Re-dedication of Leo Beuerman plaque
- Categories: Community
- Event posted: April 14, 2013
- Last updated: Sept. 16, 2014
- Saturday, April 20, 2013, noon to 12:30 p.m.
- Teller's, 746 Massachusetts, Lawrence
- Cost: Free
- Age limit: All ages
The City of Lawrence and numerous community members will come together on Saturday, April 20 to re-dedicate a plaque honoring Leo Beuerman, a local man who was a fixture in the downtown area in the 1960s.
Several months ago, the City of Lawrence was approached by community members who wished to see a plaque removed from the sidewalk in front of Teller’s on Massachusetts Street and placed in an area with greater visibility. A plaque honoring Leo Beuerman had been placed in the sidewalk in 1976 honoring Beuerman and his legacy. He was an intelligent, resourceful man who was born with a genetic condition, osteogenesis imperfecta. His fragile bones did not develop; he was 36 inches tall, weighed 50 pounds, was deaf – and later blind – and unable to walk, but he refused to succumb to self-pity or fear.
Beuerman was a fixture around Lawrence in the 1960s. He would drive his modified tractor into town, use a chain-pulley system to lower himself to the ground, and with his little red wooden cart he would sit in front of the First National Bank (now Teller’s) or Woolworth’s to sell pencils. Leo died in 1974 at the age of 72.
The original plaque was created by Jim Patti, local sculptor and founder of the city’s Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibit. The community members had the plaque refurbished by local goldsmith/sculptor Kim Tefft and the city’s Public Works Department coordinated the project.
The re-dedication of the Leo Beuerman plaque will take place in downtown Lawrence, outside Teller’s Restaurant, 746 Massachusetts Street, at Noon on Saturday, April 20. Speakers at the event include Mayor Mike Dever and relatives of Leo Beuerman. An Academy Award-nominated film about the life of Leo Beuerman will be shown after the ceremony.
This week, the Watkins Community Museum of History, 1047 Massachusetts Street, honors Leo in an exhibit that includes his beloved red cart. Oak Hill Cemetery in East Lawrence will have small flags placed on the gravesites of Beuerman and his relatives in Section 12 of the cemetery this week. A short film on Beuerman’s life is available through YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqdkCFIvfjk .