Retired Nelson County farmer finds new home for couple after fire

Jack Kueber had never met Kris or Dave Beck.

Retired Nelson County farmer finds new home for couple after fire destroyed their home
Jack Kueber and Kris Beck explore the Beck's new home, which had been in the Kueber family for more than a century.

ANETA, N.D. — Kris Beck is still learning her way around a farmstead in rural Aneta as she tries to unlock one of the many locked outbuildings Tuesday, May 11.

She wanted to see the cross inside that lights up. It's one of the many reasons she fell in love with the property.

"I don't really remember why I built the cross and put it up there," said Jack Kueber, the former owner of the farmhouse.

Beck will be able to look at the cross anytime she wants at her new home. It's a sign of hope as she battles throat cancer for a second time.


"It feels like I am home. I did not expect to find home at all," Beck said.

In March, a fire destroyed the Becks' home in Lakota. The community rallied around them in many ways, including donating proceeds from a citywide garage sale to the couple. They even got first pick, free of charge. That furniture now fills their new living room.

"We thought it was going to be a year to a year and half until we found any place," said Beck.

Kris Beck and her husband, Dave, have been living in the parsonage of Lakota Lutheran Church, but hopefully not for much longer. A Realtor aware of the Becks' story reached out to 85-year old Jack Kueber, who had just put his family's 102-year-old farmhouse on the market. Even though he had never met the Becks, Kueber was touched by their heart-breaking story.

"I think it's horrible when someone loses everything. It's not only financially, it's all the small things that go along with it that would tear me up," said Kueber.

While both families want to keep the closing price confidential, Kueber says he lowered the price on the farmhouse "substantially" for the Becks so they can begin to move on from the fire. He even threw in money to make sure they could do the necessary upgrades the 100-year-old home will need.

"To help them, I feel good about it," said Kueber.


"I don't know why, but he seems to be vaguely fond of us," said Kris Beck.

Even though the Becks will now live 33 miles from their original home, just being inside their new home in Aneta will feel like they are with their neighbors in Lakota.

"It means more than if we would have gone to the store and picked it out because it's something somebody had and they thought, 'Hey, I bet they could use this,'" said Beck.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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