John Pruett Beene and African

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Comanche County, Texas

    John Pruett Beene and his African, Dan Beene, early in the morning of December 30, 1857, left Mr. Beene's home on Resley's Creek, in Comanche County, where Mr. Beene had lived for about one year. Previously he had lived near the present Coryell City, in Coryell County. The Beene home on Resley's Creek, was about two and a half miles east of the present town of Lampkin. Mr. Beene, accompanied by his African, had started to his former home in Coryell County, and the two were riding in a wagon pulled by two yoke of oxen. This wagon contained only a few empty sacks and nothing more. A gray saddled pony was led behind. When Mr. Beene and his African reached a point about fourteen miles east and were near the present town of Fairy, in Hamilton County, both were attacked by the Indians and killed. Mr. Beene's African, Dan, had always said that in event he should be with his master when the Indians charged, he would never desert him. Reports differ concerning how long they lay before they were found. But it was perhaps sometime during the succeeding day. Mr. Beene's gun had been fired at the Indians, and after he had been mortally wounded, the same weapon was broken over his head. The body of the African lay nearby. The Indians took the wagon sheet and empty sacks but they never molested the oxen. When Mr. Beene was discovered, his wagon was hung up to a tree and the yoke of oxen which were still fastened to the wagon, were nearly starved. The murder of Mr. Beene occurred the day before the killing of Peter Johnson, related in the succeeding section; but the death of Mr. Johnson became known first, and scouts who trailed the Indians from the point from where Mr. Johnson had been killed, soon found the body of Mr. Beene and his African. Mr. Beene was buried near his home on Resley's Creek, and after his massacre, a gap nearby became known as Beene's Gap.

    Ref.: Before writing this section, the author interviewed C.B. (Curt) Beene, and Mrs. J.A. Oglesby of Cottonwood in Callahan County. Each of them are the aged children of Mr. Beene. Also interviewed Geo. Crawford, Mr. Beene's son-in-law, Geo. White, and J.M. Robertson of Hamilton and Meridian, respectively. Also interviewed several others.

    Further Reference: Wilbarger's Indian Depredations in Texas, and Indian Fights on the Texas Frontier, by E.L. Deaton. The author rode several hundred miles to gather the facts for this and the succeeding story.

The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.

The following passage is J.W. Wilbarger's account of the incident from his book Indian Depredations in Texas.

Bean story by Wilbarger

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