Jacob Beck was born in Germany, December 4, 1808, and came to America in 1835, making the trip from Amsterdam to New York in a sailing vessel in seventy days. It was a discouraging voyage, and the hearts of the passengers would sometimes sink; and when they were at last permitted to set foot on land in this free America, their hearts went up in thankfulness to the good being for His preserving care.
Mr. Beck remained about five years in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and on the twenty-fourth day of January, 1841, he was married to Barbara Schilling, of that city, and in September of the same year, with all his earthly effects, consisting of a bed and what they could pack in two chests, they started for the west with a covered wagon and one horse; and soon after arriving in what is now Vermillion Township, he purchased a tract of land, on which was a log cabin, and went to work in earnest to improve his land. Many a giant oak fell to the ground from the heavy strokes of the axe swung by his strong arm. Those were times that tried menís souls, and Mr. Beck and his good wife endured their hardships and privations as only the sturdy pioneers could. Mr. Beck has the satisfaction, in his old days, of seeing good improvements about him, where once was a howling wilderness, and his children in good circumstances. He is a man highly esteemed by his neighbors as a trustworthy Christian man, who has done well his part to make Vermillion Township what it is, one of the finest townships in the State.
He now owns over three hundred acres of excellent land, in a good community, with excellent school and church privileges. Ever since he came to this county, he has been a member of the German Lutheran Church. On the ninth day of April, 1880, his wife died, and his three sons are all married; and he is alone in the home in which he has seen many pleasant days and some sorrows.