Last week we began a journey through the Bean Family Cemetery, located near Waiteville in Monroe County, West Virginia.
What stones are visible are worn and illegible. Some look merely like lumps of rock or granite. So, for the next few weeks we will visit each stone. However, since we have no idea who is buried where, we will simply "assign" a personage to each stone. We know several of the family members who are buried there, and thus we are able to provide fodder for these illuminations!
The above stone is about 14-inches high, and is almost box-shaped. There are no visible markings or engravings.
Today, let us discuss the matriarch of the Bean family here; Rachel Wiseman Bean.
Born 23 Apr 1790 in Rockbridge County, Virginia to Joseph Wiseman [1759-1836] and Elizabeth Bateman [1762-1842], Rachel was one of eleven children the couple had.
The Wiseman tree has been traced back to Robert Wiseman and 1592 in England.
Rachel married William Bean on 20 Nov 1813. In so doing, she took a great chance! William, an orphan, had just been released from indenture servitude two months prior. He was penniless and had no property. However, a chord was struck between the two, and it seems even between her parents and William, for many business dealings were held betwixt them!
Following a law suit against his former "Master" of indenture, and winning a substantial amount of fortune from the suit, William became a man of wealth and means. And while his wealth grew, so did his family! He and Rachel had thirteen children, all of whom reached adulthood! [Quite the feat for the early 1800's!]
Rachel was petted and pampered however, by her husband. He first built her a modest log cabin on Sinking Creek, near Back Valley. Later he acquired substantial lands across Peter's Mountain near Waiteville. It was here that he built her a large, roomy log house that remains in habitation to this very day!
On 11 Oct 1856, Rachel's daughter, Nancy, died quite suddenly following a fever of unknown origin. Rachel nursed Nancy the entire duration of the fever, never leaving her side. Nancy was single, having never married, and was 41 years of age.
Three weeks after burying Nancy, Rachel suddenly collapsed. Whether it was a stroke, or sheer heartbreak at having buried a child who had become as much companion and friend as child, wwe will never know. Rachel died on 07 November 1856.
Rachel was laid to rest some place in this lovely little cemetery that sits across the meadow from the house that William built for her. Here, for eternity, she lies, lovingly looking upon that which stands a memorial to the family's love.
It is a quiet and peaceful spot, this little cemetery in the woods. I'd like to think that William and Rachel lie side by side here, as they should.