Boys' Life
Vol. XV No. 2, p.5
February 1925

My Friend Dan Beard

by Charles Dana Gibson

 
I have been given the opportunity to write something about my old friend, Dan Beard. This I gladly do, for to talk about Dan is one of the most pleasant and therefore the easiest thing I can do. He was the first professional artist I ever came in contact with, personally. That was nearly fifty years ago, and it's a fortunate thing for me that my first impressions of an artist were so favorable. I have tried to feel that there was something of the same manly spirit and mental health in all artists I have known since that time.

Dan Beard makes no effort to give this impression. He just lives his life in a perfectly natural way, as a bird sings. The spirit that is in him is of the contagious sort, and my brother Langdon and I felt it. Hundreds of thousands of boys since that day have had the same experience. For over half a century Dan Beard has gone on with ever-increasing ingenuity and charm, pointing out to youth the fine things, the useful occupations, and clean sports.

Dan Beard was the original founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone, the Forerunner of the Boy Scouts. But this is all a part of history.

The color of Dan's hair might indicate a man a little past middle age, but, under his skin, he is undaunted youth and his eye is kindled with a flame that should burn for many more years to come. He has become a symbol of clean living and of vigorous bodily health. For over half a century he has made all these things attractive and natural as they should be, and therein lies the strength of his appeal. With the rest of his countrymen I take my hat off to him.

I am proud to have known him intimately all these years. Because of Dan Beard, we are all of us considerably happier.

Dan Beard - The Friend of Youth - by J. Irving Crump

Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944), creator of the Gibson Girl
pictures