Beckett, William John

BECKETT, William John (1842-1891) of Ottawa, Ont. was a successful contractor who had served as foreman of several major projects there including the Western Block Extension on Parliament Hill, (designed by Thomas S. Scott; built 1876-78) and the residences, offices and barns of the Dominion Experimental Farm (designed by Thomas Fuller; built 1887-88). He also practiced as an architect. The National Archives of Canada holds a small collection of his drawings for works in Ottawa including a competition entry for a public school on Elgin Street, in 1890 (NAC 78903/71). Beckett wrote a lengthy Letter to the Editor of the Evening Journal in Ottawa complaining that his competition drawings for this project were unjustly rejected by the jury who included Thomas Fuller in their ranks (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 28 March 1890, 3). Beckett was described as 'the well known architect' when he died on 26 July 1891 (obit. Free Press [Ottawa], 27 July 1891, 4; Daily Citizen [Ottawa], 28 July 1891, 4)