Alex W. Bealer

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Alexander Winkler Bealer, III
Born (1921-03-06)March 6, 1921
Valdosta, Georgia, USA
Died March 17, 1980(1980-03-17) (aged 59)
Atlanta, Georgia
Resting place Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, Georgia
Alma mater Boys High School in Atlanta
Emory University
Occupation Advertising executive; Blacksmith; Author
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Helen Eitel Bealer (married 1946–1980, his death)

Alexander W. Bealer, IV
Janet Rodie
Alice Bealer
Susie B. Duncan

Edmund H. Bealer

Alexander Winkler Bealer, Jr.

Mary Louise Bealer

Alexander Winkler Bealer, III, known as Alex W. Bealer (March 6, 1921 – March 17, 1980),[2] was an old-time craftsman of wood working and blacksmithing from Atlanta, Georgia. He authored The Art of Blacksmithing[3] Old Ways of Working Wood,[4]The Tools That Built America, and The Successful Craftsman..[5]


Bealer was born in Valdosta in Lowndes County in southern Georgia,[6] but reared in Atlanta, where he graduated in 1938 from Boys High School, which thereafter closed in 1947. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at Emory University in Atlanta. In 1943, during World War II, he entered the United States Marine Corps and advanced through the ranks to captain. He was stationed in the Pacific theater and was subsequently recalled for duty during the Korean War. He made his living as an advertising executive. Woodworking and writing were hence his avocations.[1]

Other Bealer works[edit]

Bealer's first book is entitled Picture-Skin Story, a 1957 publication for juveniles.[7]

Bealer wrote The Log Cabin: Homes of the North American Wilderness, a 1978 book with more than two hundred photographs, most taken in the southeastern United States by his friend, Dr. John O. Ellis (1917–2000). It is a study of the importance to frontier development of the log cabin, first brought to the United States in the 17th century by Swedish settlers in Delaware.[8]

An award in Bealer's name is given annually by the Artist Blacksmith's Association of North America for service to the art of blacksmithing.[9]

In 1972 won an Associated Press award for a television documentary[10] about the Georgia Cherokee, forcibly marched over the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory, since Oklahoma, during the 1830s under the administrations of U.S. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren. This volume, Only the Names Remain: The Cherokees and The Trail of Tears, was re-released in 1996 as a children's book.[5] This book was published at a time of renewed interest in the historical plight of Native Americans in the United States.

The periodical Atlanta History: A Journal of Georgia and the South, which was published somewhat irregularly between 1927 and 2006 by the Atlanta History Center, formerly the Atlanta Historical Society, also had an "Alex Bealer Award", a $100 prize given to the best non-Atlanta article carried by the publication each year.[11]

Family and death[edit]

Bealer's grandfather, Alexander Winkler Bealer, Sr. (1860 – June 28, 1921), was a Baptist minister who served in Atlanta, Cartersville, Thomasville, and Eastman, Georgia, as well as Valdosta and Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At the time of his death, the grandfather Bealer was the pastor at the First Baptist Church of Blakely, Georgia. Pastor Bealer died when his namesake grandson was three months old. The Bethel Baptist Association issued this statement on the minister's death: "To one of his cordial nature and liberal spirit, the extensive acquaintance thus gained meant an unusually wide reaching influence, for none who knew him but to feel the kindliness of his life and the potency of his faith."[12] Bealer's parents were A. W. Bealer, Jr., and Mary Louise "May" Bealer. They were listed as twenty-seven and twenty years of age, respectively, in the 1920 census.[12]

Bealer died of a heart attack eleven days after he had turned fifty-nine while working in his craft shop in the basement of his home in Sandy Springs.[9] His widow is the former Helen Eitel, a native of Chicago, Illinois. There are five living Bealer children, Alexander, IV (born 1949), of Moorpark, California, Janet B. Rodie and Susie B. Duncan, both of Atlanta, Alice Bealer of Townsend in south Georgia, and Edmund H. Bealer (born 1954) of Sandy Springs north of Atlanta in Fulton County. There are nine Bealer grandchildren.[1] He is interred at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Statement of Edmund Bealer, Sandy Springs, Georgia, March 28, 2011
  2. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  3. ^ Bealer, Alex W. (1995) [1969, 1976]. The Art of Blacksmithing (Revised Edition) (Castle Books Revised ed.). Castle Books. 
  4. ^ Bealer, Alex W. (1996) [1980]. Old Ways of Working Wood (Castle Books Revised ed.). Castle Books. 
  5. ^ a b "Books by Alex W. Bealer". Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Notable Georgia Authors" (PDF). Retrieved March 27, 2011. 
  7. ^ Alex W. Bealer, Picture-Skin Story, New York City: Holiday House Publishers, 1957
  8. ^ The Log Cabin, ISBN 0-517-53379-0. Crown Publishers, 1978. Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "The Alex W. Bealer Award". ABANA. Retrieved March 30, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Overview: Only the Names Remain". Retrieved March 28, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Dr. Maceo Crenshaw Dailey (winner of 1996 Alex W. Bealer Award)". Retrieved March 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ a b "Alexander Lee Miller, History of Bethel Association, Including Centennial Meeting". Retrieved March 28, 2011.