Obituary of John S. Becker, 1918
The Becker family tradition of brewing began with John S. Becker, born in Baden, Germany in 1829. After working in a brewery as a teenager, he immigrated to the United States in 1845 citing his dislike of European imperialism. 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 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 89.
Gustav and Thekla Becker, undated
Soon after the move West, Gustav “Gus” Becker married Thekla Bohn, also a native of Winona. The couple had two daughters, Katherine and Helen. After 50 years managing the Becker Brewing and Malting Company, Gus passed away from a heart ailment on January 12, 1947 at the age of 78. Thekla followed her husband on November 9, 1958.
Albert Becker with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth, c. 1930
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.