Life of Allen D. Beemer

Allen D. Beemer was a native of Scranton, Pennsylvania with ancestral lines stretching back to Germany and Holland. The family first settled in New Jersey where many children were born, one of them A.D. Beemer’s father, Elias. Elias and his wife, Phoebe, had seven children with Allen being the eldest.

Allen received a limited education and at the age of 17 left the family farm to join Company K of the Eleventh Pennsylvania Cavalry when the Civil War broke out. He was promoted to the rank of Corporal before mustering out of service in August of 1865. Returning to Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. Beemer kept a hotel at Franklin, Pennsylvania as well as a livery stable in Scranton.

Something prompted Mr. Beemer to head west and he found himself traveling around the state of Nebraska in 1868. He must have liked what he saw in the young town of West Point as he settled there and became the proprietor of the hotel known as the West Point House and later the Neligh House. He also dealt in grain and livestock during this period.

Mr. Beemer must have returned to Scranton, Pennsylvania at some time as he married Miss Belle Ackerley of that city in 1874 and brought her back to this area. Three children were born to this union.

In 1885, Allen D. Beemer purchased a half section of land where the present town of Beemer now stands. He became an avid promoter of the promising settlement and in 1885, along with two other couples, he platted the official settlement known as Rock Creek. The railroad was induced to establish a station near Rock Creek for which station Mr. Beemer built a depot to serve its needs. Also in 1885, a new post office was erected by Mr. Beemer for Rock Creek but Congressman E.K. Valentine named it the Beemer Post Office in honor of A.D. Beemer. Shortly thereafter the railroad took the Beemer name thus ending the short-lived Rock Creek settlement begun by Mr. Beemer, et al. Mr. Beemer served as chairman of the village trustees from 1887-1881. Mr. Beemer continued to add to the young towns businesses with the addition of a hotel and a livery stable.

Allen D. Beemer was very active in both West Point and Beemer civic organizations and served on the boards of several businesses. He was director of the Beemer State Bank when it was organized in 1890 and in 1891 was serving on the Beemer School board. He was a charter member in the A.F. & A.M. Jordan No. 24 Masonic Lodge (1870); the Knights of Pythias (1881); the Grand Army of the Republic S.D. Crawford Post No. 197 as well as its first Jr. Vice-Commander (1884); the Grand Army Post Beemer No. 293 (1890) and the Odd Fellows fraternity.

In 1886, Allen D. Beemer secured the Times in Beemer, an established newspaper in the nearby community of Wisner, and moved it to Beemer. The paper was published each Friday for the price of $1.50 per year.

Allen D. Beemer was considered by all to be a courteous gentleman. He commanded the respect as well as other acquaintances. As the History of the Elkhorn Valley states, “In Mr. Beemer the Keystone State sent forth a son who wore the loyal blue as a soldier, and one who in times of peace is a valuable acquisition to any community.”