BECKMAN, E. H. 1833-1881
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 2/24/2019 at 18:37:10
Beckman--Died, at his residence in Grundy Center, Iowa, on Sunday morning, September 4th, 1881, of typhoid malaria fever, Mr. E. H. Beckman, aged 48 years and 7 months.
Mr. E. H. Beckman was born in the small village of Holzendorff, near Bruel in the Grand Duchy of Meklenbury Schevain, Germany, Jan. 4th, 1833. His father was pastor of the parish, and a very highly educated and truly Christian gentleman in every sense of the word. His mother died when he was but two years old, leaving his father with three little boys on his care. In course of time the mother's place was filled by a step-mother, such as only seldom falls to the lot of motherless orphans. Never could a mother's heart care more for her own children than those three little boys were cared for in addition to a family of eight children of her own during the happy union of the parents; and a more happy childhood could not be passed than was enjoyed by all of them in that large family circle; and in every case the most devoted attachment to this dear aged mother, yet living, existed, till death took those three dear boys, Mr. Beckman the last one of them, away--all in the prime of life. The two brothers and the father died within a short period after deceased became a resident of Grundy County. His education was received exclusively at home under the immediate supervision of the father and mother. At the age of fourteen he was competent to perform all the duties required in the ordinary pursuits of life. The sending of both the older brothers to college being a heavy tax on the means of the family perhaps prevented a similar course of study for him, but at any rate Mr. Beckman concluded at an early age to follow agricultural pursuits. Having served, as customary there, the hard apprenticeship for several years on a large estate near home, and afterwards filling the position of assistant, and finally head manager for a similar time, to the entire satisfaction of his employer, his desire to see some of the world and to try his fortunes in America was aroused, probably in part through vivid descriptions of friends residing in this country.
With the consent and blessing of his parents he left the old pleasant home and then almost unbroken family circle, to never see any of them again, with the exception of one sister.
Mr. Beckman landed in New York at the age of nineteen, being in 1852, and at once started for the then far West. He spent his first two years in this country on a farm near Dixon, Ills., going faithfully through the daily routine of farm life, and at the same time rapidly and happily identifying himself with the social life and customs of the country.
In 1858 deceased came to this county and settled in the eastern part in what was then Blackhawk township, and which included the territory contained at present in the townships of Grant and Blackhawk. At that time these now rich and populous townships contained not more than three log cabins. Mr. Beckman was therefore, one of the pioneers of this county and by his industry and energy has done more, perhaps, than any one man to develop and build up its varied interests. He at once commenced the following of his chosen pursuit of agriculture, making his home until his marriage at the house of his sister, who had married in the meanwhile Mr. Wm. Meisner, one of his first and best friends in this country. It was while residing here that he first made the acquaintance of his now sorrowing widow, and a little less than twenty years ago they were married. A happy family circle soon began to gather around them, and a happy home of their own, like that he left behind once, and like his own ideal of such it has always been, while on the farm as well as later when he became a public man.
Owing to his ready adaptibility to the performance of public duties he was soon called upon to assist in organizing and managing the affairs of the county and township. In 1867 his name was brought prominently before the people of the county as a candidate for the office of county treasurer and the unanimous vote by which he was supported for this important trust a succession of times is too well known to require comment.
After ten years of service as a county officer he formed a partnership with Mr. D. P. Holt and the firm opened a banking house in Grundy Center. After three years of business Mr. Beckman purchased his partner's interest and up to the time of his sickness and death conducted a successful and popular banking establishment. Aside from his banking business he was largely interested in real estate in different parts of the county, owning several fine farms and tracts of wild land.
Sickness And Death
Four weeks ago last Saturday E. H. Beckman was first confined to his home and bed by a complication of diseases which at last caused his death. All that medical skill and constant care could accomplish was done to stay the ravages of disease but in vain, and on last Sunday morning at seven o'clock the flickering spark of life went out and all that remained was the tenement of ?. The sad news went from mouth to mouth and from home to home all through the community and many a tear-dimmed eye and husky voice betoke the universal sorrow. Kind friends were not wanting in sympathy and good offices to assist the stricken family in performing the last rites. On Tuesday the funeral services were held in the Presbyterian Church which was far inadequate to accommodate the people who gathered from all parts of the county to do honor to the memory of a good man and prominent citizen. The exercises at the church consisted of a memorial service in which the different ministers of the place and Messrs. Tracy, Rea, Moffett and Kerr took part. They spoke of their long acquaintance and friendship with the deceased; of the eminent qualities of mind and heart he displayed in all the walks of life; the great loss sustained by his death and the universal respect due his memory. The services were impressive and after their close hundreds took their last look upon the face of the man they had loved and respected through all the years of his life among them, and then the long procession formed and followed to the silent city of the dead the earthly remains of the departed.
During all the years of his successful business career in this county deceased ever bore and honorable and honored record. No selfish motive ever prompted him to deal dishonorably with his fellows. As a public spirited business man he stood first and fore-most in the county, ever ready with mind and purse to help establish and maintain any enterprise or institution calculated to advance the interests of the community. No worthy religious or charitable object appealed in vain to him for aid. As a friend he was all the term can possibly imply--true, honorable, just and unchanging; as a counseler he was wise and far-seeing; as an employer he was respected and loved, no word of impatience ever escaping his lips. But, while a faithful public servant, an enterprise business man, a true friend and counselor, it was in the family circle where his noblest and purest qualities shone brightest. An intense lover of home and its pleasures and comforts it was there he spent every moment possible, and it was only some imperative public duty that kept him from home of an evening or night. He was a loving husband and an indulgent father, ever watchful of the happiness of those intrusted to his care. How much the husband and father will be missed in the home where he was so loved only those who have had similar experience can possibly comprehend. He was indeed a model husband, father, ? and friend.
--The Argus (Grundy Center, Iowa), 8 September 1881, pg 3
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