Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ohio Historical Marker #43-15 " Uncle Dan "

Located in Painesville, this 2001 marker #43-15 tells the brief story of an illustrator, author, youth leader, social reformer, and founder of an iconic American organization.  Daniel Carter Beard was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in the year 1850.  By the time of his death in 1941, " Uncle Dan's "contributions to American Society included 22 major works, nine of which are still in print today, illustrations to several famous Mark Twain classics, and being a foundling father to two national youth organizations.  The one constant in each of these storylines were the summers he spent as a youth in Lake County, Ohio.

Daniel Carter Beard studied art in NYC.  A career as an illustrator followed.  A position as illustrator to Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court cemented his future fame.  His original 1882 work An American Boy's Handy Book served as a guide to outdoor living, camping, and educational experiences.  A freemason, Daniel founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1905.  A 1908 meeting with English Boy Scout founder Robert Baden-Powell led to a 1910 merger and establishment of The Boy Scouts of America.  Beard's efforts and partnership with Ernest Thompson Seton led to what is today the traditional scouting movement.  Beard became the first national BSA chairman.  Beard parlayed his early youth summer experiences in Lake County into a series of field books.  He even helped his sister organize the Camp Fire Girls as a sister organization.  His design of the BSA logo and patch stand as a tribute to his pioneering spirit and love of the outdoors. 

Today, tributes from his adult home state of New York include school and bridge namings, department of transportation placards, as well as other accolades.  However, one small marker in downtown Painesville serves to remind visitors from far and near alike of "Remarkable Ohio" and  another hidden tid-bit of local lore from Lake County, Ohio.

No comments:

Post a Comment