Biography of John George Becker

John George Becker of the firm of J. G. Becker & Son, of Virden, was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1828, June 15, being his natal day. His father, John Phillip Becker, was born in the same locality in 1800. His parents spent their entire days there, and the father of our subject followed farming all his days, and smelt his entire life in his native home, dying there in 1874. Four of his children came to America. Frederick lives in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Louis F. went to California in 1861, and the last heard of him was from Salt Lake City. Our subject attended school until thirteen years of age and then learned the trade of a cabinet-maker in which he served for two and a half years and then worked as a joiner until 1850. He then decided to come to the New World and try his fortunes here. He set sail from Havre in March on the sailing vessel “Calender,” and landed in New Orleans after a voyage of fifty-two days. He spent two weeks in New Orleans and then came to St. Louis where he remained until 1861. He then came to Virden, where he has ever since made his home.

On settling in Virden he began business as a contractor and builder, and has continued in this line up to the present date. Some of the finest buildings in Virden have gone up under his supervision. In 1866 he erected the first brick building in Virden. This edifice is now occupied as a bank and drugstore. His marriage, which took place in June, 1852, united him with Catherine Stecher, who was born in Hesse-Cassel, Germany, and came to America in 1851.

Five children have blessed the union of this worthy and interesting couple, namely, Lewis F., who is a partner with his father in business and whose biography will he found in connection with this sketch; Anna, Amelia, Oscar and Carrie. This gentleman is a member of Virden Lodge No. 161, A. F.& A. M., and is a Director in the Homestead and Loss Association.

Source: Chapman bros. Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin county, Illinois. Chicago: Biographical publishing company, 1891.

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