Goodspeed 1890

W. J. BELL is one of the leading general merchants of Okolona, Ark., and was born near Corinth, Miss., in 1844. His parents, Dr. J. L. and Ruth A. ( Young) Bell, were married in that state, and in 1858 came to Clark County, Ark., where Dr. Bell still lives, at the age of sixty-eight years, his time being occupied in following his profession and tilling the soil. He now lives with his second wife, as his first wife died in 1853. W. J. Bell the eldest child, was brought up on a farm, and in his early boyhood was given a common-school education. He came with his father to Clark County, Ark., and from this state enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861, being first a member of Company B, Twelfth Arkansas Infantry, and for twelve months he operated on the Mississippi River, participating in the engagements at Belmont, New Madrid and Island No. 10. After being honorably discharged, he returned to his home, but could not remain contented there, and soon joined Company H, Thirty-third Arkansas Infantry, and was in numerous engagements in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, among which may be mentioned Prairie Grove, Little Rock, and Mansfield. He surrendered with his command at Marshall, Tex., returned home, and again began farming. In March 1868, he wedded Alice, daughter of W. H. and Martha E. Shackleford, who came from Okolona, Miss., to Clark County, Ark., in 1856, the father following farming until his death in 1873 or 1874. His wife survives him. Mrs. Bell was born in Mississippi, and has borne her husband seven children, two sons, and two daughters are now living. Mr. Bell continued to farm until 1886, then came to Okolona and opened a general merchandise store, under the firm name of Shacklefore & Bell, but since 1889 Mr. Bell has been in business alone, and is doing well, his annual sales amounting to abut $40,000. He owns some excellent farming land, consisting of 420 acres, and a good home in the town, all of which he has accumulated by his own endeavors. He and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is a Democrat politically, and is an active worker for the schools,churches, etc. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Robert Morris Lodge No. 106, at Okolona, and Barbara Chapter No. 20, at Gurdon, and also the K.& H., at Okolona.
___________________________________________________________________________ Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas, Chicago, Nashville and St. Louis: The Goodspeed Publishing Co., 1890, Clark County, page 126. Contributed in memory of Evelyn Dickerson Jackson, Magora Owens Wingfield, Miss Jamie McConnell, and Miss Lucille Westbrook. ___________________________________________________________________________ Update 03.19.06 Morris Myers 2006 BIO-0136.HTM