Roger C. Beck Family of Merrick County, Nebraska

Roger C Beck Family, 1961
Roger C Beck Family, 1961

Roger, son of Raymond and Ruth (Wolfe) Beck, was born in Merrick County. I, Mildred, daughter of Owen and Gladys (Cremeen) John, was from Valley County (moved to Merrick County at age 3 1/2). We lived as neighbors in childhood near Central City, Nebraska. Roger and I met again later at Havens roller skating rink, and four years later we were united in marriage at the Methodist Church at Lexington, Nebraska, on March 12, 1949.

Roger started farming with an IHC tractor, and we resided with his father near Clarks for a year. (I baked bread a dime a loaf.) With our oldest son, John, quite small, we set up housekeeping at the Sampson farm west of Clarks. Plumbing, painting, wallpapering, raising chickens, and gardening were part of every spring. Lots of haying was done, and remembering the “meals in the fields day” was a chore. (TV came into view.) From 1951 to the fall of 1953, we rented the home Beck farm near District #24, where our second son, Jerry, was born. We attended the Clarks Methodist Church — where all our children were baptized. We enjoyed activities such as family gatherings, card games, band concerts, horse shows, Memorial Day picnics, Burwell Rodeo, County Fairs, river swimming, hunting, and birthday parties with homemade ice cream. With horses as a hobby, our boys received their first pony for Christmas.

Winter of 1954, we purchased our first acreage (Putman) on the west edge of Clarks. We appreciated our closest neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Hollis Stromberg and family. More haying, land leveling, corn shelling, and driving a school bus helped finance our farm. (These years we bought groceries with eggs and cream checks!) Potato chips were really a treat, and wash days took all day! We were proud of our new 1956 teal-blue and white Chevy car.

Spring of 1957, a third child, Charlene, was born. Our children had their usual childhood diseases and pets to be their company (rabbits, guinea pigs, orphan lambs, piglets, ducks, cats, horses, and a favorite dog named “Skip”).

School years and traveling very far was a treat. We enjoyed a trip to Wyoming. These years we remember to be wet.

Being a family interested in the 4-H program, we became involved. Spring of 1962 brought us a new experience, to Holt County near O’Neill, Nebraska. Meeting new neighbors and friends, we became assistant leaders in the 4-H Horse and Range projects. We will always remember our first train trip to California the Christmas of 1963, leaving our ranch chores with neighbor Louie. At the opportunity of resale of our ranch in 1964, we purchased (where we now reside) the farm east of Central City. A new home was a big project for the summer months, but we hadn’t lost our interest in horses. We (with the assistance of Wayne Burbank) started the first 4-H horse project in Merrick County. Remember the flood year, it rained four to five nights hard. Road ditches were full. I used to like to hear the frogs croak! Our children attended country and high school activities, winning and losing at County Fairs, State Fairs, Rodeos, and Ak-Sar-Ben. We have quite a collection of trophies. Remembering the special year 1970, we joined the Platte Valley Wranglers Saddle Club, in camping and riding our horses to Burwell, and Roger making a TV commercial.

Graduations and college years have come and gone all too fast. We have enjoyed the traditional turkey dinners on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Drawing names for Christmas holidays and having Santa arrive seemed to have its remembrances. We can chuckle yet today as to who might have the best Christmas tree in mind. It took us all! Playing Monopoly, puzzles, and playing in the snow were our pastime fun in winter months. Candies and popcorn were enjoyed by all. The family favorite breakfast has been fritters with homemade syrup.

John and Jerry are farming, and Charlene lives in Lincoln, working at the Lincoln Regional Center. We are enjoying our three grandchildren, Jason, eight years; Jennifer, six years; and Joshua, one and one-half years. Traveling the last four years has been exciting, but with farming, we look forward to each spring, summer, fall, and winter.

With Thoughts Everlasting: “May the New Year bring health, love, money, and the time to enjoy them.”

Written by Mildred I. Beck


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

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