I was tooling around on the Internet looking for information on families from Rabun County when I ran across the blog North to South: Our Family Surnames by Linda Johnson. What interested me in particular was a series of posts she published about Eugene Beck, who murdered his wife and sister-in-law in 1884. So you don’t have to search for them, the three relevant posts (to date) are:
- 1890 – Rabun County wife and sister-in-law murderer is dead
- Update on Beck Double Murder Story
- Beck Family of Rabun County, Georgia – p. 94 of Sketches of Rabun County History Book by Ritchie
A few months ago, while compiling Rabun County, Georgia, Newspapers, 1894 – 1899 (soon to be published, hopefully), I toyed very briefly with including items on Rabun County and its citizens that had been published in Macon Co., NC, and Oconee Co., SC, newspapers from the same time period. I had actually begun transcribing items from early issues of The Franklin Press when I decided to go in a different direction. I hung onto the Press transcriptions, however, because I knew they would come in handy.
When I ran across Linda’s posts about Eugene Beck, I remembered that the Press had published an item about him, and thought others might find this interesting as well. The following is taken from the 8 August 1889 issue (Volume 4, Number 21) of The Franklin Press:
We learn from the Constitution that Mr. Eugene Beck, sent from Rabun county, Ga., to the penitentiary for life for murdering his wife and his wife’s sister is in Dade coal mines and suffering severely. One of Beck’s ankles has an ugly sore on it, caused from slate poisoning, and the physician at the mines says his leg will have to be amputated. Beck says he has reformed, and never intends to drink any more liquor. He says while he knows he does not deserve any sympathy from any one, he would like to be a free man again just to show the people that he can be a man. He was told that liquor would ruin him before he went to the chain gang, but he paid no attention to the advice of friends nor the prayers of his wife. It took the chain gang to convince him, and our opinion is if he were a free man again he would return to his old habits.