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Milam County, Texas

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Major Elwood M. Bean

SOURCE: History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties. (Chicago, IL: Lewis, 1893), p. 490 - 492.

E. M. BEAN - On the banks of the Potomac river, eighty miles west of the city of Baltimore, in Washington county, Maryland, Elwood M. Bean, son of Benjamin and Minerva (Resley) Bean, was born, on January 5, 1839. In the same place his parents were also born, and back through several generations into the early settled families of that historic locality his ancestry runs. The McBeans, from which he descended on his Father's side, were originally from Scotland; the Resleys from England. Both were strong religionists, the McBeans being stanch Presbyterians, the Resleys Episcopalians. Both were large land and slave owners, and lived in the splendid style that characterized the living of the well-to-do people of their class in ante-bellum days.

The death of his parents, the father in 1849 and the mother in 1855, together with reverses in private fortune, brought Elwood M. Bean in 1856 to Texas, then a youth just turning into his eighteenth year. His previous training had not been such as to fit him in the best possible manner for the rugged experiences that awaited him, but he was prepared in purpose for this and he took up the new life with readiness.

Locating in Milam county, he went to work on a farm, where he was steadily and profitably employed until the opening of the late war. He entered the Confederate service in August, 1861 enlisting in Company G, Fifth Texas. He served with the Army of Northern Virginia, taking part in the peninsular campaign, the seven days' fight around Richmond, second Manassas, Boonesboro Mountains, Sharpsburg and on to Gettysburg, where he lost his right arm and was captured July 3, 1863. He lay in prison ten months in Baltimore, Fort McHenry and Point Lookout, when he was exchanged, place in the reserve corps and sent West to report to General E. Kirby Smith, then commanding the Trans-Mississippi Department. Here, under authority from General J. B. Robinson, commanding the reserve corps of Texas, he raised a battalion from the counties of Washington, Burleson, Milam, Falls, Bell and McLennan, of which he was commissioned Major. With this force, made up mostly of old men and boys to the number of about 400, Major Bean was rendezvousing at Moseley's Ferry on the Brazos, making active preparation to go to the front, when he received news of Lee's surrender, in April 1865.

The war over, he took up his residence again in Milam county, where in 1868 he became a candidate for County Assessor. A sharply contested race resulted in almost a tie vote, and the County Commissioners' Court, after two days' canvassing and deliberating, tendered the certificate of election to Major Bean, which he declined, with the request that it be given to his opponent, which was done. He than went into the County Clerk's office as Deputy under W. M. Baines, where he remained for two years, when he again became a candidate for the office of County Treasurer, to which he was elected by a safe majority. This was in 1888.

In 1890 he was re-elected by a practically unanimous vote, and in 1892, in one of the most hotly contested races ever witnessed in the county, he received the largest vote polled in the county and beat his opponent something over 900 votes. Major Bean is a most efficient officer and a deservedly popular citizen. No man in Milam county has, or perhaps ever had, as firm a hold upon the people of the county as he has. His unaffected ways, his hearty manner and generous, impulsive nature have made him admired and beloved of all classes and conditions of men. Never a fellow-man, whatever his polities, color or condition in life, that asked a favor of him but it was granted, if it was in his power to grant it. While a Democrat in political faith, he is broad and progressive in his views. The same catholicity of spirit also characterizes his way of thinking on social, religious and economic questions, his mind offering a generous hospitality to the thoughts of others and his heart beating in unison with the best impulses of the age.

We must say a special thank you to Sylvia Thomas of Georgetown, Texas, for typing the above biographical sketch for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.

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Created on 21 May 2004 and last revised on ____________