Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 538] Among the self-made men of Lawrence County, farmers by vocation, and men who have succeeded through their own energy and perseverance, and to-day are the proprietors of fine and productive farms, men who are passing the sunset of life in the enjoyment of a competency obtained through years of honest toil and economy is the subject of this brief history. His farm is nicely located in Neshannock township, not far from New Castle. He is a son of Edward and Barbara (Richardson) Bell, both natives of England. Edward Bell was a coal miner by occupation, and followed that occupation throughout a long and singularly active career. He was as honest as the day was long, and no one could have been more upright and honorable in their dealings; naturally a hard-worker, it is not surprising that he was able to provide his family with many of the little comforts so little seen among those who labor in the mines. He and his wife were blessed with the birth of three children, as follows: Catherine, who married Joseph Ward, and lives in the State of Illinois; Thomas, deceased; and the subject of this sketch. Mrs. Bell dying in 1829, our subject's father contracted a second union with Susie Brown, by which marriage the had several more children. His death took place in 1840, when he was aged forty-five years. The family were Methodists.

John Bell of this history was born in Durham, Eng., Sept. 18, 1825. Until coming to this country in 1849, he was engaged in the same line of work as his respected parent, and even after his arrival in the United States, and for many years thereafter, he was still engaged in mining as a means of securing a livelihood. He settled at first in Greenville, Pa., where he worked in the coal mines, going from there to Wheeling, West Virginia, where he was employed in the coal mines one year. He then went to Moundsville, W. Va., where he leased a coal bank, and worked it for about a year, disposing of the product to the transportation companies, and at last selling the lease itself to good advantage. In 1852 he moved to New Castle, Pa., and has lived in its vicinity ever since. After living in the city a short time, he moved to Neshannock township, where he purchased a farm, and has since been engaged in its successful cultivation, and in mining coal to some extent. Mr. Bell is a man of great industry and excellent habits of life, and always secures the respect of the community wherever he chances to locate.

In 1850, he was joined in marriage with Isabella Brothers, who was born Aug. 22, 1832, in the State of Ohio. This union has been abundantly blessed with twelve children, as follows: Edward, who married Jennie Stinson of Croton, Pa., a suburb of New Castle, and had one child, Montgomery L., both parents are deceased; Josiah, who married Mary Donaldson of Neshannock township, who bore him three children, John, Carrie, and Margaret, and by his second wife, Margaret McKee of Neshannock township, he became the father of four more children, Sadie, Grover C., James, and Annie; Jennie, who married Seymour McWilliams of Illinois, and has four children, Jennie, John, Mark, and an infant; Catherine, who married Charles Miller of Neshannock township, and has two children, Edith and Eva; Della, who married Edward Sergeant of Neshannock township, but now of East Brook, Lawrence County, and has three children, Abbie, Edward, and Mildred; Abbie, who married John W. Dinsmore of East Brook, and has one son, John Alford; and Richard W., a practicing physician, who married Margaret McGoun of New Castle; Sarah; Maria; William; Johnnie; and an infant are deceased. The family is to be found among the regular attendants of the United Presbyterian Church.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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