Bean Cemetery

Bean Family Cemetery, St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois

This cemetery burial list for the Bean Family Cemetery, St. Albans Township, Hancock County, Illinois, was compiled by Wilma Bruneen (Mrs. Leo Bruneen), Miss Mary H. Siegfried, Denver, Illinois (R.F.D. No.2, Carthage) procured it and forwarded it to me for my Warren L. Van Dine County cemeteries project.  And date of entry in the Project October 10, 1976.

Mrs. Bruneen has described herself in this list as a great granddaughter of Hester Jane Wells, 1852-1880, who rests in death in this burying ground in the bottom row of Townships of our County.

If is an abandoned cemetery but it is still fenced and in existence even if in a deplorable condition.

You will note Mrs. Bruneen mentions Mr. Charles Bean in her list, describing him as a grandson of Garrett Bean, 1807-1893, who is interred in this cemetery.  Charles wrote to a relative in this county whom he addressed as "Dear Cousin" in 1947 or some time after that and which he described the Bean Family Cemetery as follows:

"When I was back in Illinois in the fall of 1947, I visited the old cemetery on what was grandfather's farm.  I found the cemetery entirely hidden in the woods.  It lies nearly a quarter mile from the road.  Their original timber has been out and the second growth is very dense.  The Bean plot is surrounded by an iron fence.  The France was in good condition but all tombstones were down as are all others in the cemetery.  Replaced grandmothers and grandfathers stones.  I reset the stones of an uncle and aunt and an aunt's daughter.

There were many buried there in the early day, but none since grandfather in 1893.  I do not know why this site was chosen back in the woods.  Grandfather was the first to settle there in 1836 there is a grave of a daughter of  T. and M. R. Hecox, who died September 15, 1836.  This is possibly the second death in St. Albans Township.  I see from an old atlas that the first death occurred earlier that same year.  There was another daughter of the Hecox 1839.  There is a Bryant-1852.  Hanna, wife of John Gray-1860. Kinchelos- 1857.  And Ashbaugh and others I could not make out.  I remember there were many wooden markers when I was a boy."

Charles wrote this letter from 3711 Whittier Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.  With their he is still living today, probably 25 years after writing it, I do not now.

He wrote this letter in connection with some copies of letters (and enclosed it with them) which his grandfather wrote in 1879 giving some facts and interesting details about his life for use on a program at a meeting of the Hancock County Pioneers Association (also called the Old Settlers Association) held in Warsaw that year.

See the 1968 Hancock county history, page 6 67, for a description of this society, also accounts about it in the two previous County Histories of 1880 and 1921.

The grandfather, Garrett Bean, set up the cemetery on his farm in St. Albans Township. he relates in one of his 1879 Letters about how he settled in that Township in his young days as a Hancock County pioneer.

"I' moved my family and settled in St. Albans Township, Hancock County, the 26th of March, 1836, and that 20 years to a day after our oldest son Jonathan died, 21 years 1 month and a few days old, 1854 and my wife Nancy died the 25th of March 18th 64 and was buried on the 26 of March, just 30 years in the county. "

The Garrett Bean Farm in St. Albans Township is located below Stillwell on the County line (Hancock County-Adams County) according to the 1880 history of Hancock County, page 548.

It is located in sections 31 and 32 in the southwest corner of the township as placed by the well-known 1874 Andreas Atlas of Hancock county.

The Garrett Bean is honored with a half page biographical sketch on page 551 of the 1880 county history.  This reads as follows:

"Garrett Bean was born in Kentucky and 1807.  At the age of 20 he emigrated to Pike County, Illinois, where he lived one year, then to Galena, Illinois, for a short time, and then to Quincy, Illinois, where he worked one winter for John Wood, after word Governor of Illinois, for whom Mr. B.  made 4,000 rails and the 2,000 shingles.  Happen after living in Adams County one year, Mr. B.  A, and 1836, came to Hancock County, Illinois, and located in St. Albans Township, on the farm where he now lives.  Although placed in the wilderness with nothing except willing hands and no wife, he accumulated a handsome fortune.  He has a farm of 346 acres of good timber and prairie land.

He was married in 1831 to Miss Nancy Crow of Adams County, Illinois and four boys and four girls were born to this union.  Sarah B., William, John, Martha, Mary A..  And Henry are those that are living.  Mr. B.  Has held the office of school trustee and as a member of the Methodist church. "

If the length of residence of 20 years in Hancock County, Illinois from the time of coming to the death of his oldest son Jonathan in 1854 also like of residence in Kentucky from the time of his birth in 1807 till moved to Illinois, given by Garrett in the above do not fit in the bracket of the dates he gives.  In all probability when he was interviewed by Mr. Gregg, writer of the 1880 county history, he meant with Japan both cases the length was about 20 years, perhaps a few more or less.  By 1879 when Gregg compiled most of this history Garrett was no longer young and probably his heart no longer pump enough blood and of good enough quality to his brain so he could fix the happenings of his young days exactly as to dates and spans of time.

We wonder as we stand among these deceased of the Bean Family Cemetery here in St. Albans Township and in the pages of the County History what they were like.  They lived and loved and carved out farms out of the raw prairie is of Hancock County back their 150 years ago; they saw sunrise and sunset, summer and winter to, and the passing of mann and events till it came their turn to play down their bones.  They worshiped God-all this beneath the warm sun of Illinois.  Their toil was hard hand labor but their reward was wealth and peace by the time they were middle aged.  The country was good to them, and they must have raised their eyes to heaven and thanked God when they saw the Banner of our confederated republic flung to the breeze.

The tools of the more abundant everyday living were not available for Americans of their day.  So their lives were no doubt shortened by farm drudgery of that early pioneer era in Illinois.

But if they could come back for a day now to compare their lot with ours of the late Twentieth Century I for one believe they would choose to have lived when the did in spite of its thousand inconveniences.

This because they were not burdened and faced with extinction by the multitude of national problems we have on our hands today, for which there is no solutions, which no president, no Congress, no political party, can come up with anything to save us from.  Such as population explosion meaning there is no longer enough property in the country for all Americans to have some; the interdependent making us dependent on thousands of other people all over the nation to provide us with everything we require to sustain life; the unbalanced national budget which is rushing us into the black abyss of runaway inflation; the back breaking burden of debt we no longer can stagger under with everyone owing everyone else astronomical sums which sooner or later will bring our national economy toppling around us plunging us into mass starvation; and dozens of others which might be named by.

The pioneer dead of our country among whom those in this cemetery are listed were noble man and women.  We will not soon see their like again in our country if we ever do.  They left us the living of Heritage wonderful beyond pricing.  Let us thank God for people like Garrett Bean who laid the foundations for the fine life we enjoy here today.

There is another list in this project for the Bean Family Cemetery One I compiled in 1971 for data about the Bean Family which someone called to my attention than.  So examine it also for complete coverage.

Why have not yet been in this cemetery but if opportunity ever offers I will visit it.  But it is doubtful if any additional material could be obtained by going at this late date.  It has been a quarter of a century since Mr. Charles Bean made his 1947 examination of it.  It was an abandoned cemetery at that time and Mrs. Bruneen's report indicates there has been further deterioration since then.  She has procured more than I could have obtained work could get now anyway.  It seems good as I think about this there are people like Kearse setting their hands to the task of caring for our honored and loved dead of the County.

Asbough, William T. - b:   d:1855  ( s/o M. and V. Asbough)
Bean: Garrett- b:1807 in Kentucky  d: 1893 in St Albans, Hancock Co, Illinois  (h/o Nancy Bean
Bean, Jonathan- b:1835   d: March 26, 1856   (s/o Garrett and Nancy Bean)
Bean, Louisa J. - b:1841   d: October 2, 1866   in St Albans, Hancock Co, Illinois  (d/o Garrett and Nancy Bean)
Bean , Nancy- b:1811 in Missouri   d: 1864  in St Albans, Hancock Co, Illinois  (w/o Garrett Bean)
Bean, Sarah A.- b: 1833   d: unreadable
Bryant, Bryan H- b:1820   d: 1852
Cray, Hanna- b: 1806   d:1860  (w/o Joseph Cray)
Hecox, Enos- b: 1827   d: September 5, 1838 if  (s/o T. and M. Hecox)
Hecox, infant- b:   d:1839  (d/o T. and M. Hecox)
Kincheloe, Charles- b:   d:1857
Short, James- b:1841   d: 1847
Tanner, Loretta R.- b: 1837   d: September 18, 1838
Wells, Hester Jane- b:1852   d: 1880

Another stone with only Asbough on it (so I am not quite sure it is another Asbough.  The broken part is gone. )
(there is no marker to Hester Jane Wells above.  This is my great grandmother.  We know the location of her grave. )
(there are four more second places I found.  But according to Charles Bean, a grandson of Garrett Bean, and there are more graves there, but all had wooden markers and they have rotted and gone.  Sorry I could not get all the dates, but those stones have been broken for so long.  The ones we did give with gran and paper work terrible hard to read. )
Signed Wilma Brunenn (Mrs. Leo Brunenn)

Additional note: in the introduction notice Mrs. Leo Brunenn was spelled Bruneen. When this letter was signed it was spelled Brunenn..  Hopefully someone out there somewhere will know the correct spelling of her last name.