The latter part of the long and distinguished professional career of Dr. Frederick August Beckel was spent in the city of Sheboygan, in the practice of medicine. His earlier years were passed as a student, instructor and chaplain in the American Civil war and in the Franco-German war.
Dr. Beckel was born in Hanover, Germany, March 21, 1825, and in his native city and country he received a good college education. On account of the German Revolution, he emigrated to the new world in 1848 and settled in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he engaged in teaching school in the Markam Academy, now the German American Academy, a position which he most acceptably filled for several years. He next settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he continued teaching for several years and a large number of the business men of that city who are still living were his pupils.
Having become an American citizen, his patriotism led him to enlist in 1863 for service in the Civil war and he became a chaplain of the Thirty-fourth Wisconsin Infantry, in which capacity he served for one year. In 1865 he went to Europe, where he entered a medical college, and after taking a thorough course he returned to America and to Wisconsin, settling in Antigo, where he practiced medicine for some time, after which he again returned to Europe, pursuing medical studies until he received his diploma. He volunteered his services as a physician in the Franco-German war and after serving one year therein once more returned to America, this time settling in Sheboygan, where during the rest of his active life he was engaged in the practice of his profession.
Dr. Beckel was married in the year 1849 to Miss Henrietta Tesch and to this union seven children were born, two of whom survive: H. A. Beckel, editor of the American Contractor, who is married and has one daughter, Ethel I. Marie; and Amanda M., living in the old home at 1317 North Eighth street. The death of Dr. Beckel, which occurred May 18, 1903, marked the passing of a greatly respected citizen, a beloved physician and an indulgent husband and father. He was survived by his wife, who lived until May 24, 1910. The remains of this worthy couple now lie side by side in the Forest Home cemetery at Milwaukee.
Dr. Beckel was prominent not only in professional and social circles in Wisconsin but also as an active member of the Masonic fraternity, the Odd Fellows, the Grand Army post and the Knights of Pythias lodge, in the latter of which he was past grand chancellor of the state of Wisconsin. The long active career of Dr. Beckel as a teacher, chaplain and physician, was marked throughout with a kindness and understanding which characterized him in all his undertakings and endeared him to the hearts of a large number of people with whom he came in contact. Although successful as success is counted in material gain, his life work was essentially one of love and was devoted to the betterment of humanity, the alleviation of pain and distress and the intellectual enlightenment of the people he served. He will not soon be forgotten by the multitude of friends with whom he surrounded himself and who at his passing suffered an irreparable loss.
Information gathered and adapted from History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, Past and Present
Carl Zillier, Editor
Pubished by The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912, Chicago, IL