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Male, born 1829-12-10, died 1910-10-02

Associated with the firm network

Beck, Thomas, Building Contractor

Professional History


Thomas Beck, Building Contractor, Watsonville, CA, c. 1870.

Beck became California's Secretary of State from 1875 until 1880. He served as a CA State Senator from Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties during the 19th and 20th legislatures, during the early-to-mid-1870s.

Principal, Thomas Beck, Architect, Watsonville, CA, 1907. In 1907, Beck maintained an office on the southeast corner of East Lake Avenue and Beck Avenue in Watsonville. (SeeSanta Cruz, California, City Directory, 1907-1908, p. 279.)

Beck worked into his 80s. Find A published an obituary that stated: " the time of his death, was superintendent of construction of the new criminal hospital for the insane at Folsom."



Born in Ireland, Thomas Beck came to CA in a covered wagon in 1852. He migrated to the US as a result of the Potato Famine of 1848; he sailed from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to New York, NY, aboard the S.S. Shelton, arriving on 07/26/1849.

The 1870 US Census indicated that Beck worked as a carpenter and owned $4,000 worth of real estate and had $5,000 in his personal estate.


His father was William Beck, his mother, Elizabeth Hutchinson.


He married Emeline Short (1832-1909) on 09/10/1850 in Oquawka, IL.


He and his wife had seven children listed in the 1870 census: William Arthur (1854-1933), Wallace (born c. 1856 in CA), Elizabeth (born c. 1858 in CA), Newton (born c. 1860 in CA), Minnie (born c. 1862 in CA), May (born c. 1866 in CA), and Emma (born c. 03/1869). (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: Pajaro, Santa Cruz, California; Roll: M593_89; Page: 344A; Image: 26675; Family History Library Film: 545588, accessed 03/14/2017.)

Biographical Notes

One biographical source, Find A, indicated Beck to have been born in 1833. The California, Pioneer and Immigrant Files, 1790-1950, however, indicated that his date of birth to have been 12/10/1829. (See, Source Citation California State Library; Sacramento, California; Sacramento County, California, Pioneer Index File (1906-1934), A-Z; California History Room: MICROFILM 734; Roll Number: 40, accessed 03/14/2017.)

Beck was a Grand Senior Warden in the Order of Masons.

Associated Locations

PCAD id: 7427