Janius Jacobson Beck
Contributor: Karen Cutter Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Janius Jacobson Beck was born June 8, 1864, at Aalburg, Denmark. He was the son of Fredrick Jacobson and Henrika Hanson Beck. His parents were converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. His father was born at Leda and his mother at Aalburg, Denmark. They were married March 23, 1856. His father served in the War of 1864 between Denmark and Germany. Shortly after returning home from war, he heard of the Mormon missionaries. He was curious to hear them and when the opportunity came, he at once became interested, and soon was convinced of the truth. He and his wife were baptized December 27, 1865. The following spring the spirit of gathering was strongly manifested in the little home circle by the preparation to come to Utah.
On May 20, 1866, Fredrick, his wife Henrika, and three children, Emma, Julius, and Janius, sailed for America with six other families of Saints. One of them was his brother, Christian Beck. They crossed the Atlantic on the ship Kendleworth. It was an old sail ship and that was its last voyage across the ocean. It took 8 weeks and 3 days to make the trip. While crossing, it caught on fire three times and was so badly burned it was condemned in the New York harbor. Upon reaching New York, many of the little company died with the severe heat. The rest were rushed to Omaha, Nebraska, where they rested for a week while arrangements were made for the trip across the plains. Equipment being very scarce made it necessary for those who were able, to walk most of the way. They arrived in Salt Lake City October 1866, under the command of Captain Rawlins, Andrew Jensen, the church historian was in this company.
They lived in Salt Lake two years and then moved to Alpine. Although “Yan,” as he was called, remembered little of this trip, as he was between two and three years old at this time, his parents never tired of telling him about it.
His early life was much the same as other children of pioneers. It required young and old to work to make a livelihood. Yan spent a lot of his time in the surrounding hills and canyons herding cattle and sheep. Although barefoot the entire summers roaming the hills, he and his boyfriends had a lot of good times and made their work their play.
His education was limited to one season with Richard T. Booth as his teacher. It was remarkable, his intelligence with such little schooling. He grew to manhood never idle and always willing to take part in anything that was of upbuilding nature. He was married to Mary Jane Hamnett May 2, 1885. Their first home was a little dobe home just north of his father’s home. Here their first child was born.
They lived for a short time on Highland while he was employed by Jacob Beck. Later, they bought a two room dobe house from Mr. Poulson. As their family grew, he built on and remodeled until a comfortable home was theirs. Here he and his wife lived until they died. He was a good provider. He owned a good farm and some of the best of livestock. He was always interested in everything that went on in the little community, especially in recreation. He and his wife belonged to the Alpine Glee club which spent many an evening at their home and homes of their friends enjoying their singing and games. This is one way they had of supplying their own amusement. This club sang at many of the gatherings in the ward.
He was one of the instigators and largest stock holder in the Alpine Amusement Hall, built just east of where our city hall now stands. This was a great place of amusement and dancers from all over the county came here to enjoy their selves. Some of the best dramatic talent was frequently engaged to entertain the people of Alpine. He was always interested in civic affairs. He was city councilman for two terms and mayor from 1914 until Dec. 1915 before he died March 1916. He was constantly a member of the Water Board of which he was president part of the time. He was also president of the Alpine cattle range until his death.
He was chairman of the Democratic party for several years and always ready to uphold what he believed to be right. He and his wife worked on the Old Folks Committee for years. Part of this time he spent as chairman until his death.
His love and devotion for his mother was outstanding and many happy hours they spent together.
Although not too religiously inclined, he always cheerfully paid his donations and obligations to his church.
They were the parents of 12 children—ten of whom are still living. They are: Josephine Mayne, Charles Elmer, James Henry, David Fredrick, Melva, Leland, Jennie, Lerve, Orlean, and James Milton.
Although a young man when he died, he had accomplished a great deal. He was a highly respected citizen and did a great deal in making our community what it is today.
He died March 12, 1916, in the Provo hospital.