Art Beckett

Arthur Thomas Beckett
Born May 23, 1894, Sacramento
Died May 19, 1978, Walnut Creek, California, age 83

Arthur E. Beckett (c.1869-1955), born in Keatsville, Missouri, moved to Bay Area around 1890. Worked in oil industry, then became harbormaster for Port of San Francisco around 1904 and stayed there until his retirement in 1939.

Marguerite Beckett (c.1875-1936)

Roy (1895-1940)
Marguerite (c.1899-1976)

Gertrude (born c.1896-1984)
married 1916

Jean (1916-1979)
Beverly (1917-1981)
Thomas (c.1919-1921)
John (c.1923-?)

Of the original Raider owners, Art Beckett had the shortest tenure and the lowest public profile. He made his money building housing developments and later graduated into factories and shopping centers. Like the others, Beckett was a joiner and he and his wife were active in several local social and charitable organizations. He was one of the original eight, but he never made any public appearances with the other owners and sold his share less than a month into the venture for reasons that were not discussed in the papers. He was already near retirement age at the time so he largely disappeared from public view only a few years afterward and at the time of his death no mention was made of his connection to the team.


May 23 – Born to Arthur E. and Marguerite in Sacramento. (Sacramento Bee)


Family is living in Oakland.

May 18 – One of three people reporting the theft of a bicycle to Oakland police. (Oakland Tribune)


February 24 – Marriage license granted to Arthur T Beckett, 21, and Gertrude E Burt, 19. (Oakland Tribune)

November 4 – Daughter Jean born. (Oakland Tribune)


October – Granted exemption from military draft “on grounds of dependency,” presumably meaning he was providing for his wife and child. (Oakland Tribune)


April 17 – Apparently, the names of hotel guests were a matter of public record as Beckett’s arrival at the Kennebec in Long Beach was noted with that of hundreds of other arrivals. (Long Beach Telegram and Daily News)


August 24 – The family suffered a horrible tragedy when two-year-old Thomas was found dead, strangled by the ropes of a porch swing. His mother found him several minutes after the event. (Oakland Tribune)


December 15 – “A.T. Beckett of Oakland visited here this week.” (Fresno Morning Republican)


May 12 – Received a permit to build a $9,000 home at 605 Hillgirt Circle. (Oakland Tribune)

June 11 – Fishing for rainbow trout on the Feather River near Tobin. (Oakland Tribune)

July 1 – Selling a house at 601 Blair Ave. (Oakland Tribune)

July 28 – Hit with a bill from the city in the amount of $30.63 for being delinquent in payment for “maintenance and furnishing electrical services” at one of his properties. (Oakland Tribune)

December 9 – Mother, Marguerite, died in Oakland. (Oakland Tribune)


March 14 – Selling a house at 605 Blair Ave. (Oakland Tribune)

April 17 – Selling a house at 669 Blair Ave. (Oakland Tribune)

May 23 – Received a permit to build an $8,000 factory at 3001 San Pablo Avenue. (Oakland Tribune)

July 30 – Fishing up in Tobin again. (Sacramento Bee)

August 29 – Selling a bunch of houses in Chimes Terrace. (Oakland Tribune)

November 24 – Received a permit to build a $13,500 print shop at 579 21st St. (Oakland Tribune)


May – Contractor in charge of the modernization of the Borland Building at 12th and Broadway in Oakland (Oakland Tribune)

May 29 – Selling a house at 3651 Delmont Ave. (Oakland Tribune)

July 15 – Fishing for trout on the Truckee River. (Oakland Tribune)

August 28 – Selling $12,500 home at 225 Scenic Avenue. (Oakland Tribune)

November 3 – Obtained permits to build 13 new houses in La Chateauhurst neighborhood in San Leandro. (Oakland Tribune)


February 8 – Awarded $31,000 contract to build hospital annex in Siskiyou County. (Yreka Siskiyou Daily News)

February 27 – Brother Roy died in Portland, Oregon. (San Francisco Examiner)

August 11 – Selling houses in Briarwood Gardens, “Oakland’s Most Centrally Located Suburb”. (Oakland Tribune)

September 22 – Attending a “real old Southern dinner” at the Children’s Hospital of the East Bay. (Oakland Tribune)

November 3 – Awarded $55,000 contract by US War Department to build warehouse at Hamilton Field in Novato. (Santa Rosa Republican)


April 10 – Awarded $7,400 contract by US War Department to build post office at Hamilton Field. (Oakland Tribune)

May 24 – Daughter Jean married William Sullivan of San Francisco. (Oakland Tribune)

August 19 – In charge of million-dollar project to build National Automotive Fibres factory in San Leandro. (Oakland Tribune)


March 20 – First mention of Beckett and Federighi contracting partnership in conjunction with a project to build 420 homes in San Leandro for defense workers. (Oakland Tribune)


March 20 – Daughter Beverly married Donald Riding. (Oakland Tribune)

November 2 – Beckett and Federighi given permit by El Cerrito to build 22 houses. (Oakland Tribune)


September 17 – Racing aboard the Pajara in the Big Boat class at the St Francis Yacht Club Regatta on San Francisco Bay. (Oakland Tribune)


Built the State Theater on Broadway. (Oakland Tribune)

Formed the Pacific States Mortgage Company with Federighi this year or earlier.


November 18 – John announced engagement to Suzanne Roeth, Oakland, and “member of one of the older families in the East Bay.” (Oakland Tribune)


January – On a Pacific cruise with Gertrude. (Oakland Tribune)


March 29 – Beckett and Federighi bought the Oakland Stadium auto racing track for $400,000. (Oakland Tribune)


November – Name among many in ad supporting ballot measure to provide private elementary schools with the same tax exemptions afforded to public schools. (Oakland Tribune)


November – Along with Federighi, part of the group building the $25 million Bay Fair Shopping Center in San Leandro. (Oakland Tribune)

December 3 – On the board of directors of the “non-sectarian” Salesian Boys Club in Oakland that incorporated on this date. Other members of the board included future Raider owners Wallace Marsh, Robert Osborne, Ed McGah, and Salesian Club president Chet Soda. (Oakland Tribune)


October 27 – Father, Arthur E., died at the age of 86 in Oakland after one-week illness. (Oakland Tribune)


August 18 – Provided a buckboard from his Moraga ranch to help dress the scene at a reception ballroom for the Republican National Convention in San Francisco. (Oakland Tribune)


December 18 – One of 50 victims in a stock fraud racket perpetrated by convicted swindler, John Bunce of Orinda. (Oakland Tribune)


June 12 – Shot an 83—20 strokes off the pace—at Orinda Country Club in the first round of the Athenian-Nile Club golf tournament. (Oakland Tribune)

June 19 – Finished the Athenian-Nile Club golf tournament well back in the pack with a 163 for the two rounds. (Oakland Tribune)

August 4 – Part of a syndicate that submitted the winning bid for the “historic” Quercus ranch in Lakeport. The syndicate included Fred Federighi and Ed McGah and the bid was for $855,000. The group planned to turn the property over to the construction of high-priced homes and shopping centers. (Sacramento Bee)

October 28 – Just back from a goose hunting expedition in Alberta. (Oakland Tribune)


January 27 – Named as member of group petitioning the American Football League for a team in Oakland. (Oakland Tribune)

January 30 – Group awarded American Football League franchise. Other members were Harvey Binns, Don Blessing, Charles Harney, Ed McGah, Robert Osborne, Chet Soda, and Wayne Valley. (Oakland Tribune)

February 22 – “Stepped down” from his position as one of the Oakland team’s owners for unspecified reasons. (Oakland Tribune)


October 6 – Selling a house at 4205 Terrace St. (San Francisco Examiner)

October 29 – One of several partners in a new bank, the Silverado State Bank, in Napa. Other partners included Ed McGah Sr., and Jr. (Napa Valley Register)


July 17 – He and Federighi sold the Pacific States Mortgage company to Clinton DeWitt, Jr. (San Francisco Examiner)


Beckett and Federighi found themselves on the wrong end of a judgment by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding a tax arrangement involving their contracting business and a company called Maxwell Hardware. The essential facts seem to be these: Maxwell Hardware sold a piece of their business to Beckett and Federighi, who hoped Maxwell’s net losses in excess of a million dollars would offset their development profits, eliminating their tax liability on those profits. The court found, so far as I understand it, that the businesses did not integrate sufficiently to allow them to be treated as a single entity for tax computation purposes. But I’m neither a tax lawyer, nor an accountant, so I could be far wrong here.


March 13 – He and Gertrude celebrated 50th wedding anniversary. (Oakland Tribune)


May 19 – Died in Walnut Creek at the age of 83. According to his obituary, he left behind eight grandchildren and was a member of the Eagles, the Orinda Country Club, and the Order of St. Hubertus. (San Francisco Examiner)