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Death certificate for William Becker, 20 July 1927

William Andrew Becker was born on 9 January 1862 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the husband of Anne Elizabeth Schlectweg (1863-1934). He is buried in Northwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, in Willow Section, Row G, Position #57.

Death certificate for William Becker, 1927, 96 KB

There are three reasons to believe this is the death certificate of William Andrew Becker, the husband of Anne (née Schlectweg) Becker. The first two are the age (65 years) and the occupation (butcher). The third reason is the family story.

Photograph of William Andrew Becker, 25 KB

William's grandson Warren said that his grandfather had been a heavy drinker of alcohol who left his wife and children -- maybe after 19 April 1910, because he is named as head of household in the 1910 Census of the United States -- and no one knew what became of him.

How much William drank, if he drank, I don't know, but that he left his family is certain. The death certificate states the cause of death as "chronic glomerular nephritis with uremia", contributory: "hypertension". As it is, judging from his death certificate, William died all alone, barely known by those he lived with, and apparently in poverty (Philadelphia General Hospital appears to have been a charity hospital for the medically indigent in West Philadelphia, near the University of Pennsylvania).

The Northwood Cemetery Company wrote to me that William was buried on 1 August 1927, and that his grave "is a company owned grave and has no grave markings at this time" (14 August 2019). Northwood is at 15th & Haines Streets [1501 Haines Street], P.O. Box 5248, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19126.

Source: Certificate of Death, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, File No. 64994, Registered No. 16178. The photograph of William Andrew Becker belonged to his grandson Warren Hutchison (1921-2010).

14th Census of the United States: 1920 -- Population

County of Philadelphia, City of Philadelphia, 25th Ward, E.D. 767, Sheet 7A, Line 48,
Enumerated 21st January 1920, by Margaret M. Bradley

2355 Ann Street

Family Name First Name Census Data
Becker William A (6) Lodger, (9) Male, (10) White, (11) age 57, (12) Married, (17-18) able to read and write, (19) born in Pennsylvania, (21) father born in Germany, (22) father's mother tongue: German, (23) mother born in France, (24) mother's mother tongue: French, (25) able to speak English, (26) kind of work done: Butcher, (27) business at which at work: Shop, (28) Wage worker

Census Notes: William was living in the household of Leon W. Schaffer, age 49, salaried bookkeeper for a gas company, and Leon's wife Lillie J, age 46; their home was owned but mortgaged. There was another lodger in their household besides William, namely Wimar Dahl, age 21, unmarried, seaman from Sweden, wage worker for a steamship company, year of immigration 1903, naturalized citizen 1917, able to speak English. (Lines 46-47, 49)

Source: National Archives Microfilm Publication T625
Image at FamilySearch.org (19 August 2019)

Locations: The Post Office code for 2335 Ann Street is 19134. The code for 1119 West Lehigh Avenue, the undertaker H.B. Mullegin's address on William's death certificate, is 19133. That code is on the western border of 19134. The southern part of Germantown Avenue also lies in 19133, although I don't know if that is where 2124 Germantown Avenue, William's residence at time of death, was.

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/schlectweg/william-becker-death-certificate.html
Last revised: 26 July 2019 : 2019-07-26 by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.

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