Served on the Iowa Supreme Court from January 1, 1868, to December 31, 1891. For five years he was Chief Justice.
Born in Clermont County, Ohio, April 21, 1823, he was admitted to the bar in Indiana in 1846, and came to Montrose in Lee County, Iowa, the following year where he practiced law for two years. He then moved to Fort Madison where he continued to reside until his death.
Justice Beck and Justice Scott M. Ladd, who later came on the court, each served twenty-four years on the Supreme Court. Justice Beck wrote a leading case in Iowa involving the equality in civil rights and privileges of all persons before the law, unaffected by race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This decision is reported in Volume 37 of the Iowa Reports at page 145.
He died at his home in Fort Madison, May 30, 1893.