Adam Beck was a Canadian politician. He founded the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario.
Adam Beck Net Worth
Adam Beck’s net worth is $1.5 million in today’s estimate. He is an advocate for hydroelectricity.
He came from an enterprising immigrant family of builders. In 1881, he partnered with his brother and his cousin in their cigar box manufacturing company in Galt, Ontario. After a time, Adam became the sole owner of the Beck Manufacturing Company Limited.
Beck also had a plant where he imported cedar logs from Spain and Mexico. The logs were made into pieces of furniture, cigar boxes, and cheese boxes.
Adam Beck was born on June 20, 1857 June 20, 1857 in Baden, Upper Canada (now Ontario). His parents are German immigrants, Jacob Beck and Charlotte Hespeler. For his education, he went to the Rockwood Academy in Rockwood, Ontario.
He worked in his father’s foundry when he was a teen. His family later established a cigar box manufacturing company in Galt (now Cambridge). In 1885, the company was relocated to London, Ontario, where it thrived. This company gave Beck most of his wealth. Beck loved horse racing, tennis, and lawn bowling. He was also involved in horse breeding.
In 1898, Adam Beck ran for provincial legislature but lost. In 1902, he was elected mayor of London and was later elected to the Ontario legislature as the Conservative member from the London riding. He was re-elected as mayor in 1903 and 1904 while being a member of the provincial legislature. He donated his salary as a mayor to charities.
Beck was an advocate of publicly owned electricity grids. He stood by his slogan “Power at Cost ” and he convinced Premier Whitney to create a board focusing on it. The board suggested creating a government-owned hydroelectric system, which is also funded by the municipality. They used the water from Niagara Falls and from other lakes and rivers in Ontario. In 1906, Beck was appointed as the first chairman of the Hydro-Electric Power Commission.
He was knighted by King George V in 1914 for his contributions in their community, especially in promoting electricity and development of transmission lines.
In 1915, he proposed having a network of interurban railways in Ontario under public ownership, but his plan was put on hold because of World War I. After the war, he continued to push his railway plan. In 1910 Beck founded a sanitorium, which was named Queen Alexandra Sanitorium. It was later renamed to Beck Memorial Sanitorium.
In 1923, he was re-elected to the Ontario legislature. Adam Beck died of anemia in 1925.
Was Adam Beck Married?
In 1897, Adam Beck met Lilian Ottaway. Lilian’s mother objected to the couple’s relationship because of their 21-year age difference. Beck was 40 and Ottaway was only 19. They were married on September 7, 1898