28 December 2008

Rufus Beck of Rathdrum

Coeur d' Alene Press 14 Oct 1937 Thursday

RATHDRUM PIONEER IS TAKEN BY DEATH

Rufus Beck, 64 pioneer resident of Rathdrum died last evening at a local hospital. The body is at the Cassedy Funeral Home and funeral arrangements are pending the arrival of a sister, Mrs. O. H. Fuller of Fort Blakely, Wash.

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Rufus was born 18 Jun 1879 to Simon and Mary Beck in Michigan. the family moved to Rathdrum, Idaho sometime before 1900.

His only known sibling was a young sister Lola (I'm not sure is this is the same O.H. Fuller named in the obituary or is that is a different sister. This sister was the only sibling found with the family in the census records from 1900-1930). She was born in Wisconsin in 1886, so the family must have lived in Wisconsin for a while before moving to Idaho.

From at least as early as 1910 until his death Rufus was a Blacksmith for Rathdrum. Rufus lost his mother Mary in 1919. By 1920 he and his father were partners in a Blacksmith shop until Simon's death in 1929.

Rufus finally married later in life some time before 1920 to Myrtle. I believe the son living with them in 1920, Thomas, was hers from a former marriage, even though he is listed as Rufus' son in the 1920 census.

I wondered how a man who was a big part of the Rathdrum community, a booming logging community at the time, ends up poor with the county burying him. But if you think about his profession as a blacksmith, he died at a time when the blacksmith was becoming extinct. People were starting to buy cars, not to mention the Great Depression which had been going on for nearly a decade at the time of this death.


1 comment:

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