Thomas E. Caldecott

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Thomas Edwin Caldecott (1878–1951) was a politician in Alameda County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area in the first half of the 20th century. The Caldecott Tunnel which is a key highway link through the Berkeley Hills is named after him.

Caldecott was born in Chester, England on July 27, 1878. Both of his parents were Welsh. The family emigrated to Toronto, Canada about 1882. Caldecott grew up in Canada, and obtained a pharmacy degree from the University of Toronto in 1900. Thomas and his brother visited Berkeley, California, and shortly thereafter in 1903, moved their entire family there. That same year, Caldecott bought a pharmacy at Dwight Way and Shattuck Avenue, later moved to Ashby Avenue and Adeline Street in the Webb Block, a building which was designated a local landmark in 2004.

In 1910, Caldecott married Australian-born nurse Eveline Grooms (1888–1977) who worked at Berkeley's Alta Bates Hospital. They had three children: Chester Edwin (1911–1984), Thomas William (1914–1994), and Elizabeth Fanny (1918–1983). His son Thomas William Caldecott was elected and served as a state assemblyman for District 18 from 1946-1957, resigned from the State Assembly on September 26, 1957. Appointed Judge, September 27, 1957, Alameda County Superior Court by Governor Goodwin J. Knight. Appointed 1975 Member, California Judicial Council retired in 1979.

Caldecott was elected to the City Council of Berkeley in 1923. In 1930, he was appointed to fill out the remaining term of Mayor Michael B. Driver. He then successfully ran for the office of Mayor in 1931, serving until December 1932. He subsequently served (1933–1951) as a supervisor on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. He also served as the president of Joint Highway District 13 which oversaw the construction of the multi-bore tunnel which bears his name.

Caldecott died of a heart attack at his Berkeley home on July 23, 1951.

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