Daniel Carter Beard, Scout Leader & Freemason

Researched and prepared by W. Bro. Patrick W. Dugan

2015 "50 Year Scouter", in celebration of the 300th Anniversary of Masonry in America.

Silver Buffalo Award

Born June 21, 1850, at 17 W. 9th St., Cincinnati, Ohio, moved with his parents to Covington, KY at age 11, where he lived in a house at 322 E. 3rd St. built in 1821 near the Licking River.

Dan was admitted to the Naval Academy at Annapolis on July 23, 1866. He was only 16 years old. He was appointed by Congressman Smith of the 6th House District of Kentucky.

There is no record of him ever starting classes or being dismissed. He was turned down for having a "crooked trigger finger."

He was the son of James Henry Beard, who served in the Union army during the Civil War, holding the rank of captain. Henry Farny, the western painter, and General Lew Wallace were friends and visited the home.

Beard spent several years as a civil engineer and surveyed in the Cincinnati area. He studied in the Art Students League of New York from 1880 to 1884 and supported himself as an illustrator of magazines and books.

Dan illustrated the first edition of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court." He also taught art privately at the New York School of Applied Design.

In 1905, Beard became editor of the children's section of Recreation magazine. Beard used his position to create a youth group called "The Sons of Daniel Boone," and later, the "Boy Pioneers." in 1910, the Boy Pioneers became part of the Boy Scouts of America.

Beard played in important leadership role in the Boy Scouts until his death. He served as the first National Commissioner and Chairman of the Court of Honor. He was one of the editors of Boy's Life, the official magazine of the Boy Scouts. Beard also helped his sister organize the Camp Fire Girls and was president of the Camp Fire Club.

Some of Dan Beards Honors include:

  • Silver Buffalo Award from National Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Gold Eagle Badge, 2nd National Training Conference of Scout Executives, 1922
  • Honorary Alpha Phi Omega brother
  • Mt. Beard in Alaska, adjoining Mr. McKinley
  • Daniel Carter Beard Bridge on I-471 across the Ohio River
  • Campsite named after him at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico‚Äč

Beard was made a Mason in Mariner Lodge #67 in New York City and later affiliated with Conucopia Lodge #563 in Flushing, New York

Brother Beard devoted his life to and exemplified Masonic ideals throughout the Boy Scouting movement.

In May 1941, he suffered from a cold, had 3 mild heart attacks and remained bedfast.

Dan Beard died on June 11, 1941 in Suffern, NY. He is buried at Brick Church Cemetery, Spring Valley, New York.