Bear Man

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Monroe County, AL 

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A Legend

Contributed by: Henrietta Moye

This true story was told by Mr. John Dennis Forte (1870-1966), a prominent citizen and educator of Monroe County:

"Once during the school year of 1891-92, our school in Buena Vista, a village in the northern part of the county, was visited by a stranger, leading a bear. He asked our teacher if he would like for the school children to see the bear put on a show. Our teacher paid him to have the bear act; he put a little boy's hat on the bear's head and the bear would stand on his hind legs and dance, then he would climb a tree."

"After the performance, the man and bear started walking toward Natchez, a village six miles from Buena Vista. When they arrived, both man and bear were tired and hungry. Suddenly, the bear turned on his master, threw him to the ground, and started eating him alive. The bear refused to let anyone come near and the poor man was yelling, 'Stop, Jimbo, please stop Jimbo.' Mr. William Reaves, a citizen of Natchez, finally came with his rifle and killed the bear. The 'Bear Man,' as he was called, is buried in the Natchez Cemetery."

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This page was last updated: - - Friday, 21-Nov-2014 13:03:58 MST