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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Contractor Uncovers Hidden Note Hidden in UD's Founders Hall

DAYTON -- Construction contractors made an interesting discovery in the walls of a University of Dayton building.

Founders Hall is UD's oldest residence hall and while Danis Building Construction Company was renovating the structure they found a letter, written Feb. 23, 1956.

The letter reads:

"I, John Beckman, have secretly slipped this note into the inner wall of this partition when it was being constructed.

"I am studying pre-optometry and hope to graduate and practice in Lima, Ohio. I enjoy college and like modern art.

"Let this note be kept for ages in the silent walls of this chapel."

It did remain in the wall for more than half a century, until the construction company began this month the $10 million renovation of the 400-bed residence hall.

Uncovering the letter didn't surprise John Beckman's siblings.

"He was an ornery guy. He sometimes did the unthinkable," said Midge Lause, 74, of her older brother who was known for his dry sense of humor.

Pete Beckman, 73, said this sounds like John. " He was his own person. In high school, he'd wear maybe green and blue together."

When he wrote the letter, John Beckman was a first-year student from Ottawa, Ohio.

Both agreed their brother would have gotten a kick out of the find.  Beckman, of Toledo, died of Parkinson's disease on Sept. 13, 2010, at the age of 74. He only attended the University of Dayton for a year before briefly attending the seminary.

He was not destined to be either an optometrist, like his grandfather, or a priest. He managed Doebel Flower and Greenhouses for 15 years before opening his own flower shop, Parc Fleurs, in the Franklin Park Mall in Toledo. He and his partner, Erwin Heer, also owned and operated three Crabtree and Evelyn toiletries stores.

Read the University of Dayton's article on this interesting discovery here.

 
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