Richard J. Beamish

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Richard Joseph Beamish
Richard Joseph Beamish, 1869-1945.jpg
c. 1931
Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
In office
January 20, 1931 – October 17, 1934
Preceded by James Walker
Succeeded by John J. Owen
Personal details
Born (1869-11-06)November 6, 1869
Scranton, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania[1]
Died October 1, 1945(1945-10-01) (aged 75)
Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania[2]
Spouse(s) Maud Weatherly[3]
Profession Attorney, journalist, author

Richard Joseph Beamish (November 6, 1869 – October 1, 1945) was a Pennsylvania lawyer and journalist. He served a term as the state's Secretary of the Commonwealth, and served on the state's Public Utilities Commission.

Life and career[edit]

Beamish was born the son of Francis Allen and Mary Loftus. Francis Beamish had served a term as mayor of Scranton, and was owner and editor of the Scranton Free Press.[1]

Beamish attended the National School of Elocution in Ontario and the newly founded St. Thomas College in Scranton.[2] He was admitted to the bar and appointed Assistant District Attorney in Lackawanna County in 1890.[2] After three years, he became editor of the Scranton Free Press, and later was editor and journalist for several Philadelphia newspapers. He also taught and coached football at St. Thomas College.[1][4]

In 1926, he was appointed by Governor Pinchot to the state's Public Service Commission. During Pinchot's second term, Beamish was appointed Secretary of the Commonwealth. He resigned in 1934 and returned to newspaper work so as to support Democratic candidates.[5]

In 1937, he was appointed chief counsel to the state's Public Utilities Commission, the newly reconstituted and named former Public Service Commission, for a six-year term. During the war, he proposed banning college football.[4]


  • The Story of Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle. Philadelphia: International Press. 1927. 


  1. ^ a b c Rothrock, W. A., Jr., ed. (1931). The Pennsylvania Manual. 87. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. p. 160. 
  2. ^ a b c "Beamish, Ex-PUC Member, Dies". The Gazette and Daily. York, Pennsylvania. October 2, 1945. p. 27. 
  3. ^ "Beamish Left $43,000 Estate". The Evening News. Harrisburg. October 27, 1945. p. 3. 
  4. ^ a b "Coaches Blast Beamish's Suggestion". Washington Post. October 1, 1942. p. 12. 
  5. ^ "Beamish Quits Pinchot". New York Times. October 18, 1934. p. 4. 
Political offices
Preceded by
James Walker
Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth
Succeeded by
John J. Owen