NORTHERN NEW YORK
Genealogical and family history of northern New York: a record of the achievements of her people and the making of a commonwealth and the founding of a nation.
New York: Lewis Historical Pub. Co. 1910.
Transcribed by Coralynn Brown
This is a name frequently found among the Scottish people, and is among those which came to New England in the eighteenth century by way of northern Ireland, and which has been distinguished in literature, war, magistracy, in the church, and all the private and public walks of life. The family herein treated came directly from Scotland, and is worthily connected with the history of Northern New York.
(I) John Bell, born in Jedborough, Scotland, came to America in 1817 and located at Ogdensburg, New York. He was a man of advanced years, and died soon after arriving in this country. He had chldren, among which was George, mentioned below.
(II) George, son of John Bell, was a native of Jedborough, and came with his father to this country, settling at Ogdensburg, N.Y. He was an educated man, and had worked at shipbuilding in his native land. He married Isabella Eliot and had children:
John, George R. and Eliot.
(III) George Rutherford, son of George and Isabella (Eliot) Bell, was born in 1816, in Jedborough, and was only one year old when he came with his parents to America. He had few educational advanatages, but was observant and studious, becoming self-educated and well-informed. He was apprenticed to an uncle, brother of his mother, to learn the watchmaker's trade, and subsequently joined his elder brother in establishing a watchmaking business in Ogdensburg, N.Y., under the style of J. and G. R. Bell, which continued as long as both of them lived. The death of the junior partner occurred in Ogdensburg in 1895.
During the last forty years of his life he was an elder in the Presbyterian church of Ogdensburg, and he served his home city as a member of the board of aldermen. In early life he was a Whig, and became a Republican on the organization of the party. A just man in every department of life, he was naturally an enemy of slavery, and gave all his influence toward its abolition in this country. Every uplifting influence received his encouragement and support, and he was respected in the community as a good citizen.
He married (first) a Miss Seely, who died leaving a daughter, Isabelle, who died at the age of twenty-five years. He married (second) Ellen E. Howe, born 1830, died Dec. 12, 1882, daughter of Nathan Howe, who came from Vermont to Canton, New York, later settling at Ogdensburg. She was the mother of three sons, John E., Willard N., and Charles O. R. see forward.
(IV) John Eliot, eldest child of George R. and Ellen E. (Howe) Bell, was born Nov. 14, 1854, in Ogdensburg, and was educated in the schools of that town. With his father he learned the watchmaking and jewelry business, and was identified with his father in business up to the time of the death of the latter. He was manager of the business until 1876, when it was turned over to him, and until 1904 he continued in that line and then sold out to H. L. McCarter. Since that year he has given his attention solely to the optical business.
He is an Episcopalian and a member of Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 228, Free and Accepted Masons, and Ogdensburg Chapter, Royal Arch Masons.
He married, Aug. 28, 1878, Fannie, daughter of Sydney Smith Waite, of Hammond, N.Y. (See Waite VIII). They have had two children:
George and Helen,
the former of whom is now deceased, the daughter residing with her parents.
(IV) Willard Nathan, second son of George R. and Ellen E. (Howe) Bell, was born July 2, 1857, in Ogdensburg, and was educated in the city's public schools, graduating from the high school in 1875. For four years he was a student at the Homeopathic Medical College of New York, graduating in 1882, and his first year of practice was in that city. He settled at Ogdensburg in 1883 and continued in very successful general practice thirteen years. He subsequently went to Vienna and spent a year in special study of the eye and ear, and has since given up general practice, having a large list of patients in his specialty. His reputation is widely known, and he enjoys a steadily increasing business.
Dr. Bell is genial in nature, cultivated and couteous, and the number of his personal friends is limited only by the extent of his acquaintance. He is an earnest Republican, and has served six years on the city board of education, and is a member of the water board at the present time. He is a director of the Ogdensburg Loan Association, and identified with other leading interests of the city, a member of Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 228, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and of the local chapter, Royal Arch Masons, and also s truste of the Presbyterian church.
He married, Oct. 8, 1884, Harriet Seymour, daughter of Walter B. Allen, of Ogdensburg. They have two sons, Walter Allen, born April 12, 1887, in Ogdensburg, was educated in the local schools and Hamilton College, and is now engaged in the retail lumber business in his native city. George Allen, born Oct. 11, 1888, received the same education as his brother, and is now identified with the firm of Bill, Bell & Company.
(IV) Charles Owen Redington, youngest son of George R. and Ellen E. (Howe) Bell, was born June 20, 1861, in Ogdensburg, and educated in the public schools of the town. On leaving school he entered his father's store adn learned the jeweler's trade, which he followed five years as a journeyman. In 1884 he became identified with the firm of Rodee & Bill, millers, as traveling salesman, and his connection has never been severed. After serving the interests of the concern faithfully for seven years, he was admitted as a partner in 1891, and the firm became Rodee, Bill & Company. In 1899 the name was changed to Bill, Bell & Company, and the business was incorporated in 1904 under that title, with C.O.R. Bell as vice-president and treasurer. He still fills this position, and his energy and business enterprise have contributed to the maintenance of the high reputation which the establishment enjoys.
Mr. Bell is active in other interests and a helpful citizen of his town, being a director of the National Bank of Ogdensburg, president of the Business Men's Association of Ogdensburg, and a member of the Ogdensburg and Century clubs. He is a trustee of the Presbyterian church of Ogdnensburg, and a member of Ogdensburg Lodge, No. 128, Free and Accepted Masons, and of St. Lawrence Chapter, Royal Arch Masons. While deeply interested in the welfare of his country and the progress of his home community, he takes an independent position in politics and yeilds obedience to no partisan mandate.
He married, in 1890, Lucy McCrea, daughter of Henry Starr and Harriet (Waite) Easton, of Fargo, North Dakota. Harriet (Waite) Easton was a daughter of Sydney Smith and Julia (Pond) Waite, and sister of Fannie (Waite) Bell.
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