From A Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. I, p. 685
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902


   Agriculture is the principal pursuit of the residents of Kansas, for the fertile prairies of the state afford excellent opportunities to those who desire to engage in the tilling of the soil and the raising of stock.  Mr Bean is a successful farmer of Sterling township and as he is widely and favorably known in this locality his life record cannot fail to prove of interest to many of our readers.  He was born in Pike county, Illinois, October 11, 1844.  His father, John L Bean, was a native of Kentucky, born near Marysville, in 1814.  The grandfather, Richard Bean, also resided in the Blue Grass state for many years but eventually removed to Illinois in its pioneer days and extensively carried on farming pursuits there.  His wife was of German birth.  They reared two sons and two daughters, but Robert Bean left home at the age of twenty-one and was never heard from again.  The other son is John L Bean, the father of our subject.  The sisters both married and had families, making their homes in Pike county, Illinois.  One of them, Mrs Mary Allen, is still living.  Orpha and Lewis Barber live in Martinez, California.

   In the state of his nativity John L Bean was reared and at an early day went to Illinois.  He married Miss Amy Bobbitt, who was born in North Carolina in 1816, their wedding being celebrated in Pike county, Illinois.  The father became a well-to-do farmer there and his success in his chosen vocation enabled him to provide his family with all the necessities and comforts of life.  They became the parents of seven children, of whom five reached mature years, namely:  Robert R, of this review; James F, who for the past twelve years has been an agent for the Santa Fe Railroad at Martinez, an important station on the California coast; Harriet, wife of J S Conkrite who is living on the old family homestead in Pike county, Illinois, which was purchased by the grandfather in 1832; Lucretia, the wife of George Van Syckle, of Crawford county, Kansas, who came from Pike county, Illinois, twenty-one years ago; and John H, who died in Pike county, Illinois, August 2, 1876, and on the same day and at the same hour the marriage of our subject was celebrated in Cherryvale, Montgomery county, Kansas.  The mother passed away in Cherokee county, Kansas, in the same year.  The father had passed away some years previous, having died in Pike county, Illinois, June 2, 1862.  The first of the family to come to Kansas was John H Bean and his brother-in-law, Mr Van Syckle, who arrived in 1880.

   Robert R Bean was reared to farm life in Illinois, and there acquired a good common-school education.  At the age of nineteen years he volunteered for service in the Union army, enlisting in Pike county, May 25, 1862, and just three years afterward he was mustered out at Mobile, Alabama.  He served in Company K, Second Illinois Cavalry, and he now draws a pension of twelve dollars a month.

   Not long after his return from the war Mr Bean was married, on the 28th of December, 1865, in Pike county, Illinois, to Miss Kate Hughes.  Their two children died in infancy.  For his second wife he chose Mary M Anderson, the wedding being celebrated August 2, 1876, in Cherryvale, Montgomery county, Kansas, and she was a daughter of Alpheus Paisley and Nancy (Spencer) Anderson, of Indiana.  Her father was one of the men who fled from the ‘jayhawkers’ and took up his abode in Franklin county, Kansas.  He died in Allen county, this state, leaving his widow and five children.  Mrs Anderson still resides in Allen county and is now seventy-one years of age.  In 1870 Mr Bean came to Kansas from his native county in Illinois and located in Cherokee county.  Throughout his entire life he has engaged in farming with the exception of five years spent in the lumber business in Allen county.  He now conducts a farm of five hundred and forty acres owned by A R Clark, judge of the courts.  He raises corn, wheat and cattle, keeping on hand about fifteen head of cattle and about thirteen horses and mules.  The land which he operates is in excellent condition and the well tilled fields yield to him golden harvests.  In politics he is a Republican and socially he is connected with the Ancient Order of Pyramids.