Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mormon Handcart Rescuer: One-armed George Washington Bean (25)

That a one handed man would be part of the rescuers is unusual.  George had lost his hand at the age of 18 when test firing a canon.  The officer firing with him was killed and George severely injured.  During his life over 200 splinters were removed from his body, from the ramrod that disintegrated.  His hand was torn off, and arm amputated 3 1/2 inches below the elbow.  He was near death and for some time wished he could die.  He could not see as he had scabs over his eyes from burns.  Brigham Young asked him if he wanted to live.  He said yes, if he could do any good and Brigham blessed him rebuking the destroyer.  From that point he started to recover.  The scabs fell from his eyes the next day and he could see.
His family was among those of Quincy Illinois, who took the Saints in when they were so distressed.  They accepted the gospel, and were driven out with the Saints when the left Illinois.  He married at age 21 to a girl he met in Utah.
One service George performed was to learn native American languages.  The Indians called him Poorets, meaning one-armed man.  He was able to solve many problems between white settlers because of his language skills but also because of his empathy.
He had to retrain himself how to do things with one hand.  He developed a knife fork combo for himself.  One of the hardest things for him to learn was how to drive a team with one hand, as it would have four harnesses.  He was able to teach himself this skill, and drove a team carrying supplies to the handcart pioneers.  After this odyssey, the took S.S. Jones form the Martin Handcart Company into their home.

Taken from "Tell My Story Too" by Jolene Allphin

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