Listen: MacQuarrie and Beecroft — Superior Central's literary stars

Telegram reporter Maria Lockwood is joined this month by retired librarian and local historian Teddie Meronek as they discuss the early and professional lives of Gordon MacQuarrie and J.W. Beecroft.

Gordon MacQuarrie with trout
The former Superior Telegram and Milwaukee Journal outdoors writer Gordon MacQuarrie with a bunch of trout caught in Ontario, Canada.

This month’s episode of Archive Dive focuses on two Superior Central High School graduates who made a name for themselves in the literary arena.

Gordon MacQuarrie was a newsman, reporter and the nation’s first outdoors writer. An avid hunter and angler, MacQuarrie is credited with establishing the modern school of outdoor writing. His magazine stories of the Old Duck Hunters Association Inc, a fictional group based on friends, family and neighbors in the Barnes area, remain popular today.

A vintage high school graduation photo of J.W. Beecroft.
Superior Central High School graduation photo of John William "J.W." Beecroft.
Contributed / Superior Public Library

John William “J.W.” Beecroft graduated with MacQuarrie from Central. Beecroft began his career as associate for Crowell Publishing and went onto become the sole editor for Doubleday’s Literary Guild, the Book League of America and the Dollar Book Club. As an editor, he made choices that influenced what millions of Americans read.

Telegram reporter Maria Lockwood is joined by retired librarian and local historian Teddie Meronek as they discuss the early and professional lives of MacQuarrie and Beecroft.

“If you look into the history of Central High School, you know that there were extraordinary people that came from Superior, Wisconsin,” says Meronek. “Small town, big things.”


While it doesn’t appear their paths crossed often, MacQuarrie and Beecroft shared similarities of having parents from Canada, working on the high school yearbook, graduating from Central High School in 1919 and spending part of their post-secondary education at the Superior Normal School, now known as the University of Wisconsin-Superior. One was an extrovert and the other was an introvert, but both provided reading enjoyment to many readers in the region and across the nation.

Also in this episode, Maria and Teddie talk about some of the other notable names during the time period of the late 1910s and early 1920s that were Central graduates; MacQuarrie’s interest in music; and Beecroft’s interest in the theater; and much more on MacQuarrie and Beecroft.

MacQuarrie died in 1956. Beecroft died 10 years later in 1966.

New episodes of Archive Dive are published monthly. Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts. Episodes are edited and produced by Duluth News Tribune digital producers Wyatt Buckner and Dan Williamson. If you have an idea for a topic you’d like to see covered, email Maria Lockwood at

Archive Dive is a monthly history podcast hosted by Superior Telegram reporter Maria Lockwood.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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