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Roy Bean
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    (circa 1825-March 16, 1903)
    Born in Mason County, Kentucky
    Birth name was Phantly Roy Bean
    Saloonkeeper and Justice of the Peace in Langtry, Texas (1882-96)
    Known as 'the law west of the Pecos'
    Portrayed by Walter Brennan in 'The Westerner' (1940), Edgar Buchanan in 'Judge Roy Bean' (1955-56) and Paul Newman in 'The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean' (1972)
    He killed a Mexican officer who married a woman he had been courting (1854).
    He opened a dairy business but was caught watering down the milk, and worked as a butcher, selling meat from rustled cattle.
    A year after his marriage, he was arrested for assault and threatening his wife's life (1867).
    His children lived with him in his saloon, with his youngest son sleeping on a pool table.
    One of his first acts as Justice of the Peace was to shoot up a competitor's saloon.
    Although not legally authorized to do so, he granted divorces.
    He would not allow hung juries or appeals from defendants.
    After Paddy O'Rourke killed a Chinese laborer, he dismissed the charges because he 'could find no law against killing a Chinaman.'
    Friends of the Mexican officer he killed tried to lynch him, leaving a permanent rope burn on his neck.
    He named his saloon the Jersey Lily after actress Lillie Langtry.
    He is often referred to as a hanging judge, but he only sentenced two people to hang (and one of them escaped).
    His verdict in the Paddy O'Rourke case was not motivated by anti-Chinese bigotry, but by the fact that 200 angry Irishmen had surrounded the court and threatened to lynch Bean if O'Rourke did not go free.
    In his old age, he gave generously to the poor of the area.

Credit: C. Fishel

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