Male, US, born 1887-08-04, died 1968-03-06

Associated with the firm network

Cavanagh, Oscar, Building Contractor

Professional History


Carpenter, San Mateo, CA, c. 1920.

Principal, Oscar Cavanagh, Building Contractor, San Mateo, CA, c. 1930-1945.

Partner, Oscar Cavanagh and Son, Building Contractors, San Mateo, CA, c. 1950. In 1950, Oscar Cavanagh and Son had its office at 318 South B Street in San Mateo. (See Burlingame-San Mateo, California, City Directory, 1950, p. 51.)



Cavanagh was born in Nova Scotia. In 1891, he and his large Baptist family resided on a farm near Tusket Lakes, Nova Scotia. The Cavanaghs had lived in the same village since at least 1871. Oscar, at age 13, continued to live at home in Tusket Lakes in 1901 when another Canadian Census took place. (See, Source Citation Year: 1901; Census Place: Forest Lakes and Tusket Lakes, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Page: 3; Family No: 32, accessed 09/21/2018.)

The US Census of 1920 listed Cavanagh, his wife and daughter living at 253 Bellevue Avenue in San Mateo, CA. The family rented their home rather than owned it. (See, Source Citation Year: 1920; Census Place: San Mateo, San Mateo, California; Roll: T625_145; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 72, accessed 09/21/2018.)

In 1930, the Cavanaghs had managed to save enough money to purchase a house at 432 Occidental Avenue in San Mateo, valued at $15,000. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: San Mateo, San Mateo, California; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0036; FHL microfilm: 2339951, accessed 09/21/2018.) A decade later, its estimated value on the census form was $7,000. (See, Source Citation Year: 1940; Census Place: San Mateo, San Mateo, California; Roll: m-t0627-00330; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 41-35, accessed 09/21/2018.) Cavanagh's US draft registration card of 1942 also indicated that his home address was 432 Occidental. (See, Source Citation The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of California; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147, accessed 09/21/2018.)

In 1950, Cavanagh lived with his wife at 536 Ravenscourt Road in Hillsborough, CA. (See Burlingame-San Mateo, California, City Directory, 1950, p. 51.) They continued to live here in 1954.(See Burlingame-San Mateo, California, City Directory, 1954, p. 62.)

He passed away in 1968, and was buried in the Cypress Lawn Memorial Park, Colma, CA.


His father's family had Irish ancestry. As described in the 1891 Canadian Census, Oscar's father was Alonzo P. Cavanagh (born 07/29/1842 in Nova Scotia), a farmer, and his mother, Abigail J. Crosby (born 08/01/1845 in Nova Scotia), who managed the household and its eight children. His siblings included William, Lois, Calvin (born c. 1869 in Nova Scotia), Leslie, Jennie, Thomas Allen (born 04/12/1875-d 04/11/1958 in San Francisco, CA), Clara, and Frank M. (born c. 10/04/1881). (See, Source Citation Year: 1891; Census Place: Tusket Lakes, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; Roll: T-6322; Family No: 55, accessed 09/21/2018.)

As noted in the 1891 Canadian Census and a marriage document, both of Oscar's elder brothers, William and Calvin, became carpenters. (See, Source Citation New England Historic Genealogical Society; Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts Vital Records, 1911–1915, accessed 09/21/2018.) His brother Thomas also became a carpenter, as per the 1901 Canadian Census.


He married Mabel M. Chesbro (born 06/13/1884 in PA-d. 09/03/1974 in CA).


Oscar and Mabel had two children, a daughter, Gladys K. Cavanagh Dempsey, (born c. 1911 in CA) and a son, Howard L. Cavanagh, (born c. 1923 in CA).

Gladys married George Leeroy Dempsey (born 08/03/1929 in Denver, CO-d. 12/27/1993 in CO). Oscar would go into the construction business with Howard after World War II.

PCAD id: 2222