His Early and Personal Life
Daniel Carter Beard was born into a family of artists in Cincinnati, Ohio. He enjoyed playing in the woods and sketching animals. His began an early career as an engineer and surveyor, and then went on to attend art school in New York. He illustrated many books, and even illustrated a number of books for Mark Twain. He wrote a series of articles for St. Nicholas magazine which would become the “American Boy’s Handy Book.”
His Role in the Scout Movement
He became the editor of “Recreation” magazine, writing a regular column for youth. He founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in 1906, basing it on American frontier traditions. He then moved his column to “Women’s Home Companion.” Upon leaving that publication, his editor kept the name of the organization, so Beard changed the name of his organization to Boy Pioneers. Many people continued however to refer to it as the Sons of Daniel Boone.
Scouts were divided up into “Forts”. The officers of each “Fort” bore the name of a frontiersman and had a special insignia. For example, the president of the fort would be known as Daniel Boone and his insignia was the powder keg. Other titles include the names of Kit Carson, John James Audubon, Johnny Appleseed, and Davy Crockett. Their uniform was based on the fringed buckskin outfit popularized as frontiersman clothes.
Beard emphasized a respect for nature and believed most activities should be outdoor-oriented. He formed much of the backbone of the Scout Movement.
Beard was a beloved figure to youth everywhere, and a statue of him stands in Covington, Kentucky to this day.