My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in the book, The History of Adair County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Thomas D. Bell, a farmer and stock raiser and mechanic of Clay Township, is a native of Belmont County, Ohio, where he was born June 2, 1836, and is the youngest of nine children born to William B. and Rebecca (Wheat) Bell. He was reared in his native county, receiving but a limited school education, and December 9, 1858, married Miss Martha, daughter of Thomas and Jane Curtis, also a native of Belmont County, Ohio. They have had three children: Anna Laura (deceased wife of Hon. J. W. Johnson, of Kirksville), Clyde C. and Elizabeth Jane. In August, 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Ninety-eighth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and entered the army of the southwest, department of the Cumberland, and operated in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland. He was in the battles of Perryville, Ky., Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Lookout Mountain, Dalton, Resaca, Rome, Ga., Dallas, Peachtree Creek and Jonesboro, besides participating in a great many minor engagements, Bentonville, N. C., being the last of the war. He remained in service until the surrender, serving two years as sergeant. After the downfall of the Confederacy he was mustered out at Washington, D. C., in June, 1865. He then returned home, and in April, 1866, came to Adair County, Mo., when he located in Clay Township, twelve miles northeast of Kirksville, and now has a fine farm there of 160 acres, under a good state of cultivation, which is all the result of his labor since coming west, as he had no capital when he left his native home. At the age of sixteen he learned the carpentering trade, which he followed twenty-two years. He was formerly a Democrat, but since the war has been an uncompromising Republican. He cast his first presidential vote for John C. Breckinridge, in 1860. He is a member of the G. A. R. He is an active worker in the Missionary Baptist Church, of which he has been a member since 1859, and of which his wife has been a member for thirty-five years. Mr. Bell has in his possession a small gourd, which his grandfather Bell [see sketch of ancestry in account of Maj. Bell, of whom subject is a brother] used as a powder flask in the Revolutionary War, and which was given to his youngest son, William B. Bell (the father of Thomas D.), who used it for the same purpose in the War of 1812.

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This family biography is one of 150 biographies included in the Adair County, Missouri portion of the book,  The History of Adair, Sullivan, Putnam, and Schuyler Counties, Missouri published in 1888 by Goodspeed Publishing Co.  For the complete description, click here: Adair County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Adair County, Missouri family biographies here: Adair County, Missouri Biographies

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