Page 795-796, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


H. W. Becker, a Civil war veteran who, for a number of years, has been a prominent farmer and stockman, of Chelsea township, and an active factor in the political affairs of Butler county, is a native of Pennsylvania. He was born in the historic town of Gettysburg, in 1840, a son of John D. and Sarah (Smith) Becker. John D. Smith was born in Baltimore, Md., July 2, 1816. He learned the tanner's trade in early life at which he was employed for a number of years, but later was engaged in farming. He was of German descent. His wife, Sarah Smith, was born in Adams county, Pennsylvania.

H. W. Becker was educated in the public schools of Pennsylvania, and spent his early days on the home farm, and in 1862, enlisted in the Fifteenth Pennsylvania cavalry, under Col. William J. Palmer, who later became a brigadier general, and after the war, became a very wealthy man. Mr. Becker took part in many of the important battles of the Civil war with his regiment. He was at Antietam, Stone River, and was with Serman[sic] on his march to the sea, taking part in all the battles of this campaign, and, in fact, the Fifteenth Pennsylvania cavaIry saw as much service as any other regiment in the army. Mr. Becker has a map which shows the marches and engagements in which this regiment took part, and it seems as though it covered the entire fighting zone of the Civil war. The Fifteenth Pennsylvania cavalry holds an annual reunion at Philadelphia, Pa., and the members of this famous fighting organization of the Civil war have always kept in very close touch with each other.

Mr. Becker was married, in 1867, to Miss Margaret Shelly, a native of Pennsylvania, and of German parentage. To Mr. and Mrs. Becker have been born six children, as follows: Mrs. Elizabeth Carter, Dennis, Kans.; Mrs. Edna McMillen, Leeton, Mo.; Mrs. Elsie Cameron,


El Dorado, Kans.; K. S., El Dorado, Kans.; W. S., DeGraff, Kans., and Margaret, El Dorado.

Mr. Becker came to Butler county, Kansas, in 1884, and settled in Chelsea township, where he bought 160 acres of land, and engaged in farming and stock raising in which he was successful, and has become one of the prosperous and substantial citizens of the county. His son, K. S., owns 240 acres of land, and lives with his father, and supervises the operation of both farms.

For a number of years, Mr. Becker was one of the best posted men on local political conditions to be found in Butler county. He gave his allegiance to the Republican party, and was a tireless worker in its behalf. For years he never missed attending a Republican county convention, and was generally a delegate. He was one of the four Republicans of Chelsea township who could always be depended upon to maintain the organization in that township. They were the old guard. Mr. Becker had the distinction of being the best local political forecaster in northern Butler county, and for years, was able to forecast the outcome of local elections with great accuracy. He is one of Butler county's substantial citizens and a highly respected gentleman of the old school.

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