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Otto Beckwith
Feb 6, 1900 (columbus, Ohio) - Dec 31, 1974 (Denton, Texas)

Father of Charles Beckwith - Government disaster recovery official

Otto Beckwith

          | James Beckwith
      | Winsane Beckwith --------------|    1838-1927
      |    1868-1923 | Jane Traxler
    Otto Beckwith --------------|        1840-1915
       1900-1974 |   | George Boham
    | | Rosetta Boham --------------|    1827-1881
    |      1873-1925 | Mary Bryant
     Charles Miller Beckwith -----------|          1825-1892
        1922-2004 |     | Charles Freeman
    | | Roy Freeman --------------|    1857-1915
    | |    1882-1943 | Mary Eleanor Harper
    Eleanor Freeman --------------|        1859-1939
       1904-1976 |   | Unknown Forbes
      | Myrtle Forbes --------------|  
           1880-1908 | Unknown Forbes

Otto Beckwith was born February 6, 1900, in Columbus, Ohio. His parents were Winsane Beckwith and Rose Boham Beckwith. At his birth he had four brothers, Russell, Guy, Albert, and Norman and a sister, Zola. Another brother, Donald, came two years later. The Beckwith family address in 1900 was 670 Hamlet St, Columbus.

Otto Rose Zola 1906 Otto his mother Rose and sister Zola 1906

Otto attended 11th Avenue grammar schools in Columbus from 1906 to 1914. He went to North Columbus High School from 1915 to 1918, where he excelled in sports.

Otto lived before and after World War I with his Aunt Lillian, his mother's sister.
He enlisted in the Navy on August 6, 1918. He was in training at the Training Station, Great Lakes, Illinois from Aug 24, 1918 to Nov 11, 1918, when WWI ended. His Navy position was "Landsman for Electrician (Radio)". He was released from the Navy on Feb 20, 1919.

When he wasn't working, he played semi-pro football for many years, mainly with the Columbus Panhandles. This team derived its name from the fact that the Pennsylvania Railroad was its sponsor and operated car shops in Columbus by the name of "Panhandles". The team was managed by Joe Carr, who later was named the first president of the NFL. In the early days of pro football, the players received $5 per game, and since they were sponsored by the railroad, they traveled on free passes. The Columbus team played against Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs many times. There is a picture in the Canton Football Hall of Fame of Jim Thorpe's Canton Bulldogs playing the Columbus Panhandles that includes a picture of Otto Beckwith in the backfield.

He attended Ohio State University in Columbus for one year, 1921-1922.

Otto and Eleanor 1921 On August 3, 1921 he married Eleanor Louise Freeman. The following year, on April 25, 1922, his only child was born, Charles Miller Beckwith.

According to his son Charles' recollections in later years, Otto, Eleanor and their son moved from Columbus to North Canton, Ohio where he was employed by the Hoover Vacuum Cleaner corporation. Otto never entered this employment in his resumes, possibly because he got into some trouble there and had to move his family, around 1928, to Chicago and change their last name to Dunham. The family is listed in the 1930 Chicago census as the Dunham family. Otto's resume states that he was employed by the Henderson Tire and Rubber Co. from 1929 to 1933, where he was a Credit and office manager.

Otto in Office 1934 In 1933 Otto became employed by the Federal Government in Chicago in the Public Works Agency in the auditing and accounting office. He would work for the Federal Government for the next 30 years.

In that same year, Otto and his wife separated. He stayed in Chicago while Eleanor and Charles moved to California. After 14 years of marriage, they were divorced in 1935.

Otto and Ann 1935 In July, 1935, Otto married Ann Margaret Rogers.

He transferred to the Dept. of Agriculture where he helped organize a food and cotton stamp plan in 13 mid-western states during the depression years.

On Sept 13, 1937, he received his social security number in the state of Illinois.

In 1940, he was transferred to the War Department in Dallas, Texas where he became an auditor for military contracts at the North-American and Lockheed aircraft companies for the War Department.

Otto in the Navy 1943 On August 4, 1942, at the age of 42, he was able to enlist in the U.S. Navy as a warrant officer to do accounting work for the Navy Seabees. He enlisted in Dallas, Tx and was sent to Norfolk, Va. for training at the Navy Construction Training center. He was sent to the Pacific Theater with the Fourth Naval Construction Battalion. While in the Pacific, he served as a finance officer and at one time served as field supervisor for construction accounting on General Brehon Somerville's staff in the Construction Quartermaster Department.

He developed heart problems while serving overseas and had to be sent home to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, California where he was discharged from the Navy on July 1, 1943. According to his discharge papers, he was 5 feet 8 inches, 182 pounds. His Navy rank was "Chief Storekeeper". He was discharged because of "physical disability".

After his discharge from the Navy, he continued with his career with the Federal Government with the GAO (Government Accounting Office) based in Dallas. His job was as a traveling supervisor of auditing and accounting on construction projects for the War Department.

In 1945, Otto and Ann were living at 3419 Dartmouth Ave, in Dallas. He had been involved with the Masons for many years. On April 23, 1945, he became a 32nd Mason. His award read "Otto Beckwith, is a Master of the Royal Secret of the 32 Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite".

When the war ended in 1945, he continued working in the GAO.

In 1950, when the Korean War started, there was panic buying and hoarding by the public which caused massive inflation. President Truman tried to control wages and prices by created a new government agency, the OPS (Office of Price Stabilization). Otto transferred to the OPS Accounting Office in 1950.
In 1952, Otto was promoted to Chief of the budget and fiscal branch of the Dallas Regional OPS. He was responsible for control of all funds allotted for the price stabilization program in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma. Wage and Price controls were very unpopular with the public and after the Korean War ended in 1953, President Eisenhower ended the program.
Otto and Ann were living at 4819 Linnet Lane in Dallas at this time.

Otto and Ann moved to Denton, Texas, north of Dallas in 1956. In 1957, they joined St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
He was transferred to the Office of Emergency Planning, Disaster Recovery, where he remained until his retirement in 1963. His job was to examine disaster project applications from many mid-western states; he would make on site audits and he controlled the multi-million dollar funds appropriated by the President for disaster relief projects.

He retired from the Federal government in 1963.
That same year he became employed by the City of Denton as the City Purchasing Agent. He left that job after only 2 years because of illness.

After he recovered, he was bored with retirement and was able to gain a position with the Denton County Tax office as an auditor.

Otto was a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner, with the Tannehill Masonic Lodge No. 52, Scottish Rite, Hella Temple. He also belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, VFW Post No 2205, and also the Denton Lions Club.

Otto and Ann lived at a duplex home at 306 Woodland, Denton, Tx. They never owned a home.

Otto Beckwith passed away on December 31, 1974 at Denton's Westgate Hospital. His memorial service was at his church, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. He was buried in Roselawn Memorial Park, Denton, Texas.

Photo gallery of his life

Public Records
For Otto Beckwith