress was made. The cares of a family began
to gather and starting without means, as Mr. Beck did, the struggle was
a hard one. However, despite the lack of means, the hardships of
pioneer life, the many things to fight against, he steadily pursued his
way and finally after the hard times of 1893 he began to forge ahead slowly
and soon he had the satisfaction of securing an increase to his estate
and this has continued until he has not only the property mentioned above,
but also a fine four acre tract in the city of Davenport where he has provided
a fine residence for himself and family in the days to come. Mr.
Beck has always taken a keen interest in the affairs of the community and
in politics and has labored for better roads, better schools and improvement
in all lines, so that it may me said he is a thoroughly progressive man
and public spirited.
William Beck was born in Wurtemberg, Germany,
on February 5, 1856, the son of Adam and Mary Beck. He grew up and
was educated in his native land and then served his term in the regular
army. After that he learned the blacksmith trade but never followed
it, however he does his own blacksmithing on the farm, which is a great
help. In 1877, he sailed from Antwerp to Philadelphia and thence
traveled to Jo Daviess county, Illinois, whence the next year he came to
Yolo county, California. After working for wages there awhile, he
went to Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and to other points, then returned
to the Golden State and in 1883 made his way to the territory of Washington.
Here he has wrought as mentioned above and is now one of the leading men
of this part of the county.
In 1884, Mr. Beck married Miss Katie Anwarter,
a native of Germany. She came to California in 1882 and then later
to Washington. To this union the following children have been born,
Anna, Mary, Minnie, Paul, Henry, deceased, Lena and Lillie, twins, Elsie,
Eugene, deceased, Olga, Henrietta, Eugenia and Hulda. The two deceased
were called away in 1901, aged thirteen and four years. Mr. and Mrs.
Beck are members of the Methodist church and are excellent people.