Henry Becker has lived in Clinton County as boy and man for more than half a century, and is well known and universally respected. He has been a farmer throughout his entire active life, and that he has pursued his work to good advantage is proved by the fact that he is now the owner of two hundred and ninety acres of improved land and fifteen acres of timber land in Wade Township, together with one hundred and twenty acres, highly improved, lying in Santa Fe Township and sixty-one acres in Hanover Township. His homestead is situated on section 32 of Wade Township, and in a locality noted for its fine farms, compares with the best in regard to cultivation and the excellency of its appointments in general.
Of German birth and parentage, the subject of this sketch is the son of Ferdinand BECKER, who was born in Hanover, Germany, in 1808. He served in the German army and followed the trade of a wagon-maker. In 1837 he came to America and settled in Pennsylvania, whence in 1844 he removed to Illinois with his family and settled in Santa Fe Township, Clinton County, where he improved the farm now occupied by Frank BECKER. His first marriage, which united him with Catherine TAKE, resulted in the birth of four children, now living, namely: Judge Fritz Becker, Henry, William (of Nashville, Tenn.) and Eliza. Of his second marriage there were the following children: Benjamin, Mary, Gertrude, Frank, Annie and Maggie. The father was a member of the Catholic Church at Hanover, and was one of the committee to build the edifice in this place.
Born in Hanover, Germany, in September, 1830, Henry Becker was a child of seven years when he accompanied the family to America. At the age of fourteen he came to Illinois and settled in Santa Fe Township, Clinton County, where he aided his father in the work of clearing and cultivating the farm. In March, 1856, he was united in marriage with Miss Eliza SCHLARMANN, who was born in Hanover Township, this county, in 1839, and was a daughter of Garrett SCHLARMANN, an old settler of that township. After his marriage Mr. Becker settled upon one hundred and fifty acres, comprising a portion of his present farm. It was then raw prairie land and required constant effort on the part of the owner to transform it into an improved farm, such as it now is. Here he engages in raising grain and stock, finding both departments of agriculture profitable and pleasant. His original home had only one room, and, as may be imagined, was not a comfortable abode, but the house in which he now lives is one of the most substantial rural residences of the township and was erected at a cost of $1,500. All the necessary outbuildings have also been erected, and the general appearance of the place indicates thrift on the part of the proprietor.
After the death of his first wife, Mr. Becker was united in marriage with Miss Eliza HUENE, a native of Germany. They are identified with the Catholic Church, and in that faith are rearing their six children: Mary, August, Regina, Emma, Frances and Cillie. Mr. Becker is interested in educational affairs, has given his children the best advantages, and has served for some time as Director of District No. 3. In politics a Democrat, he has been elected upon the ticket of that party to numerous positions of trust, including that of Overseer of Highways. Throughout his entire life he has been a hard worker, a man of tireless energy and great perseverance, and all that he has is due to his own unaided efforts.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois, 1894, Chapman Publishing Co., Chicago, IL
Submitted by: Connie Albers
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