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Below is a family biography included in The History of Franklin 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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William M. Bell, a prominent farmer of Franklin County, and one of its older citizens, was born in the county in 1827. Of the twelve children born to William and Polly (Armstrong) Bell he was the third. He received a good common school education and was reared on the farm until he reached his majority, and as an occupation he has followed farming through life. When nineteen years of age he entered the Mexican War in Company E, First Regiment Missouri Mounted Volunteers, and was in active service one year; he participated in the battle of Sacramento, February 28, 1847, under Col. A. W. Doniphan, and was mustered out at New Orleans in June, 1847, when he returned home. In 1850 he married Anna, daughter of John Armstrong. Leaving his bride, Mr. Bell then went to California, where he remained three years, and as a result of hard work and good management was enabled at the end of that time to return with about $2,500. To Mr. and Mrs. Bell were born eleven children, of whom only four survive, viz.: William A., John L., Mary V. and Louisa J. During the late war Mr. Bell was a Southern sympathizer. He is a stanch Democrat, and lends his hearty and cheerful support to his party, but is not apolitical aspirant. In 1855 he embarked in the mercantile business at his present homestead, which he closed out at the end of three years, and turned his attention to farming and trading. He has made substantial progress in the accumulation of property, and now owns over 400 acres of land, besides having given all his children small farms. Mr. Bell is a Freemason, and, with his wife, is a worthy member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. They enjoy the respect and esteem of the whole neighborhood.

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This family biography is one of 305 biographies included in The History of Franklin County, Missouri published in 1888.  For the complete description, click here: Franklin County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

To view additional Franklin County, Missouri family biographies, click here

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