George W. Bean and Elizabeth Baum were married on Januaray 6, 1853 by Bishop Isaac Higbee in the village of Provo Utah. George purchased two lots, one of which was at the foot of Union Hill in Provo. This hill eventually became known as University hill on the campus of Brigham Young University. This lot had a log cabin already on it and this was one of the early homes of the Bean family. George was employed as a farmer, rancher, United States Deputy Marshall, and Indian interpreter for both the LDS Church, and the U.S. Government.
It was here where Willard was born on May 16 1868, the 7th of 10 Children. The Bean children spent much of their time helping Father herding the Cows , feeding the chickens, pigs, and working in the garden. In their leisure time they spent their time fishing in Utah Lake and chasing minnows in the local spring.
In 1875, when he was about 7 years old, he moved with his family to Sevier County. They located on the West side of the Sevier River about three miles east of the village of Richfield. Willard described the home as a “slant-roofed frame house with a half-story squat garret”. Since the land was better suited to ranching than it was to farming, the family took to raising cattle, goats, sheep and chickens. At night, Willard, his brothers and their two dogs would watch over the corralled sheep at night and slept on the straw stacks, or shed. It was here where he discovered his love for gymnastics as he and his brothers would challenge each other with various somersaults and other acrobatics from the tops of the fences and sheds.