MR. BEAN, now the oldest Attorney in active practice in Kennebec County, comes
from hardy New England stock, transplanted from the highlands of Scotland to the more promising fields of New Hampshire
early in the seventeenth century. Joshua Bean, Jr., born in Brentwood, N. H., in May, 1741, was the fourth generation
in America, and the first to come to Maine, locating in Hallowell in 1780. He afterwards removed with his wife
and eleven children to Readfield, some time in the year 1784. Elisha, the eldest of Joshuaís family, was born in
Brentwood, September to, 1764, and married Olive Shepard of Epping, N. H. Oliver, the fifth child of Elisha and
Olive, was born in Readfield, November 15. 1797. He married Patience Nickerson of Chatham, Mass. Emery Oliver,
the subject of this sketch, was their second child, and was born at the old homestead near the head of Chandlerís
Pond, now called Lake Maranocook, September 10. 1819.
He commenced teaching in the town schools when seventeen years of age, and from that time onward, until he entered
upon the practice of his profession, he taught through the winter season, worked on his fatherís farm in the spring
and summer, and attended a term of school each fall. Thus he passed the years of his early youth and manhood, acquiring
the elements of education in the town schools, completed by a few terms at Kentís Hill and old Monmouth Academy.
His success as a teacher was marked.
Having made up his mind to study law, it was only for him to act, and under the tutelage of Hon. Timothy 0. Howe,
then practicing law in Readfield, whose office he entered in the fall of 1840, he pursued his studies until the
spring of 1843, when he was admitted to the Kennebec Bar. Henry W. Paine, now of Boston, was at that time one of
the ablest and brightest lawyers in Maine, and it was Judge Beanís good fortune and rare opportunity to pass his
first year of legal work under the direction of Mr. Paine in the city of Hallowell. The precepts of practice, the
method and manner of doing business, the obligations and responsibilities of his profession, there inculcated and
thus early in life adopted, were the sure and safe foundation upon which to build a successful and honorable business
reputation and character.
October 8, 1844, he married Elizabeth Hunton Craig, daughter of Col. John 0. Craig of Readfield. In the first year
of his married life he became associated with Mr. Howe in practice, and the co-partnership continued until 1848,
when Mr. Howe removed to the West. Until the spring of 1876 he was alone in business, at which time his youngest
son, Fred. Emery Beane, was made a partner, and the business has continued since, in Readfield and Hallowell, under
the firm name of Bean & Beane. A greater number of law students have pursued their studies in the office at
Readfield under his direction than in that of any other living practitioner in the county. More actions have been
entered and answered to upon the dockets of the Court by Judge Bean and his fIrm than by any other attorney or
firm now in practice in Kennebec. For nearly fifty years, all that time in his native town, and for the greater
portion of it in the same office, he has practiced his profession, never having had time or inclination for other
business, or desire for political preferment.
Readfield has been noted for its successful politicians, and as being the home of Governors. Her record is good.
Four Governors, two of them residents of the town while in office, one resident Representative in Congress. a United
States Senator, a Secretary of the Treasury, and a Postmaster-General give ample reason for pride and is sufficient
ground for belief that something in the location, something about the air which her inhabitants breathe and the
environments which surround them, tends to success in the political preferment and business pursuits of her citizens.
Had Judge Bean entered the arena of politics, with his splendid physique and strong constitution to back a well-poised
mind, his force of character and persuasive advocacy would have made him popular with the people, and success must
have necessarily crowned his efforts in that direction. His first vote was thrown for William Henry Harrison in
1840, and he acted with the Whig party for some few years after that, and then became a strong advocate of Democracy,
in which faith be has all these years continued. He served his district in the State Legislature as Representative
in 1851, and was elected Senator from Kennebec in 1855. In 1880 be was induced to accept the nomination for Judge
of Probate for Ke.nnebec County, and overcoming the usual Republican majority of three thousand he was elected
by about six hundred votes. His large Probate practice had specially fitted him for a correct discharge of the
duties of that trust, and in his service of four years in this position not a single appeal from his decisions
was sustained by the Supreme Court of Probate, and but one in the Court of Insolvency. In 1879 Governor Garcelon
appointed him as Trustee of the Maine State College at Orono for the term of seven years.
As a lawyer, through his honest and upright dealings, his fair and impartial advice to would-be litigants, his
strong advocacy of the claims of his clients making every case his own cause when assured of its honest character,
he has, in all these years, commanded and received the respect and confidence of all classes in his professional
and business relations. A public.spirited citizen a generous promoter of material interests and of social order
and progress, a special helper of the young, he has been active in every good work. As neighbor and acquaintance,
his warm-hearted and loyal friendship has endeared him to his associates of his own age, while his interest in
and consideration for the younger people of his native town have led them to look upon him asa true friend, uniting
them to him by bonds which may never be severed. At seventy-four, Judge Bean is yet in active practice in the Courts
of Kennebec and has lived to see almost every brother attorney admitted at or about the same time, or in practice
in the county during his early life, summoned before the Supreme Judge in the Eternal Court above. A well-rounded
life, well lived and fully enjoyed, has been granted to him, and he may well be pleased with the prosperity and
success crowning the work of his lengthened years.