Fred G. Beers - Biography

Fred G. Beers was born in Perry on August 19, 1924, and grew up mostly in the family business, the City Drug Store, on the north side of the square. He began a career in journalism at The Perry Daily Journal after graduating from Perry high school in 1941 at the age of 16.

Two years later, during World War II, he entered the Army. After basic training in Infantry he was chosen for an engineering degree program at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, N.Y. When that program was discontinued by the Army, he was assigned to the 98th Infantry division which was staging at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in preparation for one of the island assaults in the Pacific Ocean Area.

After the division arrived in Hawaii for further training, he was selected as a staff member for the Army newspaper, The Stars & Stripes, on the Mid-Pacific edition of the paper, based in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was first a general assignment reporter, and then a copy editor until the paper ceased publication in 1946.

Discharged from the Army as a staff sergeant, he returned to The Journal as managing editor. He soon began writing a personal column, The Northwest Corner, which was interrupted in 1969 when he was employed in the advertising and publications fields at the Ditch Witch company, the Charles Machine Works, Inc.

In 1954 he and Laura B. Thomas, laboratory technologist at Perry Memorial Hospital, were married. They have two daughters - Kathy, now Mrs. Ron Lindsey of Leawood, KS, and Susan, now Mrs. John Bieberdorf of Perry. The grandchildren are Tom and Joanie Lindsey and Amy and Jill Bieberdorf.

After retiring from CMW in 1989, he wrote The First Generation, an anecdotal history of the first 50 years of Perry and CMW. In 1994, after a 25-year lag, he again began writing The Northwest Corner for The Journal two or three times a week. A few of these columns were selected for compilation in another book, Perry Tales, in 1995.

Beers considers himself primarily a husband, father and grandfather, with a restless, lifelong interest in the history and the people of the area where he was born and reared, someone who loves to read and write, and a devotee of big band music.

His father, Fred W. Beers, died in 1931 and his mother, Ivy Isabel Beers, died in 1967. A half-sister, Helen, and two sisters, Jeanice Wade and Gloria Miries, also are deceased.