BECKMANN, JOHN CONRAD
BECKMANN, JOHN CONRAD (1815–1907). John (Johann) Conrad Beckmann, ironwork craftsman, was born on June 13, 1815, in Rülle, near Osnabrück, Westphalia, the son of Johann Heinrich and Katarina Maria (Kohmöller) Beckmann. He immigrated to New York in 1839 and traveled to Baltimore and Cincinnati. He then returned to Zurich, Switzerland, and brought his betrothed, Regina Mueller, to New York, where they were married in 1841. His brothers Joe and Bernhart were already in New York.
Beckmann had been trained in Zurich as a locksmith, as a woodworking craftsman, and as a blacksmith. He moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 1846. Later he was employed by the United States government to set up three forges in the Alamo for blacksmith work for the army and for the renovation of the Alamo. His first home, built in 1849, was behind the Alamo on Crockett Street. Later he built a home and blacksmith shop on the southwest corner of Commerce and Casino streets. With the urging of Dr. Ferdinand Herff, Beckmann fashioned hand-wrought iron bedsteads for his German friends.
He was a charter member of Alamo Masonic Lodge Number 44. As a founder of the German-English School, he took part in the cornerstone laying in 1859, the hundredth anniversary of the birth of German poet Friedrich Schiller. Beckmann was a founder and charter member of early San Antonio German organizations: the Casino Club, the Turnverein (see TURNVEREIN MOVEMENT), the Krankenkassenverein (hospitalization insurance association), Arbeiter Verein (workers association), the Beethoven Männerchor, and the Teutonia Mixed Chorus (see GERMAN MUSIC). Beckmann died on April 12, 1907, in San Antonio and was buried in the Alamo Masonic Cemetery. He was survived by one son, although the Beckmanns had been the parents of seven children; several died in a cholera epidemic. Beckmann's portrait, painted by artist Edward Grenetqv in the early 1880s, is said to have encouraged the young artist in his career as a portrait painter.
Frederick Charles Chabot, With the Makers of San Antonio (Yanaguana Society Publications 4, San Antonio, 1937). San Antonio Express, April 13, 1907. San Antonio Light, April 1, 1973. A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas (2 vols., Chicago: Lewis, 1907).
Image Use Disclaimer
All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, S. W. Pease, "Beckmann, John Conrad," accessed February 12, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbe16.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Get Texas history everyday,
with day by day
Each day's email tells a little bit more of the story of Texas and links to our collection of more than 27,000 articles