My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence County, Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  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.

* * * *

Dr. William J. Bell is a prominent medical practitioner of Independence County, and was born in the State of Alabama, February 17, 1835. He was the second born in the family of six children of Wesley and Elizabeth (Bell) Bell. Wesley Bell, who was a native of South Carolina, was born in 1808; he was of English descent, and was a mechanic and farmer. When a young man he removed from South Carolina to Alabama, where he married and resided until about 1840, when he located in the western part of Tennessee, subsequently, on account of ill health, removing to Arkansas, where he died in 1857. His wife, who was also a native of South Carolina, was born in 1812, and died about 1847. The paternal grandfather of our subject was John Bell, who served during the Revolutionary War, and died at the advanced age of ninety-seven years, his wife living to be eighty-five years of age. William J. received the advantages of a common school education in Lawrence County, Ark., and in 1857 began the study of medicine; in 1858 he attended a course of medical lectures in Memphis, Tenn., and the following year entered upon the active practice of his chosen profession in the neighborhood where he now resides. He is now one of the leading physicians of Independence County, and has built up an extensive practice, answering calls at a distance of thirty or forty miles. Dr. Bell owns 305 acres of land, all of which is under cultivation; sixty-five acres lie on the White River bottom, and the balance, where he resides, about eleven miles west of the county seat. June 16, 1868, he married Miss Christina McFarland, who was born in Independence County, in 1846, being a daughter of Alexander G. and Sarah J. McFarland, early settlers of the county. Dr. and Mrs. Bell have six children, viz.: Clete A., James E., Ida V., Vertula A., William E. and Ross A. The parents are both members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Dr. Bell has been a member of the Masonic fraternity since 1859, and is also a member of the I. O. O. F., both of which orders he has at various times represented in the Grand Lodge. In politics he is in sympathy with the Democratic party.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 158 biographies included in Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Independence County, Arkansas published in 1889.  View the complete description here: Independence County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Independence County, Arkansas family biographies here: Independence County, Arkansas Biographies

View a map of 1889 Independence County, Arkansas here: Independence County, Arkansas Map

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.