Mark Hill (1790-1878


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History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties, Arkansas
(Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889)

Mark Bean
was a well-to-do and influential pioneer of the Cane Hill country. He was a native of Tennessee, and had come to “Lovely's Purchase” among the first immigrants. He was there engaged in the manufacture of salt. When driven out he went to Crawford County, where in 1829 he was elected to the Territorial Legislature. Soon after he came to Washington County, where he remained until his death. He is said to have been originally a Democrat, but having quarreled with A. H. Sevier, he allied himself with the Whigs, and became one of the leaders of the party in Washington County.

“There never were many panthers here." Capt. Mark Bean, who resided in the valley a few years in an early day, often related his panther experiences. He was on the snow looking for deer when he came across panther tracks. He followed the trail for an hour or more, when, passing under a large post-oak tree, he looked up and saw the panther crouched on a limb about twelve feet above his head, intently watching him. It was with an effort that he suppressed a scream. His hair stood straight up on his head. He walked on some steps, adjusted his hunting knife, turned and fired. The panther made a leap, screamed and fell to the ground dead.

page 155
By daylight on the morning after the murder people from the surrounding country began to come in, and by noon hundreds, perhaps a thousand, had assembled. That night a council of old citizens was held, and the question of public safety was discussed in all its phases. The powerless condition of the courts was recognized, and after a long debate it was decided to take the matter into their own hands. A committee of thirty-six discreet and reliable citizens was selected to direct investigations and to punish the criminals should they be apprehended. The names of the members of the committee, as given by Col. James P. Neal, are as follows: Mark Bean, Rev. Andrew Buchanan, James Coulter, Levi Richards, Rev. Samuel Harris, Robert Bedford, John R. Pyeatt, Lewis Evans, John D. Moore, Rev. B. H. Pierson, William Oliver, Garvin Dunn, Leander Burnham, James Buchanan, James Hamilton, Aaron Parks, Robert Parks, T. C. Wilson, James Mitchell, William D. Crawford, Samuel Carnahan, James Crawford, Sr., Henry E. Campbell, John Tilly, Sr., Thomas Tiner, Rev. Thomas W. Norwood, William Crawford, Richard Bean, M. W. McClennan, Robert Buchanan, Isaac P. Spencer, William Munkress, Samuel Marrs, John Campbell, Henry E. Campbell and John Latta. Rev. Samuel Harris was chosen president of the committee. One hundred able and energetic men were selected as a company of light horse. They were sent in tens over the county, with instructions to arrest and bring before the committee all suspicious persons, gamblers, idlers and stragglers. Meantime the committee was engaged in trying to get some clue. Suspicion finally rested on James Barnes, William Bailey, Taylor S. Barnes, John Asbury and Alexander Richmond and Ellery Turner, all of whom were taken into custody and brought before the committee. Witnesses both for and against the prisoners were summoned before the committee, and several days were consumed in the trial. One by one they succeeded in establishing plausible alibis, and it became evident that all must be discharged. Bailey was a gambler and a stranger in the country, and was looked upon with greater suspicion and dislike than any of the others. The circumstantial evidence was much stronger against him, although he had proven as good an alibi. While the guards were conveying him to Boonsboro, where the committee was in session, he threw away a letter, which was recovered. It was written to his father, and stated that he had killed a man, and was about to leave for Texas. Also a shirt, sprinkled with blood, was found in his saddle-bags. For these he had a plausible excuse, and his alibi was good, but some of the citizens were not satisfied of his innocence. The night before the men were to be released they took him from the guards, and taking him to a neighboring mountain, endeavored to extort a confession from him by whipping him, but failing in this they turned him loose, and he disappeared from the neighborhood.

Members of the Upper House of the General Assembly.–Territorial council, James Billingsley, 1829; Robert McCarny, 1831; Mark Bean, 1833; State Senate, W. McK. Ball and Robert McCarny, 1836; O. Evans and A. Whinnery, 1838; O. Evans and David Walker, 1840; David Walker and M. Bean, 1842; Mark Bean and Robert McCarny, 1844; Robert McCarny and J. E. Mayfield, 1846; J. E. Mayfield and R. McCarny, 1848; R. McCarny and J. Billingsley, 1850; John Billingsley, 1852; John Enyart, 1854, also 1856; B. H. Smithson, 1858; R. W. Mecklin, 1860; Hiram Davis, 1862; J. M. Gilstrop, 1864; F. R. Earle, 1866; T. J. Hunt, 1868; A. Caraloff, 1870, also 1872; B. F. Walker, 1874; A. M. Wilson, 1876, also 1878; J. S. Williams, 1880; Thomas Wainwright, 1881, also 1882; T. W. Thomason, 1884, also 1886.

page 172
Members of Constitutional Conventions.–Convention of 1836, David Walker, Mark Bean, A. Whinnery, William McK. Ball, James Boone, Robert McCarny; convention of 1861, David Walker (president), J. H. Stirman, J. P. A. Parks and T. M. Gunter; convention of 1868, Charles W. Walker and James M. Hoge; convention of 1874, Benjamin F. Walker, M. F. Lake and T. W. Thomason.

Washington County has always been strongly Democratic in politics. In its early history the Whig party had some very able leaders, and through their superior ability were frequently able to secure an election to some legislative or judicial office. In 1836, and again in 1838, the Democrats elected solid delegations to the Legislature, but in 1840 David Walker, a Whig leader, was elected to the Senate, and two of the representatives, W. D. Reagan and G. A. Pettigrew, were Whigs. In 1842 the failure of the State Bank still farther strengthened the Whigs, and Mark Bean, another Whig leader, was elected to the Senate, while David Walker held over. At this election there were also two Whigs chosen representatives. Two years later the Democrats regained their lost ground, and held it until the opening of the Civil War.

page 611
[Land Purchases]
Rich. H. Bean, 1831, 27-10-29

page 914
Richard H. Bean
, farmer, miller and native of Washington County, Ark., was born on the 16th of December, 1837, and is a son of Hon. Mark Bean, who was born at Bean Station. Tenn., and came with his parents to Arkansas about 1820. He was married in Batesville, Ark., to Miss Hettie Stuart, and soon after settled on a farm in Franklin County, which county he afterward represented in the State Senate, being a member of that body several terms. In 1834 he took up his abode in Washington County, settling near what is now known as Rhea Mills, but afterward moved to Cane Hill, where he resided until his death, which occurred in February, 1862. His wife died while they were living in Franklin County, and he afterward married Nancy J. Parks, a native of Tennessee, and a daughter of Robert W. Parks Richard H. Bean was educated in the Cane Hill College, and grew to manhood in Washington County. When the war broke out he enlisted in the Arkansas State troops. but at the end of three months they were disbanded. In 1863 he joined Col. Jackman's Missouri regiment, Shelby's brigade, and served, mostly on detached duty, until the close of the war. He then returned home and erected a large steam saw and grist mill near Cane Hill, which he managed up to 1879, when he sold out and retired to his farm and engaged in stock farming, at which he has been entirely successful. He has been breeding and dealing in fine cattle, hogs and sheep for several years, and has as good blooded stock as there is in the county. He was one of the prime movers in establishing the Cane Hill Canning and Evaporating Factory, and has about $700 invested in that enterprise. He is one of the enterprising business men of Washington County. In May, 1866, he was married to Mary L. Lacy, a native of Alabama, and daughter of T. H. Lacy, by whom he is the father of seven children: Bettie, Ola S., William H., John L., Mary L., Nancy and Ruth. Mr. and Mrs. Bean are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and he is a Royal Arch Mason.

The great distance of the town from the railroad has somewhat obstructed its growth, yet it has made steady improvement. The following is a directory of its present business interests: Edmiston & Co., J. Edmiston, S. T. Cole, McBride & Haygood and Cowley & Welch, general stores; J. W. Cope, druggist; Ross & Blackburn and Mrs. M. L. Mann, millinery; W. F. Easterley, wagon-maker; Russell & Wood and A. E. Andrews, blacksmiths; Moore & Pyeott, roller flouring-mill; J. M. Russell & Co. and R. H. Bean, grist-mills; canning factory, operated by a stock company. The canning factory is similar to the one at Prairie Grove, and was recently put into operation. The president of the company is J. S. Edmiston, and the secretary, H. W. Moore. The raising of nursery stock is an extensive business in the vicinity of the town. The leading nurseries are owned by J. B. Russell & Co., Haygood & Co. and D. M. Moore & Son.

page 268
When Cane Hill Lodge No. 57, A. F. & A. M., was organized is not now known, as the charter and records were destroyed during the war. The first meeting of which any record could be found was held on August 3, 1865, when J. A. L. McCulloch was W. M.; George W. Scott, S. W.; L. W. Yates, J. W.; F. R. Earle, S. D.; R. H. Bean, J. D.; E. W. McClellan, Secretary; A. Mitchell, Treasurer, and W. B. Brodie, Tyler. The next year a building committee, composed of J. W. Staggs, J. A. L. McCulloch and L. W. Yates, was appointed, and a second story was built over E. W. McClellan's store for a lodge room. It was occupied until December, 1886, when the building was destroyed by fire. [p.268] Meetings have since been held over the Methodist Church. The following is a list of the Worshipful Masters since 1865: W. B. Welch, 1866; J. M. Lacy, 1867; F. R. Earle, 1868; R. D. Hays, 1869; James Mitchell, 1870; J. P. Carnahan, 1871; H. M. Welch, 1872; C. McCulloch, 1873; H. M. Welch, 1874-76; J. A. L. McCulloch, 1876; J. A. Buchanan and J. P. Carnahan, 1877-79; T. S. Tennant, 1879; J. P. Carnahan, 1880; W. B. Welch, 1881; R. H. Bean, 1882; H. L. Routh, 1883-85; T. W. Blackburn, 1885-87; J. P. Carnahan, 1887. The members of the lodge now number about thirty.

page 995
Col. James P. Neal, one of the old residents of Washington County, Ark., who is now retired from active business life, was born in Butler County, Ky., March 24, 1820, and is a son of William Neal, and a grandson of Thomas Neal. The latter was a Virginian, whose ancestors were Irish, and one of the early settlers of Kentucky, in which State William Neal was born, reared and married. His wife's maiden name was Sinai Harreld, whose parents were also Virginians, of English ancestry. After Mr. Neal's death, which occurred when James P. was a child, she married again, and in 1829 moved to Arkansas with her husband, Rev. Andrew Buchanan, a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, locating on the land on which the Colonel now resides. Here Col. Neal was reared on the farm, and in 1847 volunteered in the Mexican War,  marching through Texas into Mexico. He arose to the rank of first lieutenant, and served in this capacity until the close of the war, being mustered out at Comargo in 1848. Previous to his entering the army he had read law, been admitted to the bar, and had practiced his profession in Fayetteville, and after returning home he resumed his profession, which he continued until 1851, when he was elected mayor of Fayetteville, and held the office until 1854. In 1849 he was married to Miss Adalibe [Adeline?] Bean, daughter of Capt. Mark Bean, and cousin of the late Col. Tom Bean, the Bonham, Tex., millionaire. In 1854 he moved to Austin, Tex., owing to his wife's failing health, where she died in 1863. During the war Mr. Neal was actively engaged in furnishing the Confederate army with supplies. He was a presidential elector, and voted for Jeff. Davis for his second term. In 1868 he returned to Prairie Grove, Ark., then made historic by the battle of December 7, 1862, between the Federal and Confederate forces, commanded respectively by Gens. Blunt and Hindman. In 1869 he was married to the widow of his brother, Col. William T. Neal, who was killed by the Federals in a skirmish near Clarksville, Ark., in 1864. In 1871 he established the town of Prairie Grove, built the first store and engaged in merchandising, being also appointed postmaster of the town. He held this position until 1887, when he was obliged to resign on account of failing health, and is now living at his beautiful suburban residence, free from the cares of business life, surrounded by the lovely groves and grand old trees made memorable by the incidents of the battle, where that famous old spring comes bubbling forth with its crystal water, where both Federals and Confederates slaked their thirst and bathed their bleeding wounds. Col. Neal has held many positions of trust, and has done much to build up the town. His donations of real estate to public and charitable buildings have been munificent. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and is a worthy and consistent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. His first union resulted in the birth of six children, only two of whom (Nora and Sam Bell) grew to mature years. To his present union three children have been born: James Preston, Sinai Belle and Jay Dudley. Mr. Neal has written and published many interesting sketches of the early times in Arkansas.

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Compiled by Larry Kraus