The physician wields an influence in any community which is peculiarly strong, because it is based on relations with the general public more intimate than those of almost any one else, and any good physician who is at the same time a good man may continue to broaden and deepen this influence to the end of his days. These reflections have been suggested by the success of Dr. Peter S. Beck, ex-mayor of Genesee, Idaho. Dr. Beck is a Homeopathic physician, and Homeopathy is gaining in popularity, but that does not fully account for his success, for he has carried the banner of his chosen school of medicine to victory against prejudice and opposition, which he could not have done had he not possessed a personality and a character which would have made him popular and successful in about any other field of endeavor.
Doctor Beck is a native of Pennsylvania, having been born in Armstrong County, March 28, 1852, of German ancestors, who were early settlers in that commonwealth. Jacob Beck, his father, was born in the same county, in 1820, and his mother, Sophia (Soxman) Beck, was born there one year earlier. She also was descended from a German family, representatives of which were early settlers in Pennsylvania. Jacob Beck is a Dunkard, his wife a Methodist. He is seventy-nine years old, and she is eighty years of age. They had six sons and a daughter, five of whom are living.
Doctor Beck was reared on his father’s farm and attended the public schools as occasion presented, to such good purpose that at the age of nineteen he was sufficiently advanced to begin teaching. It was by such work that he supported himself while he completed his general education and took a course in medicine at the Iowa State University. After he secured his diploma, he entered upon the practice of his profession in Kansas.
It was in 1893 that Doctor Beck came to Idaho and, in association with his brother. Dr. John Beck, took up his professional work at Genesee. Their success has been more than satisfactory to them, but it has not been undeserved and has been fairly won in open competition with older physicians. It means that they have proven themselves able physicians and the practical results of their work have commended them to the good opinion of the general public. Their practice is large, not only in Genesee, but throughout all the country tributary to that thriving town.
On the 13th of August 1892, Dr. Beck was happily married to Miss Ida A. Thomas, a native of Michigan, who has borne him two sons, promising boys, named Orrin Roy and Joseph Edward. Mrs. Beck is a member of the Seventh day Advent church and active in all good works in which the women of Genesee participate. Doctor Beck is a royal-arch Mason, a Knight of Pythias, an Odd Fellow and a Woodman of the World, and is active in promoting the local and general interests of these orders. Politically he is an Independent, and his political influence has made itself felt on more than one occasion. He is a school trustee and councilman of Genesee and was mayor of the city in 1897, and in that capacity administered its municipal affairs admirably. He has relations with medical societies and is a member of the Genesee board of pharmacy and in every professional relation and in every relation of citizenship is progressive and helpful to a generous degree. He has built a roomy residence on ten acres of choice land, nicely located in Genesee, and grows fruit and vegetables in great variety and gives much attention to poultry raising, so that his table is always supplied with every reasonable delicacy, for he is a believer in the theory that to a considerable extent good eating makes for good living. He is a successful man, who richly deserves his success, and has, while gaining it, gained the public confidence in a remarkable degree.