San Diego County
FRANK B. BEYER
A mining engineer in his earlier years, Frank B. Beyer’s work in that connection took him to various parts of the west, and the latter part of his adventurous life was spent in San Diego County. He had a fine ranch near San Ysidro and was of the large landholders of this part of the state. Prospering in his various undertakings, he became a man of considerable means and unselfishly shared his substance with others, being as well known for his generosity and public spirit as for his enterprise and business ability.
Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, November 7, 1875, Mr. Beyer pursued his education in the Keystone state until graduated from the University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia, and later completed a course of study in the Missouri School of Mines at Rolla. As a mining engineer he went to Alaska for the Guggenheim interests, for which he afterward exploited the San Juan district of Colorado, and while in that state joined the rush of prospectors to Silver Creek, Cripple Creek and Silvertown. Two decades ago he was following booms in Nevada, and in 1915 entered the Imperial Valley of California. During all this period he was gathering color that causes him to be remembered as a gambler of the old school. In 1918 he became a resident of San Ysidro and plunged into life across the border at Tia Juana, Mexico. At one time he was associated with Marvin Allen and the late Carl Withington in the ownership and control of the racetrack, Sunset Inn and the Foreign Club. His later years were devoted to the supervision of his dairy and breeding farm, the Rancho Lechusa, near San Ysidro, and the management of his many real estate and other investments. His property holdings were extensive and included a number of fine farms between National City in San Diego County and Tia Juana on the Mexican border. Possessing keen discernment and mature judgment, he readily recognized the difficulties as well as the possibilities of a business situation and focused his energies in directions where fruition was certain.
In 1909 while on a business trip to Alaska, Mr. Beyer was married in Ruby to Miss Blanche Swinehart, whom he met during his travels in that country. Her father, Charles M. Swinehart, who engaged in agricultural pursuits in Wisconsin, is deceased but the mother, Mrs. Dakota (Walbridge) Swinehart, is living in San Diego. Mr. Beyer was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Loyal Order of Moose, the Masons and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. Always regarding his citizenship as a primary obligation, he gave liberally of his time, energy and means for the good of his community and was one of the most progressive and public-spirited men in San Ysidro. He was the donor of the civic center and of the public library, with several thousand dollars worth of books, one of the finest institutions of the kind to be found in any town of this size. The San Ysidro Public Library enjoys the unique distinction of having a smoking room, an innovation for which Mr. Beyer was responsible. Believing that there is good in all creeds, he fostered the progress of religion in his city by purchasing and donating the land for both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, and was never weary in well doing. Keenly interested in the project for a new highway, he bent every effort toward the attainment of that end. Sympathetic and unselfish, his benefactions were as wide as his knowledge but were never advertised. Mr. Beyer was one of the most widely known and best loved men in this district. On February 15, 1931, at the age of fifty-five years, he responded to the final summons, passing through the portal of the Great Beyond as he had lived—peacefully and courageously. Mrs. Beyer resides at San Ysidro and is capably managing the large and valuable estate left by her husband. Like him, she has ever manifested a deep and helpful interest in civic affairs and philanthropic work, finding true happiness in service to others. She is vice president of the Woman’s Club of San Ysidro, president of the local Parent-Teacher Association, and vice president of Sweetwater Council of that association.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. III, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 251-253, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.