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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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JOSEPH V. BEAN, principal of the Chain street and John F. Hartranft public schools of Norristown, was born in Worcester township, Montgomery county, October 20, 1843. He is the son of Isaac B. and Sarah (Van Fossen) Bean, lifelong residents of that vicinity. They had four children, three sons and one daughter: Augustus, deceased; Joseph V.; Jacob V.; and Kate V., deceased, wife of Lewis Danley.

Isaac B. Bean was a stonemason in early manhood, but having lost his hand by an accident in 1843, he then learned watch and clock making, and later became a general merchant, and still later a wheelwright and a commercial salesman. He died in Fairview village, in 1889, aged seventy-one years. His wife survived him some years, dying in 1893, aged seventy-five-years. Mr. Bean was not identified with any religious denomination, but his wife was a Mennonite. He was a stanch Republican.

The Beans came from Wurtemberg, Germany. Jacob Bean (grandfather) married Catherine Boyer, and had a large family. He was a farmer and was noted in later life as a rake manufacturer. He was a Mennonite. His wife was also of German descent. The great-grandfather was Garrett Bean, a farmer by occupation.

Joseph Van Fossen (maternal grandfather) was also of Dutch descent, a Mennonite, and farmer by occupation. His wife was Sarah Rittenhouse. They had three sons and one daughter.

Joseph V. Bean was reared on the farm owned by his parents. His first lessons were received in the district schools. When he was ten years of age he left home to make his own way in the world. He later attended Freeland Seminary at Collegeville, now Ursinus College, until he was eighteen years of age. He then began clerking and followed that occupation for some years. When he had attained his majority, he commenced to prepare himself for the occupation of teaching, and took charge of a school in 1865, and has been so engaged ever since, excepting two years which he spent in mercantile business.

In November, 1871, he married Miss Emma L. Rittenhouse, daughter of William R. and Elizabeth (Linderman) Rittenhouse. They had one son, Worthington R. Bean, who is assistant engineer in the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at Washington, D. C. He married Miss Mary Pugh. They had two children, Mary J. and Carey, deceased. Mrs. Emma L. Bean, wife of Joseph V. Bean, died in 1898, aged forty- nine years.

Politically Mr. Bean is a Republican. He was borough councilman from the tenth ward one year, elected as a Republican, but has not otherwise sought political preferment, being devoted to the duties of his calling. He has been actively engaged in school work for thirty-five years, and is a member of a number of teachers’ associations. He has also taken an active part in lecture work, and otherwise been identified with the teachers’ institutes of Montgomery county, held annually, usually at Norristown.

Professor Bean is the manufacturer of Bean’s Herb Cure for diarrhea, dysentery and indigestion, which is highly recommended by those who have used it, and large quantities of it are sold.

He was prominent in musical and church work for a number of years, and had charge of the music, which consisted of one hundred voices and an orchestral accompaniment of twenty-five pieces, at the centennial celebration of Montgomery county.

Professor Bean has been for twenty-five years identified with the schools of Norristown, making the task of instructing the young his life work. His labors have been appreciated by the pupils with whom he has come in contact as well as by their parents and friends. He came to the Chain street school as principal in 1874. His political allegiance is given the Republican party and he held the office of councilman one term. He is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, of which he is a past master, and he belongs also to the Eagleville Beneficial Society.

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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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