Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Closer Look at Rev. James W. Beck

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by:
Valerie (Johnson) Freeman
June 3, 2003, 1:58 am

Author: "Memoirs of Georgia" published in 1895 by the Southern Historical Association

Rev. James W. Beck

Rev. J. W. Beck ~ One of the most distinguished educators in the state and a learned and brilliant gentleman, is the Rev. James W. Beck, of Concord, Pike Co., Ga. He was born in Wilkes County, Ga., Oct. 23, 1831, and is one of the most noted Baptist ministers in the south. Rev. T. J. Beck (father of James W.) was born in 1805, and deprived of the advantages of an early education, succeeded by indefatigable efforts in surmounting all obstacles and preparing his talented mind for a work which has not been surpassed in the history of the church. He preached his last sermon at Richmond, Virginia in 1862, and died that year.

Rev. J. W. Beck, who in his youth accompanied his father when on the round of his ministerial duties, was educated up and down the valleys of Georgia, and attended Mercer University in 1857-8-9. His life has been identified with the cause of education and devoted to the service of the church. He was president of the Bowdon College from 1878 to 1883, and president of Jackson, Butts Co., Ga., institute from 1884 to 1890.

He entered the service of the Confederacy at the opening of the war, enlisting in Company B, Second regiment, Georgiavolunteers, as a private soldier. He was afterward elected captain of Company K, Forty-fourth Georgia regiment, and was made Major of the regiment for meritorious service on the field. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant- Colonel for bravery at the battle of Gettysburg. He then commanded the 44th Georgia regiment till the end of the war, and was in battles all around Richmond, at Fredericksburg with the Second Army corps and at Chancellorsville with Jackson. He with 400 men, having 360 muskets, marched 5,641 Union prisoners take at the battle of Chancellorsville, to Richmond, Va., in one week. Rev. Beck is a royal arch Mason and for three years was state lecturer for the Farmers' alliance. He was married in 1853 to Margaret Willis in Meriwether County, by whom he has three children: Marcus W., the present judge of the Flint Circuit Court; Lenore Beck, president of the Capital Female college at Atlanta and also president of the Woman's Press association Georgia, and Walter L., business manager of the Griffin Wheel Company Chicago. All are graduates of colleges and bright in mental accomplishments.

Additional Comments:
Meriwether Co., GA Marriage Records:

Beck, James W. - Wells, Margaret J. on 18 May 1853.

Muster Roll of Company B, Second Regiment
Georgia Volunteer Infantry

Army of Northern Virginia
C. S. A.
Meriwether Co., Georgia
"Jackson Blues"
This company was also known as "Georgia Blues."
Beck, James W. - 3d Sergeant July 12, 1861. Appears last on roll for October 31, 1861

File contributed for use in USGenWeb Archives by
Lynn Cunningham

"The Pike County Journal"
Zebulon, Ga., Tuesday, July 22, 1890
Attention 44th Ga. Regt. The surviving members of the 44th Ga. Regt. will have a reunion at Jonesboro, Clayton county, on the 24th day of July 1890. Every surviving member of this old Regiment [is] earnestly requested to be present. Gen. Phil Cook, Col. BECK, Col. Estes and several other old warriors will be there to greet old comrades. The surviving members of the 10th and 30th Ga. Regiments are cordially invited to join us on this occasion. Railroads throughout the state will carry all who wish to attend at reduced rates. Comrades, a few more years and the Last Confederate Soldier will have crossed over the River; let us therefore meet with pleasant greetings while we may.SS.M. Buchanan, Secty.

(Transcribed 10/7/02 Lynn Cunningham
This file has been created by a form at

Excerpt from Georgia's Landmarks, Memorials & Legends., Knight, Lucian Lamar, Atlanta, GA; Pg. 347
Dr. James W. Beck, a noted scholar and a gifted divine, was for years prinicipal of the Jackson Institutute, prior to which time he was president of Bowdon College. His son, Judge Marcus W. Beck, occupies an honored seat on the Supreme Court Bench of Georgia, while his daughter, Mrs. Leonora Beck Ellis, has achieved fame both as an educator of Southern girls and as an author of rare gifts.

James W Beck
b. 23 Oct 1831 Wilkes Co GA
d. after 1895 Milledgeville, GA
buried: Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, Baldwin County, GA

Spouse: Married Margaret J. Wells 1853 in Georgia
b. 1835 Meriwether Co GA
d. after 1885 Poss. Pike Co GA

Marcus Wayland
Leonora J.
Walter L.