THIS DAY IN HISTORY
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History of Benton, Washington, Carroll, Madison, Crawford, Franklin, and Sebastian Counties,
(Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889)
SETTLEMENT AND EARLY SCENES
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.
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.
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.
[p.605] EARLY HISTORY AND SETTLEMENT.
Rich. H. Bean, 1831, 27-10-29
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.
OTHER TOWNS AND VILLAGES
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.
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
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.