We need to look at the life and times of Joseph F. Bean of Livonia Township.
Joseph Bean spent his childhood and early days in New
Hampshire. He made his way to Sherburne
County, stopping first in Wisconsin before landing in Elk River. Finally, in 1856, he and his new bride,
Betsy, settled in an area of Livonia Township.
The Bean homestead located on the stagecoach road
between Elk River and Princeton. In
addition to farming, Bean also provided rest to travelers along the road. He also served the role of Postmaster, the
mail for area farmers being delivered by stage and later by the early morning trains. In addition, both Bean and his wife Betsy
emphasized education. Both worked as
teachers before settling in Livonia Township.
Evidence suggests the Bean household served, for a time, as a school.
A fire, in 1891, destroyed the original farmhouse. The family quickly rebuilt their home and
continued to farm and provide services to the community of Zimmerman, that
developed just east and south of the Bean farm.
Comparing the Bean family history to other early
settlers, a pattern becomes evident.
Much like the homestead of Orlando Bailey, Joseph Bean established a farm
while providing a rest stop for travelers along the road. In addition, he provided services as the
postmaster and may have opened his home as a schoolhouse.
With all of this work and community service, Joseph F.
Bean and his family clearly contributed to the settlement of Sherburne County. They were important, early, pioneers in the