Posts Tagged ‘Elizur Stewart Bell’

Forty-Niner Profile: Stewart E. Bell

December 12, 2009

Previous California Gold Rush posts mentioning Stewart E. Bell:

“A Pocket Full of Rocks Bring Home”

The Ohio 49′ers: Some Stay, Some Return

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Stewart E. Bell came from good pioneer stock:

Stewart E. Bell died March 11, 1896, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Arthur Phinney, in Sandusky, Ohio. He was born in Middleberry township, Hartford county, Connecticut, November 25th, 1809. He was the son of Elizur Stewart Bell and wife Polly.

His father, with a party of eighteen families, left Connecticut for Ohio in September, 1815, making the journey with oxen, cows and wagons — Mr. Bell’s father being the only one of the party having a horse ; one other of the party, Mr. Beatty, father of General Beatty, having a very long eared donkey, which gave much amusement to the children during the journey. After spending about six weeks on the way, they arrived in Sandusky the latter part of October. Mr. Beatty owned a large tract of land in the vicinity of Sandusky, and sold parcels of it to the members of the party.

Schooner (Image from http://www.schoonerman.com)

Mr. Bell‘s father purchased 140 acres at $4 per acre. Mr. Bell’s father was a ship carpenter and soon after his arrival he built a schooner, which he named ” Polly of Huron,” after his wife. The boat was built about a mile and a half from the lake shore and it took forty yoke of oxen — all there were in the counties — to haul it to the lake. The hauling was done in one day. He died in October, 1816, and his widow subsequently married a man by the name of Munger but lived with him but a short time.

Mr. Stewart E. Bell, on May 8, 1834, married Elvira Dibble, who was born in Connecticut but emigrated from the city of New York with a brother to Sandusky in 1832. They first located on Hancock street, but later bought a house on Adams street, where they resided till 1870, when they moved to their country home about two miles from Sandusky on Columbus avenue.

Mr. Bell was a ship carpenter, following the trade of his father. In 1849 he caught the gold fever and went to California, where he remained about sixteen months. During the fore part of his stay there he worked at his trade, making the first boat ever built at Sacramento Harbor ; for which he received sixteen dollars per day and board. He afterwards went to the mines, but before securing much gold he was called home by sickness.

After the death of his wife in 1887, Mr. Bell lived with his daughter, Mrs. Arthur Phinney, at whose home he died as above stated, aged 87 years.

Underground Railroad (Image from http://strattonhouse.com)

His wife, Elvira Dibble, was an active member of the Underground Railway and assisted many runaway slaves on their way to Canada. Two sons and one daughter survived him. Both sons reside in Columbus, Ohio, and his daughter, Mrs. Phinney, died January 7, 1898.

From:
The Fire Lands pioneer (1882)
Author: Firelands Historical Society
Volume: 12, ns. p.533-534
Ohio — History Periodicals
Publisher: Norwalk, Ohio : Fire Lands Historical Society

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This next article isn’t about Stewart E. Bell (although it mentions him,) but about John Beatty and some of the other pioneers mentioned above:

Seventy-Five Years in Perkins.

BY W.D. GURLEY.
FOR THE REGISTER.

At the close of the war of 1812 the Rev. John Beatty and Julius House, then living in Connecticut, formed a colony of twelve families. Late in the fall of ’15 they arrived in Erie county and selected their farms in Perkins township on the sand ridge now leading from Bogarts to Bloomingville, then an Indian trail. Each family built his own campfire and slept in their wagons while building their one story log cabins. The country being new, they were surrounded by wild beasts and savage tribes. These cabins were built without boards, nails or glass. During the winter of ’15 they organized the first M.E. church on the Firelands, John Beatty being a local preacher and Julius House an exhorter. Mr. House was chosen class leader, which office he held for more than fifty years. The number of members was about fifteen. At a meeting in ’36 there was 108 added to their number. This society has prospered for the last seventy five years under such preachers as the Rev. John H. Powers, Wm. Runnells, John Rellam, Adam Poe, Rev. T.B. Gurley, Sawyer, Dunn, McMahon, Mitchell, Barkdull, Breckenridge, Broadwell, Thompson and a host of others.

The Rev. James Gray has been returned for the second year to Perkins for to persuade the people to come out to church and receive the blessings reserved for them. These old pioneers, fathers and mothers, went to work, fenced and cleared their land, plowed the ground, set out several apple orchards which grew and thrived and in a few years furnished apples and cider not only for the neighborhood but also for Sandusky.

In a few years those old log cabins were removed, frame buildings took the place of the old ones, barns and outhouses were erected, rail fences torn down and picket and board fences became the fashion of the day. These old pioneer fathers went to work, toiled hard early and late for more than half a century, then they one by one passed away, leaving their homes to their children and grand children.

There are today six of those children living who came with their parents to Perkins seventy-five years ago: Mr. Stuart Bell, of Sandusky; Mrs. Susan O. Monnett, of Norwalk; Mrs. Riley, of Avery; Mrs. Green, of Perkins; Ellery Taylor and Lindsley House, were all children when they arrived here.

The new generation that has sprung up was not satisfied with those old pioneer orchards because they were old fashioned and somewhat infirm with age, so they have all been cut down and cleaned away.

Mr. T.B. Taylor, grandson of Jessie Taylor, now occupies his grandfather’s old homestead of seventy-five years. A magnificent mansion has just risen on the sight of the old cottage by Mr. Taylor. It is built in the latest French style, its windows filled with French cut glass, while those of the hall are Chinese glass. The building fronts the road and is built with its hip roof, its stack chimneys and surmounted spires; it is roofed with slate and painted in the latest style of the nineteenth century. The driveway leading from the road to the stable curves to the east parlor door, then passes through a beautiful potochere, a French name, and is a very convenient part of he house. The way is covered with slate and pebble stones; the sidewalk leading from the gate to the house is laid with long square flag stones imported from some foreign port. Shrubbery occupies the yard, while in front of the house stands a beautiful row of maples. The old barn has been removed a little back and a magnificent one erected on the site of the old one, with its surmounted cupola and spire; it is painted red and tipped with white. Thrift and fashion have removed the old land marks by Mr. Taylor and introduced a new era into the shady paradise of the past.

Mr. Taylor and family are now comfortably settled in their new home and the well arrainged furniture shows the taste of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor.

There was one of these old pioneers’ apple trees standing in the door yard which had escaped the notice of hte woodman’s axe.

Sandusky Daily Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Dec 29, 1890

See previous post The Pioneer Apple Tree HERE

Sudden Death

Mr. Charles L.* Bell, well known in Sandusky, died suddenly of appoplexy at his home on King avenue in Columbus on Saturday morning, July 6. Mr. Bell was in the sixtieth year of his age, eldest son of Mr. Stewart E. Bell and brother of Mrs. Arthur Phinney, of this city.

Sandusky Register (Sandusky, Ohio) Jul 9, 1895

*(probably should be Charles Stuart/Stewart Bell)