Search billions of records on

Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 930-933

Otto A. BECKSTRAND, who is engaged in general farming on section 9, Cherry Valley Township, Winnebago County [IL], was born 14 Mar 1852 in Sweden.  His parents are now both deceased.  His father, P. M. PETERSON, was a Swedish farmer, and died in 1872 at the age of 67 years.  His wife died in 1863, when 50 years of age.  They were members of the Lutheran Church, and lived consistent Christian lives.  Their family numbered nine children, seven of whom are now living, the following being residents of this country:  A. W., of Minneapolis [Hennepin County, MN]; Mrs. A. S. GRONQUIST, of Chicago [Cook County IL]; and Mrs. S. I. JOHNSON, of Rockford [Winnebago County, IL].

Otto A. BECKSTRAND spent the days of his boyhood and youth in his parents' home, but at the age of 18 determined to seek his fortune in America and sailed for NY City.  On reaching this country, he came at once to Rockford, where his brother, A. W., was then living.  Some years later our subject was united in marriage in Rockford to Miss Anna A. CARLSON, a native of Sweden.  Her father was a Lutheran minister, and died in middle life in his native land.  Her mother is still living.  Mrs. BECKSTRAND is the only member of her family that has located in this country.  She crossed the Atlantic in 1876, came to Rockford, and has since been a resident of Winnebago County.   She is an intelligent and cultured lady, and has proved a good wife and mother.   Two children have been born to this couple, a son and daughter, Celia V. and Otto G.

Since coming to this country in 1870, Mr. BECKSTRAND [p 933] has continuously engaged in farming, with the exception of two years spend in the employ of the Forest City Furniture Company.  He worked as a farm hand near Rockford for a year, but for the past 11 years has owned and operated his present farm, comprising 42 acres of arable land on section 9, Cherry Valley Township.  He has his farm well improved, and under a high state of cultivation, and is a well known agriculturalist of this community, who has led a busy and upright life, well deserving of the high regard in which he is held.  In politics he is a supporter of Republican principles.

Submitted by Cathy Kubly.