EXHIBITS

Becker Family History

Obituary of John S. Becker, 1918
Obituary of John S. Becker, 1918 [Click image to enlarge.]
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, Gustav Lorenz Becker Photograph Collection, P0361 Box 005, Folder 038, Page 232)

The Becker family tradition of brewing began with John S. Becker, born in Baden, Germany, in 1829. After working in a German brewery as a teenager, John Becker expressed his growing distaste for policies of European Imperialism and empire building. He therefore chose to leave Germany and immigrated to the United States in 1845. John then travelled inland, becoming one of the founding settlers of Winona, Minnesota. There he worked as a brewmaster for William Schellhas and married Katherine Fehr, a fellow German immigrant and daughter of Schellhas’ business partner. The couple had three sons—Gustav “Gus” L. Becker, Louis A. Becker, and Albert E. Becker—all three of whom grew up around beer making. In 1891 John, Gus, and Albert moved to Ogden, Utah, where John started and helped manage the Becker Brewing and Malting Company until his death on April 19, 1918, at the age of eighty-nine.

Gustav and Thekla Becker, undated
Gustav and Thekla Becker, undated
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, Gustav Lorenz Becker Photograph Collection, P0361 Box 005, Folder 27, Item 033)

Soon after the move west, Gustav Becker married Thekla Bohn, also a native of Winona. The couple had two daughters: Katherine and Helen. After fifty years managing the Becker Brewing and Malting Company, Gus passed away from a heart ailment on January 12, 1947, at the age of seventy-eight. Thekla followed her husband on November 9, 1958.

Albert Becker with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, c. 1930
Albert Becker (center) with Lou Gehrig (right) and Babe Ruth (left), c. 1930
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, Gustav Lorenz Becker Photograph Collection, P0361 Box 007, Item 005)

Albert, who attended several prestigious brewing institutions, served as the Becker Brewing and Malting Company’s first brewmaster. In 1902 he married Josephine Aadneson, who tragically passed away on November 25, 1909, due to complications with childbirth. Albert named the couple’s daughter Josephine after her mother. Then, in 1910, Albert married Nell Carruth, with whom he had five children: Louise, John, Robert, Fred, and Gustav. John, Robert, Fred, and Gustav later helped to manage the brewery, and some of these children eventually took over the company upon their father’s death in January 1961.

John S. Becker’s middle son, Louis, became a partner in a Chicago firm called the Bishop-Babcock-Becker Company, which produced soda fountains. On June 16, 1919, the forty-nine-year-old died due to an illness.

Louis A. Becker obituary

Selections from the Becker Family Scrapbooks