Beach Isaac Hinman

Written By: nppladmin - Jul• 09•22
Originally published to on July 8, 2022.

Welcome back to another Facebook Friday History! 

This week, we come back to a very early North Platte pioneer, Beach Isaac Hinman.

Beach Hinman was born on May 23, 1829 in Wysox, Pennsylvania to Abner Curtis and Augusta Elizabeth (York) Hinman. Beach was one of twelve children born to Abner and Augusta.  Abner was a farmer. Beach was a student at Towanda Academy and University of Franklin in Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania.

When Beach was nineteen, the Franklin University president asked him to teach at a school in Lewisberg, Pennsylvania. As a teacher, he began to study law in his spare time. He was admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania in 1857 and his first law practice was in Minnesota.

In 1860 and 1862, Beach visited his brother, Washington M. Hinman at his Overland Rest Ranch and General Store in Cottonwood Springs, Nebraska. In 1862, Beach moved his law practice to Plattsmouth, Nebraska. In 1864, he went to Montana Territory, where he became a miner. He returned to Nebraska in 1869 and became a citizen of the newly founded North Platte Nebraska.  He started out working in a mercantile store and then resumed his law practice, as the community developed and the need for a lawyer quickly arose.

As a lawyer, Mr. Hinman was well-known and established a reputation for his integrity and faithful devotion to his clients. He was a shrewd attorney and barely escaped lynching several times! His arguments in court and strict adherence to detailed legalities made him less than popular during those early pioneering days.

He served as the defender on thirty-five homicide cases; of which only two were given the death sentence. And one of those two cases, Beach appealed to a higher court and the decision was reversed, with the defendant being acquitted. The second case where his client was found guilty and sentenced to death was also appealed to a higher court and the penalty was decreased to manslaughter.

One of Hinman’s best-known cases was his defense of Peter Manning, charged with the murder of his well-known and respected sister, Kate Manning. Hinman defended Peter Manning and, in a trial which involved a change of venue from North Platte to Grand Island, secured his acquittal. Although the judge and others complimented him on the way in which he handled the case, a mob gathered and threatened to lynch him.

Beach Hinman was a delegate to the Nebraska Constitutional Convention in 1871 and again in 1875. He also served as a member of the State Senate in 1877, being elected on the democratic ticket from a strong republican district. Mr. Hinman was twice a candidate for district judge. Hinman had a partner and the name of his firm was Hinman & Neville.

Mr. Hinman was widely known for his philanthropic spirit. He believed strongly in helping the poor to help themselves. His plan was to help them to own their own homes and with this idea in mind, he platted a large tract into small parcels and allowed families to acquire homes on small advance payments, thus enabling them to pay for property instead of paying rental fees.

Beach married Sarah E. Minshall on November 2, 1869 in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. They had four children together:

  1. Augusta B Hinman (1870-1872);
  2. Curtis Hinman (1873-1935). Curtis became a stockman in North Platte.
  3. Cora Cornelia Hinman (1877-1915).
  4. Minor Hoyt Hinman (1882-1961) Minor became an automobile salesman in Kansas City.

Beach was a member of the Presbyterian church. In his spare time, he enjoyed traveling and hunting.

On September 10, 1905, Beach Isaac Hinman died at his home after suffering from sun stroke (aka heat stroke).  Beach Hinman, his spouse and children are all buried in the North Platte Cemetery.

Thank you for reading!


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