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Jay County Indiana Biographies

NATHAN BECK, farmer, section 30, Wabash Township, owns 160 acres of land on the southwest quarter of the section and forty acres on section 23, Bear Creek Township. He was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, October 30, 1825, where he grew to manhood. April 18, 1849, he came to Jay County and purchased eighty acres of land, and afterward bought another eighty acres. In 1844 he visited an uncle who had entered land in Bear Creek Township, remaining a few months, then returned in 1849, as before mentioned. He did notcommence to clear his land until 1855 -six years after he had made the purchase. But he at once went to work to earn money to pay for his land. He was a carpenter by trade, and worked at that whenever he could get anything to do; and when he failed in that, he worked at anything he could find. He usually taught school during the winter season. He was married in June, 1855, to Miss Sarah Axe, who was born in Philadelphia, December 7, 1828, and when eight years old, removed to Wayne County, Ohio, with her parents who remained there one winter, and the following spring, came to this county. They located on the farm now owned and occupied by a brother of Mrs. Beck -Frederick Axe. Mr. Beck commencedto underbrush in 1855, and in the fall, built a round-log house, one-story high and covered with clapboards. To this cabin he brought his wife and they lived there until 1873, when he built his present frame house. He commenced with nothing but his hands to work with, but by prudence and industry, he has secured a good home for his old age. He was a son of Preston and Mary (Votaw) Beck. The father was born in Loudoun County,  Virginia, in 1796, and died in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1875. The mother was born in the same place, in1794, and died in 1837. They were the parents of nine children, seven of whom grew to maturity. Nathan was the fifth child; three sisters and one brother are living. Mrs. Beck's parents were George and Hannah (Leslie) Axe, natives of Germantown, Pennsylvania, and of German parentage. Her grandfather, William Axe, and her grandmother, Lydia Axe wereGermans, and both died at Germantown. Her maternal grandparents, Jacob and Catherine Leslie, also died at Germantown. Mr. Beck's grandfather, Preston Beck, was probably born in Pennsylvania, and when a young man he went to Loudoun County, Virginia, and married there. He died in Columbiana County, Ohio. His grandmother, Sarah Beck, also died in Columbiana County. His maternal grandparents, John and Rebecca (Burson) Votaw,  died in this county. The Becks are of German origin and the Votaws are of French origin. Mr.and Mrs. Beck have had five children, four of whom are living -Charles S., born November 2, 1859; Ruth, born September 28, 1861, wife of William R. Black; Aaron M., born September7, 1863; Clark G., born September 30, 1866; Edward, born December 22, 1856, died November 14, 1864. Mr. Beck was a candidate for county commissioner in the fall of 1884 on the Republican ticket, but was defeated by five votes. He was elected justice of the peace in 1861, serving eight years. In 1880 he was elected township trustee and served two years. In politics he is a Republican, and was reared a Quaker

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