Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Judge Edgar C. Beecroft of Pelham

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Recently I have been involved in a project that has required me to review the three biographical volumes that form part of the five volumes that comprise the "History of Westchester County New York" edited by Alvah P. French and published in 1925. During the course of my work I have collected biographies of Pelham residents that appear in those volumes. Making such biographies available online, of course, furthers the study of local history and genealogy related to the familes of those who are described in the biographies. Thus, for the next several days, I will use my blog postings to provide the biographical data available from the five-volume set for a number of notable Pelham residents from the early 20th century.

Today's posting will provide biographical data for Edgar C. Beecroft who served as Supervisor of the Town of Pelham from 1907 to 1913 and Village Attorney of Pelham Manor for two decades, among other things. Below is a post card view of Judge Beecroft's home (shown in about 1910). Below that is the biography of Judge Beecroft taken from Alvah French's work.

Home of Edgar C. Beecroft Shown on Post Card Printed in About 1910

"EDGAR C. BEECROFT -- In the continuous choice of Judge Edgar C. Beecroft as legal counsel and adviser in township and corporative affairs in Pelham and Westchester County, public utilities and the interests of community advancement have had their claims presented and adjusted with most substantial and lasting results. His appointment to legal and supervisory offices was the outcome of a wise discernment on the part of Pelham Manor and neighboring townships; while the general practice of Judge Beecroft in this section and throughout a considerable part of the State is sought by important and influential organizations. He is son of John R. Beecroft, of Keston, Kent, England, who came to the United States, and for several years was Chicago manager for the Scribner Publishing Company, and Elizabeth (Corbett) Beecroft, who was born in Chicago.

"Judge Edgar C. Beecroft was born February 16, 1876, in Oak Park, Illinois. His parents removed to Pelham Manor when he was about one year old, and there he attended public school and Trinity School, where he graduated in 1893. Afterwards he graduated at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, in the class of 1897, with the degree of Bachelor of Science. He prepared for his profession at the Law School of New York University, where he graduated in 1899, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. Establishing himself in the practice of his profession in New York City, he so continued for a year, and in 1900 he formed a partnership with Charles W. Rodman, under the firm title of Rodman & Beecroft. This partnership was maintained to the time of Mr. Rodman's death, which occurred in 1907, when Mr. Beecroft continued practice under his own name at No. 59 Liberty Street, New York City. It was while he was at that location, and when he was but twenty-one years of age, that Pelham elected him as its town judge, an office that he held for three terms, or ten years; and, meantime, for six years he held the office of supervisor. It is believed that Judge Beecroft has the unique distinction of having been the only man to have held two elective offices at the same time, having established his right locally to do so.

"Appointed as counsel to the Bronx Valley Sewer Commission, which constructed Westchester County's largest sewer. Judge Beecroft was also counsel to the Pelham Board of Sewerage Disposal Works; he served as corporation counsel of the village of North Pelham ten years; he was appointed special counsel by the town of Pelham in Westchester County tax law proceedings, and he was the father of the movement that resulted in the framing of the present Westchester County tax laws. At present he is corporation counsel of the village of Pelham Manor, where he also has a lucrative law practice.

"Judge Beecroft's fraternal affiliations are with Winyah Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of Pelham; and he is a member of Pelham Country Club, Manor Club, and Alpha Delta Phi Club.

"Judge Edgar C. Beecroft married, July 2, 1903, in New York City, Grace Lowery, of Virginia, daughter of Walter Lowery, of an old Virginia family of the name, and Ida (Haveland) Lowery, of a long established Long Island family, and descendant of a Revolutionary patriot. Judge and Mrs. Beecroft are the parents of: 1. John R. Beecroft, born August 29, 1905. 2. Lavinia Lowery Beecroft, born March 15, 1911. 3. Dorothy Dent Beecroft, born July 15, 1912."

Source: French, Alvah P., ed., History of Westchester County New York, Vol. V, p. 102 (NY, NY & Chicago, IL: Lewis Historical Publishing Co. 1925).

Edgar C. Beecroft died of a heart attack in his home on August 26, 1939 at the age of 63. The New York Times published his obituary the next day. It read:


Village Attorney of Pelham Manor for Last 20 Years


PELHAM MANOR, N. Y., Aug. 26. -- Edgar C. Beecroft, village attorney of Pelham Manor for the last twenty years, died of a heart attack in his home here today. His age was 63.

A native of Chicago, Mr. Beecroft attended Trinity School in New York, and in 1897 was graduated from Trinity College at Hartford, Conn., and later from the New York Law School. He conducted a general law practice in New Rochelle and Pelham Manor for many years, and was active in local Democratic party affairs. He was Town Supervisor of Pelham from 1907 to 1913, a member of the Bronx Valley Sewer Commission from 1911 to 1914 and a Justice of the Peace here.

Surviving are a son, John R. Beecroft of Pelham Manor; two daughters, Mrs. George Schlegel 3d of Hartsdale and Mrs. George Benson of Scarsdale; a brother, Chester Beecroft, and a sister, Miss Mary Beecroft, both of Westport, Conn."

Edgar C. Beecroft, N.Y. Times, Aug. 27, 1939, p. 35.

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At 12:28 PM, Blogger R. P. Beecroft said...

I really ejoyed this article as Mr. Beecroft was a relative of mine. He was an uncle to my father (Richard Edgar Beecroft). Chester Beecroft was well known and loved by all of us in the family. Thank you for this very interesting peek at my ancestry.
Sincerely, Richard P. Beecroft

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is always interesting to hear about the greatness of the Beecrofts.

John R. Beecroft III and
Tara Warker (Beecroft)

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Tara Warker said...

It is always interesting to hear of our families' greatness. We come from a long line of extraordinary people.

Tara Beecroft-Warker

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Tara Warker said...

We come from a long line of extraordinary people. It is always interesting to hear more about our families. greatness.

At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Jayzen said...

An enjoyable read. I'm a distant cousin, via the Chapman's. From a genealogical point of view, its always great to come across this sort of information.


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