From 1886 to 1889, George Washington Carver homesteaded a quarter section of land near present day Beeler, Kansas. One of America's greatest scientists, Carver revolutionized agriculture in the United States with his discoveries. From sweet potatoes and peanuts alone, he made paint, soap, wallboard, milk substitute, medicines, cosmetics and 500 other products.
Born in Missouri around 1864, Carver came to Kansas in 1878 seeking an education. He lived first in Fort Scott, followed by Olathe, Paola and Highland. In 1880 he joined friends to homestead near Minneapolis, Kansas, where he attended high school. In 1886, George Washington Carver moved to this location in Ness County where he built a sod house and worked his claim.
George Washington Carver eventually left to pursue a college degree in Iowa. In 1896, after completing his master's degree in agriculture, George Washington Carver joined the faculty of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama where he spent more than 40 years teaching and researching.
Two signs have been erected to recognize George Washington Carver's time near Beeler. The one immediately below is at the northeast corner of the plot which Carver homesteaded (SE ¾ of 4-19-26). It was dedicated on October 11, 1953. It reads: "Dedicated to the memory of George Washington Carver 1864 - 1943 Citizen - Scientist - Benefactor Who rose from slavery to fame and gave to our country an everlasting heritage. Ness County is proud to honor him and claim him as a pioneer. This stone marks the northeast corner of the homestead on which he filed in 1886. Erected by friends and the Ness County Historical Society 1953"
A second marker honoring George Washington Carver's "Homestead of a Genius" was erected on K-96 highway just west of Beeler, in the 1950s. It was recently replaced with the Kansas Historical Marker below. To travel from this marker to the homestead, drive east on K-96 to County Road 312 on the east side of Beeler. Drive south about 1.4 miles and the homestead memorial is on the right side of the road.
copyright 2007-2010 by Keith Stokes