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D.R. Beeson, Sr. Papers

Identifier: AppMs-0164

Scope and Contents

The D. R. Beeson, Sr. Papers contain consist of the personal and professional papers of Donald Richard Beeson of Johnson City, Tennessee. Professional materials include architectural drawings, blueprints, and contract books relating to Beeson's designs of private residences and public and commercial buildings in East Tennessee, western North Carolina, southwest Virginia, and West Virginia. Personal materials include Beeson's autobiography; essays; photographs; games and puzzles; newspaper clippings; and other memorabilia relating to his life-long interest in the Boy Scouts and from his activities in civic clubs, churches, and schools. Four bound volumes contain journal entries and photographs from hiking trips Beeson took in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee between 1913 and 1915. A set of fabric-mounted topographical maps is annotated with the dates and locations of some of his hikes.

A small amount of material relates to other Beeson family members and to Elma Rankin Beeson’s family, the Rankin family of Greene County, Tennessee.


  • 1830-1985, undated


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.


4.7 linear feet (Includes 7 oversize folders, 1 roll storage box, 1 scrapbook)

Language of Materials



The papers are divided into five series: Papers; Bound Journals; Photographs; Oversize Materials; and Artifacts.

Method of Acquisition

The papers of D. R. Beeson, Sr. were donated to the Archives of Appalachia on June 29, 1983 by the children of D. R. Beeson Sr.: D. R. Beeson, Jr., Mary Beeson Ellison, Anne Beeson Gouge, and Betty Beeson Helms, accession number 1983-018. D.R. Beeson, Jr. contributed additional material in 1999, 2000, 2003 and 2005, accession numbers 1999-128, 2000-056, 2003-069; and 2005-006. Beeson, Lusk & Street Architects donated the tracings of Montrose Court Apartments and the D.R. Beeson residence in July 2015, accession number 2015-030.

Separated Materials

The following books were cataloged for the Archives of Appalachia book collection: The Galax Gatherers; The Highlanders of the South (inscribed to Elma Rankin); The Land of the Saddlebags: A Study of the Mountain People of Appalachia; and Our Southern Highlanders (with an annotation that Kephart's account of the Smokies is in accordance with Beeson's and Mathes' experience).

A copy of the "Historical Map of Long Island of the Holston" was added to the Archives of Appalachia map collection.

Processing Information

Karen House completed processing and the collection was opened for research in 1985. Ned Irwin revised the finding aid in 1997. In October 2018, Jen Bingham reprocessed the entire collection except for the oversized materials in order to incorporate unprocessed material and address preservation issues.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of Appalachia Repository

PO Box 70295
344 J.L. Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City TN 37614 USA