Henry H. Bell
From the 1889 Goodspeed History
          Henry H. Bell, farmer and stock raiser of Texas County, and one of its acknowledged energetic, industrious citizens, was born in Jackson County, Mo., May 15, 1838, his parents being Samuel and Margaret (Vaughan) Bell, who located in Jackson County, Mo., from Kentucky, in 1832. There the father, a farmer by occupation, died in 1854, at the age of fifty-nine years. He was a stanch Democrat during life, and with his wife was connected with the Methodist Church. They had a family of ten children, of whom six sons and one daughter survive, four sons and their sister living in California. Henry H. Bell spent his boyhood days on his father's farm in his native county, receiving but a limited education. His disinclination for work in early years created within him a disposition for a roving life, and in 1854, at the age of sixteen, he crossed the plains to California with a drove of cattle and ox-teams. August 18, 1855, he left San Francisco for the Isthmus of Panama, at which point he took ship for the island of Cuba, and there changed for New Orleans. After numerous dangers and perils he reached the old home in Jackson County, but during his absence changes had occurred, death having claimed his father and two sisters. Through his influence and persuasion, the mother, three brothers and his sister finally decided to remove to California, the trip being made overland (after many dangers, seen and unseen), in 1857, and there the mother still resides, near Healdsburg, where the children have grown up, reared families, and become well-to-do. Henry, not contented among friends, again left home, and passed not a little time in the mountains, crossing the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas in mid-summer, and experiencing more than once the sensation of being snow-bound in early spring. An account of his adventures in detail, interesting and romantic as they are, cannot be given within the limits of the present work. They would constitute a volume in themselves. At the age of twenty-six years Mr. Bell became convinced that there was truth in the old adage, "a rolling stone gathers no moss," and immediately set to work with an energy and determination quite in contrast with his former characteristics. May 15, 1866, he embarked from San Francisco for New York, and returning to Missouri was married in Lexington, December 25, 1866, to Miss Ann E. Geer. Following this he moved upon a farm in Jackson County, but in 1878 settled in Lexington, La Fayette County, coming later to Texas County, in 1884. His purchase of 460 acres of fine land includes 230 acres in cultivation, all of which has been redeemed from what was a heavy growth of timber and brush. The past winter he fed 100 cattle for market, in reaching which a stampede was experienced. Mr. Bell's decided apathy to laziness in any form, and his sincere earnestness and industry in every enterprise, gave him the cognomen of "The Working Bell" in Jackson County, a reputation fully sustained in La Fayette and Texas. He thinks honesty and hard work the best policy, if not very remunerative. He and wife have five children living: Maggie L., Cora T., Edwin E., Henry J. and Samuel G. Mr. Bell is a man of positive convictions, a stanch advocate of temperance, genial and social in disposition, and a favorite of all. He is small in stature, enjoys good health, and can always appreciate a good joke.


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