Daniel Carter Beard

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Awards and Honors
Silver Buffalo Award
Honorary Alpha Phi Omega brother
Daniel Beard in later life
The American Boy's Handy Book, by Daniel Beard
Image:Captain Jinks, Hero - frontispiece - Project Gutenberg eText 19353.png
Captain Jinks, Hero, from the 1902 book of the same name, illustrated by Beard

Daniel Carter "Uncle Dan" Beard (June 21, 1850June 11, 1941) was an American illustrator, author, and social reformer who was one of the founders of the Boy Scouts of America.


Early life

Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a family of artists.[1] As a youth, he explored the woods and made sketches of nature. He lived at 322 East Third Street in Covington, Kentucky near the Licking River, where he learned the stories of Kentucky pioneer life. The home is now located in the Licking-Riverside Historic District.

He started an early career as an engineer and surveyor. 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.

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 Women'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.[2]


He 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. The work of both Beard and Ernest Thompson Seton are in large part the basis of the Traditional Scouting movement.[3]

Beard also helped his sister organize the Camp Fire Girls and became president of the Camp Fire Club of America. Beard was a Freemason in a New York Lodge, and an award for Masonic Scouters has been named in his honor.

Prior to the establishment of the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award, Dan Beard was recipient of the first and only "gold Eagle badge" awarded at the Second National Training Conference of Scout Executives held in 1922 in Blue Ridge, North Carolina.[4]

Beard died on June 11, 1941, at his home (named Brooklands) in Suffern, New York.[5] He was buried near his home at the Brick Church Cemetery in Spring Valley, New York.[6]

The Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, which carries I-471 across the Ohio River, was named for him. A life-size bronze statue of Daniel Carter Beard and Boy Scout, created by world-renowned sculptor Kenneth Bradford, stands in Covington, Kentucky near his boyhood home, now a National Historic Landmark.[7]

At the Philmont Scout Ranch in the Northern Region, there is a staffed campsite named after him. At that campsite scouts work on low impact camping and participate in team building activities. The campsite is also on the edge of the Valle Vidal, and much vegetation around it is burned down due to many fires.


  • The American Boy's Handy Book, 1882, 1903 (still in print)
  • The American Girl's Handy Book, 1887 (still in print)
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, 1889 (illustrator, still in print)
  • The American Boy's Book of Sport, 1890
  • Moonlight and Six Feet of Romance, 1892 (still in print)
  • The Outdoor Handy Book, 1896 (still in print)
  • Jack of All Trades, 1900, 1904?
  • Field and Forest Handy Book, 1906 (still in print)
  • Handicraft for Outdoor Boys, 1906
  • Animal Book and Campfire Stories, 1907
  • Boy Pioneers and Sons of Daniel Boone, 1909
  • Boat, Building, and Boating, 1912 (still in print)
  • Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties, 1914 (still in print)
  • The American Boy's Book of Bugs, Butterflies and Beetles, 1916
  • The American Boy's Book of Signs, Signals and Symbols, 1918
  • The American Boy's Book of Camp-Lore and Woodcraft, 1920 (still in print)
  • The American Boy's Book of Wild Animals, 1921
  • The Black Wolf-Pack , 1922,
  • American Boy's Book of Birds and Brownies of the Woods, 1923
  • Do It Yourself, 1925
  • Wisdom of the Woods, 1926, 1927?
  • Buckskin Book For Buckskin Men and Boys, 1929
  • Hardly A Man is Now Alive, 1939 (his autobiography)

See also



External links

Template:Scoutinggl:Daniel Carter Beard

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