Tree Planted For Ted Beilman Symbolizes Renewal

NEBRASKA CITY – A royal raindrop crabapple tree planted near the cornerstone of the Veterans Memorial Building in Nebraska City, may have been the first ever planted by 2019 Arbor Day Honoree Ted Beilman, even if posthumously.

Allgood: “The Arbor Day Committee is pleased to recognize the late Ted Beilman as this year’s Arbor Day honoree.”

Beilman celebrated his 10th birthday with his family at Nebraska City 58 years ago. He  felt connected to places like the Veterans Memorial Building and Riverview Nature Park. He moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where he became the youngest person ever to win a seat on the Phoenix Union School Board.

He worked 30 years in Alaska, where he met his wife Gloria Glover. In retirement, he returned with her to his boyhood home town.

He truly revived the building with a veterans’ tribute for the state’s sesquicentennial and helped form Friends of Riverview Nature Park in hopes of revival there.

NCTC’s Amy Allgood said the Arbor Day Honoree award is given to individuals who have given of their time and talents to make Nebraska City a better place to live.

Allgood: “They exemplify the spirit of J. Sterling Morton and his family with generosity, vision, compassion and courage, so, if that doesn’t describe Ted Beilman to a tee, I don’t know what does.”

Glover and Beilman’s sister, Kathleen, shoveled mulch at the commemorative tree planting.

Glover: “I want to thank everyone for coming out. He would be so pleased.”

A $568,000 renovation project is currently underway at the Veterans Memorial Building, which includes new windows and an elevator. Glover said the tree’s spring showing is a symbol of renewal.

Glover: “I definitely think this is fitting. It’s a very outstanding tree. I think it’s going to be outstanding as it grows. The color comes out every spring and I think he would be very much in favor of having this tree.”

Beilman’s tribute to soldiers started out with the idea of recognizing 150 veterans, but grew to honor over 800 local heroes.

J. Sterling Morton is quoted to have said that “each generation takes the earth as trustees.”
There’s a tree planted in Nebraska City today because Ted Beilman accepted that challenge.