BIO OF BELL FAMILY

BIO OF BELL FAMILY
San Joaquin Valley Argus
February 23, 1878

MR. GEORGE BELL, the young man now confined in our county jail awaiting the action of the next grand jury for the killing of Silas McSwain, is a native of California, twenty-four years of age. As a rumor has reached our ears that he is the son of Tom Bell, the notorious highwayman, we feel it a duty we owe to his good, true and respectable mother, whom we knew many years ago, to give this story the lie. It has been gotten up by some malicious, evil minded person, who is as ignorant as he is malicious. For any one who knows anything of the history of that notorious individual, that Tom Bell was only an assumed name. Mr. James Bell, the father of George Bell, was a highly respectable gentleman, a native of Lounds county, Mississippi. Came across the plains in 1849, in the same train with R. J. Steele. He married Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Reed about 25 years ago, near El Dorado, Calaveras county. At that time the Hon. James Farley, present Senator-elect to the United States Senate, was a partner of Mr. James Bell, and boarded with the family. In 1862 Mr. Bell lived in San Andreas in the same county. It was at the latter place and in that year that Mr. James Bell died leaving his widow with three little boys, George, James, Henry.  The latter is also confined in the jail, held as accessory to the crime with which George is charged. Mr. Bell has since married Mrs. William Bennett and lives in the town of El Dorado. The following gentlemen are all well acquainted with the history of young George Bell; Mr. James Caven, brother-in-law of ex Sheriff Oliphant, of San Andreas, Mr. Adams, Mr. B. K. Thorn, also ex Sheriff of Calaveras county, Mr. John Rodesno, B. Dughi, Dr. Boucher, the family physician of the Bell family for many years, and attended Mrs. Bell at the birth of each of her children, is now a resident of Mokelumne Hill, A, R. Wheat, member of the Assembly now in session at Sacramento, and Mr. Thomas Haskins. As we remarked, the above named gentlemen are well acquainted with the history of the two young men whom rumor has in their hour of sad trial so maliciously assailed. It is always the case when calamity comes upon an unfortunate individual. Some black, unprincipled creature, who does not deserve to be called a man, will try to breed a prejudice in the minds of the people against the prisoner. Mr. George Bell has borne a good character for honesty and a peaceful man, Sober, industrious and kind, his name stood without a blemish up to the time of this unfortunate affair with his friend and neighbor, with whom he had never had an angry word. Mr. George Bell is a married man; his wife is nearly related to one of the of the best families on the Merced river. The Hon. Judge David S. Terry is engaged as counsel for the defense. The iron hand of the law is upon this unfortunate man, and for the love of Heaven, heap no more coals upon his head. None know how soon the same terrible reality may come upon them, or some one very near and dear.

 

Contributed by: Carol Lackey