Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.

John D. Beck

JOHN D. BECK has practiced law at Greensburg and in Kiowa County for thirty years, and his individual success and public service have been commensurate with his veteran experience.

Mr. Beck has been a resident of Kansas since early manhood. He was born in Wayne County, Iowa, August 12, 1854, and his paternal ancestors were colonial settlers in Virginia from Germany. His father, Elliott Beck, was born in North Carolina in 1829, grew up in that state, and on coming west settled on a farm in Adams County, near Quincy, Illinois. From 1852 to 1861 he and his family lived in Wayne County, Iowa, and it was during that period that John D. Beck was born. He then returned to Adams County, Illinois, continued farming in that section, and in 1872 bought a farm at Oxford in Sumner County, Kansas. He was one of the earliest settlers in that county but was not spared long enough to complete his plans for settled prosperity. He died in Sumner County in 1876. He was a republican and a member of the Methodist Church. He married Phoebe Dorsett, who was born in Chatham County, North Carolina, in 1826. She died in Cherokee County, Kansas, in 1897. They were the parents of three children: John D.; Susan, wife of A. D. Halstead, of Miami, Oklahoma; and Robert L.,a real estate man at Miami, Oklahoma.

John D. Beck acquired most of his early education in the rural schools of Adams County, Illinois. In 1872 he came with his parents to Kansas, and he made steady progress in acquiring a higher education, attending the State Normal School at Emporia and spent one year in the Kansas University. He left the university on account of the death of his father in 1876 and assumed the responsibilities of the home farm until 1878. Sumner County then utilized his qualifications and liberal education in the office of county superintendent of schools, which he filled two years. For one year he was principal of the graded schools at Oxford, Kansas. In the meantime he studied law, and in March, 1883, was admitted to the bar. Mr. Beck practiced four years at Wellington, Kansas, but in 1887 located at Greensburg, where ever since he has enjoyed a good practice in both the civil and criminal branches of the law. While a resident of Sumner County he served one term as county auditor, and one term as police judge of Wellington. Several times he has been honored with the office of county attorney of Kiowa County, and was again elected to that position in November, 1918, and gives much of his time to this office. He is a member of the State Bar Association, is a republican, on the official board of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and has maintained a steady attitude of public spirit toward all community affairs. Mr. Beck resides in a comfortable home which he built in 1910.

In 1884, at Wellington, Kansas, he married Miss Belle McClung, daughter of J. N. and Penelope (Taylor) McClung, both now deceased. Her father was a Presbyterian minister and at one time pastor of the church at Wellington. Mrs. Beck died in Springfield, Missouri, in 1897. She was the mother of three children: Harold M. served with the Eighty-Ninth Division in France as a sergeant in the Engineer Corps. Emily is the wife of Weaver L. Fleener, a furniture merchant at Greensburg. John was also with the army, being located in Evacuation Hospital No. 1 at Toul in Eastern France. In 1904, at Greensburg, Mr. Beck married Mrs. Julia (Peterson) Kennedy, a native of Sweden. Mrs. Beck by her former husband has one daughter, Mabel Kennedy, now the wife of W. O. Dorland, a farmer at Greensburg.

Pages 2426-2427.