BEAUMONT LOUIS D. (26 April 1857-1 Oct. 1942), a co-founder of the May Company (see KAUFMANN'S, A DIVISION OF THE MAY COMPANY), also created the LOUIS D. BEAUMONT FOUNDATION. For his work in France during WORLD WAR I, he was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor (1920). Called "Commodore" because of his affinity for yachting, Beaumont was born Louis Schoenberg in Dayton, Ohio, one of 6 children. After attending public school, he traveled west, settled in Leadville, CO, and opened a general store with his two brothers. The brothers later joined brother-in-law David May to form the May Shoe and Clothing Co., predecessor of the nationwide May Dept. Store chain. Beaumont came to Cleveland in 1899 when the company opened its first local store. He retired from the May Co. in 1912 but remained a vice-president until his death. After retiring, he moved to France, where, because of intense anti-German feeling, he changed his last name to Beaumont. During his travels in Europe, Beaumont supervised the company's foreign interests. He continued to maintain U.S. citizenship and, after 1939, lived in Palm Beach, Florida, and New York City.
Interested in aviation as well as boating, Beaumont was president of the Aero Club of America in France and organized aviators' clubs along the front lines during World War I. Beaumont generously supported the American Hospital in Neuilly, France and the National Jewish Hospital (for tuberculosis) in Denver, among other efforts. Locally he donated money to Western Reserve University for research on high blood pressure.
Beaumont was married twice. His first wife and son, Dudley, died in the early 1900s. He married Helene M. Thomas in France. Beaumont died in a New York hospital and was buried in Salem Fields, Brooklyn, New York, in the family mausoleum.