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Male, born 1905-04-07, died 1992-09-02

Associated with the firms network

Early, Fred J., Jr., Company, Building Contractors; Early, Fred J., Jr., Company, Incorporated; Walker, P.J., and Company, Building Contractors

Professional History


Chief Engineer, P.J. Walker Company, San Francisco, CA, 1928-1930.

President, Fred J. Early, Jr., Company, General Construction, San Francisco, CA, and Oakland, CA, 1930-1943. The firm competed for infrastructure contracts by the late in the 1930s. (See "Sewage Plant Work Rushed," Santa Rosa Republican, 02/04/1938, p. 10.) Between 1941 and 1943, Early's company completed two water treatment and sewage disposal plants for the US Army, one for $843,000 at Camp Cooke (opened on 10/04/1941 and renamed "Vandenberg Air Force" Base on 10/04/1958), between Lompoc and Santa Maria, CA, and the other for $830,000 at the Corvallis Army Cantonment, Corvallis, OR.

Fred J. Early, Jr., contributed highly commendable service for the US both just before and during World War II. He was an active builder for defense-related projects statewide in CA and also Hawaii and the US Canal Zone. The Fred J. Early Company bid successfully for a $310,000 contract to build magazines, roads and services at the Naval Administration Ammunition Depot on Oahu, Hawaii in 02/1940. (See "S.F. Firm Bids Low," San Francisco Examiner, 02/01/1940, p. 12.) It won a $437,707 contract to build an US Army Air Corps hangar and ordnance building at Albrook Field, US Canal Zone, in 09/1940. (See "$1,402,770 Work on Building Let at Frankford Arsenal," Camden, NJ. Morning Post, 09/25/1940, p. 2.) In 12/1940, Early won a $481,000 contract to build 150 units of defense housing near Moffett Field in Sunnyvale, CA. (See "Moffett Field Housing Contract Is Awarded," Redwood City Tribune, 12/28/1940, p.8. Some sources listed this work as costing $506,000. See "Contracts Awarded on Housing Projects," San Bernardino County Sun, 12/29/1940, p. 19.) The same month, Early's firm was awarded a $172,000 National Defense Housing contract for 50 dwellings to serve married personnel at the US Army's Benicia Arsenal. (See "Benicia Arsenal Housing Contractg [sic] Let," Oakland Tribune, 12/21/1940, p. 3.) The same month, Early's firm built a $66,777 sales commissary at Fort Gulick in the Canal Zone. (See "War Department Awards Contracts to State Concerns," Modesto Bee, 12/24/1940, p. 2.) In 01/1941, Early was one of several contractors to receive money (in his case $94,517) from the US Government to build defense-related projects in the Bay Area. (See "U.S. Spending 200 Millions in Bay Counties," Oakland Tribune, vol CXXXIV, no. 23., 01/23/1941, p. 19D.) Early also won a $60,637 contract to build a disposal plant at the US Army Air Forces' Lerdo Air Field (renamed in 1942 as "Minter Field Army Airfield) in 08/1941. (See "Hangar Is Largest of 170 Lerdo Air School Buildings," Bakersfield Californian, 08/20/1941, p. 9.) During 1941 and 1942, the Fred J. Early Company also constructed two military housing units in San Diego, CA. The first consisted of 2,000 prefabricated, demountable dwelling units, Defense Housing Project Cal-4251, completed a cost of $5,340,000, done between 1941 and 1943, employing 500 workers in San Diego. The second was a contract for 500 prefabricated, demountable units, San Diego Defense Housing Project Cal-4096, costing $1,400,000 and employing 300 people.

By 10/1942, Early served as co-supervisor of construction of the US Maritime Service Officers Training School at Neptune Beach, Alameda, CA, in 1942-1943. He co-supervised with US Coast Guard Lieutentant Commander Ambrose Beauchamp Brown (born 07/10/1885-d. 05/24/1952), a civil engineer. (Brown retired a full Commander.) Brown would have stipulated the Maritime Service's programmatic needs to Early's 600-man crew building the school's campus. In addition, Early brought in a University of California, Berkeley-trained architect, Harry A. Bruno, to assist as an on-ste supervisor in designing a plan for the campus as well as likely providing basic design concepts for major, highly visible buildings within the ensemble. Although this was a very rapid construction effort, it is likely that Bruno was brought in to give basic form to the Maritime's Service's requirments. This was common practice in the Bay Area to utilize college-trained architects as experts in planning and designing. (In fact, it was common practice across the US even during early World War II to employ university-trained architects to design military facilities.) A variety of other examples of cooperation between the US military and architects can be seen during this same time period, such as William Wurster's work building war housing for the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo or the Parker Homes in Sacramento or Gardner Dailey's efforts for the US Maritime Service's Cadet Basic School in San Mateo [1942-1944].) Many other examples can be cited.

Commander, US Naval Reserves, Civil Engineering Corps, US Ports and Bases, France, 1943-1945. Early went on to join the US Navy's Seabee engineering unit as a Commander, stationed first with the 29th Naval Construction Battalion at Camp Allen, Norfolk, VA. He saw intense activity during World War II in Europe as part of the D-Day Utah Beach landing party. (The Seabees'Twenty-eighth and Eighty-first Construction Battalions were active at Utah Beach.) These Seabee units had crucial responsibilities on D-Day and the days following: "The Seabee contribution to the success of the invasion was not restricted to assembling and placing pontoon causeways. They also manned the large ferries known as Rhinos that carried men and supplies from the larger ships to the beaches. These ferries were actually little more than floating pontoon structures powered by giant outboard motors. Huge amounts of much needed equipment were hauled ashore on Rhinos during the first few days of the invasion. The Seabees also built offshore cargo and docking facilities, piers, and breakwaters. These were constructed out of old cargo ships, special prefabricated concrete structures that were floated over from England, and the ubiquitous steel pontoons. The huge port area that was formed out of this odd combination of materials became known as Mulberry A." (See Seabee, "The U.S. Navy Seabees and the Invasion of Normandy," published 06/13/2013, accessed 06/30/2022.)

After this, he served in the 81st Combat Batallion and 114th Combat Batallion rebulding the French ports of Cherbourg and Le Havre, to enable unloading of troops and military equipment from US Martime Service Liberty Ships. Early also served in the US Army's Construction Battalion Maintenance Units 627, 628, and 629, working within General George S. Patton's Third Army, that crossed the Rhine River into Germany on 03/22/1945. As a result of his extensive wartime contribution, Early was the recipient of the Navy Bronze Star Medal and a French Croix de Guerre.

President, Fred J. Early, Jr., Company, Incorporated, San Francisco, CA, Oakland, CA, Honolulu, HI, and Los Angeles, CA, 1943-1978. His résumé stated of his career: "Heavy engineering construction, specializing in construction of water filtration, sewage treatment and process plants, dams, tunnels, mass transit systems, pipe lines, and heavy mechanical installations; widespread operations in Panama; United States, including Hawaii and Alaska; Spain and Australia." Fred J. Early, Jr., Company, Incorporated, was active on a number of important public construction projects including the San Rafael-Richmond Bridge, Folsom Dam, San Francisco's Lincoln High School, and three Bay Area Rapid Transit stations, at 12th Street in Oakland (1972), 19th Street in Oakland and Montgomery Street in San Francisco (1973). "During the course [of] his professional career, Mr. Early also participated in a variety of international projects, among which were the construction of two United State Air Force Bases and one Nuclear Submarine Base in Spain." (See Early Résumé, produced by Early Family.)

President, Alamo Technical Services, Incorporated, San Francisco, CA, 1959-1978.

President, Early Filtration Corporation, San Francisco, CA, 1972-1992.

Chairman, Argonaut Underwriters, Incorporated, San Francisco, CA.

Chairman, Pacific Lumber Company, San Francisco, CA.

Professional Activities

Registered Civil and Electrical Engineer, State of CA.

Member, Association of Consulting Engineers.

Member, Associated General Constrctors of America.

Member, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Member, Structural Association of Northern California.



B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (UCB), Berkeley, CA, 1926. Early was a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Fraternity at the University of California, Berkeley. (See University of California, Berkeley, Blue and Gold Yearbook, 1925, p. 416.) He also belonged to the Delta Chi Fraternity at UCB.

Coursework, Sorbonne Université, Paris, France.



The electrical engineer and building contractor Fred J. Early, Jr., was born in Chicago, IL, in 1905, where his family had moved from Brattleboro, VT, likely in 1880.

Sometime between 1905 and 1908, his family relocated from Chicago to Oakland, CA, where he would spend most of his adult life. In 1908, his father, Fred J. Early, Sr., was the Manager of the California Development Company in Oakland. (See Oakland, California, City Directory, 1908, p. 387.) The 1910 US Census located the Early Family residing at 525 Mira Vista Avenue in Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood. (See, Source Citation Year: 1910; Census Place: Oakland Ward 5, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_70; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0125; FHL microfilm: 1374083, accessed 06/28/2022.)

Fred lived with his father and brother, Donald in the family residence at 525 Myra Vista Avenue in Oakland in 1930. The house had an approximate value of $10,000 in 1930. The US Census of 1930 listed Fred, Jr.'s, profession as electrical engineer.

Fred Early, Jr., died from complications due to leukemia in San Francisco, CA, at the age of 87.


His mother was Elizabeth "Bessie" Bowen (born c. 08/1880 in PA-d. 07/25/1925 in San Joaquin County, CA). Her childhood was spent in PA, CT and Chicago, IL.

Bessie's father Herbert Austin Bowen, Sr., (born 06/26/1858-d. 01/17/1930 in Barrington, IL) had been born in Gold Fields, Australia to an American mother, and migrated to the US by 1860, according to the 1900 US Census. He worked as a master mechanic in Chicago, IL, in 1900. Her mother, Mary Ellen Cox (born 05/16/1845 in Maltaville, NY-d. 03/22/1921 in South Elgin, IL), wed Herbert on 11/30/1878 in Chicago. (See, Source Information Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011, accessed 06/28/2022 and, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 280; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0882; FHL microfilm: 1240280. accessed 06/28/2022.) Mary had been married previously to George S. Heath (born c. 1840 in IL), who worked at the Elgin Watch factory in 1870. and had had two sons with him. (See, Source Citation Year: 1870; Census Place: Elgin, Kane, Illinois; Roll: M593_237; Page: 354A, accessed 06/28/2022.) Besides Bessie, Mary and Herbert had one more child, Herbert A. Bowen, Jr., (born 01/05/1885 in Thomaston, CT-d. 07/19/1968 in Alameda County, CA), who worked as an electrician in Oakland, CA, in 1918. (See, Source Citation Registration State: California; Registration County: Alameda Source Information U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005, accessed 06/28/2022.)

Bessie wed Fred J. Early, Sr., on 06/16/1904 in Chicago, IL. Fred, Sr., (born in 04/1876 in Brattleboro, VT-d. ) worked as a real estate broker and developer. The 1910 US Census listed Fred, Sr., as the manager for a warehouse company.

His father Daniel Early (born c. 1841 in England) came from Irish stock and worked as a Chicago cabinetmaker in 1880, while his mother, Rachel Crabb (born 12/1841 in Liverpool, England-d. 04/28/1923 in Chicago, IL), managed the household. (See, Source Citation Year: 1880; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 191; Page: 404A; Enumeration District: 079, accessed 06/28/2022.) They wed in London, England, in 1865, and had five children. (See, Source Information FreeBMD. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006, accessed 06/28/2022.) Daniel died at a young age, c. 1899, and built bicycles, then in the midst of a national craze, just before his death. (See Chicago, Illinois, City Directory, 1898, p. 554.) Chicago was the leading bicycle-building city in the US at the time.

At age 24, Fred, Sr., worked in Chicago as a clerk, and lived with his mother and two sisters, Emma Early (born c. 04/1880 in VT), who worked as a bookbinder, and Nellie Early (born 12/1883 in IL), a dressmaker, according to the 1900 US Census. (See, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Chicago Ward 30, Cook, Illinois; Roll: 283; Page: 1; Enumeration District: 0951; FHL microfilm: 1240283, accessed 06/28/2022.)

Fred, Sr., married again on 07/01/1933 to Irma Ione Moon in Carson City, NV. (See, Source Information Carson City, Nevada, U.S., Marriage Index, 1855-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015, accessed 06/28/2022.)

Fred, Sr., and Bessie had three children according to the 1910 US Census: Fred, Jr., Donald B. Early (born 1908 in CA), and a child who had died by that time.


He wed Elizabeth Jenks (born 10/24/1904-d. 02/27/2003 in CA) on 09/29/1930 in Alameda County, CA.

He later married Marguerite Chumley (born 01/20/1913 in AL -d. 02/04/2002 in San Francisco, CA). She resided in an apartment on Dorchester Avenue in Chicago, IL, with her family in 1930. Her father worked as a salesman for a publishing house, according to the 1930 US Census. (See, Source Citation Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0168; FHL microfilm: 2340156, accessed 07/05/2022.) Marguerite graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1930. The Hyde Park High School Yearbook, 1930, indicated that she intended to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. (See Hyde Park High School, The Aitchpe Yearbook, 1930, p. 33.) She attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a B.Ph., in 1934. (See University of Chicago Cap and Gown Yearbook, 1934, p. 64.)

In 1992, Marguerite lived at 369 Pine Street, Suite #616, in San Francisco.


Elizabeth and Fred had two daughters: Vibella Elizabeth Early Janopaul (born 06/13/1933 in Alameda County, CA) and Patricia Early Anderson (born 11/10/1935 in Alameda County, CA).

Elizabeth attended the University of California, Berkeley, while Patricia went to Mills College.

Elizabeth married Robert N. Janopaul on 01/29/1955 in Santa Barbara County, CA. (See, Source Information California, U.S., Marriage Index, 1949-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013, accessed 06/28/2022.) She would later live in Lincoln Park and Mountain Lakes, NJ.

Biographical Notes

Early traveled aboard Pan American World Airways' Martin M-130 "Philippine Clipper" seaplane from San Francisco, CA, to Honolulu, HI, on 06/05/1940. (See "Via Clipper," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 06/05/1940, p. 2.) He likely was there to check on construction progress at the Naval Administration Ammunition Depot on Oahu.

Director, United Bay Area Crusade, San Francisco, CA.

Director, National Mental Health Association, (later known as "Mental Health America"), Alexandria, VA.

Member, Pepperdine University, President's Council, Los Angeles, CA.

Member, Bohemian Club, San Francisco, CA.

Member, City Club of San Francisco, (aka "Stock Exchange Club"), San Francisco, CA

Member, Commercial Club of California, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Engineers Club of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA. The Engineers Club of San Francisco was incorporated on 10/31/1912 and dissolved on 07/25/2018.

Member, Marine's Memorial Association.

Member, Mechanic's Institute, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Naval Order of the United States.

Member, Navy League of the United States.

Member, Presidio Officer's Club, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Presidio Society, San Francisco, CA.

Member, Rich Island Gun Club, Rich Island, CA.

Member, University Club of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

SSN: 567366001.

PCAD id: 9168