Shearer, French enhanced desert golf, politics

Benjamin Franklin Shearer, Bob Hope and Rear Admiral Daniel Wagner at Thunderbird Country Club., April 12, 1965.

In February 1939 The Desert Sun recorded that B.F. Shearer arrived from Seattle and headed straight to the links. It was reported he could be seen daily at the O’Donnell Golf Course with Tom O’Donnell himself.

Benjamin Franklin Shearer deserved some diversion; he was an impressive businessman and was highly devoted to civic causes like his namesake. Shearer’s adoption of the desert as a second home was fortunate indeed as his presence benefited the entire community.

Shearer’s early career as a traveling salesman taught him about the individuality of West Coast towns and cities. He developed his own highly specialized business outfitting movie palaces with their fabulous appointments and would customize designs to fit the locales. (Many of the theaters he designed are now on the National Register of Historic Places.) He outfitted theaters throughout the country with rows of upholstered seats, projection equipment, huge movie screens, tasseled curtains, fancy wallpaper, decorative statuary, embellished columns complete with carved capitals, luxurious carpeting and anything else required.

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