Born near Winchester, Tennessee on October 16, 1864, James Jackson Bean was the son of Connor H. and Mary Jean (Travis) Bean. During his childhood, Treasurer Bean was raised on the family farm that was located in Franklin and Moore counties. Treasurer Bean was educated at Winchester Normal Academy and studied law at the Old Terrell College in Winchester.
Over time, Treasurer Bean married Emma Holt Bean and they had two sons, Holt and Homer J. Bean. During his lifetime, James was active in numerous organizations. He was a member of the Christian Church and belonged to the Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, Modern Woodmen and Lynchburg civic clubs.
While Treasurer Bean was trained to be a lawyer, he also was a very active member of the Democratic party in the state. During the period of time between 1886 and 1934, Treasurer Bean spoke at every Democratic state campaign. He also served as a member of the Democratic State Executive Committee for many years. As a politician, one of his passions was promoting school legislation especially for rural schools. In 1925, he supported the General Education bill that provided a minimum elementary school term of eight months. In addition to his support of the education bill, James served as chairman of the Moore County Board of Education for more than a quarter century.
After serving four years in the Tennessee House of Representatives and four years in the state Senate, Treasurer Bean was elected as State Treasurer in January of 1933 during Governor McAlister’s administration. James served as the State Treasurer until 1937 and then began to practice law. On October 19, 1940, Treasurer Bean died in Lynchburg, Tennessee.
Reference: Robert M. McBride and Dan M. Robison, Biographical Directory of the Tennessee General Assembly (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Commission, 1979), p. 51-52; “Rites Sunday for J.J. Bean; Ex-Treasurer,” Nashville Banner 19 October 1940, p.1, 3; The Heritage of Moore County, Tennessee, 1871-2005 (Waynesville, NC: County Heritage, 2005).