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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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GARRET F. BEAN, one of the successful farmers and dairymen of Montgomery county, was born in Skippack township, that county, on July 15, 1858. He is the son of Garret and Catharine (Fryer) Bean.

Garret Bean (father) was born on the Bean homestead in Skippack township, Montgomery county, October 14, 1811. Until he was twenty years of age he attended school during the winter months, and assisted his father on the farm in the summer. He afterwards devoted his whole attention to farming, and after his father’s death inherited the home place. He was something of a literary man and wrote a little during his spare time. He attended market regularly, and during his active life did some building in Norristown. For many years he was a director in the old Montgomery Bank at Norristown, and assisted in organizing the First National Bank, in which he was a director for the remainder of his life. He was a Republican in politics, and filled many township offices, among them that of school director, being deeply interested in educational advancement. During the last years of his life he retired from active labor and resided near Creamery. Like his ancestors he was a member of the Mennonite church. Mr. Bean died May 31, 1892. He was twice married. He married (first wife) Esther Hunsicker, daughter of Jacob Hunsicker, a descendant of Valentine Hunsicker, who came to America from Switzerland in 1717. The children of Garret and Hester H. Bean: Susanna, married John A. Drake; Sarah, married Henry Fryer; Magdalena, married Jonathan Wousetler, and one who died in infancy, the mother dying at the same time. Garret Bean married (second wife) Catharine, daughter of Christian Fryer, a well known farmer of Skippack township. She was born in 1821, and is still living at Skippackville. Her brothers and sisters were: Barney, a mechanic; Daniel, of Mingo; Henry, a carpenter; Christian, of Philadelphia; Mrs. F. Maddis; Mrs. Ziegler; Mrs. Sarah Hendricks; Mary, never married; Susanna, Mrs. Hawk. They were all Mennonites. The children of Garret and Catharine F. Bean: Henry F., a very prominent farmer, a director in the Royersford Bank, the Ridge Avenue Market Company, the Creamery Association of Skippack, and a deacon in the Reformed church, died April 27, 1903, at the age of fifty-nine years; John F., born December 2, 1844, a merchant at Creamery for many years; married, January 23, 1869, Sarah H. Hallman, they having six children, and died November 2, 1897, leaving a good estate; and Garret, Jr., the subject of this sketch.

Henry Bean (grandfather) was born in Worcester township in 1788, and lived all his life on a beautiful farm of 130 acres. He was a minister of the Mennonite church. In politics he was a Whig and a Republican. During the latter part of his life he was a contractor and builder in Norristown, always residing, however, at his home in Skippack township. He was a very skillful mechanic, and made the old-fashioned log pumps. He married Susan Ziegler, and they had one child, Garret (father). The name Bean is frequently found on the old tombstones in the graveyard of the Mennonite meeting house. John Bean (great-grandfather) was of German descent. He was born in Philadelphia county in 1761. He was a farmer and served in the war of 1812. He died in 1846.

Garret F. Bean was educated in the common schools of his day, and assisted in the work of the farm. At the age of thirteen years he was employed as a farm hand by his brother Henry, with whom he remained until he was twenty-six years old. He then married and rented a small place, still being employed on farms in the neighborhood of his home. Later he purchased a farm near Creamery, which he sold, and bought the farm where he still lives. It was known as the Tyson place, and is near Gratersford. It contains commodious buildings, and is in every way a goad home. In addition to his general farming, Mr. Bean keeps a dairy, and raises all kinds of stock for market. He is a stockholder in several banks and has been very successful in his operations. In politics he is a Republican.

Mr. Bean married, in 1885, Alice, daughter of Josiah and Susanna (Pennypacker) Fisher, who was born at Zieglerville, Montgomery county, October 19, 1863. Josiah Fisher was the son of Joseph and Ellen (Hoffman) Fisher of Berks county, they being farmers. Josiah Fisher, a well-known drover and farmer of Skippack township, has been twice married. His first wife was Susanna Pennypacker, who died January 1, 1892. Their children: Alice, Mrs. Bean; Ellen, married John Tyson; Jonas, a farmer and drover; Annie, married H. C. Longacre; John, a drover. Mr. Fisher married (second wife) Mary Kratz, born in Skippack township, the daughter of Abram Kratz. Abram Kratz is a weaver by trade and a farmer, who still lives with his wife near Gratersford, both being more than eighty years of age. The children of Josiah and Mary K. Fisher: Garret B., died at the age of eight months; Paul, resides with his parents. The family are all Mennonites.

Mr. and Mrs. Garret F. Bean have no children of their own but adopted a boy in 1895. This child is David F. Copenhafer, born April 29, 1889, who is in school and is a very promising boy.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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