William Bean

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William Bean
Born (1721-12-09)December 9, 1721
St. Stephens Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia
Died May 1782
Washington District, North Carolina
Nationality American
Occupation Longhunter
Known for being the first permanent settler in Tennessee
Title Commissioner, Washington District, North Carolina
Spouse(s) Lydia Russell (1726-1788)

William Bean (December 9, 1721 – May 1782) was a Trans-Appalachian pioneer; longhunter; and Commissioner of North Carolina's Washington District.

Personal life[edit]

William Bean was born December 9, 1721 in St. Stephens Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia. In 1741 he married Lydia Russell (b. September 29, 1726). They were to become the future Tennessee area's first permanent European-American settlers;[1] and were both of English descent.[2]

Frontier settler[edit]

Historical Marker placed near the William Bean Cabin site

Bean was an associate of Daniel Boone's and a fellow longhunter. In 1769, he built a cabin close to the junction of Boone's Creek and Watauga Creek, near what is today Johnson City, Tennessee. It is said[by whom?] that either Bean visited the site with Boone, or Boone and a friend, Richard Callaway, visited it when exploring as agents for Richard Henderson, a land speculator who later played an important role in the early settlement of Tennessee.[3][4]

Later that year, the first child of permanent European-American settlers born in Tennessee, Russell Bean, was born there.[5]

Later life[edit]

Bean's cabin soon attracted other pioneer families, who participated in the formation of the Watauga Association, a semi-autonomous colony.[citation needed]

After its formation in 1776, Bean was named a Commissioner of North Carolina's Washington District.[1]

Death[edit]

Bean died in May 1782 at German Creek, Washington County, North Carolina (now Grainger County, Tennessee).[1]

Namesake[edit]

Later relatives of Bean established what became Bean Station, in present day Grainger County, Tennessee.[6]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Carolyn Sakowski; Touring the East Tennessee Backroads; J.F. Blair, pub.; Winston-Salem, N.C.; 1993; pp. 86–87.