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Georgia Katherine Beck is the answer for Clearwater History Trivia #657, a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country. Watch each day for another clue.
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Monday: A covered wagon
Tuesday: Born to Irish parents
Wednesday: Married young
Thursday: Came to Orofino in about 1924
Friday: Baths in a washtub
Saturday: Loved people, related or not
Monday: Porch had to be painted often because the paint was scrubbed right off of it
Tuesday: Smoked cigarettes
Wednesday: Raised eight children and a grandchild
Thursday: Had a ranch about three miles out of Orofino
Friday: Had a big garden
Saturday: The best leftover cook
Monday: Milk cow was always a Guernsey
Tuesday: There was always dessert
Wednesday: Loved picking huckleberries, raspberries or whateve was available
Thursday: Always enjoyed a conversation with a stranger
Friday: Baked a lot of pies
Monday: Born in Missouri
Tuesday: Always wore print dresses
Wednesday: Married in 1906
Information was taken from Coal Oil Lamps and Cattle in the Crops: A Living History of Northern and Mountain West Idaho, this segment on pages 204-205 is by Gene Mullikin
Georgia Katherine Beck was her name, but nearly everyone called her 'Granny Beck', except old friends and family. She was born in Missouri in 1891 to Irish parents, Dan and Clara Sullivan. The family made their way to the northwest when she was small, ending up in Cunningham, Wash. She met her husband Charles Alonzo Beck in 1906 and they married in 1907 when she was 15 years old and he was 21, which was not uncommon in that time period. Charles was a custom farmer with his brothers. They had come west from Oklahoma with a couple teams of draft horses and went from farm to farm helping with whatever needed done. As they traveled in two covered wagons, Georgia did the cooking for the crews. She loved to travel and meet new people, so Gene said he feels she was well suited to this kind of live.
In about 1924 they ended up and stayed in Orofino. They rented housed in town for a few months before buying a ranch about three miles out of Orofino. They lived there for 45 years. Charles made a living horse logging. Georgia stayed at home raising their eight children and one grandchild. They did not have an indoor bathroom until sometime in the 1950s. They did take baths inside in a wash tub.
Their milk cow was always a Guernsey. An old pensioner usually lived on the ranch to help with chores.
Though she was not a gourmet cook, Gene describes her as the best leftover cook there was. She could put out a great meal for as many as they could seat. She baked every day, usually pie. There was always dessert. When she had nothing else to do, she would get out her broom, bucket and water to scrub the porch. They had a covered porch on two sides of the house and it had to be painted often, because she scrubbed the paint right off of it. Georgia was a very good housekeeper.
They never saw her smoke openly, but smoke would curl up from the vent hole of the outhouse. Gene says that he does not think that she every owned a pair of pants. She always wore print dresses. Every day was work day, except Sunday which was family day and they always had company for dinner.
Georgia and Charles both loved people, related or not and always enjoyed a conversation with a stranger. Gene says the couple spent most of their lives struggling to make a living, raise children and carve out a future where they could enjoy retirement. Though times were hard, they always spoke of the good times. They seemed to enjoy the struggles and tribulations. Charles lived to be 88 and Georgia 96.
|Window on the Clearwater|
P.O. Box 2444
Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733