"Happy Home Farm," owned by F.P. Beck, is one of the finest stock and fruit farms in the country. Mr. Beck is a native of Denmark, born in Sleswig in 1857. He is a son of Peter Hanson Beck, who died when Mr. Beck was an infant six months old. His mother was Kjersten Hansen, also of Denmark. Mr. Beck is the youngest of three children born to this union - a brother, Hans Beck, whose sketch immediately follows and a sister Mary, who married Hans Broudelund (both are now deceased, the husband dying in New Zealand). Mrs. Beck was three times married. Her second huusband[sic] was Jacob Jorgenson, who died in 1886. To their union four children were born, three of whom are living, viz: Caroline, wife of Fred Thesman, a successful farmer of California; he harvests many acres of wheat annually. Peter, a farmer of Solomon township; Jens, a butcher, living in Denmark. The third marriage was with Christian Hansen; no children were born to this union. The mother never having emigrated to America, died in Denmark in April, 1900.
When Mr. Beck attained his majority he began his career working by the month. When coming to America he had no capital. He first located in Mitchell county in the year 1877 and obtained work on the farm of Mathias Nelson. In 1873, he homesteaded land in the hills of Solomon township, as all the first, second and third bottom lands were taken by those who came earlier.
About this time he married, and took his bride to the little dugout he had prepared for her. Its dimensions were about 12x12 feet, minus both floor and windows. "Though poverty came in at the door," love did not fly out at the window. Perhaps none were more industrious and frugal than this worthy couple. Their beautiful country place bespeaks the result of hardships and many weary hours of toil. In 1890, Mr. Beck sold his homestead and bought his present farm which he has put in a fine condition.
In 1898, he erected a handsome imposing residence of eight rooms. This house is modern, completely finished and furnished, in 1894, he built a splendid barn. Mr. Peck has one of the best apple orchards in Cloud county, which is his especial pride. It consists of two hundred trees that are heavily loaded with the rarest fruit. This year (1901) the yield was three hundred bushels. He has been very successful as a horticulturist and sets out a few trees each year. His apple orchard presents a beautiful sight, loaded with the crimson and golden fruit. He also has large quantities of pears, peaches, apricots, cherries, etc.
Mr. Beck is a large wheat grower. Besides his home place he owns "Wheat Valley Farm," one of the finest in any land, opposite G.W. Hussey's place, and recently he purchased the "Oak Leaf Farm," a valuable estate consisting of two hundred and forty acres, which makes his landed possessions a total of five hundred and sixty acres. He keeps a herd of about twenty-five head of native cattle and in corn years from one hundred to two hundred head of hogs. Because of his love for horses, Mr. Beck has given special attention to the raising of horses and mules. He breeds roadsters of the Hambletonian stock and has some fine specimens in his stables.
Politically Mr. Beck is a populist and a prominent figure in the conventions of the county. He has held the offices of constable and road overseer of his township and is a member of the school board. The family are members of the Lutheran church.
Mrs. Beck, who has been his true helpmate all through their married life, is a refined and gentle woman. She is a native of Denmark, where she grew to womanhood in the same locality with her husband, and where they were engaged to be married. Mr. Beck proceeded to America to prepare their home in the New Empire. Her father is Nicoll Henry Hanson. He came to America in 1884 and is now living with his daughter at the age of eighty-eight years. The Hansens are of German origin. Mrs. Beck's mother died in 1883. She is one of eight children, five of whom are living. Three are in Denmark. A sister, Maren Christine, is the wife of Hans Asmussen, a farmer of Solomon township.
To Mr. and Mrs. Beck eight children have been born, five of whom are living. Peter, twenty-two years of age is married and rents part of his father's farm. Henry, associated with his brother in farming. Christina deceased in 1899, at the age of fourteen years. Grief over the loss of this daughter has broken the health of Mrs. Beck. Jacob, Willis, and Elizabeth; the three latter at home.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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