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Johns Beeman & Family Arrive

Posted by sejohnso 
Johns Beeman & Family Arrive
November 11, 2010 08:54AM
I have two dates for the arrival, in the Dallas area of the John Beeman clan. 8 April 1842 and 4 April 1842 anyone know which is correct.

Re: Johns Beeman & Family Arrive
November 11, 2010 02:58PM
That would be really hard to nail down! Those early pioneers wandered around so much and did not write alot of things down for the most part. They were a part of Bonham and then Birds Fort too, right?
Re: Johns Beeman & Family Arrive
November 11, 2010 05:07PM
sejohnso Wrote:
> I have two dates for the arrival, in the Dallas
> area of the John Beeman clan. 8 April 1842 and 4
> April 1842 anyone know which is correct.

Steve -

The 8 April 1842 date is stated in the ca 1940 WPA Dallas Guide and History without citation. The collective of authors, aka Texas Writers Project, consulted a variety of sources including most early Dallas newspapers and scores of published histories including those of John Henry Brown, John H Cochran and Phillip Lindsley, considered by some to be the primary sources of early Dallas history. None attach a specifc date other than the Beemans arrived in April 1842.

In December 1886 James Jackson Beeman, younger half brother of John, recorded his memoirs in which he said,
It was about the first of April, we loaded out wagons and started for Dallas. We were about three days making the trip, and landed at the edge of White Rock Bottom, on the fourth day. Coming down we nooned at what we called "Turtle Creek." We gave it the name for having seen and caught a large soft-shelled turtle; which name it still bears until this day. We moved from there down the old Indian trail to a post oak grove in the Prairie, which was about one-half mile northwest from where Captain Jefferson Peak built his brick house on the middle branch. This grove has long since been cut down. In this grove we camped for the night.

The next morning we moved to the edge of White Rock bottom, the fourth day of April 1842. Here we began work. Some of the boys soon cut a tree and began to make boards to cover a house.


Taken literally the Beeman party arrived in the proximity of the future town of Dallas on the 3rd of April 1842, camped in the future city of East Dallas that same day, and on the 4th of April moved to the site on the west bank of White Rock Creek where they constructed a blockhouse for shelter and protection from the Indians.

However since you query was in regards to "the Dallas area" it is worth noting that James Jackson Beeman, as a member of General Edward Tarrant's 4th Brigade Texas Militia, traveled from the settlements in northeast Texas (the Beemans were living in Bowie County at the time) to the Three Forks in mid July 1841 and found the large Indian encampment at what is now known as Village Creek in Arlington deserted from the Tarrant / Bourland Campaign two months prior.

John Beeman substituted to finish out James's enlistment and he arrived in September 1841 with Alexander Webb's Ranger Company to establish Bird's Fort. In November 1841 James Jackson Beeman, a nephew John S Beeman, along with all their wives and childen, and several other familes arrived at the fort fully expecting to claim land in the vicinity and establish their homesteads.

Most historians agree that John Neely Bryan also returned to the Three Forks in November 1841 to stake his claim on the bluff that became the town of Dallas.

Re: Johns Beeman & Family Arrive
October 08, 2020 12:25AM
M. C. Toyer should be recognized and congratulated on the article he co-wrote with Susanne Starling that appears in the Fall 2020 issue of Legacies: A History Journal for Dalllas & North Central Texas. The article is "The John Beemans: First Family of Dallas."

The editor's introduction states: "With so much attention paid to John Neely Bryan as the founder of Dallas, his father-in-law, John Beeman is sometimes overlooked. Bryan may not have gotten very far without Beeman's help."

The article is well-written and (no surprise) very well documented. Congrats!
Re: Johns Beeman & Family Arrive
October 08, 2020 11:47AM
Super! Congratulations to M.C. And thanks to you, RWilliams, for posting this information.

Is the article available online?

Dave McNeely
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