Christian J Beck and Hanna M Krants Beck
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Christian J (Jensenius) Beck and Hannah M (Marie) Krants Beck
By Joseph Hyrum Beck
From the book “In Memory of the Becks”, compiled by Stephen F Beck
Christian J Beck was born on April 14, 1822 in the Province of Saltum, City of Lut, Denmark. Hannah M Krants Beck was born in the same place May 23, 1824. Christian J Beck was the son of Jacob Beck and Dortha Christensen Beck. Christian was one of a family of fourteen children. His boyhood days were spent at what they called the “Old School” in the Province of Jutland, village of Skebsted (Skibsted), where his father had moved. His father was the village school master and Deacon in the Lutheran Church, which position he held until his death. Here Christian grew to manhood. Here he met and married Hannah Maria Krants.
Her parents’ names were Carl Krants and Elsie Christensen Krants. (Her father was of German descent.) And through her, he (Christian J Beck) inherited a life lease on a large farm and in time became well to do. They lived here for several years when he sold out his lease and moved to Wisburry. At this place there was a large estate named “Fuegholt” being sold. The work Fuegholt translated means the “Home of Birds.” This place he bought. In connection with the estate was a dance hall, lunch and soft drink parlors, which they operated during the winter months. This farm was located in one of the most fertile districts of Denmark.
To them were born eight children as follows:
Christena , born May 27, 1851. Married Louis Peterson who died February 7, 1888. Later married James L Robertson.
Jacob Theador, 1st, born July 13, 1856, Died January 25, 1860 in Denmark.
Carl Jacob, born February 20, 1858. Died January 27, 1872 in Alpine, Utah.
Dortha Marie, born June 15, 1860. Married Jos. W. Watkins who died March 26, 1888. Later married Frank Farquharson.
Jacob Theador, 2nd, born March 24, 1862. Died April 5, 1862.
Jacob Theador, 3rd, born April 16, 1864. Died January 24, 1865.
Christian, born February 26, 1866. Died July 3, 1866.
Joseph Hyrum, born September 19, 1867. Married Bernettia McDaniel.
They were living on their beautiful farm “Fuegholt” when they were converted to the divine teachings of Mormonism. They sacrificed all for their religion. Most of their means was spent in helping their poorer countrymen who had also embraced the Gospel to emigrate to Utah. He helped families to emigrate to America besides his own, one of whom was his brother Fredrick and family. On May 20, 1866, they left parents, relatives, friends, their native country; all that was near and dear to them and commenced their journeyed to Utah. They crossed the Atlantic on the sail ship “Kendelworth”. It was an old sailship. This was its last voyage across the sea. It took them eight weeks and three days to cross the Atlantic and they had many narrow escapes while crossing. The ship took fire three times. There was much sickness on board, due to a great deal to their crowded conditions.
Father and Mother lost their baby son, Christian, at sea. He was buried in the Atlantic Ocean ten days before reaching New York Harbor.
On reaching New York the weather was extremely hot and many of the emigrants were overcome with the heat and died. On account of the heat they were rushed on to Boston by rail and from Boston to Omaha, Nebraska. They did not travel in Pullman cars as the traveler of today, but were loaded into cattle cars and shipped in that way. It was fourteen days from the time they left New York until they reached Omaha. One can never realize the sufferings, and inconveniences enroute on account of conditions, and the delays. At Omaha and Council Bluffs they rested for one week while the men and teams from Utah (who met them there) were arranging for the trip across the plains by ox teams. Because of the shortage of teams and wagons all those who were able were forced to walk. And, so it became their lot to walk most of the way between Omaha, Nebraska, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Their diet consisted mainly of bread, pork and beans, with occasionally fresh buffalo meat. The buffaloes were killed by the men. They endured many hardships incident to travel in those early days, when rivers and streams of water had to be waded or forded as the case may have been, when the Indians held supreme sway over the entire country from Council Bluffs to Salt lake City, a distance of several hundred miles. It is little wonder then that when they reached Salt Lake City, “Their Zion”, on September 20, 1866, footsore and weary, they cried with joy, having been on the way since May 20 of that year, just four months to the day.
They stayed in Salt Lake City but a few days, when they journeyed to Lehi, where a brother and his family were then living. They made Lehi their home for two years and here their last and eighth child was born to them, whom they named Joseph Hyrum Beck. They then moved to Alpine where they homesteaded 160 acres of land. Here they built them a home which consisted of one adobe room with a dirt roof. I well remember as a boy that often in the night during rainy periods my mother and father would get out of bed, take down curtains and over up articles of furniture to protect them from the rain and mud as it would drip through the dirt roof.
On January 27, 1872, their son Carl took sick and died. He lacked a few days being fourteen years of age. This was a terrible blow to them as he was a very trusty boy. They had come to lean a great deal on him as he readily learned to speak the English language and to partake of the customs of this country which they were more slow to grasp because of their matured age. It took them years to overcome this sorrow.
In the year 1869 Father took his roll of bedding on his back and walked to Echo and Weber Canyons, leaving my mother with the family of small children in destitute circumstances. He thought he might find better conditions, and here he labored for about six months on the road bed of the Union Pacific railroad through Echo and Weber Canyon and down to Ogden. He was present when the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroad companies met at Ogden, which connected the Atlantic and Pacific by rail. He did some mining in the early 70’s in American Fork Canyon. In fact, he did any kind of work he could get to do in order to provide for his family. This was no easy task in those days for food and money were very scarce.
As time went on he became the owner of an ox team and with them he began to clear and break up some of the land he had homesteaded. In this way he soon became the owner of a good farm once more. As years rolled by the ox team was replaced with horses. Their home was remodeled – more rooms were added to it. The old dirt roof was a thing of the past and shingles took its place. Thank goodness!
Father and Mother were both so hard working and industrious people that in their declining years they were blessed with the comforts of life once more. Their two daughters and one son lived close by them which was a great comfort to them as they had only these three children left.
They died as they had lived, faithful to the Divine teachings of Christ, which they had embraced in their native country, and for which they gave their earthly existence. On March 27, 1899, Father departed from this life and on November 17, 1905, Mother joined him in death. They are buried side by side in the Alpine Cemetery, with this epitaph written on their tombstone, which is in harmony with their lives –
“In labor and in love allied
In death they here sleep side by side.
Resting in peace, the aged twain,
Til Christ shall raise them up again.”
(I heard my mother, Mrs Christian M Beck, say that she had heard Chris’ Mother remark often that Christian J Beck was the best man that ever lived.) by Reva Beck Bosone.
Blessing Babies in the Provo 4th Ward, 1910
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It was the afternoon before Independence Day, July the 3rd, 1910, and members of the Provo 4th Ward had assembled in their meetinghouse in Provo to worship in fast and testimony services. Attendance must have been running late on this day. The meeting commenced at 1:30 instead of the usual 1:00.
Bishop Alfred L. Booth, a Provo attorney, presided on the stand. William Ashworth, six months in to his stint as ward clerk, recorded the proceedings of the day in spare hand-written minutes.
Ashworth noted that the opening hymn, “How Firm a Foundation,” was sung by the ward choir, with the congregation joining in at some point. The choir must have been sounding better than it had in some time. A few months earlier choir director Hebert S. Pyne had complained to Bishop Booth that ward members, and particularly the men, were “indifferent” to choir. Thereafter, the bishopric began to issue personal invitations for ward members to sing in the choir, asking them to “receive the call as a mission.”
George Meldrum then stood to offer the opening prayer, speaking loudly for all to hear. Microphones and hearing aids had not yet been invented, and anyone with a speaking role had to talk louder than usual, so as to allow all to hear.
After Meldrum sat down, the choir sang another number, “As the Dew from Heaven Gently Falling.”
The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was then blessed and passed by Elders William S. Rawlings and Frank L. Copening. The tradition of older teenage boys—priests—blessing the sacrament had not yet been established in the church; Rawlings and Copening were men in their 40s.
During this period in Mormon history, members of the congregation did not sit in silence as they do today while the bread and water (and, in rarer cases, wine) are passed to the congregation. On this day, Ashworth noted in the minutes that while bread was being passed the choir sang “Prayer is the Souls Sincere Desire”; while the water was being passed, Brother Pyne, the choir director, stood and read the 4th chapter of Luke. Pyne must have commanded respect. He was then county physician and director of the Utah County Medical Society and in all likelihood was a careful and effective reader.
The water would have been passed around in a large jug—a common cup. Two years later, the Utah Board of Health would pass an ordinance outlawing drinking from common cups, and thereafter wards began using individual sacrament cups, either paper or glass. The bread used for the sacrament would have been locally and probably freshly baked. In 1907, the ward had asked a local baker to leave a loaf of bread with the ward janitor every week. By 1910 the ward was operating its own cooperative bakery, with members of the ward supplying their own baked goods and members of the co-op sharing in the profits. The bread used at the July 3 meeting likely came from that co-op.
The sacrament portion of the service now complete, it was time for the blessing of babies, which was traditionally done on the first Sunday of every month. Four babies were blessed that day, an indicator of the youthful demographic of the ward. The 4th ward surrounded the city block where Brigham Young University was located (the present Provo City Library block). It quite naturally contained a mixture of young families and old timers.
George McKellar Elliott, the infant son of Edwin Hezekiah Elliott and Ruby McKellar Elliott, was the first baby to be blessed that day. Edwin and Ruby were not members of the ward. They were in their early 20s, had been married 13 months, and were then living in Eureka, a small mining town near the Tintic Mountains southwest of Provo. George was their first child. Edwin grew up in Provo, and his parents lived in the ward. The couple likely came to Provo to bless their baby so that the babe’s aged grandparents could be present.
Ida Markman came next. She was the last of the five children born to James Markman and Sarah A. Stubbs, who lived on 4th North and 276 in Provo. James was born in Denmark and emigrated to Utah with his family while still a child. He worked in Provo as a plasterer.
Alma Ray Jones was the third of the babies blessed that day. Baby Alma was the son of Charles Alma (“Alma”) Jones and Julie (“Julia”) Hortence Sackett. Alma, 19, Julie, 18, had married the previous January; Alma Ray was born four months later. Alma had been born and raised in Provo, and Julia grew up in Brigham City. After their marriage they settled in the Provo 4th Ward, where Alma found work as a laborer at the local woolen mills. They went on to have five more children before divorcing. Alma Ray was the only one of the six children who did not survive to adulthood. He died eight months after he was blessed.
Alden Davis Miner was the last of the four blessed this day. Alden was the third child (all sons) born to Austin C. Miner, 29, and Zella Davis Miner, 27. Alden worked construction in Provo. Zella’s final child, another son, would be born four years after Alden, on a cold December evening in Yellowstone, Montana. Zella died due to complications the day after giving birth. Her infant son lived just two days, dying the day after his mother. Austin had to have help with his young sons and soon remarried Sarah Banks Creer, a Spanish Fork widow with two children. Austin and Sarah raised their blended family in Provo. They had three children of their own, for a total of eight between the three families.
All four of the infants who were blessed in the Provo 4th Ward on July 3, 1910, were born in the month of May. They ranged between 4 and 7 weeks in age. In the nineteenth century, Mormon babies were often blessed three to six months or more after birth, reflecting the concern many parents had about the spread of infectious diseases. That concern had begun to dissipate by the early decades of the twentieth century. It helped that the babies blessed on this day were all born late in the spring, after the weather had warmed. Parents were less inclined to worry about the child catching sick.
None of the four babies was blessed by their fathers. Until the mid-twentieth century, it was rare for a Mormon child to be blessed by his birth father. It was more common for the family to ask a person who commanded great respect to bless the child. The blessing was not a “father’s blessing” so much as a blessing that prophesied the future. Prophecy should be put in hands of people who were thought to have the gift—a Church leader, perhaps, or someone the family admired.
The Elliott baby was blessed by his great uncle, Ralph Elliott, a member of the 4th ward who served as city recorder. The other two babies were blessed by patriarchs: the Markman baby was blessed by John D. Jones, a member of the 4th ward and a Welch native who was nearly ninety years old. The Miner baby was blessed by Andrew Watson, also a long-time 4th warder. Watson and Jones were much respected and admired in the ward, so much so that the ward purchased special rocking chairs for the chapel where these two venerable patriarchs sat during congregation meetings.
After the baby blessings, it was time to read the names of new members the ward. At this time in Mormon history, membership records were not sent from one ward to another pro forma. Church members who were moving to a new ward or town were expected to obtain short letter of reference from their former bishop that was to be presented to the new bishop upon entering the new ward. This letter “recommended” the member to the new bishop. It indicated that the person was a member of good standing in the church; if the person was not in good standing, the person could attend meetings but could not be recommended to the congregation until the matter was resolved with church authorities. The reading of a member’s name to the congregation indicated that the church member had been recommended, which in turn allowed congregation to “receive” the member, that is, to accept the person in full fellowship.
Bertha Christensen Wilson was the first name read. William Ashworth, the ward clerk, wrote that her prior ward was Emery Ward, Emery Stake, in central Utah. Two day before, Bertha delivered had her first child, a baby girl she named Bernice. Bertha, 19, may have moved to Provo to receive good medical care during the extended period of confinement that was then the norm for women giving birth for the first time. The name of her husband, Wilford, also 19, was not read at this time, perhaps indicating that he had not obtained a recommendation.
The name of Charles Alma Jones, the father of one of the babies blessed that day, was read. He had moved from Provo 3rd ward. The name of his wife was not read.
The name of Joseph H. Sandstrum, a deacon who had moved from the 18th Ward, Ensign Stake, in Salt Lake City was read.
The business of the meeting was now completed. It was now time for testimony bearing in which members of the audience stood and walked to the podium and spoke as they felt so inspired (or, in cases of infirmity, standing in the pew were they were sitting and speaking to the audience). “The meeting was then placed in the hands of Saints,” the clerk wrote, “to bear testimonies or in any way they felt lead [sic].”
William S. Rawlings, who had administered the sacrament, stood first. He “bore his testimony of the work of the Lord. He had no cause to doubt the truth of the Gospel.”
The came Edith Young, the 22-year-old school teacher and daughter of Oscar and Anna Young, who lived in the ward. Oscar, who died in 1903, was the son of Brigham Young, the Mormon prophet. Edith “said she was glad she was a member of the church and had an assurance of the truth of the Gospel.” Little did anyone know it in 1910, but five years later Edith Young would become the wife of Bishop Alfred Booth, two years following the death of Booth’s first wife, Maria Ashworth (the daughter of ward clerk William Ashworth).
“Patriarch Andrew Watson,” who had blessed the Miner baby earlier in the meeting, stood and bore testimony next. A Scottish emigrant, Watson was often the first member of the ward to stand and bear testimony on fast Sunday, perhaps because his priesthood office gave him a seat of honor on the stand, giving him not far to walk. On this occasion, Watson “rejoiced in the work of the Lord and bore a strong testimony of how the Lord had blessed him.”
Mary Ann Anderson, 36, stood next. A widow of three years, she had her hands full in raising five young children alone. But she seemed to hold no grudge against God for her lot. She “spoke of the Goodness of the Lord unto her during the past Month.”
Sister Kirsten Peterson, a married mother of four, ages 14 to 4, stood and addressed the problem of gossip. She “wondered why we should feel so well during the time we are in meeting and during the week we could talk about our neighbors and all such actions.” The problem was partly a function of living in a small town where one religion dominated and everyone knew everyone else—and thus nothing could be kept secret. The 1910 U.S. census put the population of Provo at just 8,700.
Frank Copening stood next. He “narrated what good affect good singing had on the minds of the Saints, even those who are down cast and forlorn.” Copening, a real estate agent, may have been making a pitch for the newly revitalized ward choir.
The ward clerk wrote the name “Sister Joseph Beck” next. He may not known that her first name was Bernetta (“Nettie”). Nettie and Joseph were in their early 40s and were the parents of one son. (Nettie had borne two addition children who each died after just a few days.) At this particular fast and testimony meeting, she wanted to say she “was glad to be present and enjoy the good Spirit she felt present.”
Louisa Harris, 69, stood next. She was a pioneer woman through and through. Born in Illinois in 1839, she crossed the plains to Utah with her family the same year Utah territory was organized, in 1850. She married Charles Harris in 1855 when she was not yet sixteen years of age. She had her first baby at seventeen, and eventually had eleven children altogether. She and Charles and their brood lived in log cabins in Toquerville, Parowan, Richfield, and Junction before moving to Provo in the late 1880s. Soon after, Charles married another wife, which forced him to go on the underground to elude arrest. Louisa’s marriage to Charles was never the same after that. One her sons remembered when Charles finally returned, he lived out his days with the second wife.
Louisa, meanwhile, occupied her own home in the Provo 4th Ward and earned a living by keeping BYU student boarders until her death in 1923. (Charles had died in 1916.) She had had a hard life, but was aided by a naturally cheerful disposition. “I cannot recall ever seeing my mother blue or discouraged,” her son Silas remembered.
In her testimony to the Provo 4th Ward, Louisa was thinking about her children, who had grown into responsible adults and must have helped her immensely over the years in Charles' absence. Six of them had become schoolteachers. She “was thankful the Lord had blessed her with a family and that all were members in the church.” She must have known many others whose children had not turned out as they had hoped.
David John Blake, 37, followed Louisa Harris at the pulpit. Blake and his wife Laura Thuesen Blake were the parents of four children under the age 10 (the youngest was 10 weeks old). David, who co-owned a Provo furniture store, himself came from a large family, the oldest of twelve children. Community seemed to be important to him. “These [testimony] meetings,” he told his fellow ward members, “were more like the home circle. We could reach each other and come nearer together it seemed to him than at any other meeting.”
Mark E. Kartchner Sr., 56, seems to have been prompted to stand after listening to Louisa Harris say she was thankful all her children were in the church. Kartchner “believed all his fathers family were in the church and was thankful for the testimony he had.”
The Kartchners had played an important colonizing role in the church. After enduring the Missouri persecutions of the 1830s, Mark’s parents came across the plains to Utah in 1847, then moved on to California to help colonize San Bernardino, where Mark was born in 1853. When the colony broke up during the Utah War, the Kartchners came back to Utah and moved in quick succession to Beaver, the Muddy River settlement in southern Nevada, and then to Panguitch. Mark came from a family of eleven children; seven of them were still alive in 1910—these were the children who were, he believed, “all…in the church.”
In Panguitch, Mark met Phebe Palmer, and they were married in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on May 11, 1874. The two families had particular affinity for one another. On that same day, two Kartchner brothers married two Palmer brothers, and one Kartchner sister married one Palmer brother.
Mark and Phebe made their home in Panguitch—the Palmers and the Kartchners couldn’t stand to be apart from each other, after all—until called by their bishop to help colonize Snowflake, Arizona. They remained eighteen years in Arizona, raising their children there, until 1895, when they moved to the Provo bench, where Mark carried mail, farmed, and opened a small store. In 1907 they moved to the Provo 4th Ward. Mark and Phebe remained there until 1919, when they retired to Salt Lake and spent the remainder of their days doing temple work for their dead.
Daniel Peter (“D. P.”) Thuesen, 68, was the last to the stand that day. Thueson was the father of Laura, the wife of David John Blake, who bore his testimony earlier in the meeting. D.P. and his wife Hermine were long-time Provo residents; each of their eight children had been born in Provo, though just five had lived to adulthood. Thuesen worked as a shoemaker by day. On this Sunday, he “rejoiced in the work of the lord and always felt well in attending fast meetings.”
The time was now far spent. The meeting closed by the choir and congregation singing “Lord we ask ere we part” from page 49 of “Songs of Zion.”
The minutes ended:“Wm Ashworth, Ward Clerk”
Source: Minutes, Feb. 13, 1907; Nov. 7, 1909; March 27, July 3, 1910, Provo 4th Ward, General Minutes, 1909-12, LR 7224 11, v. 17, 19, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Silas A. Harris, “A Brief Life Sketch of Louisa Hall Harris,” 16, Family Search.
Joseph Hyrum Beck by Bernetta McDaniel Beck, his wife
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Joseph Hyrum Beck taken from the book "In Memory of the Beck's" by Stephen F Beck.
By Bernetta McDaniel Beck, his wife
Joseph Hyrum Beck was born September 19, 1867, in Lehi, Utah.
He was the eighth and youngest child of Christian J and Hannah Maria Krants Beck. He had two living sisters, Christina and Dartha Maria, and one brother, Carl Jacob, who died at the age of 14. The other five children died in infancy.
When Joseph was three years old, his parents moved to Alpine, Utah, where they homesteaded 160 acres of land. In those days they were told to share with their neighbors and so a lot of his best property went to others. The family was very poor.
The first home he remembered was a one room adobe building with a dirt roof. Whenever it rained they would have to take the curtains down and cover what little furniture they had, so the mud would not soil them. When he was a young boy, he helped his father make the adobe brick to add two rooms to the house and to replace the dirt roof with shingles.
Joseph had very little formal education. At times he was only able to attend school for two or three months out of a year. Whenever the town was able to obtain a school teacher, "Joe" would help his father make trips to the canyons to cut wood to heat the school building. But most of his youth was spent helping his father with the land and the animals. They were very thrifty people, and they were soon able to replace the oxen with a team of horses, and add a few comforts to the home.
At the age of twenty, Joseph married his school girl sweetheart, Bernetta McDaniel. She was just eighteen. They both worked very hard but were very happy. In a period of three years they had three children: two girls and one boy, but they all died when only a few davs old. On March 9, 1893, Bernetta gave birth to a strong, healthy son and they were happy and blessed and felt they had been paid for the loss of the other three babies.
Joseph named the baby Joseph Karl.
Once again Joseph added two more rooms to the home, and moved his family into the new addition.
His parents were growing old and soon suffered from ill health. So Joseph had to take full responsibility of the farm plus the care of his aged parents. His father passed away March 27, 1899. His mother, after spending the last eight years of her life blind, died November 17, 1905.
Joseph took great pleasure in taking part in Church and civic activities. He was secretary of the Alpine M.I.A., president of the Elders Quorum and chairman of the Church finance committee, during the addition of a new wing to the Alpine ward. He was Watermaster for a number of years, secretary of the Irrigation Company for a long term and also a member of the Alpine City Council for a number of years. He was Deputy Assessor for the Alpine and Hyland district.
In the fall of 1906, he was elected to the office of County Assessor for a term of four years. In December of 1906, consequently, he left Alpine, and moved his family to Provo, Utah.
They made so many friends, and Karl did so well in school, that Joseph decided for the best welfare of his family, to remain in Provo. However, he still maintained his farm in Alpine, renting the land and keeping enough stock to make it profitable.
After his term for County Assessor expired, he found employment with the Consolidated Wagon and Machine Company. A position he held for twenty years, and until the time of his death.
His main aim was to educate Karl and see him through Medical school and help establish him as a practicing physician. With hard work, sacrifices, and the love and help of Bernetta, he accomplished his aim without going into debt.
"Joe" was a kind, sympathetic and understanding man. His home was always open to those less fortunate. He made welcome many homeless members of Bernetta's family as well as his own. He was happiest when lending a helping hand to friends and family, no matter what the circumstances. He took great pride in his home, family and friends.
His hobbies were fishing and growing flowers. Whenever he had a vacation or a few hours to relax, you would find him fishing the streams of Alpine or Provo Canyon. His flower garden was a thing of beauty, and he loved "puttering" with a hoe or pulling a weed that he may have over-looked.
And so it was with sorrow, to all those who knew and loved him, that we mourned his untimely death, December 27, 1931, at the age of sixty-two.
His funeral was held in the Provo Fourth Ward Church. President Murdock paid him this tribute, "I know of no one who has left so few enemies, so many friends, and in debt to no man." He is buried in the Alpine City Cemetery.