Ohio Biographies

R. A. Becker Varnish Company

The R.A. Becker Varnish Company was founded in 1889 by Richard Becker on the location its office and factory now stand at the corner of Harrison Avenue and Girard Street, Cincinnati. It began in modest quarters but under excellent management soon gave evidence of good staying qualities and as time advanced gained substantial recognition from a growing patronage. Today the company occupies a handsome brick building, one hundred feet front and extending back one hundred feet. It is provided with all modern facilities for manufacturing and handling a large line of varnishes and Japans, which have an extensive sale throughout the country.

Richard Becker is a native of Ireland and was born November 2, 1861, being a son of Thomas and Rosetta (Plunkett) Becker. The father crossed the ocean with his family to the New World in 1866 and located in Cincinnati. He is a man of good education and for many years engaged in bookkeeping in this city. He is still active in mind and body, although past seventy-six years of age. The son Richard attended the public schools of this city and the old Resor Academy in Clifton. After laying his school books aside he was for a year office boy in the law office of Thomas A. Lane, and then entered the employ of William Randle, one of the pioneer manufactures of paint in Cincinnati, who began business on Pearl Street as early as 1830. Mr. Becker continued as a clerk under Mr. Randle for three years and then went to New York City, where he engaged in manufacturing for a short time. Returning to Cincinnati, he was placed in charge of the manufacturing department of the Hammer Paint Company, continuing with this firm from 1881 to 1882. In the latter year, with a Mr. Cater as partner, Mr. Becker opened a small place of his own, but this business did not prove successful and he returned to the employ of Mr. Randle. In 1889 he established his present business, which is now a partnership concern, his brother Lawrence being his associate. Thomas Becker, the father was identified with the business for some time but disposed of his interest in 1909.

In 1889, at Cincinnati, Mr. Becker was united in marriage to Miss. Lida Randle, a daughter of William Randle, and they have three children, William Randle, Elliot Dallon and Lida Jeannette. The older son is with his father in business.

Mr. Becker is a man of large practical experience and by application of principles of strict integrity and reliability he and those with whom he is associated have developed a business, which yields a handsome annual revenue. The superior quality of materials handled by the company has gained for it an enviable reputation wherever its products are used and the name of The R.A. Becker Varnish Company is accepted as a synonym for reliability and straightforward dealing. Mr. Becker devotes his entire time and energies to the management of the business and enjoys the well-deserved respect and esteem of all who know him.


From Cincinnati, The Queen City, Volume III by Rev. Charles Frederic Goss, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1912