Birth of Daniel Carter Beard

US #995 was the first US stamp honoring the BSA. It was issued on the opening day of the 1950 Boy Scout Jamboree.

Daniel “Uncle Dan” Beard was born on June 21, 1850, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Beard was born into a family of artists and spent his childhood exploring and sketching the woods near his home in Covington, Kentucky.  There, he developed a love of nature and the outdoors that would one day lead him into writing and illustrating about the subject.

US #995 – Classic First Day Cover.

After graduating with a degree in civil engineering in 1869, Beard worked at that profession until his family moved to New York City.  In New York, Beard studied art at the Art Student’s League.  He soon sold his first article, “How to Camp Without a Tent” to St. Nicholas magazine.  Beard then wrote a series of articles for the magazine that he turned into the successful American Boy’s Handy Book.  His illustrations caught the attention of some noted authors, including Mark Twain. Beard illustrated several of Twain’s books including Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.

US #1145 was issued for the BSA’s 50th anniversary and features artwork by Norman Rockwell.

In 1905, Beard became the editor of the wildlife magazine Recreation.  While there, he founded the “Sons of Daniel Boone” youth group, later renamed “Boy Pioneers of America.”  The group was based on the frontier traditions Beard had learned as a boy. And, like Robert Baden Powell’s Boy Scout Organization in England, “The Sons of Daniel Boone” promoted outdoor recreation.

US #1145 – Fleetwood First Day Cover.

In 1910, Beard’s Boy Pioneers merged with Boy Scouts becoming the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).  Beard was BSA’s first National Commissioner and Chairman of the Court of Honor.  In addition, he was an editor for the Boy Scout magazine, Boy’s Life, and wrote a monthly column for the scouts.  Beard went on to help establish the sister organization, the Camp Fire Girls.

US #4472 was issued for BSA’s 100th anniversary.

In 1915, at the age of 64, Beard became an Eagle Scout.  He was also the only recipient of the Boy Scout Gold Eagle Badge in 1922.  Beard continued to serve in a leadership role in Boy Scouts until his death on Jun 11, 1941.  Some 2,000 people lined the streets during his funeral and 127 boy scouts participated in an honor guard.  Many scouting-related sites are named in Beard’s honor as well as a bridge across the Ohio River, schools, parks, and a mountain in Denali National Park and Preserve.

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  1. I was a scout (no, not an Eagle Scout) and learned a lot. My Dad worked two and sometime three jobs and I learned some of those things that Dad did not have time to teach from my scoutmaster. It’s a shame about the Boy Scouts of America being “forced” to become the Scouts of America just because of political correctness. Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize my country these days. I’m pretty sure Daniel Beard would roll over in his grave if he new what the Boy Scouts had become.

    1. Oh, come on Dennis and Michael. Times change, people change, and organizations have to change and evolve. How many scout troops opened their arms to black and Hispanic kids in the early days? I was a cub scout, boy scout, and explorer scout in the 1950s and rose to the rank of Eagle, and I enjoyed the experiences a lot and learned a lot. As a city kid, I loved the campouts, the hikes, and summer camp. Welcoming girls into the scouts is a good thing, because we have to stop dividing things into boy/girl or man/woman, but I do worry about the effect on the Camp Fire and Girl Scout organizations.

      1. I’m not against change, but the Boy Scouts was changed just for political correctness and not because it made the Boy Scouts better. Conrad, I’ll bet you are for bathroom sharing (boys and girls and whatever), and tearing down all the statues of Washington, and Jefferson, also. “Scottie beam me up there is no intelligent life down here.”

  2. I enjoyed my years in scouting. Reached the rank of Life scout but other interests replaced scouting from that point on. Scouting taught me to respect nature and people. For that I am forever grateful.

  3. The National Boy Scout Jamboree was held at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in 1950. I , as a Boy Scout was there. What’s more, it will always be The Boy Scouts of American as far as I’m concerned. The liberals, progressives, socialists, communists, and some democrats are trying to destroy our country.

      1. Conrad, I am surprised by your redundance and narrowness on this issue since you are a liberal. You have called 2 readers “jerks for expressing their opinions. Have you no respect for an opinion that differs with yours? I am not familiar with Mr. Oellig but he has spoken his mind. Dennis Hilliard is a long time reader of TDIH and has always submitted quality input to the post. I have read opinions and additional information you have contributed to this site and while our politics and philosophies differ greatly, I would not insult you for your views.

        1. Well, the old saying is, “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it must be a duck.” One could also say that if it writes like a jerk (“bathroom sharing,” “tear down the statues of Washington,” “liberals, progressives, socialists, communists…trying to destroy our country.”) and so on, it must be a jerk.

  4. My life long interest in stamps started while earning the Stamp Collecting merit badge. I have fond memories of my scouting experiences and both of my sons were in the Boy Scouts. Both still love camping.

  5. I was in the Boy Scouts, too, and loved it !!! I did not become an Eagle Scout only because, at the time I was not able to acquire the swimming badge because, AT the time, I was just not able to swim well enough in the active river in my home town to earn the swimming badge before having to leave the Boy Scouts.. I regret that but I really enjoyed my time, camping, earnin g badges and sharing good times with my friends also in the Scouts.

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