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Below is a family biography included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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James V. Beck, farmer, is of an old American family, whose ancestors came from Germany many years previous to the Revolutionary War. Theywere soldiers in our war for independence, and history specially mentions the “White-eyed Becks” as fighting bravely and gallantly in one of the most severe battles of that struggle. This family of Becks has been known for generations as “White eyed;” their eyes being generally blue in color, with the white large and prominent. Vivian Beck, the great-grandfather of James V., was born in Virginia, and served, in the War of the Revolution. His son, Samuel Beck, was also born in Virginia, was a farmer by occupation, and was a soldier in the War of 1812. His son, Isaiah E. Beck, father of James V., still another native Virginian, was a physician in Indiana, and also a farmer. He married Miss Phebe Massey, who bore him two children: Burr H. and James V. Isaiah E. Beck went to Michigan in 1836, and settled on a farm in Kalamazoo County, where he lived for ten years. He then moved to Ohio, and in 1852 to Phelps County, Mo., settling on a farm, where he remained until his death, which occurred in 1852, at the age of nearly sixty-two years. His first wife died many years previous to his death, and he married for his second spouse, Mrs. Jane Calvert, who bore him two children: Caroline T. and Winfield Scott. Mr. Beck was a hard-working, upright man, respected by all who knew him. His son, James V., was born in November, 1838, and received a limited education, but this he has greatly improved by observation and general reading. He came with his father to Missouri in 1852, and in 1859 married Miss Mary A. Neighbors, daughter of Charles H. and Martha B. Neighbors, Southern people, who had settled in Missouri. To Mr. and Mrs. Beck were born five children: Joseph H., Charles E., Benjamin F., Elizabeth E. and Phebe L. Joseph H. married Miss Lucinda Jarvis, and to them were born two children: Maude E. and Oscar O. Elizabeth E. married L. F. York, and they have one child, Essa O. Charles E. married Malissa E. Buxton, and by her has one child, Eugene L. Mr. Beck enlisted in the Union army, but was discharged on account of disabilities, after serving two months. In 1861 he purchased a farm in Phelps County, Mo., and there remained until 1866. He purchased his present farm in 1880. In his political views Mr. Beck is a Republican, and he and wife are members of the Christian Church, of which he is an elder.

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This family biography is one of 220 biographies included in The History of Newton County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Newton County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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