Charles John Beckstrand 1863-1950

Charles John Beckstrand 1863-1950

Charles John was born 11 August 1863, in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, the oldest son of Karl Johan and Karen Nielson Rau Beckstrand. His father was originally from Sweden and his mother was a native of Denmark. Charles learned the Scandinavian languages in his home as a child. He was able to attend public school through the third grade.

He married Eleanora Elisabeth Soderberg when he was twenty-nine years old. Eleanora was also an emigrant from Sweden. Charles' cousin, John August Beckstrand, was one of the missionaries who had helped Eleanora come to America. After she arrived in Utah, she came to Meadow where she met Charles. They were married in the Manti Temple on 21 September 1892.

Charles was a young married man with a small family when he first arrived in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He had tried to farm in Utah, but the land wouldn't support his struggling family. He had heard that there was good land in Idaho and had an opportunity to try his luck. He left his family in Utah while he went to check out the conditions. He found good land to work on and a good job, so he sent for his family to join him.

The family had good years "growing up", and participating in church and community activities. They had hard years when there wasn't enough money or sufficient rain and the animals died. Charles had to sell the farm and move to another place. His mother came to live with them. She was sick for a long time and the family cared for her. She died on 6 October 1904, and was buried in the Shelton-Ririe Cemetery.

The children attended the local schools, usually walking, but sometimes Charles would take them in a sleigh. Those were enjoyable times because he could talk to his children and get to know them better. Sometimes Charles' brother, Conrad, and his family would visit. The children all enjoyed playing and working with their cousins. Some very sad days for the family were when the youngest son, Clifford, got the measles, was very ill and finally died. All to soon the children grew up and left home. The older girls got jobs and made some friends who didn't help them to stay close to the church.

Charles and Eleanora lived in Logan, Utah, for a time. He had a job as a janitor at the Ellis School in Logan, three blocks from where they lived. He and Eleanora both worked there. They leased ten acres west of town where they raised sugar beets. They also had two or three city lots where he raised sugar beets. He raised string beans for the cannery on the double lot near their home. Charles and Eleanora were able to attend the temple in Logan and do work for their ancestors. They realized what a great blessing that was. Their daughter, Rachel and her husband, Clarence Hunter, had gone to Salt Lake City to get married in the temple there. Charles and Eleanora rejoiced. They wanted to be with them, but the trip was too long and expensive.

Charles' daughter, Nellie, records the following: "Dad thought a lot of his country and the Church. He was a very faithful man. I remember him on Sundays reading the scriptures. He always paid his tithing. We had a family prayer every morning. He was a very gentle man. He was very tight with money. He was a little man and took very little steps." Charles died on 1 February 1950, in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and was buried in the Shelton-Ririe Cemetery.

(History of Charles John Beckstrand" by Dorothy L. Hinckley. "Memories" by Nellie B. Harris)

Histories Compiled and Edited by Sue Anne Beckstrand Thompson
Our Beckstrand Heritage: Christina Beckstrand Pehrsson, Karl Johan Beckstrand, Elias August Beckstrand and their families
(Logan, Ut., self published, 2003)