STEPHEN DAVISON BECHTEL
Stephen Davison Bechtel, corporation executive, has been identified with some of the largest engineering and construction projects located throughout the world during the past two decades.
World War I he served in
Mr. Bechtel started in the general construction business with his father in 1919 and worked on a number of different construction projects until 1925, at which time W. A. Bechtel Co. was formed. At that time he became vice president of the new organization, and was made president in 1926, a position which he held until this firm’s activities were terminated in 1948. He worked with this company supervising railroad construction, building construction, pipelines, and engineering.
The W. A.
Bechtel Co. was one of the Six Companies Inc., formed in 1931, builders of the
Hoover Dam on the
with John A. McCone, in 1937 Mr. Bechtel organized Bechtel-McCone Corporation,
an engineering firm that engaged principally in the design and building of
petroleum refineries and chemical plants. He served as a director from the
company’s inception until 1946. This organization, like other Bechtel
interests, was heavily employed in the national service during World
War II, expanding the scope of its services into new technical fields to
meet defense requirements. Under its jurisdiction the
World War II Mr. Bechtel’s activities centered in engineering and construction
geared to the war emergency as well as in the shipbuilding and aircraft
programs. He was president and director of California Shipbuilding Corporation
from 1941 to 1943, and then board chairman (1944-1947). This large yard on
Since the end of the war the Bechtel interests have continued to experience an orderly growth. Their principal activities include the engineering and construction of electric power systems, petroleum refineries, chemical plants, pipe lines, industrial plants, and special projects such as mines, metallurgical plants and steel mills.
Corporation and affiliated companies have been exceedingly active in the Middle
East for the past eight years and, among other projects, have just completed
the construction of the Trans-Arabian Pipe Line in
being President and Director of Bechtel Corporation, Mr. Bechtel is Chairman of
the Board of Directors of five affiliated companies: Bechtel International
Corporation; International Bechtel, Inc.; Arabian Bechtel Company;
He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and the American Petroleum Institute.
He is a
member of the Business Advisory Council for the United States Department of
Commerce; of the Engineering Advisory Council of the University of
His college fraternity is Beta Theta Pit (sic), and he belongs to the Pacific Union, Commonwealth, Engineers, and Press Clubs of San Francisco, the California Club of Los Angeles, the Claremont Country Club of Oakland, the Cypress Point Golf and Country Club of Monterey, the Shadow Mountain Club of Palm Springs, all in California, and the Links Club in New York.
Mr. Bechtel married Miss Laura Adeline Peart on September 27, 1923. He has two children, Stephen Davison Jr., and Barbara. He is a Methodist and a 32nd degree Mason.
Transcribed by Marie Hassard 04 January 2014.
Source: Eminent Californians 1953, by Lee E. Johnson & C. W. Taylor. Pages 189-191, C. W. Taylor Publ., Palo Alto, California, 1953.
© 2014 Marie Hassard.