Sunday, December 20, 2009

Black Sheep Sunday - December 20, 2009

While I could not for the life of me come up with someone to write about today, I did come up with this old newspaper clipping, regarding the death of my Great-Grandfather, William M. Bean [1832-1890].

The family, hush-hush, lore, is that William was actually involved with a married woman. [He was a married man, as well!] And Eggleston was some how involved with the married woman [his wife? his sister? his daughter? I really don't know how]

Here is the clipping of the account as told in the Monroe Watchman:


Taken From "THE MONROE WATCHMAN", 22 May 1890; Page 3, Col 2

"The most startling tragedy which has taken place in Monroe County for many years occurred at Gap Mills on Thursday afternoon last, May 15th, 1890 when Mr. Henry EGGLESTO, Constable of Sweet Springs District, shot and killed Deputy U.S. Marshall, Wm. M. BEANE. The circumstances leading up to the bloody finals were these:

Lewis BALLARD of this county, who is a U.S. Commissioner, had recently sured BEANE before Justice J. M. REED of Sweet Springs District and had obtained judgement. Execution was issued accordingly, which was placed in EGGLESTON's hands, and an indemnifying bond for BEANE's buggy and horse furnished. Last Thursday afternoon EGGLESTON met BEANE at Keenan P.O. pm the turnpike between Union and Gap Mills, and told him he would have to levy on the buggy and horse, which BEANE was then using. BEANE replied that he was on business for the federal government, and that he would not give them up. EGGLESTON asked him to go onto the Gap Mills and talk the matter over with Justice REED. BEANE drove off in that direction, and EGGLESTON followed on horseback. He overtook BEANE and they rode on together for several miles, talking of this and other matters in a friendly way. BEANE several times took occasion, so EGGLESTON says, to say that he would die before he would give up the buggy and horse. When they reached REED's mill at Gap Mills, they met the Justice and several other men, and some further conversation ensued. EGGLESTON insisting that his duty required him to take the buggy and horse. Finally BEANE started off when EGLLESTON summoned Mr. R.C. APPLING who standing near to assist him, and was about to attempt to take possessio of the horse and vehicle, when BEANE again remarking that he would die before he would give them up - drew his pistol. EGGLESTON was standing close by the side of the buggy and when BEANE presented his weapon in a threatening manner, he drew his own revolver quickly and fired at BEANE. The ball, which was of 32 calibre, struck BEANE just above the ear and penetrated the brain. He fell forwardfrom the buggy into the road, his pistol slipping from his hands and falling beside hi,. He was taken up by bystanders, of whom there were several, his wound bleeding profusely the while, and carried into the house of Mr. N.B. CARPENTER. Dr. D.C.PHARR was summoned, but he soon ascertained that the wound was mortal. The shooting occurred about 4 o'clock. BEANE lingered for two hours in an unconscious state, and died about 6 o'clock. Dr. PHARR called in Dr. B.F. IRONS, to act with him in making examination of the body.

EGGLESTON gave himself up and had a preliminary trial before Judge J.O.MILLER and was taken to jail at this place on Thursday night by Messrs. J.N.LEACH and John L. BLANKENSHIP.

The body of Mr. BEANE was taken to his home near Waiteville on Fridaym and his funeral took place on Saturday. The deceased was about 60 years of age, and had been an aggressive republican ever since the war, and was appointed a deputy-Marshall of the U.S. in the spring of 1889. His conduct while int his office was not such as to render him popular, and he had qualitites which made for him many enemies. At home he is said to habe been hospitable and kind , and to his family affectionate. He was a prominent member of the M.E. Church.

Mr. EGGLESTON is a plain man, and by those who know huim is believed to be thoroughly well meaning. He was elected constable by the Democrats of his district in 1888, and has made a most efficient officer. He is a man about 37 years of age, and has a wife and _____ children. Mr. EGGLESTON says that he acted solely oin self-defese in shooting Mr. BEANE, that he felt his own life was in danger, and that he had to shoot BEANE in order to protect himself.

There is no ground for lugging politics into this case. The suit which led up to the killing was brought and was being pushed by a republican. The justice before whom it was tried is a republican. EGGLESTON had nothing further to do with it than to discharge his official duties in the premises.

A coroner's inquest (which is believed to have been unneccsary), was conducted on Friday, and the jury rendered a verdict that "Wm. M. BEANE came to his death by a shot from a pistol in the hands of Henry EGGLESTON."

Monroe County had been remarkably free from deeds of lawlessness and violence, and this tragedy therefore excites more than usual interest. The affair is of course most unfortunate, and every effort should be made by our people to keep down ill feeling and suppress the tendency to introduce political differences in the consideration and trial of this case.

A special grand jury will be empaneled for the June term of our Circuit Court. Mr. EGGLESTON has retained Messrs. John OSBORNE and John I. ROWAN to defend him."

[Excuse all of the grammatical errors, but this is the way the article was then printed!]

Now, after years of attempting to get a copy of a death report, last year I finally was able to get one, from both the Justice Department, and the State of West Virginia. And they did NOT confirm the story as told above in the Watchman!

Twelve days after his death, the Department of Justice [US Marshall's Division], stepped in to take over the case.

William Bean, it was determined, was actually shot in the BACK of the head, not from the side above the ear [as the article states]. The bullet actually penetrating the back of the skull, and not exiting.

A final judgement was that Eggleston had a personal argument against Bean, and in anger did draw his weapon, and actually shot through the back of the buggy window. Bean's weapon was still holstered when he was carried to the doctor's house, according to the physician's own report.

Eggleston was by trial found guilty of murder, and sentenced to life. His sentence was commutated, and he was released in 15 years, an old and broken man.

However, the "Black Sheep" Sunday tie in?

Uh... hmmm.... it appears the family tale, told quite hush-hush, was indeed true. A married woman was involved. And Bean was having an affair with said married woman. The name and relationship to Eggleston, was not recorded in the trial records. It was ordered to be stricken, to protect the children of her marriage, as well as her "esteemed spouse" [from which I presume we can eliminate Eggleston as being!]

But, this does mean, that dear, old Great-Grandpa, well... let's just say he liked the ladies!!!

1 comment:

Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

My goodness! I don't always hunt further than census records and obits, but it does pay to do some extra research sometimes, doesn't it?

And as for the paper stating there didn't need to be politics involved, well, the Republican was considered to be an unlikeable man while the Democrat was 'just doing his duty.'

No political bent at that paper! Seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same!

My gr-grandmother divorced my gr-grandfather also, as it seems he also liked the ladies. Or that is the story that I've been told. Looking at the photographs, it also appears that gr-grandmother was a very stern looking person, while gr-grandfather was affable looking.

And my mom doesn't seem to recall that he was with other women after the divorce, either, so who knows.

Have a Very Merry Christmas!