Boyhood Home of Daniel Carter Beard

Historical Marker #50 in Kenton County marks the boyhood home of Daniel Carter Beard, who founded the Sons of Daniel Boone, a forerunner to the Boy Scouts of America.

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 21, 1850, Beard grew up in nearby Covington, Kentucky. After a local education, Beard attended Worrall's Academy, where he studied civil engineering and graduated in 1869. He worked as a surveyor in Cincinnati before moving to New York City in 1874.

A talented artist, Beard traveled across the country over the next several years, surveying land and drawing animals. He soon became one of the best known portraitists of his day. He and his brothers published a book of illustrations in 1882, which were followed by fifteen more.

In addition to art, Beard was also passionate about the outdoors. He founded the Sons of Daniel Boone in Covington in 1905, which was the earliest forerunner to the Boy Scouts. His model was a major influence on the Boy Scouts of England, and, ultimately, the Boy Scouts of America, which was incorporated in 1910.

Affectionately known as "Uncle Dan," Beard was a charter member of the Boy Scouts of America's executive committee. He also served as national Scout commissioner for thirty years. Beard is responsible for designing the scout hat, shirt, neckerchief, and many of the merit badges. Beard received many awards for his work, including the gold eagle badge, and the first medal for outstanding citizenship by the state of Kentucky. Also, Mount Dan Beard in the Alaskan Denali Range was named in his honor.

Beard died at his home in New York on July 11, 1941. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was among the pallbearers at Beard's funeral. His childhood home in Covington was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1965.