Near the beginning of the twentieth century, the owner of several large tracts of timber land in northwestern Morehouse Parish, G. H. Beekman, opened a sawmill at a location about halfway between Bastrop, Louisiana, and Crossett, Arkansas. The village of Beekman developed in the area, centering itself around the railroad depot. A school, called Humphrey’s Chapel, was built nearby. In 1914, the Beekman School District was formed, which combined other rural schools in Ward Two -- the Hughes Chapel and the Compromise schools -- with Humphrey’s Chapel School. A wood-frame school building was constructed at the present site of Beekman Charter School, housing grades 1-8.
The first principal and teacher at the newly-formed Beekman School was W. C. Honeycutt, who was followed by W. H. Readheimer, Henry Jordan, J. C. Campbell, and P. C. Faulk. P. P. Ferguson served as principal and teacher at Beekman School from 1928 to 1946. In 1941, a new brick building was constructed to replace the older wooden structure. W. H. Hinkie succeeded Ferguson, serving from 1946 through 1959. During Hinkie’s tenure, a cafeteria was added to the building in 1949, and a gymnasium was added in 1953.
In the fall of 1959, R. E. Tarver began a 21-year term as principal. In 1970, three new classrooms were built on the east side of the cafeteria to provide for the expanding student population. In 1976, construction began on a larger gymnasium which was situated across A.M. Baker Road from the main building. The new gym was almost complete when an event occurred that would be engraved on the memory of every student, parent, and staff member -- on January 20, 1977, the main building and attached auditorium/gymnasium burned. School was in session that day, but all students and personnel were safely evacuated. The cafeteria and the three classrooms that had been added in 1970 were saved. With spirits undaunted by the loss, the Beekman basketball teams hosted the first tournament to be held in the newly-completed gym on February 22, 1977. Shortly thereafter, the citizens of Ward Two voted in a property tax to pay for the construction of a new building. In March 1979, the new building was complete, and in the fall of that same year, two new classrooms were added on the northwest side of the cafeteria, housing kindergarten and first grade. Since that time, the voters of District 12 have helped to maintain these facilities by approving new property taxes to provide for the continuing needs of students and faculty.
Phillip Brunson followed Mr. Tarver as principal in 1980, and served until 1988. Charles Peterson followed with a tenure of 11 years, remaining as principal through the spring semester of 1999.
Roy McCoy became principal of Beekman Jr. High in the fall of 1999 and continues in this position as the school transitions to charter school status. In 2003, the cafeteria was expanded to provide for the ever-increasing enrollment. In 2005, two additional classrooms were added between the existing two sets of classrooms on the west side of the cafeteria. The need for more classroom space continued to be felt, so in the summer of 2010, five new classrooms and two restrooms were built atop the tennis court in front of the cafeteria.
The founding board of Beekman Charter School desires to carry on the tradition of excellence in teaching and learning that was begun so many years ago. They are committed to the task of providing a high-quality education for all students and have set high standards for student behavior and academic performance. It is their vision that Beekman Charter School builds on the foundation of excellence and continues to produce successful students far into the future.