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James Bean

By his Granddaughter, Flora Bean Horn, 1934

Kentucky has produced many sturdy, splendid characters like my grandfather, James Bean, Abram Owen Smoot and many others who were pioneers of Utah, and who were frontiersmen in many other states.

James Bean was born in Elkton, Christian County, Kentucky, on March 3, 1804, the son of William Bean, born probably in Burke County, North Carolina, in 1777, whose father, William Bean, was born in South Carolina, Chester District, February 8th, 1754, who is the son of William Bean, of Scotch Irish decent, who married Naomi Bates in South Carolina in 1753.

James Bean's mother was Anna Bucalew, born the 25th of October 1784, of Burke County, North Caolina. Elizabeth Lewis, daughter of James Lewis and Sarah McCoy, born September 22, 1803, married James Bean in Lincoln County, Missouri, on July 27th, 1824. The "Lewis-Clark" expedition having left Missouri, makes me believe that Lewis is a relative of Grandma Bean, but not yet investigated sufficiently to prove it.

It is interesting to note how groups of families came from the foreign countries and moved from state to state in much the same groups, hunting green fields, or "greater worlds to conquer". At any rate, Missouri became a rondevous for many families, whether for adventurous exploring, or home-building.

William and Anna Bucalew Bean and family were among them. James was but four years old at the time, 1808. The Lewis family had preceeded them some time, and counties along the Mississippi River were recognized as St. Charles Pike, Lewis and Lincoln Counties. Grandfather said they had to go into Fort at St. Charles, because of the Indians having killed the O'Neal family and others.

James Bean came through an ancestral line of fearless, hard-workingmen, no matter what the task. The origin of the name "Bean" in Scotland means "Fair" High in the Mountains, and their Coat of Arms was won through bravery in battles, the Wolf head on the shield and a Dexter arm holding dagger as the crescent. Education was not plentiful early in the nineteenth century, so James did not boast of scholarship, but workmanship, for he learned cabinet-making by helping others and builders and farmers had plenty to do in establishing this western commonwealth. He knew just how to chink up the log cabins and make them wind-proof. His father died soon after they moved to Missouri, about October 1809, the exact date is not given, but his last child, William, was born December 4, 1809, "Two months after his father's death" the record states.

The new home-making for Anna Bucalew Bean, without her companion, and the terrible war conditions of 1812, following so soon, brought sympathy and help from many kind neighbors, especially Andrew Edwards, who admired the courage and ability of the little widow. He wooed and won her. They were married and she raised nine children in this second wedlock.

In new communities, and during Indian troubles, citizens are banded closely and became better acquainted as neighbors.

Elizabeth Lewis had five brothers, John, Fielding, James, Lemuel and Zachariah, which gave the handsome Bean boy an excuse to call frequently at the Lewis home. Elizabeth's sisters, Nancy, Cynthia, Sarah and Isophenia were also "glib of tongue" and persisted in teasing the young swain. This embarrassment did not cool his ardent love for the "apple of his eye" and he soon won Elizabeth and married her. They had two children born in Missouri, William born July 19m 1825, and Nancy, December 14, 1826 at West Troy, Lincoln County. They moved to Adams County, Illinois, settling on a farm twelve miles from Quincy, the Keyes farm. James' mother, Anna Bucalew Bean Edwards and family lived on the Wood's farm two miles away, near Mendon village.

James's sister, Molly Bean, married David Crow in Missouri, and were also temporarily in Adams County, as was his brother, Garrett Bean, who married Nancy Crow in 1831, so "they crowed a great deal", James said. His youngest brother William married Nancy Hillery of Virginia, whose parents evidently moved to Illinois earlier.

In 1832, William and family moved to Iowa, and Garrett in Hancock County making his permanent home where he said it was a wilderness of bees, wolves and panthers a-plenty, now the town of Stillwell, in 1836. James Bean and Elizabeth brought their two children, Nancy and William, from Missouri, and had the following added to their group while at Mendon, near Quincy, Illinois: Sarah Ann Bean, born 31 Oct 1828, who married Wm. Wallace Casper. George Washington Bean, born April 1, 1831, my father, who married Elizabeth Baum, born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, January 27, 1834. James Addison Bean, born March 11, 1834, married Harriet C. Fausett; Mary Elizabeth Bean, born April 17, 1837, married Amos Whitcomb Haws. Cornelia Bean, born 1839, died in Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1846. When grandfather moved to Illinois, there were but a dozen houses along the river, John Woods being the most important Citizen. He became Mayor of Quincy and Governor of the State-- a man of great wealth, yet died poor, in 1880.

Quoting from my father's journal, "My parents were moral, circumspect and strictly religious, though not of the same creed, my father a Methodist, and mother a Presbyterian, which privileged the children to meet many ministers. They considered James Bean a thrifty farmer and often enjoyed his hospitality -- a stopping place for the reverend divines. Mendon, two miles from our farm, was peopled with New England Puritans, descendants of those who burned the witches 200 years before.

In 1839, the Mormon exclusion from Missouri took place, and Adams County, Illinois, became temporary home of the persecuted saints. Every nook and corner was filled with exiles-- among them Jonathan L. Harvey, Matthew Way, Alex. Williams, George W. Gee and wife. She was a sister of Elias Smith and a cousin to the prophet Joseph Smith. Brother Gee taught school for the district, and "Grandpa" Bean was a trustee. When Gee's relationship leaked out, it caused a shock -- "What a risk of contamination we're in", the people said. Continuing from Journal: "In 1840 George Clymen taught school. He was part Indian, yet a good teacher when sober. He covenanted not to drink on school days and kept it faithfully, but always Monday forenoons, he was cross and often brutal with the children. During this term of school, Alexander Williams, one of the exiles from Missouri, desired to learn reading, writing and grammar. He was earnest in school and a devout Saint-- often interesting the children in teh Gospel. He possessed a great deal of personal magnetism though born among Tennessee darkies... We invited him to our home. My parents being very religious, began to compare doctrines. My mother being a great scriptorian and a good talker, became surprised with his clearness of our views and explanations. The Bible was seen in a new light by my parents.

"Elder Williams obtained the privilege of preaching in our school house by my father, a trustee. The result of it all was that Elder Williams baptized father and mother, Uncle Esaias Edwards and wife, Ruben Carter and wife, Joseph Kelly and wife in May 1841, also sister Nancy.

"The Sectarian Priests, especially Rev. William H. Pyper of the Methodist and Rev. James Stockton, challanged Elder Williams in a debate, knowing he was uneducated and they had flowing words. The battle came off at our home, the whole neighborhood being present, but it resulted in a single victory for Truth by Williams."

Grandpa Bean's mother, Anna Bucalew Bean Edwards, was baptized in 1842. She died in 1846. The city of Commerce, forty miles north of Quincy, was purchased by the Prophet Joseph Smith for the Saints. They soon drained the swamps, built a beautiful city and changed its name to Nauvoo. Persecutions followed the Church and retarded the erection of the Nauvoo Temple which was begun in 1841 and completed in 1846. The mobs drove the people to Nauvoo for protection. Grandfather had a time to find a buyer for his farms in Adams County, but decided to locate at Golden Point, five miles south of Nauvoo. The ground was cleared, planted, and cabins built. The Beans attended meetings in Nauvoo, became acquainted with the Prophet and other leaders, and feasted on their sermons. After the martyrdom of the Prophet and Patriarch, mobs increased and Grandpa sacrificed his farm. Quoting again from my father's diary: "We took cattle, sheep and hogs and placed on our range on the new farm, but the family moved right into the city, renting rooms of Chandler Holbrook on Mulholland Street, one mile east of the Temple. We then commenced building our house two blocks south of the Nauvoo Temple. We also opened a farm four miles northeast of the city on the old LaHarps road, adjoining Elder John Taylor's farm, 80 acres of prairie, and 20 acres of woodland was planted.

In 1845, the pressure became so great, President Young advised all Saints to gather all food-stuff possible and assemble in Nauvoo for an early journey westward to an unknown land. All available teams were kept busy transporting people and goods. Men were organized into companies to systemize work. James Bean was placed in Captain Shadrack Roundy's company, whose duty was to gather wagon timbers, white oak and hickory from Sugar Creek, or Half Breed tract, in Iowa. James took George W., my father, with him, who writes thus: "We worked a month and boarded at old Dr, Kenner's, and nearly starved, not one knowing how to cook, besides some of them were shaking with the ague everyday. The timber we hauled nine miles to the Mississippi River and boated it across. I also gathered corn on Miles Anderson's farm in Iowa and shipped the same by boat."

My father, George W., was over six feet tall when but 14 1/2 years old. Being ambitious and determined to quell the mobs, begged to join the guards, or Nauvoo Legion. Grandpa consented and the stalwart youth was placed in the Stephen A Mark company. Grandfather was proud of his son's service. They both labored on the Nauvoo Temple for months and both received their endowments there, also Grandma, Elizabeth Lewis Bean, who was sealed in that temple to her husband, January 27, 1846. Grandpa Bean was hardly ready to break up his home, but he let George W. have a splendid outfit, provisions, bedding, etc., to go with the first to leave Nauvoo.

George's first duty was to help ferry the church leaders, with their families and goods, across the Mississippi River into Iowa. Grandfather felt he was taking part by giving his eldest son to the service.

Father writes in his journal: "The first location of the Camp of those religious exiles was made on Sugar Creek, about eight miles from Montrose, Iowa. Additions daily being made until several hundred families congregated in the woods where fell about the first __?__ March, __?__ heaviest snow of the winter, and as a consequence of the cold snap, the Mississippi froze over, and hundreds of wagons with families crossed from Illinois ____?___ and the Pioneers were busily engaged in piloting the teams over the precarious ice for eight days, until the final breakup took place. This circumstance of crossing the river so late in the season was an ___?__ in ___?__history: and many viewed it as a special interposition of Providence in behalf of the poor persecuted Saints."

Grandpa Bean was considered well-to-do and stayed to aid those in need in preparing for the journey. Of course there was anxiety for George W., who went with the Pioneers, little knowing his severe tests until he returned on ___, crossing the great Mississippi River in a discarded skiff with his companions. They cranked the big holed with their clothes and bailed out water with their hats to save their lives.

His mother wept for joy to see him safe at home. She was a brave, wonderful woman of strong heart and mind. Sarah Ann, the second daughter, married William Wallace Casper, who joined in preparations for the trip west. They had three wagons, two yoke of oxen to the wagon, three saddle horses, several cows and a herd of sheep. Corn was parched and placed in well made boxes, like flour, 4 feet long and 122 X4 inches wide and deep, the boxes being safer for a long journey -- sacks were scarce anyway.

The Bean family was equipped and ready by May 1, 1846, and crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa, hoping to catch the "main Camp". They did overtake them at Mr. Pi___?_ and were just in time to hear the call for teams to aid the church leaders to push onto the mountains. As usual, Grandpa Bean came to the front, gave two yoke of oxen, but they gave him an order on Willard Richards in Nauvoo for replacement of the oxen, but son George W., and son-in-law Wm. Casper walked back two hundred miles to Nauvoo for teams. Grandpa planted corn in their absence. Casper returned but George W. stayed in Adams County to work a few months.

The Nauvoo Battle took place in September and the poor refugees were driven over the Mississippi River. Many were sick and destitute, and camping on cold, hard ground for weeks without shelter and food was too terrible for description. It was here the miraculous visit of quails came to them like manna from Heaven. It was another manifestation of God's providential deliverance. The birds were so tame the people gathered them in their hands while running about the wagons, and cooked a __?_ meal for the sick and needy. A few days later wagons and teams came from the Pioneer Camps and those brave sufferers soon joined President Young's Camp on the Missouri River. My father George W. Bean, who had been working in Adams County, came to the exile camp a few days after the manifestation of quails and saw their rejoicing, He joined the last wagons, traveling with the Stephen H. Goddard family. When George arrived in Council Bluffs, he found all his family ill, with little food and no strength to care for each other. Grandfather was down in Missouri to get provisions and medicine. The youngest child, Cornelia, had died of black-canker a short time before. My father had saved some money and forthwith supplied his loved ones. They had used a __?__ to grind their corn meal which was still coarse food. Grandfather said George came in time to save the rest of the family, but too late for little Cornelia. She was seven years old. Grandfather bought food also and now they could make ___ and fence, clear the ground. They planted 10 acres of corn by June 1, 18__.

William W. Casper had joined the Mormon Battalion in July 1846, and marched to California, so Grandpa Bean though Sara Ann should go west with the pioneers and meet her husband and save his coming back east for her. My father George W. ___ up again, though a boy of 16 years, yet a man in stature and experience and offered to drive the team and care for his sister and babe. Every effort was made to make the journey safe and pleasant. They rushed preparations and soon joined the Saints at Elk Horn, being placed in Capt. Jedadiah M. Grant's company. They arrived in Great Salt Lake Valley on October 4, 1847. This delayed Grandfather and family, but James A. was then quite a man at age 13 years and together they worked for a start in the spring of 1848. George W. had planted their crops in Utah, and saw it mowed down by the crickets. He also saw the marvelous flocks of seagulls devour the crickets, go to the streams of water and disgorge and return to the fields, as if given the work to do. Other crops were planted. Then the leaders asked for volunteers to take teams back for the poor families left in Winter Quarters. Again father offered and went in Captain Shadrack Roundy's company. He asked a pioneer company that said his father was in the next company, so father turned his wagon and four yoke of oxen over to the Capt. and walked to meet his parents, so weak for lack of food he could hardly speak when he rapped on their wagon box. Grandfather was in Captain William Perkinsí company, and they soon made a place for their son. They arrived in Salt Lake Valley on Sept. 4, 1848, and locate at Mill Creek, six miles south of the city.

Grandfather and family were among the first settlers at Provo in the spring of 1849, and he built the first cabin there, on the river, then called Timpanogas River. As father writes: "The Indians were quite numerous, arrogant, exacting but friendly, permitting us to on their fishing river were hundreds of Indians came each day to fish. There were thirty men and later families called to colonize in Provo. Among them were Bean,, Conover, Stoddard, Pace, Clark, Egbert, Ivie, Huntington, Ewing, Black, Wheeler, Willis, Day, Higbee, Orr, Parry, Turner, Strong, Porter, Haws and others came during the summer. They built a stockade fort. In the center was a bastion for the cannon for defense in case the Indians made attack. The whites had killed an Indian accidentally -- just over a hickory shirt ownership, a shirt that an Indian they called "Bishop Whitney" was wearing. This started trouble. The "whites" would not own up to the murder, for fear of trouble, so the Indians shot arrows into cattle, etc., and placed the people on serious ground. Military forces were organized. Drills every day. September 1, Lieut. Layton asked father to help to fire the cannon. ______ on a California gold trip had furnished the powder. The cannon was fired once and still war, Lieut. said to "refill". He and father (warmed) a new wad and powder, and "puff" they went! The explosion was heard for miles. Lieut. Layton was killed, father lost his left hand, and was terribly powder burned and hurt on head, arms, legs and chest. 200 ramrod slivers were taken from his body, some three inches. Providentially Capt. Stanberry had just arrived in Great Salt Lake City, and had a Dr., came to Provo to amputate father's left arm to 3 1/2 inches from the elbow, leaving a helpful stub. Briefly, my grandparents despaired of father's life for weeks until President Young and counselors came and gave him a blessing that gave faith and promise to this 18 year old man of courage. Suffice it to say, father did live to marry, yes, three fine women and had thirty children, many of them remember Grandpa James Bean. Well do I remember his carpenter shop and seeing him ___ and cut family porch posts. One morning at breakfast time he asked his wife, Liz, to say prayers. Grandfather was quite deaf and did not hear her. She finished, went to the kitchen and brought the biscuits in, while he still knelt Mother, who was up in Provo bottling fruit, touched grandpa's arm and he looked up to say, "Why, the nation, ah, Liz, are you though?" " Well, well, wheat!" was another form of emphasis. Guess he didn't use swear words.

Grandfather did enjoy his children and grandchildren, and how Grandmother loved to cook those big dinners for them staunch, intelligent helpmeet was taken from her loved ones on November 16, 1864 in Provo, Utah. It was not my pleasure to know grandma, but my older sisters tell me she seemed to know everything and was calm and deliberate, and an expert seamstress. Grandpa was so lonely. Of course the girls kept house for him, in turn, but he soon married again, a widow, Amelia Huntington Jarvis, who had two children, Agnes and a baby boy. They were divorced and he married "Little Mary", or Hedve Mary Stormfedt, and later Elizabeth Rosenquist, a young housekeeper. They separated also and she married Leveridge and raised nine children. They lived in Provo when I met them.

While Grandpa Bean was a worker in public affairs, he shrank from public office, but felt at ease in establishing necessary industry. The last home he built and decorated was by the Mill Race, where we children were given the task of drowning some kittens in the mill race. Well, the kittens beat us to the house. The Hoover Mill was just northwest of Grandpa's house, and the old adobe yard, and molasses mill yard were over the creek, or mill race,, west. I remember his carpenter shop, grainery, and fine orchard. He was industrious as long as he could walk. He was a patient peace-maker and valiant defender of the Truth.

Grandfather James Bean died at the home of his daughter, Mary E. Bean Haws, wife of Amos Whitcomb Haws, June 29, 1882, leaving numerous posterity and hosts of friends.

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Web Site: Dianne Elizabeth's Family History, Created July 17th, 1999
Page Title: James Bean
Page Created: May 1st, 2001
Revised: September 3rd, 2013