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E. H. Beckman Family


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/26/2017 at 07:33:08

E. H. Beckman Family--Early Pioneers

One of the oldest pioneer families active in the early history of Grundy Center was that of E. H. Beckman and his wife Catherine (Grandma Beckman to many in Grundy Center). Emil Hessel Beckman was born on an estate in northern Germany near the city of Bremen. His father was a Lutheran minister. Mrs. Beckman was born in New York State. Her name was Catherine Smith and she was of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.

Mr. and Mrs. Beckman were married Sept. 25, 1861, and lived for a short time on a large farm in Black Hawk township. A few years later the Beckmans moved to Grundy Center.

Mr. Beckman and Ed Holt started the first bank in Grundy Center on the site where the Grundy Mutual Insurance Company is now located. It was called the Grundy County National. The building burned to the ground a few years later. Many of the notes, other documents and paper money were damaged by water. Mrs. Beckman took the wet paper and money home with her and dried it in the kitchen stove oven.

The new bank was built in 1879. Mrs. Beckman drove her team of ponies to Waterloo every week to deposit the money for the bank at Leavitt and Johnson in Waterloo. There were about 10 houses in Grundy Center when the Beckmans built their home, the present Beckman Apartments. All the children, with the exception of Otto who was born on the farm near Reinbeck, were born in this Beckman home. There were five children: Otto, a farmer; Herbert, a banker here and in California; Augusta, wife of Dr. Butler of Whitten; Hessel, brain surgeon at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; and Dr. F. S. Beckman, dentist of Grundy Center.

Dr. Beckman was very active in civic affairs. He was the first county treasurer and recorder. These offices were combined at that time in the old cheese box.

Mr. Beckman was instrumental in bringing the first railroad through Grundy Center.

Mr. Beckman died of typhoid fever at the age of 44. Dr. F. S. Beckman was a year and 8 months old at that time so he never knew his father.

--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 7 July 1977


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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