John Beer came to Independence township from Jordan, Minnesota, in 1880. He built his home where the old Hedin house now stands. He used a stone boat and a team of oxen to clear the land. He made a shoulder yoke and hauled water from a spring in the creek. During dry spells he would carry water from the lake. They lived on the farm for 14 years. Five children were born, John, Priscilla, Hilton, Harry and Jesse. Lorna was born after they moved into Maple Plain.
In 1894 the Beer family moved into Maple Plain where John Beer had a hardware store and lumber yard.
Hilton Beer was 17 when the cut was put through Maple Plain for the railroad. He worked on the steam shovel and traveled around the country with it. Later he worked for Preston McCulley in the ginseng and became interested in growing it. In 1931 his home on Lake Independence was built. He also built five cottages and at one time had 25 boats to rent out for fishing and pleasure. Here he worked in his ginseng, maple syrup, and strawberries until he passed away on Nov. 23, 1962. His son Merle and family live in the same house he built. Merle's grandfather, John, built a home at Jordan that still stands near the highway going to Shakopee. Jessie James stopped at their place to water his horses on his way to rob the bank at Northfield, Minnesota.