John Wesley Beck was born on 11 October 1919 in Trenton, Illinois, to Herbert Bartist Beck and Jane Muir. His father was a farmer and in 1920 the family lived on a rented farm in Sugar Creek, Illinois.
On 7 April 1923, when John was four years old, the family arrived in Roy, Montana, to join John's aunt and uncle, John and Ethel Beck. They lived with their relatives until John's father homesteaded land in Fergus County, Montana. They lived on their homestead and farmed for the next several years.
John was drafted into the U.S. Army on 19 March 1942. He reported for duty at Fort Lewis, Washington. He married Lillian A. Akerlund in Needles, California, on 27 June 1942. The couple had six children during the course of their marriage.
During World War II John served with a medical unit in the Pacific Theater and was part of a mission to rescue American missionaries held prisoner of war near Luzon, Philippines. He received his honorable discharge on 27 September 1945.
He joined his wife and daughter in Harve, Montana, and opened a garage in 1946 in partnership with his brother-in-law, Oliver "Ollie" Akerlund. He also had a dealership for American Motor Co. His son, Neil, later joined him in the business.
John died of cancer on 18 March 1984 in Harve. He was interred with military honors at Higland Cemetery in Harve. His widow and son ran the family business after his death. Lillian died in 2015.
1920 US Federal Census, Census Place: Sugar Creek, Clinton, Illinois; Roll: T625-304; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 20; Image: 971
1930 US Federal Census, Census Place: School District 207, Fergus, Montana; Roll: 1255; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 128; Image: 1063.0; FHL microfilm: 2340990
1940 US Federal Census, Census Place: Roy, Fergus, Montana; Roll: T627_2218; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 14-117
Alice (Muir) Jennings Genealogy Notebook, pages 25 and 28
Exploring Central Montana's Past: Missouri Breaks Historical Homestead Tour, (Lewiston, MT: Bureau of Land Management), pages 1-32
Global, Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Memorial No. 119309738
Roy History Committee (editors and compilers). Homestead Shacks Over Buffalo Tracks: History of Northeastern Fergus County (Montana), (Bozeman, MT: Color World Printers, 1990), pages 1-533
US, City Directories, 1822-1995, 1947 Harve, MT (Beck, John W.)
US, Montana Death Index, 1868-2011, 1984 Beck, John W.
US, Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Number: 516-22-1614; Issue State: Montana; Issue Date: Before 1951
US, World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, 1942 Beck John W.