Henry Becher
Magdalena Brothers
John Failer
Margaret Keller
John Becher
Elizabeth Failer
William Becher Sr.


Family Links

1. Eliza Jane Hickman

2. Mary M.

William Becher Sr. 1

  • Born: 11 Mar 1838, Pike Twp., Stark, OH 1 3
  • Marriage (1): Eliza Jane Hickman on 30 Oct 1862 1
  • Marriage (2): Mary M. about 1900 in , Stark, OH 2
  • Died: 30 Jun 1929, Bolivar, Tuscarawas, OH, USA at age 91
  • Buried: Bolivar, Tuscarawas, OH, USA

   FamilySearch ID: L1ZZ-FC6.

  Noted events in his life were:

1. Census in 1850 in Pike Twp., Stark, OH. 3 Jno Becker, farmer, 44, was with wife Elisabeth, 44; Henry, 19; Wm, 12; Martha, 14; Mary, 5; and Susan Failer, 35. John and wife were born in Pennsylvania, the others in Ohio.

2. Census in 1860 in Pike Twp., Stark, OH. 4 John Beecher, merchant and farmer, 54, was living with Elizabeth, 54; Wm, teacher, 21; and Mary, 16. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania. John's real estate was worth $3200 and person estate $1028. The post office was Sparta.

3. Census in 1870 in Pike Twp., Stark, OH. 5 William Becher, farmer, 31, was living with wife Louisa J., 26; and Zua, 2. They were in the household of Daniel Hickman, farmer, 66, and his wife Sarah, 65, and son Stewart, farmer, 28. Everyone was born in Pennsylvania except William and Zua in Ohio. William's real estate was valued at $1700, and Daniel's at $30,000. The post office was Pierce.

4. Census in 1880 in Pike Twp., Stark, OH. 6 William Becher, farmer, 42, was with wife Eliza J. 37; daughter Zua, 12; and Retta, 7. Everyone was born in Ohio, and the parent's parents were born in Pennsylvania.

5. Book: Portrait and Biographical Record of Stark County, Ohio, 1892. 1
WILLIAM BECHER. Stark County has no more highly respected resident within its limits than the gentleman above named, who Is extensively engaged in agricultural pursuits in Pike Township. He comes of good old pioneer stock, and was born on section 4 of the above township, March 11, 1838. It being generally believed that heredity and environment have much to do with the formation of character, and that our lives are stimulated by the immediate or direct influence of our ancestors, a short resume of the lives of Mr. Becher's parents may serve as an index to the liberal impulses which mark his daily life and which have won for him the esteem of those who know him.

Squire John Becher, the father of our subject, was born in Bedford County, Pa., January 22, 1806, and in 1815 came to this county and made his home in Pike Township, where he is residing at the present time, being the second oldest citizen in the township. His father, Henry Becher, was a native of Germany, having been born in Wittenberg, where his father died when he was two years old. He was then brought by his mother to America, she locating in Huntingdon County, Pa., where the grandfather was reared to manhood. Being trained to farm pursuits, he worked out on farms by the day and month until attaining his majority, when be was married, and made his home in Bedford County, where he resided until the fall of 1815, at which time he came to this county. He was a patriot in the War of 1812, and served under Gen. William Henry Harrison in the battle in which Tecumseh was killed. Later, he was under the command of Oliver Perry at the battle of Lake Erie. His father-in-law, Mathias Brothers, had located In Pike Township in 1806, and after the close of the war, in 1818, Henry Becher visited this section on his way home and was so well pleased with the outlook that he purchased land on the southeast quarter of section 10.

Returning to Pennsylvania, he disposed of his property there, and in the fall of 1815 came to Stark County and made this his future home. The journey, which was made across the mountains with a six-horse team, consumed six weeks' time, the route lying most of the time through a dense wilderness. Grandfather Becher on arriving in this county made his home in a log cabin on an uncultivated tract of land, and was employed, like other pioneers of the day, in subduing Nature, clearing and breaking prairie, etc. Deer, bears and all kinds of wild animals were very numerous about his home, and lie brought down many a deer with his trusty old rifle. He was a very hard-working man, and was one well calculated to aid In the building up of a new country, being energetic, affable and kind-hearted. He resided on his farm until his decease, which occurred in his sixty-sixth year.

The maiden name of our subject's grandmother was Magdalena Brothers; she was a native of Bedford County, Pa., and by her marriage with Henry Becher reared a family of four children, namely: John, Peter, Mary and Elizabeth. She departed this life on the old home farm when sixty-eight years of age.

The father of our subject was a lad of ten years when he accompanied his parents hither, and has quite a vivid recollection of the venturesome journey from Pennsylvania to this State. His education, which was begun in his native State, was completed in the primitive schools near his new home, The temple of learning was a rude structure, seated with old-fashioned slab benches, and the writing-desk, which was placed under a long greased-paper window, consisted of a rough board, resting on pins driven in the wall for legs. The room was heated with a large open fireplace with a mud and stick chimney.

John Becher remained on the home farm until reaching his twenty-third year, when he began life on his own account, and was married in 1829 to Miss Polly Failer, who, like himself, was also a native of the Keystone State. She became the mother of one child, a son, Henry, and departed this life a few years after her marriage.

The maiden name of our subject's mother was Elizabeth Failer, and her marriage with Squire Becher was solemnized in 1833. She was a cousin of his first wife, and became the mother of five children, viz.: William, Mattie, Mary, Levi, and John (deceased). She was an active church- worker, and a devoted member of the German Reformed Church. Her death, which occurred in 1886, was a sad event in the history of the family, who still hold her in the most loving remembrance.

After his first marriage, the father of our subject located on the farm now owned by Jeremiah Apley, in Pike Township, and there lived and labored until 1855, when, on account of ill health, lie abandoned agricultural pursuits, and, removing to Sparta, opened up a dry-goods store, which he conducted successfully for a number of years. He is now, however, living retired from active work of any kind, and is enjoying to the full the result. of his early years of industry and economy. He has been eminently worthy and useful to the community in which he is residing, and his neighbors and old friends unitedly bear testimony to his sterling worth, Integrity and valuable services as a citizen. The Evangelical Lutheran Church finds in him an influential member and liberal contributor. Subjected to many of the hardships and privations of pioneer life, the experiences tended but to strengthen his character, and made him more self-reliant, helpful toward others, and neighborly in the truest sense of the word.

In politics, Squire Becher is a Republican of no uncertain tone, and baa been a strong advocate of the principles of the party ever since Its organization. His first vote was cast for Henry Clay in 1829. He has been very prominent in local affairs, and served as Postmaster of Sparta (or a quarter of a century, and is thus widely and favorably known throughout the entire county. He has not only been a witness of the gradual growth of the county from a sparsely inhabited wilderness to a populous and well-developed agricultural region, but it may be his pride that he has helped to bring about the great transformation. He has served as Justice of the Peace for twelve years, and was Township Clerk for twenty-one consecutive years, being the incumbent of that office, in all, twenty five years. He was Assessor of Pike Township for thirty-five years, and isa gentleman whose influence for good Is felt throughout this section. He is well known in this portion of the State, and in all matters pertaining to the good of his county, her upbuilding in material prosperity, her moral and educational advancement, and the social life of her citizens, Squire Becher takes an active and prominent part.

William Becher of this sketch was reared to farm pursuit and received a good education in the district school. When nineteen years of age, he entered Oberlin College, and took a special course of study for five months. The following winter he taught school, and during the summer be prosecuted his studies in Mt. Union College. Then entering the Canton High School, he diligently applied himself to his books for several terms, after which he taught school for twelve winters, and worked on the farm in the intervals.

The marriage of our subject was solemnized October 30,1862, at which time Miss Eliza J. Hickman became his wife. She was born in Washington County, this State, September 15, 1843, and was only two years of age when brought to this county by her parents. To them has been granted a family of three children: Zua B., now the wife of the Rev. J. H. Sommers, of Bolivar, this State, and Rettie H., at home. The first child, John D., died at the age of six weeks. Both daughters have been given excellent educations and were both students for two years at the well-known Wittenberg College at Springfield.

Daniel and Sarah (Black) Hickman, the parents of Mrs. Becher, on removing to this county located upon land which had been entered from the Government by Grandfather Peter Hickman. The estate, which comprises three hundred and eighty three acres, was leased until Mrs. Becher's parents took possession of it. Her father met with unusual success in his agricultural pursuits, and his honorable life won for him the confidence of all who knew him. In every position, in every place, his genial, hearty manners and pleasant bearing were magnetic and won for him hosts of friends.

Prior to coming hither, himself and wife were active members of the Presbyterian Church, but later identified themselves with the Lutheran denomination. Mr. Hickman was a staunch Republican in polities, and served as Trustee of Pike Township for many years. He departed this life at the advanced age of eighty-three years, just forty-five years to the day and hour after his arrival in the county, while his good wife, who preceded him to the better land, died in her sixty-ninth year.

After his marriage, our subject resided for two and one-half years on the old home farm on section 4, when he moved to his father-in-law's farm, which estate he carried on in partnership with James and Stewart Hickman, brothers of his wife. Mr. Becher Is now, however, operating alone, his farm comprising two hundred and sixty-seven acres of excellent land, the most of which is rich, black, sandy loam, lying along the Big Sandy River. He carries on mixed farming and ranks among the most prominent agriculturists of the county. His residence, which is a commodious frame structure, is beautifully located on an elevation overlooking the fertile valley of the Big Sandy, and is finished and furnished in a manner which indicates its occupants to be people of taste and means.
Mr. and Mrs. Becher are members of the Lutheran Church, in which denomination our subject is Deacon. In his political affiliation, he is a Republican and a strong McKinley Protectionist.

6. Census in 1900 in Pike Twp., Stark, OH. 2 William Becher, farmer, 62, born Mar 1838, was married for 36 years [including first marriage.] With him in 1900 was wife Mary M., 32, May 1868. She had birthed no children. They were born in Ohio. His parent's and Mary's mother were from Pennsylvania, and her father from Germany.

William married Eliza Jane Hickman, daughter of Daniel Hickman and Sarah Blake, on 30 Oct 1862.1 (Eliza Jane Hickman was born on 15 Sep 1843 in , Washington County, OH 1 6.)

William next married Mary M. about 1900 in , Stark, OH.2 (Mary M. was born in May 1868 in , , OH 2.)


1 Portrait and Biographical Record of Stark County, Ohio (Chicago, Chapman Bros., 1892), Pages 242-244. Biography of William Becher.

2 1900 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Pike Township, Series: T623 Roll: 1323 Page: 198.

3 1850 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Pike Township, Series: M432 Roll: 731 Page: 196.

4 1860 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Pike Township, Series: M653 Roll: 1038 Page: 429.

5 1870 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Pike Township, Series: M593 Roll: 1269 Page: 541.

6 1880 United States Census, Ohio, Stark County, Pike Township, Series: T9 Roll: 1068 Page: 355.

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