Axel John Beck
Axel John Beck was born in the country village of Timmersdale, Sweden as one of seven children born to Carl Melcher and Anna Helena (Jonson) Back. His father was a member of the Swedish military and the owner and operator of a lime kiln. In March 1906, at the age of 11, Axel John Beck immigrated to the United States arriving in South Dakota in the middle of April 1906. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States of May 17, 1913. He received an A.B. from Morningside College in 1920. He received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 1922. During World War I, he was a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in the Field Artillery at Camp Zachary Taylor, Kentucky, where it appears he was a junior officer of the 4th Company Convalescent Center.
He was in private practice in Chicago, Illinois from 1923 to 1924. He was in private practice in Union County, South Dakota from 1924 to 1958. He was an organizer of the Bank of Union County, Elk Point, South Dakota in 1943, and went on to serve as president and chairman of the board of the Bank of Union County from 1947 to 1958. He served as Union County Republican Chairman from 1936–1941 and served as a delegate to several South Dakota Republican state conventions. He was elected to serve as National Committeeman from South Dakota in 1948, and served in this capacity until 1957.
Beck was a federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. Beck was nominated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 31, 1958 to a new seat created by 71 Stat. 631. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 28, 1958 and received his commission on March 4, 1958. He served as chief judge from 1965-1966. He assumed senior status on October 27, 1969. His federal service terminated due his death in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
- Swedish ancestry Politicians (The Political Graveyard)
- BECK, JOHN AXEL, UNION, 17 May 1913 (South Dakota Naturalization Records Index Archived Papers)
- University of Chicago Annual Register (University of Chicago Press. 1922) 
- Judges of the United States District Court (Federal Judicial Center) 
- Dedicated to the Early Pioneers (Union County, South Dakota)