Daniel Carter Beard

Last updated

Daniel Carter Beard
Daniel Beard cph.3a02553.jpg
Born(1850-06-21)June 21, 1850
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
DiedJune 11, 1941(1941-06-11) (aged 90)
Suffern, New York, United States
Resting placeBrick Church Cemetery, Spring Valley, New York
Other namesUncle Dan
OccupationIllustrator, author, social reformer
Known forFounding pioneer of the Boy Scouts of America

Daniel Carter "Uncle Dan" Beard (June 21, 1850 – June 11, 1941) was an American illustrator, author, youth leader, and social reformer who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, which Beard later merged with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).


Early life

Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, into a family of artists. [2] As a youth, he explored the woods and made sketches of nature. His father was the artist James Henry Beard and his mother was Mary Caroline (Carter) Beard. His uncle was the artist William Holbrook Beard. He lived at 322 East Third Street in Covington, Kentucky near the Licking River, where he learned the stories of Kentucky pioneer life.

He started an early career as an engineer and surveyor. [3] He attended art school in New York City. He wrote a series of articles for St. Nicholas Magazine that later formed the basis for The American Boy's Handy Book . He was a member of the Student Art League, where he met and befriended Ernest Thompson Seton in 1883. He illustrated a number of books for Mark Twain, and for other authors such as Ernest Crosby.

In 1908 while living in Redding, Connecticut, Beard was among those on hand to welcome Mark Twain upon his arrival to the author's new villa Stormfield. [4]

Beard became the editor of Recreation magazine and wrote a monthly column for youth. He founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905, basing it on American frontier traditions. He later moved his column to Woman's Home Companion . After conflicts with a new editor, he moved to the Pictorial Review . Since Women's Home Companion retained the rights to the name, he simply renamed the organization to Boy Pioneers of America. [5]


Beard (right) with Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell (seated) and Ernest Thompson Seton (left) Scouting pioneers.jpg
Beard (right) with Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell (seated) and Ernest Thompson Seton (left)

Beard merged his organization into the Boy Scouts of America when it was founded in 1910. Beard became one of the first National Scout Commissioners of the Boy Scouts and served it for 30 years. He later became the editor of Boys' Life magazine, the BSA official magazine, and wrote a monthly column for youth. The work of both Beard and Ernest Thompson Seton are in large part the basis of the Traditional Scouting movement. [6] [7]

Beard also helped his sister organize the Camp Fire Girls. Beard was a Freemason, initiated in the Mariners Lodge No. 67 (New York City). [8] [9] An award for Masonic Scouters has been named in his honor.

B Flushing, New York, which is believed to be one of the oldest continuously chartered Boy Scout Troops in the United States.[ citation needed ] Beard became an Eagle Scout at the age of 64 on February 15, 1915. [10]

Daniel Beard in later life, with Boy Scouts Daniel Carter Beard 1937.jpg
Daniel Beard in later life, with Boy Scouts

Prior to the establishment of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Dan Beard was recipient of the only "gold Eagle badge" awarded at the Second National Training Conference of Scout Executives held in 1922 in Blue Ridge, North Carolina. [2]

Dan Beard was also involved with the Culver Academies' summer camp program for many years, which used his "Sons of Daniel Boone" program. This program still exists as the Academy's Culver Woodcraft Camp.

Beard died on June 11, 1941, shortly before his 91st birthday at his home Brooklands in Suffern, New York. [11] He was buried near his home at the Brick Church Cemetery in Spring Valley, New York. [12] [13] The National Program Director of the Boy Scouts of America, E. Urner Goodman, was selected to be in charge of the beloved youth leader's funeral in Suffern. An estimated 2,000 people lined the funeral route to the cemetery in Monsey, New York, where 127 Boy Scouts formed an honor guard and assisted with traffic control. [14]

Honors and legacy

The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge carries I-471 across the Ohio River. [15] A life-size bronze statue of Daniel Carter Beard and a Boy Scout, created by world-renowned sculptor Kenneth Bradford, stands at 322 East 3rd Street in Covington, Kentucky, Beard's boyhood home. The nearby Daniel Carter Beard Boyhood Home is now a National Historic Landmark in the Riverside Drive Historic District. [16]

Junior High School 189 Daniel Carter Beard is located in Flushing, Queens, New York; the Daniel Carter Beard Mall is a nearby park. The Daniel Carter Beard Elementary School is located in Chicago, Illinois.

The Dan Beard Council is the administrative body of the BSA in the Greater Cincinnati area. [17]

Many Scout camps have sites named after Beard including Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, Forestburg Scout Reservation in Forestburg, New York and Broad Creek Memorial Scout Reservation in Maryland and Tama Hills in Tokyo, Japan.[ citation needed ] Other camps have programs named after Beard, such as the first-year camper program at McKee Scout Reservation in Kentucky.

The Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois, has long had a campground called Camp Dan Beard.

Freemasons in the U.S. offer the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award for Masons who are involved with Scouting. The BSA offers the James E. West Fellowship Award; an advanced level is the 1910 Society which in turn includes levels of contributions—the Daniel Carter Beard is recognized for a gift of at least $100,000.

Mount Dan Beard, a 10,082-foot (3,073 m) peak in the Alaska Range near Denali in Denali National Park and Preserve, is named after Beard. [18]


Captain Jinks, Hero, from the 1902 book of the same name by Ernest Crosby, illustrated by Beard Captain Jinks, Hero - frontispiece - Project Gutenberg eText 19353.png
Captain Jinks, Hero, from the 1902 book of the same name by Ernest Crosby, illustrated by Beard
Beard's frontispiece for Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Connecticut Yankee4.jpg
Beard's frontispiece for Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court .

See also

Related Research Articles

Boy Scouts of America Scouting organization in the United States

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is the largest scouting organization and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with about 2.3 million youth participants and about one million adult volunteers. The BSA was founded in 1910, and since then, about 110 million Americans participated in BSA programs at some time in their lives. BSA is part of the international Scout Movement and became a founding member organization of the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.

Ernest Thompson Seton American writer and artist

Ernest Thompson Seton was an author, wildlife artist, founder of the Woodcraft Indians in 1902 and one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910. Seton also influenced Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of one of the first Scouting organizations. His notable books related to Scouting include The Birch Bark Roll and the Boy Scout Handbook. He is responsible for the appropriation and incorporation of what he believed to be American Indian elements into the traditions of the BSA.

Scouting in Missouri

Scouting in Missouri has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day.

Scouting in Kentucky

Scouting in Kentucky has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live. Kentucky has a very early Scouting heritage, as the home state of Daniel Carter Beard.

Scouting in North Carolina has a long history, from the 1910s to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

Scouting in Pennsylvania

Scouting in Pennsylvania has a long and rich tradition, from 1908 to the present day, serving thousands of youth in programs that suit the environment in which they live.

The Sons of Daniel Boone, later the Boy Pioneers of America, was a youth program developed by Daniel Carter Beard in 1905 based on the American frontiersman. When Dan Beard joined the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in 1910 as one of their national Scout commissioners, he merged his group into the fledgling BSA.

E. Urner Goodman Founder of the Order of the Arrow

Edward Urner Goodman was an influential leader in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) movement for much of the twentieth century. Goodman was the national program director from 1931 until 1951, during the organization's formative years of significant growth when the Cub Scouting and Exploring programs were established. He developed the BSA's national training center in the early 1930s and was responsible for publication of the widely read Boy Scout Handbook and other Scouting books, writing the Leaders Handbook used by Scout leaders in the United States during the 1930s and 1940s. In the 1950s, Goodman was Executive Director of Men's Work for the National Council of Churches in New York City and active in church work.

Arthur Rose Eldred First Eagle Scout in the United States

Arthur Rose Eldred was an American agricultural and railroad industry executive, civic leader, and the first Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). As a 16-year-old candidate for the highest rank bestowed by the BSA, he was personally interviewed by a panel composed of the youth organization's founding luminaries, including Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard. Eldred was awarded the coveted distinction of Eagle Scout on September 2, 1912, becoming the first of more than two million boys in the U.S. since then to earn Scouting's most vaunted rank. Eldred also received the Bronze Honor Medal for lifesaving, and was the first of four generations of Eagle Scouts in his family.

William Hillcourt Scouting leader

William Hillcourt, known within the Scouting movement as "Green Bar Bill", was an influential leader in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) organization from 1927 to 1992. Hillcourt was a prolific writer and teacher in the areas of woodcraft, troop and patrol structure, and training; his written works include three editions of the BSA's official Boy Scout Handbook, with over 12.6 million copies printed, other Scouting-related books and numerous magazine articles. Hillcourt developed and promoted the American adaptation of the Wood Badge adult Scout leader training program.

James E. West (Scouting) lawyer and an advocate of childrens rights, who become the first professional Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, serving from 1911–1943

James Edward West was a lawyer and an advocate of children's rights, who became the first professional Executive Secretary, soon renamed Chief Scout Executive, of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), serving from 1911 to 1943. Upon his retirement from the BSA, West was given the title of Chief Scout.

Scouting in the United States is dominated by the 2.7 million-member Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA and other associations that are recognized by one of the international Scouting organizations. There are also a few smaller, independent groups that are considered to be "Scout-like" or otherwise Scouting related.

<i>The American Boys Handy Book</i> book by Daniel Carter Beard

The American Boy's Handy Book is a handbook of activities intended for boys, written by a founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Daniel Carter Beard. It is divided into seasonal sections, with activities appropriate for each season in their respective sections. Originally published in New York City in 1882 with 254 black-and-white figures and 63 illustrations. The 2010 Centennial Edition of the book was granted the Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award in the Sports and Hobbies category.

History of the Boy Scouts of America Wikimedia history article

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was inspired by and modeled on the Boy Scout Association, established by Baden-Powell in Britain in 1908. In the early 1900s, several youth organizations were active, and many became part of the BSA.

Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

The Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (DESA) is a distinguished service award of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). It is awarded to an Eagle Scout for distinguished service in his profession and to his community for a period of at least 25 years after attaining the level of Eagle Scout. Other requirements include significant accomplishment in one's career and a solid record of continued community volunteer involvement. It is one of only two BSA awards given to adults that is dependent upon the recipient's having been awarded Eagle Scout as a youth; the other is the NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award (NOESA). Recipients of the DESA are known as Distinguished Eagle Scouts.

Mid-Iowa Council

The Mid Iowa Council is a council of the Boy Scouts of America that serves all Scouts, adult volunteers and Venturers in Central Iowa. This includes the area of the state capital, Des Moines.

Daniel Carter Beard Boyhood Home United States historic place

The Daniel Carter Beard Boyhood Home is a National Historic Landmark located in the Riverside Drive Historic District of Covington, Kentucky, overlooking the Licking River, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio. The two-and-one-half story brick domicile, built in 1821 and one of the two oldest buildings in Kenton County, Kentucky, is the boyhood home of Daniel Carter Beard, a founder of the Boy Scouts of America. He was their National Scout Commissioner from its 1910 founding to his death in 1941.

Lincoln Heritage Council

The Lincoln Heritage Council (LHC) is a local council of the Boy Scouts of America serving 64 counties in four states: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee.

Max I. Silber Professional Scouter, Distinguished Eagle Scout

Max I. Silber was an American businessman from New Hampshire who through his philanthropic works became not only a formative figure for Boy Scouting in New Hampshire, but a distinguished citizen of his home state. A devout Jew, Silber was an active supporter of religious Scouting programs, and was distinguished not just by the Jewish Committee of Scouting, but by the Roman Catholic Committee on Scouting as well. Perhaps the most famous endeavor of Silber's was the development of his "friendship gifts" which were most commonly belt buckles made of bronze. These buckles have evolved into popular Scouting collectibles.


  1. White, James Terry; Derby, George (1930). "Beard, Daniel Carter". The National Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: J. T. White. 33: 373–374.
  2. 1 2 Rowan, Edward L. (2005). To Do My Best: James E. West and the History of the Boy Scouts of America. Las Vegas International Scouting Museum. ISBN   0-9746479-1-8.
  3. "Daniel C. Beard". Ohio History Central. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
  4. Beard, Dan (January–June 1910). Mark Twain as a Neighbor. Review of Reviews and World's Work: An International Magazine. 41. pp. 705–708.
  5. Scott, David C. (June 2006). "Ernest Thompson Seton and BSA - The Partnership Collapse of 1915". International Scouting Collectors Association. 6 (2): 10.
  6. "Traditional Scouting". American Traditional Scouting. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  7. Rowan, Edward L. (December 2006). "Dan Beard, Founder of the First Boy Scout Society". International Scouting Collectors Association. 6 (4): 28–29.
  8. "List of famous freemasons". freemasonry.bcy.ca. Archived from the original on October 4, 2001. Retrieved September 30, 2018. East Nashville No. 560, TN [19]
  9. "Famous Freemasons in the course of history". stjohnslodgedc.org. Archived from the original on November 15, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  10. "Online Eagle Directory: Beard, Daniel Carter" . National Eagle Scout Association. Retrieved December 3, 2009.
  11. June 12, 1941, New York Herald Tribune
  12. Brick Church Cemetery aka Reformed Church Cemetery, Beard Family Plot - (Section D, Division 1, Plot 1, Grave 6),221 Brick Church Rd (Brick Church Rd and Hwy 306), Spring Valley NY 10977, 845-354-6785
  13. Daniel Carter Beard at Find a Grave
  14. "Scouts Officiate at Beard Funeral" (PDF). The New York Times. June 16, 1941. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
  15. "Bridge to open". Kentucky New Era. October 28, 1976. p. 8. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  16. "Beard, Daniel C., Boyhood Home". National Historic Landmarks. National Park Service. Archived from the original on June 3, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  17. "Dan Beard Council". Archived from the original on March 21, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011.
  18. "Mount Dan Beard". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved April 12, 2013.