I came across a newspaper article mentioning John W Beeks on Newspapers.com. It's from the Huntington Herald of December 13, 1911, page 1. (You can also view this on microfilm at the Indiana room of the Huntington, Indiana public library if you want to see the "real deal".) Even though the newspaper article only identifies him as J. Beeks, we know it's our John Beeks because he is identified as a section man on the "railroad" in 1910 and on the "interurban" in 1920 census reports, and is listed there as living in Andrews, Dallas Township, Huntington County, Indiana.
"Given Second Award by Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana Traition (sic) Officials."
"J. Beeks, forman (sic) of the Fort Wayne & Northern Indiana traction line section with headquarters at Andrews, won second money in the prizes given by the company officials for the best kept section of track D. Welch of Rockfield won first money. The prize amounted to $50 for first prize and $40 for second prize.
The prizes were given for the best alignment of rails and also for the best roadbed. Several weeks ago a special car under the direction of the maintainence (sic) of way department passed over the entire line and obtained data on the track conditions."
I love to find newspaper articles like this, that give us a glimpse into the ancestors we never knew. It's even better to find a newspaper article that doesn't involve war, crime or death!
The line of descent is:
John Beeks-Elizabeth Wise
Wilbur Beeks-Cleo Aldridge
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger