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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Becker, Washington 1847 - 1929


banker, b. South Worcester, N.Y. He attended Harvard Univ. and graduated from the Albany (N.Y.) law school. After moving to Milwaukee in 1874, he acquired an interest in the Nest Side Street Railway Co., gained control in 1876, and served as president (1880-1891). In 1890 he introduced electrically-operated street cars in Milwaukee. In 1891 he negotiated the transfer of the company's property and franchises to the North American Co. of New York. Appointed receiver of the Wisconsin Marine & Fire Insurance Co. Bank ("the Mitchell Bank") in 1893, he reorganized it and served as president of its successor, the Marine National Bank of Milwaukee, until his death. He was a director of the Northwestern National Insurance Co. and the Central Investment Co. His son, SHERBURN MERRILL BECKER was born in Milwaukee and attended Harvard College. A Republican, he was elected mayor of Milwaukee at the age of 29, serving from 1906 to 1908. In 1911 he moved to New York City, where he was a member of the New York stock exchange (1911-1932). The recipient of a large inheritance from his father, he was a director of Milwaukee's Marine National Exchange Bank (1930-1949), and president of the Hansen-Schmidt Tobacco Co. of Milwaukee. J. G. Gregory, Hist. of Milwaukee (4 vols., Chicago, 1931); Natl. Cyclopaedia Amer. Biog., 22 (1932); B. Still, Milwaukee (Madison, 1948); Milwaukee Journal, Dec. 10, 1929, Feb. 6, 1949; Who's Who in Amer., 5 (1908, 14 (1926).

View newspaper clippings at Wisconsin Local History and Biography Articles.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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