Author Topic: Christian Beck (2nd or Jr.) Original  (Read 4808 times)

Offline nord

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Christian Beck (2nd or Jr.) Original
« on: July 04, 2011, 04:47:39 PM »
As contributed by a ALR member...

I saw the photo of your Beck rifle.  This gun would be Christian Beck who was the son of Christian Beck of Lebanon.  He eventually moved to Indianapolis then onto Illinois where he picked up a wagon train heading out to Oregon on the Oregon Trail  He died enroute due to eating bad salmon near Burnt River in present day Oregon.
My wife is a direct line ancestor of John Philip Beck; however, I do like the Christian Beck side.  
Greg Allard

Here is some information on Christian Beck.
The following is copied from an old German prayer book or bible owned by
Andrew Jackson Beck

(In the year 1880, and copied out by Luther Melanchton Beck, son of Jacob
Beck, while on a visit to Tioga that year. There is no doubt the book was
formerly the property of John Christian Beck as the notations herewith
reproduced were found to be in his own handwriting)

I was born in the year of our Lord 1787, 12th day of September.
John Christian Beck, father of John Christian Beck was blown - up in powder
mill in Lancaster County, Pa. My dear wife, Lannie, (Lany) died July 19th,
1822 and was buried the 20th as it was God's will to depart her life from
this world. Elizabeth, 2nd wife of John Christian Beck, died near Tioga,
Hancock County, Illinois of dropsy Sept 19th 1862. Born LoudinCo., Va June
6th, 1794 her second husband. Converted 1831 in Franklin County, In under
Rev. Asa Beck and joined the Methodist church.
Brothers: John, Tobias, David and George
Sister: Mrs. Jacob Hauer, York, Pa and Mrs. Jacob Newman of Shippensburg,
Mother Laura Durfee

(As for his being the same Christian Beck to die on the trail in Oregon
From Charles W. Rice, Myrtle Creek, Oregon, ( now deceased)

" My grandfather John Christian Beck, after crossing the plains from Hancock
Co., Illinois to Oregon in 1863, became ill from eating poisoned salmon on
the Snake river. My uncle, Joseph Beck, and my father John S. Rice, both of
whom were members of the emigrant party, set out to procure help. they met a
settler on a mule,. My father gave him the Masonic signal of distress and
told him they must have medical aid quickly. the settler hurried away on his
mule, and very soon returned with a jug of liquor. It was too late. John
Christian Beck had gone to his reward."

( From a bio done on John Christian Beck by Jesse Beck)

In 1827 he moved to Martinsburg, Virginia (now west Virginia) where he
remained for 3 years. About the year 1829, he went on to Connersville,
FayetteCo., In where his brother David was living.
He had learned the trade of gunsmithing and throughout his life was engaged
in that occupation.
However, he was also a farmer; and now and then we find him employed as
such, at the same time carrying on the trade of gunsmith. While on a trip to
the Pacific coast in 1939, I learned from relatives that he also at time
exhorted. He was a Methodist.
6 children in all were born to John Christian Beck and Elizabeth Ensinger.
Of these, the eldest had died at Williamsport and the youngest died at
Connersville, In. The remaining 7 sons and the 9 children of John Christian
and his first wife, Magdaline Ahl were now (1839) grown; and in that year he
with his wife, Elizabeth and their 4 remaining children left Connersville,
Ind and located in Lima, Adams County, Illinois. Just why this removal was
made, I have never been able to learn; but presume the territory was virgin
and the opportunities greater for making a livehood in his chosen
In this neighborhood and in the south section of HancockCo., Illinois, near
where the village of Tioga now stands, John Christian Beck lived for almost
25 years. Here, his younger family of 4 grew up and married. And here he
continued to carry on his business of gunsmithing and farming.
I have now in my possession a muzzle-loading rife which was made by John
Christian Beck in Hancock County, Ill. about the year 1845. It was presented
to me by Ralph Ensiminger of Tioga, Hancock County, Il; a grandson of
Elizabeth Ensiminger Beck by her first husband. He had come into the
ownership of it at the death of Andrew Jackson Beck, son of John Christian
Beck at Tioga, on Christmas Day 1910.
I was visiting relatives there in the year 1932, and upon seeing the rife,
evinced a personal interest in it, since I was then already engaged in
writing the family history, that Mr. Ensiminger gladly gave it to me. It is
the more valuable as a relic since the maker had emblazoned his name "C
Beck" on the upper side of the steel barrel under the hammer. I prize this
keepsake very highly.
John Christian Beck's wife Elizabeth died at Tioga, HancockCo., Ill Sept
This village was laid out only 5 years before by John Milton Robertson,
husband of Margaret Beck and Philip Emsminger, son of Elizibeth Ensiminger)
Beck by her first marriage. About this time America's population was moving
westward, overland into California and into the Oregon country, via the
Oregon trail. The journey was invariably begun in the springtime, since the
trip would occupy the entire summer season.
The families who together were to embark upon the perilous journey would
congregate at a given point; the Prairie schooners were loaded with precious
heir-looms, tools, and provisions sufficient for the entire journey. Rifles
were conveniently placed here and there throughout the caravan, for there
would be the ever present danger of encounters with wild animals. Then too,
it was known from experience of those who had been members of previous
expeditions of the kind that the various tribes of Indians met with along
the way were not always in a friendly mood. Wagons and other valuable
material and belongings were often burned by marauding bands of red-skins.
Especially of uncertain temper were the Sioux. It became necessary
therefore, to adopt and maintain some sort of discipline for mutual
self-protection while en route. Aside from the dangers without, it was also
sometimes very true that disorder and misunderstandings arose within the
expedition itself, due, in part at least, to the varying temperaments of its
members. Commonly then, a caravan would organize itself into a miniature
commonwealth; and a captain was selected whose word was the law. He in turn,
appointed lieutenants. Each wagon was assigned a place in line. the
appointments to command were shifted frequently, so that no one took all the
dust all the time. Often the women drove the ox-carts, while the men strode
along on horseback, the better to protect their precious cargos of human
lives and material possessions. At night, watch was kept by turn and the
penalty for neglect of duty was that of walking all the next day, into that
silent and unknown land.
An emigrant train usually consisted of many wagons, and often a mile long.
During the season of heaviest travel, 2 or more trains were almost always
within sight of each other as they doggedly ended their way, day by day,
the jumping off place as it was called in those days, was Independence,
Kansas. there the road from the East divided --the Sante Fe trail to the
south and the Oregon Trail into the northwest.
Following the death of his wife, Elizabeth at Tioga, Hancock County, Ill
(1862) John Christian Beck although now 75 years of age, conceived the idea
of emigrating to the Oregon Country. He was indeed a brave, unconquerable
spirit. He must press on! Accordingly, in the early spring of 1863, we see
him formulating his adventurous plans; and on April16th 1863, the journey by
wagon train was begun. The party was a large one, numbering many wagons.
Many residents and families of Hancock Co and the adjacent neighborhoods
joined in the expedition. John Christian Beck was accompanied by his 4
children now grown. These 4 were: Joseph, Margaret (Robertson), Andrew
Jackson, and Elizabeth (Rice). Each had married, and several grandchildren
had now been born into his family. My own grandfather John Ahl Beck also
made the start, as I have related in his biography; but disagreed with the
family somewhere along the route; withdrew from their company and made his
way into California.
After 5 months of anxious and fatiguing travel, the Oregon-bound caravan
reached the Snake River. The goal was near. But here the life story of John
Christian Beck comes abruptly to an end. While encamped in this vicinity,
the old patriarch died; from the effects of eating poisoned salmon. He was
buried in an unmarked grave, on burnt River, Oregon, near where the city of
Huntington now stands. "
from Jesse G, Beck --Biography of John Christopher Beck

« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 10:57:24 PM by Hurricane ( of Virginia) »
In Memory of Lt. Catherine Hauptman Miller 6/1/21 - 10/1/00 & Capt. Raymond A. Miller 12/26/13 - 5/15/03...  They served proudly.