Nov 18 2014

Milton J. Bean

Milton J. Bean was born about 1824 in Tennessee, the son of Leroy D. Bean the brother of the legendary Peter Ellis Bean who was captured by Mexico in 1801 as part of the Nolan Expedition to what is now Texas. (Leroy D. Bean and Jane McQueen were married in Franklin County, Tennessee in 1816…that same year, in the same county, Davy Crockett married his second wife Elizabeth Patton.) Sometime later, around 1837, after his parents divorced, Milton moved to Texas. As a young man, in the 1840s, he joined Co B. 2nd Reg., Texas Mounted Volunteers and fought in the Mexican War. 

In 1860 Milton J. Bean was a farmer living in Woodville, Tyler County, Texas with his mother Jane. When Civil War hostilities commenced in 1861, Bean enlisted in the 7th Texas Infantry, Company F, “the Lone Star Rifles”. On September 1, 1862 he married Susan Nicks in Tyler County. After the Civil War he and his family moved to Wilson County where he developed a reputation as a cattle buyer. 

Milton J. Bean was known far and wide on the cattle trails as a cattle buyer of considerable skill. Cattle buyers were essential to the cattle industry of the 1860s and 1870s. They had the trust of the large trail drive operators. People like Dillard R. Fant of Goliad, the Erskines of Guadalupe County, the Morgans, Newtons, Humphries, Cunningham and Tiners of Lavernia relied on cattle buyers to help collect stock for their drives. The local cow hunters and farmers had to trust cattle buyers to pay a fair price for their stock. 

By the 1870s M. J. Bean, a widower, lived on a small spread west of Lavernia near Easterling (now Kicaster) with his three daughters, Maud age twelve, Amanda age ten, and Mary age seven. 

Richard Neasom

Richard Neasom, the nephew of Milton J. Bean, worked as a farm hand, on the nearby farm of Alfred I. Maye. Neasom was born, on October 15, 1853 to Benjamin B. Neasom and Angeline Mullins at Greensburg, St. Helena Parish in Louisiana. 

James H. McMahon

James H. McMahon was born July 10, 1830 in Ireland. He came to the U. S. in January 1850 traveling from Liverpool to New York on the ship David Cannon. In 1850 he stated that he was employed as a carpenter when enumerated in the Federal Census in Fayette County, Kentucky. By 1860 he had trained as a physician, for in the Federal Census of that year, he declared his livelihood as “physician” in Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

During the Civil War he enlisted as assistant surgeon on 27 September 1864, and received an officer’s commission in Company S, 54th Kentucky Infantry Regiment of the Union Army. During the War his unit saw considerable activity in Virginia. He was mustered out of the unit in September 1865, in Louisville, Kentucky. 

After the war he came to Texas and was known at Fort Davis in far west Texas. In early 1870, Dr. McMahon came to Lavernia and married Georgiana, the widow of Henry M. Morgan. Dr. McMahon quickly established himself as a pillar of the community.

When the Masons decided to build the lodge building in 1871, R. W. Brahan donated $500.00; James Newton and Dr. J. H. McMahon each gave $100.00. During the 1870s McMahon served as one of the brothers on many Brahan Lodge committees. 

He also became a treasured healer in the area. In 1873, when Lavernia’s Wolf’s cotton gin boiler exploded with such force that later a 4000-pound section was found 3/4 of a mile away, he was there. About the same time, he treated Col. A. M. Short, successfully saving him from the bite of a copperhead. His skills as a surgeon were well known, one surgical procedure was written about in the newspapers of the day: He and a Dr. Messinger collaborated to perform an operation on a Mrs. Wiggins for a uterine tumor in Sutherland Springs. 

Dr. McMahon was energetic and civic minded. He was a Mason, physician, and surgeon; his wife ran the local hotel. On 28 March 1870, when Lawrence H. Wall left the post, he took on the job of Lavernia postmaster.