PLEASANT HILL — Newton Local Schools has announced its annual Hall of Fame inductees for 2020. Due to the state mandated crowd restrictions, the Newton Alumni were unable to honor the inductees this year.
Superintendent Pat McBride said, “One of the time honored traditions of that event is the annual induction of new Hall of Fame members. This year there were two very special inductees. One was a posthumous inductee Jesse Beery and the other honoree is 97 year-old WWII veteran Marion Adams.”
“It is my sincerest and most respectful request to include my dad, Marion Adams, into the Newton Hall of Fame for his service to our country, service to this community, and his faithfulness to Newton Schools. He is well respected by all and deserving of this honor,” said Joe Adams.
Troy resident Chuck Martin posthumously nominated Jesse Beery, who was a world renowned horse trainer and a student in Newton Township in the 1870s.
“Professor Beery was an entrepreneur, school board member, community supporter, author and family man,” Martin said. “His involvement in the school system through tax payments and serving on the school board showed his concern for education. For these reasons, Jesse Beery should be considered to be included in the Newton Hall of Fame.”
Adams and Beery are the 2020 Newton Hall Of Fame inductees and the following is their nominations which highlight their impact on their community, families and legacy:
• Marion Adams is a lifelong resident of Newton Township and the Newton School District. He and his late wife Fern (Wackler), raised six children who all attended Newton Local Schools. Marion is a graduate of Newton in 1942.
Marion was a successful farmer and mechanic when not farming. Being a patriotic veteran, Marion annually displayed his collection of military vehicles alongside his driveway on State Route 48 for all to see during Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July. His military vehicles were always included in the Memorial Day parades in Pleasant Hill and Covington.
In recent years, Marion has shared his stories of D-Day and his military experience with many newspaper, television news stations and several museums. His story was even part of a documentary entitled “Write When You Can.”
Marion has been a faithful attendant of his alma mater and has attended the Newton Alumni Banquet and Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner each year. He has also attended many of the Veterans Day ceremonies at Newton Schools.
Marion joined the U.S. Navy when he was only 17 years old and right out of high school on May 8, 1942.
Marion was a first class radio operator and mail orderly on the ship LST 491 during WWII. He spent a year in the Atlantic Ocean and another in the Pacific Ocean. He was a part of four of five invasions on the beaches of Normandy and made another in southern France. Marion was a radio man on a landing craft during the invasions on D-Day June 6, 1944.
On that day, Marion was on Omaha Beach on D-Day when 15 American LST ships were alongside each other and were attacked by nine German E-boats.
After seeing and experiencing many gruesome events of that day and others, Marion finally returned home from the war in February 1946. He had seen the worst of mankind and also the best of American bravery and heroism. Marion is a true American hero himself.
• How many students from Newton Township have: started their own successful business? Authored many books? Supported Newton School both financially and served on its board? And had a world-wide influence in their field?
Jesse Beery has accomplished these things.
Jesse Beery was born in Newton Township in 1861. He grew up on a farm at the corner of State Route 718 and Mowry Road.
In the 1870 census, he was listed as attending school, probably the Lick Skillet School. This Newton Township School No. 8 was located on Mowry Road, near Lodge Road.
He discovered at an early age that he had a gift for training animals. He started training horses of local farmers. His reputation grew, and he started public exhibitions of his methods of training horses. Jesse also developed appliances to help train unruly horses.
Jesse traveled around the United States giving exhibitions of his training methods. He was given the title of Professor Beery due to his knowledge of horsemanship.
In 1905, after 16 years of traveling, he began a new venture, determined to share his knowledge of horses by writing a practical guide to horse training. In 1908, he began the Beery School of Horsemanship. This correspondence school was the only one of its kind in the world.
Professor Beery continued to hold public exhibitions. His largest was held in Dayton in 1913 where thousands of his students attended. Due to health issues, he ceased his exhibitions and devoted his time to the correspondence school.
Jesse’s successful business brought in thousands of pieces of mail from all over the world. This provided much needed tax payments to the school system.
Jesse was very community oriented. He served on the Pleasant Hill School Board for many years. During some of those years he was President of the Board.
In Jesse’s later years, he trained his dog, Snow White. Many Newton students traveled to his house to see him doing tricks.
Every year, the third grade students from Newton Elementary walk to the Pleasant Hill History Center to learn about local history. Three famous men from Pleasant Hill are discussed with the students: Roy Plunkett, founder of Teflon; Dan West, founder of The Heifer Project; and Jesse Beery, founder of the Beery School of Horsemanship. These men have been influential in the history of Pleasant Hill.