James Earl & Neva Beck Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Earl Beck was born near Marshfield, Missouri, and went to Merrick County about 1916. He worked as a farm hand until U.S. entered World War One. He went to Omaha to enlist in the Navy but was told by the recruiter that he was too short for the Navy. The Army recruiter across the hall overheard the conversation and told him the Army would take him. Earl spent several months in France in combat and was in the occupation forces until 1919.

He returned to Merrick County. In 1 923 Earl and Neva Rice were married. Neva was the daughter of George and Lillie Rice, and a native of Merrick County. They made their home in the County for a few years before moving to Denver. After about ten years in Colorado, they went to the Portland, Oregon area. In Denver, Earl worked for a florist. After moving to Portland, he worked at the sheet metal trade. A hobby was rose gardening.

Earl was a small man, but exceptionally wiry and quick. Lisle Ferris remarked that it irritated him when Earl left for town or to see his girl in the middle of the afternoon. After thinking it over, Lisle decided it was all right, for he had had some hired men who could not haul as much hay working till dark as Earl did by midafternoon. The stories told about his mischievous stunts and sayings would make an interesting book.

Neva died several years ago and Earl in 1980. They had one daughter and four grandchildren.

Submitted by Donald Beck

Source

Merrick County Historical Society, History of Merrick County, Nebraska (1981), Volume I, Dallas, Texas : Taylor Publishing Company, 1981.

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