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McLean County, Illinois
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ISAAC McBEAN

ISAAC McBEAN, late proprietor of the Bloomington omnibus, carriage and transfer line, whose decease occurred March 31, 1887, was one of the representative men of the city, full of energy and enterprising, and conducted his business in a manner profitable to himself and satisfactory to his patrons. The subject of this biography was a native of Virginia, and was born in Frederick, (now West) Virginia, Jan. 2, 1829. When quite young he removed with his parents, Charles and Sarah (Harrison) McBean, to Newark, Licking Co., Ohio, where they located and remained until 1857. They then removed further westward to Canton, Ill., where they remained until the close of their lives. The McBeans were of Scotch-Irish ancestry, and the Harrisons among the first families of Virginia.

Isaac McBean, during his earlier years, attended the city schools of Newark, Ohio, and after removing with his parents to Illinois, became employed in the marble works of Peoria for three years. Thence he went to Canton and engaged in the livery business until 1857, and from there to a farm in Fulton County.

Here he was successfully engaged until the opening of the late war when, in August, 1862, he enlisted in Co. D, 103d Ill. Vol. Inf., his regiment being assigned to the Army of West Tennessee. He participated with his comrades in the siege of Vicksburg, the battles Black River, Mission Ridge, and other important engagements, and went with Sherman on the march to the sea. In the meantime he was wounded in the head by bushwhackers, and was subsequently promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and served on the staff of Brevet Brig.-Gen. Pugh.

Lieut. McBean finally resigned his commission, and in June, 1864, returned to Canton, Ill., and locating in Piatt County again engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was thus occupied until 1875, when he disposed of his stock, implements, etc., and coming to Bloomington purchased what was known at that time as the McKissen & Page Omnibus Line, to which he added carriages and mail wagons, and by this means acquired control of the most profitable business of the city, carrying and transferring all the mail coming into Bloomington since 1876. In this latter department alone he used about fifty-two horses during the twenty-four hours. The stables are constructed of brick, 66 x 100 feet in area and two stories in height, and have two divisions, one for carriages and the other for horses. There is also a private barn at No. 605 East Front street, which is built of brick, three stories in height and 46 x 56 feet in area. In this stable is kept the blooded stock, roadsters and stallions, the latter for speed and breeding purposes. Of the latter one is the son of King Almont and Wilkes, the son of the great George Wilkes. These beautiful animals will bear comparison with any others in this part of the State.

Isaac McBean and Miss Mary J. Hall, of Canton, Ill., were united in marriage Dec. 24, 1866, and of the union there is one child Charles, who was born July 7, 1869.

Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 439. Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards.


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