William Green Beck
Submitted by Yvonne Smith-Callaway

HON. WILLIAM GREEN BECK, farmer and millman of Beat No. 2, was born in Wilkinson County, Ga., in 1815. He was a son of John and Mary (Strong) Beck, the former of whom was born in Barnwell district, S. C.; in 1792, and the latter in
Virginia about 1797. They were married in South Carolina and moved to Georgia in 1818. They removed thence to Montgomery county when there were but one or two stores there. In 1835 they removed to what is now Bullock county, but what was then Pike county, and in 1840 they removed to Covington, where Mr. Beck died about 1878, and Mrs. Beck about 1860. Mr. Beck was a member of the Primitive Baptist church and Mrs. Beck of the Missionary Baptist church. He was a farmer all his life and quite a successful one, and though uneducated was generally well informed. With reference to public matters he was very conservative and reticent. He was hard working, industrious, honest and liberal. He was one of the first settlers of Alabama and one of the first in Covington county. His father, Elijah Beck, was a native of South Carolina and came to Montgomery, Ala., where he died in 1821, He was probably a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was certainly a soldier in the war of 1812. Grandfather Strong was an Englishman, and died in Virginia when Mrs. Beck was small. The subject of this
sketch was the second of ten children, of whom three sons and two daughters are living. Three of the sons were in the late war; Washington, served in the latter part of the war, and died at Montgomery; Charles, of Baldwin county, and Wilson, of Brewton. William G. Beck, was reared on a farm, principally in Montgomery county, with but a common school education. He began life for himself at twenty years of age, farming in what is now Bullock county, where he was married in 1835 to Louisa, daughter of John Smith, who removed from Georgia to Alabama. Mr. Smith died in Tallapoosa county in 1839, and Mrs. Smith in Florida about 1874. Mrs. Beck was born in Georgia and died in Covington county in 1846, leaving six children, viz.: Oliver, who died in Mobile in January 1863, in the army from Choctaw county; Mary Ann, wife of Reuben Diamond; Sarah J., wife of Henry Williams, of Texas, Washington, deceased; Robert J., died in 1891; William, died young. Mr. Beck was married, the second time, to Mrs. Sarah Tane, nee Johnson, who was born in Covington and had ten children, as follows: Elizabeth, wife of James M. Smith; Wilson; Eliza, wife of W. Brooks; Annanias, wife of William Cobb; Nancy, wife of George Cooper; Charles; John W.; the rest dying in infancy. For the first five years after marriage Mr. Beck lived east of Andalusia engaged in farming, and then below on the river, and for the past twenty-three years upon his present farm of 126 acres, where he has a small grist mill, which he built in 1854. He has worked a good many years at blacksmithing, woodworking and mill building. In 1844 he was elected revenue commissioner of Covington county, holding the office four years. In 1882 he was elected to the legislature and served on the committee on local legislation, and on public printing. He is a member of Dean lodge, No. 182, F. & A. M., at Conecuh. He and his wife have been members of the Missionary Baptist church for many years. Although Mr. Beck had but very limited advantages for obtaining an education when young, yet he is one of the most cultured and best informed men in the county. He is universally esteemed and his superior abilities are recognized by all.

Additional Comments:
from "Memorial Record of Alabama", Vol. I, p. 746-747

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