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Judge Roy Bean connections to Doña Ana County and San Diego

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Judge Roy Bean connections to Doña Ana County and San Diego

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Thu Mar 23, 2023 6:06 am

From Wikipedia:

By the spring of 1849, Roy Bean had moved to San Diego, California, to live with his elder brother Joshua Bean, who would be elected the first mayor of San Diego the following year.

Considered handsome, Bean competed for the attentions of various local women. A Scotsman named John Collins challenged Bean to a pistol-shooting match on horseback. Bean was left to choose the targets and decided that they would shoot at each other. The duel was fought on February 24, 1852, and ended with Collins receiving a wound to his right arm. Both men were arrested and charged with assault with intent to murder. In the two months that he was in jail, Bean received many gifts of flowers, food, wine and cigars from women in San Diego. Hidden in the final gifts he received while incarcerated were knives that were encased in tamales. Bean used the knives to dig through the cell wall and escaped on April 17, 1852. He then fled to San Gabriel, California, where he became a bartender in his brother Joshua's "Headquarters Saloon". After Joshua was murdered in November 1852, Bean inherited the saloon. In 1854 Bean courted a young woman who was subsequently kidnapped and forced to marry a Mexican officer. Bean challenged the groom to a duel and killed him. Six of the dead man's friends put Bean on a horse and tied a noose around his neck, leaving him to hang when the horse moved. When he was hanged, the rope stretched and Bean was able to stay alive. The bride, who had been hiding behind a tree, cut the rope, freeing him and saving his life. This experience left Bean with a permanent rope burn and a stiff neck for the rest of his life. Shortly thereafter, Bean chose to leave California and migrated to New Mexico to live with Sam, who had been elected the first sheriff of Doña Ana County. In 1861 Samuel G. and Roy Bean operated a store and saloon on Main Street in Pinos Altos (just north of Silver City) in present-day Grant County, New Mexico. It advertised liquor and "a fine billiard table". A cannon belonging to Roy Bean sat in front of the store for show and had been used to repel an Apache assault on the town.

So Judge Roy Bean's brother Sam was elected as the first sheriff of Doña Ana County. And Judge Roy Bean's brother Joshua was elected as the first mayor of San Diego. It's a small world after all.
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