Beadel Guns Return to Tall Timbers

Henry Beadel’s diaries from the 1930s and ‘40s note that frequent guests for dove hunting on Tall Timbers were Tallahassee businessman, Theo Proctor and his young son, Theo, Jr.  Theo Proctor, Jr. loved to reminisce about visits to Tall Timbers, and how he entertained himself when his father and Henry Beadel were enjoying their “after hunt” discussions and libations. When Beadel died in 1963, he willed two of his favorite guns to the Proctor father and son: a Greener shotgun (according to serial number/date Beadel most likely purchased this piece in London at the end of a 4-year European honeymoon), and a Charles Daly trap shooter.

Front of Beadel diary card, Dec. 17, 1949, shows Henry Beadel and his friends, including Theo Proctor Sr. and Jr., driving to the new dove field at Tall Timbers.

Back of Dec. 17, 1949 diary card, which lists how many doves were harvested and by whom.

Beadel Living in 1937, with guns displayed on the gun rack.

For many years the guns were treasured by the Proctor family, but about two years prior to his death in 2020, Theo, Jr., along with members of his family, decided that if Tall Timbers would agree to exhibit the guns he would deed them back to Tall Timbers. Our historic preservation program was thrilled to add these pieces of Beadel family history to our collection. We were fortunate to have pictures of the gun rack from 1937, and with the design assistance of preservation architect, Charles Olson and master metal craftsman, Fred Eubanks, the guns have been returned to the gun rack, which has been made secure without changing the overall character of the room.

Photo taken in December 2018. Seated: Theo Proctor, Jr. Standing L-R: Juanita Whiddon, Martha Anne Proctor, and Theo Proctor III.

Delays due to the Covid-19 quarantine have pushed back the formal dedication of the gun rack exhibit, but we are back on track for a dedication in early 2022. We appreciate this generous gift from the Proctor family.


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