During the past decade many of the farmers of Johnson county have turned their attention to specializing along certain lines, and have met with unqualified success in fields that heretofore have been invaded only as side issues, principal among these being the raising of hogs. This industry has been pushed forward rapidly in late years, and among those who have found that this can be made a remunerative occupation are Jerome Foster Bean and James Monroe Bean, of Grantsburg township, owners of some fine farming property, and enterprising agriculturists and stock-raisers who have made a study of their chosen vocation and follow it along scientific lines. They are sons of James and Mary (Glass) Bean, and grandsons of Henry Bean, a native of Tennessee, who brought his family to Illinois in 1833 and spent the rest of his life in Gallatin county.

James Bean was born in 1833 while the family was migrating from Tennessee to Illinois, and he was reared on the pioneer farm in Gallatin county. At the outbreak of the Civil war he enlisted in Company D, Twenty-ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, with which he served three years and three months, and on his return again took up farming. Mr. Bean was the type of citizen who started 1 in life without a dollar and rose to a place of prominence among his fellows. Overcoming all discouragements and hardships, hewing straight to the line of honesty and integrity, believing in a fair and honorable method of dealing in all things, he accumulated more than 600 acres of land, and when he retired, in 1907, was one of the most highly esteemed men of his community. At that time he removed from Gallatin to Johnson county, but did not live long to enjoy the fruits of his years of toil, as his death occurred April 20th of that same year. Mr. Bean was a total abstainer as to liquor and tobacco, was never heard to utter an oath, and was very religious and serious minded. His word was as good as a bond, and on many occasions he was forced to deprive himself of all but the necessities of life on account of having to settle for a friend's notes, which his kindness of heart had caused him to endorse. A stalwart, sturdy pioneer, in his death Southern Illinois lost a man whose place will be hard to fill and one whose career is worthy of emulation by the youth of any land. Nine children were born to Mr. Bean and wife, namely: James Monroe; Mrs. Alice Nazarene Nelson; Jerome Foster; Mrs. Margaret Josephine Hemphill; Mrs. Faustine Ellen Willis; Logan Grant, who died at the age of nineteen years; Sherman Henry; Mary Rosabel, who died at the age of four years; and Mrs. Susan Catherine Hatfield. The mother of these children, who was a daughter of James Glass, of Pope county, died in 1897, at the age of fifty-five years.

James Monroe Bean, more familiarly known as Monroe, was born August 14, 1855, in Gallatin county, Illinois, and there was educated in the public schools. Until the removal to Johnson county in 1907, he and his brother Jerome F. were engaged in conducting their father's property, Monroe having charge of 300 acres located in the "bottoms." On October 14, 1906, Monroe Bean purchased eighty acres in Grantsburg township, where he has since been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and he now has two head of cattle, five horses and eighty Poland China hogs. He has been very successful in his operations, and is looked upon as one of his community's substantial men.

On November 4, 1878, Mr. Bean was married to Mrs. Leah Amanda (Nelson) Siddels, daughter of Elijah and Elsie Nelson, and they have had a family of eight children, namely: James Franklin, Jerome Marshall, Minnie Belle, James Monroe, Jr., Ridgeway, Logan, Byron Nelson and Clyde Lester. The family is connected with the Methodist church and is well and favorably known in Grantsburg township.

Jerome Foster Bean was born on the old homestead farm in Gallatin county, April 10, 1860. He received a common-school education in the schools located near the home place, which was situated about fourteen miles from old Shawneetown, and as a youth was reared to agricultural pursuits. On attaining manhood, Mr. Bean was given charge of 300 acres of his father's land, known as the "ridge" farm, and this he operated until his father sold out and came to Johnson county. Since coming to Grantsburg Mr. Bean has accumulated 240 acres of excellent highly productive land, and here he has carried on farming and stockraising. He is the owner of eight horses, two jacks and one jennet, five head of cattle and ninety hogs. In the latter he specializes in the Jersey-Duroc breed, and in November, 1911, had the finest bunch of the season in Johnson county, his shipment bringing $560. Like his brother, he has been successful in his chosen vocation, and he has always been in favor of using progressive and up-to-date methods in his work.

In 1889 Mr. Bean was married to Miss Ethel Yost, of Gallatin county, Illinois, daughter of Fletcher Yost, and she died in 1903, having been the mother of seven children; Mary Jewell, Susan Catherine, Ruth Yost, James Lewis, Jerome David, and two who died in infancy. In 1905, Mr. Bean was married to Mrs. Luella (Nash) Strode, a widow, of St. Louis, Missouri, and daughter of Samuel Nash, and two children have been born to this union, Samuel Burdette and one who died in infancy. Mr. Bean is a member of Cumberland Presbyterian church, and his fraternal connection is with the Masonic Lodge of Ridgeway.

Extracted 07 Nov 2018 by Norma Hass from History of Southern Illinois, by George Washington Smith, published in 1912, volume 3, pages 1694-1695.

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