One of the most substantial and highly esteemed farmers of Hire Township, McDonough County, Ill., is he whose name heads this sketch. Mr. Bean was born in McDonough County, on September 4, 1836, and is a son of Robert R. and Martha (Crouch) Bean, both natives of Tennessee. Robert R. Bean, who was a farmer by occupation, came to McDonough County and located in Tennessee Township in 1830. He afterwards moved to Chalmers Township, where he devoted his attention to farming and also plied his trade of blacksmithing. Here he passed the remainder of his days, dying January 20, 1859, at the age of fifty-nine years. The mother died in December, 1842. Robert R. Bean assisted in the organization of Tennessee and Chalmers Townships, and served as County Commissioner several terms. He also held the offices of Justice of the Peace and Town Clerk.
Joseph Bean is the seventh of a family of ten children. He was a twin. He grew up on the paternal farm, assisting in the work, and at intervals attending the public schools in the vicinity. In early manhood he crossed the plains three times — in 1859, 1862 and 1863. In 1864 he located in Chalmers Township, McDonough County, and in 1868 moved to Hire Township, where he bought eighty acres of land in Section 25. Here he broke the land and made all the improvements, and has since been engaged in general farming and raising Shorthorn cattle. He is now the owner of 213 acres of fine land in Hire Township. On April 16. 1864, Mr. Bean was married to Mary F. Welch, who was born and schooled in McDonough County. Three children blessed their union, namely: Ella (Mrs. Joseph Welch), Bert and Belasco. Politically, Mr. Bean is a Democrat. He was elected Township Supervisor in 1896, and. through re-election, served six years. His church membership is with the Baptist denomination. He has been a member of that church for thirty years, and for twenty-five years has acted as Superintendent of the Sunday school. The subject of this sketch is looked upon as a good representative of the best element in agriculture and citizenship of McDonough County.
Source: The Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of McDonough County, compiled by Dr. Newton Bateman, and Paul Shelby, 1907, volume 2, page 823, extracted 19 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass.