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California Genealogy and History Archives

Sacramento County



To many the attainment of material prosperity proves a severe temptation to relax the vigilance previously exercised over the natural inclination to enter upon a worldly career and place in the back-ground the finer virtues, chief among which is altruism. To Mr. Beckwith, however, the struggle for a place among the most influential members of the legal profession in Sacramento served as an impetus to further arouse his sympathies for mankind in general and his determination to do all in his power to disentangle the legal problems of those who appealed to him, his chief concern being not the financial reward he might receive, but the true service he might render.

Mr. Beckwith is a native son, his birth having occurred June 28, 1863, in Woodbridge, San Joaquin county, where he received his preliminary education. Later, he attended both private and public schools in Lodi, after which he entered Oberlin college, Oberlin, Ohio, graduating in 1884. His father, F. Marion Beckwith, was born in 1830, in Mentor, Ohio, and immigrated to California in 1849 in company with his brother, DeWitt Beckwith, and other colonists, many of whom desired to enter the mines of Eldorado county rather than resume their former occupations, believing that the gold fields offered the shortest route to wealth. Many, however, soon abandoned the role of Argonaut, and, satisfied that the west held many opportunities for those who possessed perseverance, settled in various sections. Upon his arrival in California, Mr. Beckwith proceeded at once to San Joaquin county, where he combined mining and farming with fair success until his death in January, 1863. Five months after his father's death, Charles Beckwith was born, his mother, formerly Miss Betsey L. Quiggle, of Hampden, Ohio, exerting every effort thence-forward in the interests of her child. Until he was seven years old he received the benefits derived from the atmosphere of love and tenderness created by his loving mother, but her death at that time caused him to go to his uncle, Byron D. Beckwith, at Lodi, Cal., who reared him to manhood, guiding him through his formative and educational period until he reached the age of twenty-one. His influence left a deep imprint on the boy, who developed a nature of rare truth and sympathy, and it is the ambition inspired by this uncle's love and devotion, his careful training and self-sacrifice, to which he owes his success in after life - the inspiration gained from his noble life and worthy example. Upon his return to San Joaquin county after his course at Oberlin college, Charles M. Beckwith worked at various occupations for a year, going thence to Tulare county, where he engaged in farming and stock raising. Two years later, having decided to enter the legal profession, he took up the study of law in Stockton, soliciting insurance during his spare time. Having completed his course, he was admitted to the bar by the supreme court of California at Sacramento, November 14, 1893, and immediately established him- self there in business, building up a practice of importance. He has not only a large clientele among the substantial citizens of the county, but also in various counties of the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Mr. Beckwith 's first marriage occurred in Sacramento, November 22, 1895, uniting him with Mrs. Annie M. (Boss) Hurd of Sacramento, who passed away December 31, 1907, leaving a son by her former marriage, Horatio Hurd, of Sacramento. On October 31, 1908, he married Miss Bess M. Blake, whose birth occurred in New Hampshire, and whose father, C. W. Blake, makes his home with them. Mrs. Beckwith is in full sympathy with her husband's interests and aids him immeasurably by her tact and comradeship. He was made a Mason in 1884 in Woodbridge Lodge No. 131, F. & A. M., of Woodbridge, retaining his membership in the lodge where his father and uncle were members. By his prompt, decisive action and excellent judgment he has won the esteem of many friends and associates, who predict for him a future commensurate with his unquestioned ability. 

History of Sacramento County, California
Biographical Sketches of The Leading Men and Women of the County Who Have Been Identified With Its Growth and Development from the Early Days to the Present
History By: William L. Willis
Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California (1913)

Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011