Monday, April 17, 2017
The above is my Grandfather's, John Monroe Bean, Sr.'s, obituary. He passed away on Saturday, April 10, 1954 at 9 p.m. I won't try to transcribe it, as I believe the scan is clear enough to read on its own.
My Grandfather was 87 years of age when he passed.
Born on December 15, 1866 in Ohio (this lists him born near Portsmouth, and I've seen it listed as Cincinnati), he was the youngest son , and the 6th born of 8 children to William M. Bean, Jr., and Margaret Smith Perkins Bean.
His Mother, along with two of her brothers, crossed Union lines in an oxen pulled covered wagon with 3 small children, to meet up with her husband, who was a spy for the northern army. She had two brothers who escorted her and the children on the dangerous journey.
After the war, the family stayed on in Ohio for a short while, and this was when my grandfather was born. When he was but a few weeks old, the family was once again pulled by oxen in their wagon, and made the journey back to the hills of West Virginia. It was the dead of winter. And it was a particularly cold winter. My Grandfather, whom I have been told wasn't of tall stature, as all of his sons were, stated that because he was a newborn, and they travelled through the cold, "the cold weather stunted" his growth. It was so cold, that my Great-Grandmother Margaret, placed the baby inside of the bust of her dress so that he would stay warm from her body heat.
Grandfather was first married to Blanche Uremia CROSIER (1875-1902) on 25 June 1895. Blanche and Grandfather had three children. When the youngest was born, Blanche contracted tuberculosis. Her daughter told the story that her mother was given creosote to treat the ailment. She died soon after, leaving Grandfather with a 6 year old, a 3 year old, and a 4-month old baby.
As my Aunt Rita told it, the baby was given to his brother's family for a while, until she was large enough that Grandfather could take care of her. Aunt Rita stated in her memoir that they "batched it for a time". She stated a neighbor lady came in to braid her hair once a week.
Then in March of 1907, Grandfather left the children for a few days. When he came back home, he was married to Miss Ada L. Burdette, of the Greenbrier Burdette family. (It is said they apologized to the children for having been so long in coming home, as Miss Ada was waiting for her false teeth to be made.) Grandfather and Ada had 9 children between 1908 and 1929. Again Grandfather was left with a newborn when Ada passed away from eclampsia just 5 days after giving birth. So the baby boy was sent to live with one of Ada's sisters. He came home to visit, but he stayed with his aunt until he was grown.
On December 1, 1935, Grandfather married Mary Elizabeth Faudree, my Grandmother. Grandfather by now was getting on in years (he was 69 when he married my Grandfather), and my Grandmother was not so young either, she was 38. They had 3 sons. My Dad came along in 1937, another son in 1939, and the last child in 1943. The last child died in 1946 from a burst appendix.
The final count was 15 children born to my Grandfather.
All in all, Grandfather buried two wives, and four children before he passed.
Grandfather suffered a stroke, and was unable to do much when he passed away in 1954.
During his lifetime, my Grandfather was a Deputy U.S. Marshall, to his father, who was a U.S. Marshall. This was before he ever married. They would travel by horseback from Waiteville, Monroe County, West Virginia, over into Pearisburg, Giles County, Virginia. There they would pick up a train load of convicts. They would march them from Pearisburg all the way to Ronceverte, Greenbrier County, West Virginia. That is roughly 50 miles. This took several days. In Ronceverte, they would all board a train headed to Charleston, WV, where the convicts were loaded onboard a boat and shipped to a federal prison elsewhere. At that point, my Great-Grandfather, and my Grandfather, would head back home.
Grandfather was also a store owner on several occasions. He was a merchant several times. But it seemed he had "itchy feet" as the old folks would say. (Meaning he liked to move around a lot.)
And he was a farmer. He raised beef, bred them, and them sold the calves in the fall for veal.
His final home was in Waiteville. He had purchased a home that was covered in board siding, but beneath was a log structure. The house had two rooms down and two rooms up. There was a small addition off one of the rooms downstairs. Here they put a wood burning cook stove. Later a refrigerator was added, along with a work table, and a couple of cabinets.
Grandfather was laid to rest at Mt. Zion Union Church Cemtery, in Waiteville. My Grandmother was buried beside him.