History of Taylor County, Iowa: from the earliest historic times to 1910 by  Frank E. Crosson. Chicago, The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1910
(transcribed by Linda Kestner: lfkestner3@msn.com)
Page 385
The ranks of the old soldiers are fast becoming disseminated as one by one they answer to the last roll call.  Among those who are still living in Taylor county is John W. Beck, who was a lad of nineteen years when he offered his services to the country in defense of the Union cause.  Through a long period he was closely associated with the agricultural interests of this locality but is now living retired, deriving a substantial income from his investments in farm lands.  He was born in Washington county, Ohio, February 4, 1843.  His father, Vivian Beck, was a native of Kentucky and a son of Edward Beck, who was born in New Jersey and became an early settler of Kentucky.  Subsequently he removed to Ohio and afterward to Owen county, Indiana, where he died at an advanced age.  He devoted his entire life to the occupation of farming and also participated in the life of the community, especially in movements relative to the general good.  He took part in the muster days, when such were a feature of every locality, in his early manhood.  His wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Smith, died when a comparatively young woman.  They were the parents of two sons and three daughters: Nancy, the wife of Moses Williamson; Tabitha, the wife of Aaron T. Price; Vivian: John and Elizabeth, who died unmarried.
Vivian Beck was reared to the occupation of farming and followed that pursuit as a life work.  In 1869, he came to Iowa, settling in Ross township, Taylor county, where he and his son John purchased a farm of two hundred and twenty-six acres.  He made his home on that property until 1892 and then removed to Bedford, where he died in 1897 when nearly eighty-five years of age.  He is still survived by his widow, who has now passed the eighty-ninth milestone on life's journey.  Both were members of the Methodist church and earnest and consistent Christian people.  Mrs. Beck bore the maiden name of Sarah Price and is a native of Ohio.  Her father was Daniel Price who was born and reared in New Jersey and was a blacksmith by trade.  He married Salome Fairchild and in 1839, they removed to Indiana, settling in Owen county, where Mr. Price died at the age of eight-eight years, while his wife was nearly seventy-three years of age at the time of her demise.  His parents were Isaac and Easter Price.
In the family of Mr. and Mrs. Vivian Beck were twelve children: Lydia, who has passed away; Tabitha, who became the wife of John Foster and later of Samuel Denney, but is now deceased; Jon Wesley; William E.; Salome J., who is the widow of Bluford Treadway; Prudence, the wife of Eldridge Duling; Theodore, who has departed this life; Elizabeth, the wife of Albert S. Dresher; Susanna, deceased; Aaron Thomas; Margaret V., the wife of William I. McElroy; and Vivian Kimball.
John W. Beck was only seven years of age when the family removed from Ohio to Indiana.  There he remained up to the time of the Civil war when on the 6th of August, 1862, at the age of nineteen years he enlisted as a member of Company F, Sixth Indiana Cavalry.  It was also called the Seventy-first Regiment.  He served for three years lacking a few days and was in many of the hard fought battles which led up to the final victory that crowned the Union arms.  He was with Sherman at Atlanta, after which the northern army was divided and under General Thomas he went to Nashville.  While carrying orders during the Atlanta campaign he was under fire many times.  He was an orderly carrying orders for Major General Schofield and was near Major General McPherson, when he was killed.  Mr. Beck was twice taken prisoner but was released on parole.  He made a creditable military record by his unfaltering fidelity to duty on every occasion.  After the war Mr. Beck returned to his Indiana home and was engaged in farming for three years.  He then removed to Iowa and has since been a resident of Taylor county, covering more than forty years.  He and his father purchased two hundred and twenty-six acres of land which they afterward sold and he is now the owner of two hundred and thirty acres in Livingston county, Missouri, from which he derives a substantial income.  He likewise owns a fine home in Bedford and all of his business affairs have been capably managed, bringing him substantial success.
On the 22nd of August, 1866, Mr. Beck married Miss Rachel A. Runyon, a daughter of Benjamin and Maria (Mangun) Runyon and a native of Carroll county, Ohio, born February 20, 1843.  Her paternal grandparents were Robert and Mary Magdalene Runyon.  The latter was born August 19, 1774.  They were married in 1792 and lived happily together as man and wife for fifty-nine years.  In 1817, they removed to Tuscarawas, now Carroll county, Ohio, where Mr. Runyon died August 1, 1849, at the age of eight-four years, while Mrs. Runyon died April 23, 1868, at the very advanced age of ninety-three years, eight months and four days.  She had seventeen children, eighty-three grandchildren, one hundred and fifty-five great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchilden.  Her immediate family included Benjamin Runyon, who was born in Pennsylvania, while his wife was a native of Maryland.  They removed to Owen county, Indiana, where the mother of Mrs. Beck passed away when seventy years of age.  Mr. Runyon afterward came to Bedford, Iowa, and died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Beck, at the age of eighty-one years.  He was a farmer by occupation, devoting his life to the tilling of the soil.  In their family were eleven children: Mary, deceased; Joseph, living in Hayes, Kansas; Jane, the widow of Isaac Price, of Spencer, Indiana; James, of Almena, Kansas; George, of Fairmount, Illinois; Mrs. Beck; Suzanne, of Bedford,; Eliza, the deceased wife of Jacob K. Champer; and three who died in early childhood.
Mr. and Mrs. Beck are consistent members of the Methodist church and have been very active in the work of both church and Sunday-school.  Mr. Beck is serving as one of the church stewards and is a liberal contributor to the support of the church.  He also belongs to Sedgewick Post, No. 10, G. A. R. and thus maintains pleasant relations with his old army comrades.  He gives unfaltering allegiance to the republican party which was the defense of the Union in the dark days of the Civil war and has always been the party of reform and progress.  On that ticket he was elected county recorder in 1892 and was reelected in 1894, serving altogether for four years, discharging his duties with promptness and fidelity.  In his business affairs his reliability, enterprise and diligence won him success that now enables him to live retired in the enjoyment of well earned rest.