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Rachel (Gaumer) Bell


Rachel Bell

Rachel (Gaumer) Bell was born on Nov. 5, 1811 in Gilbert, Muskingum County, OH, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Sturtz) Gaumer Jr. Her birth occurred five years after her parents had relocated from Somerset County, PA to the wilds of Ohio. She lived to surpass the age of 100. 

When she was two months old, she was baptized in the family church by Rev. Anthony Weyer on Jan. 7, 1812. At the age of 17, she was confirmed in the church by Rev. Samuel Kaemmerer, on May 3, 1829, and was a member for the remainder of her long life.

On June 30, 1831, at the age of 19, she was united in holy matrimony with 21-year-old William Bell (1809-1876), son of John and Rachel (Stillwell) Bell of Westmoreland County, PA.

They produced eight children -- Elizabeth Sarah Minnick, George Washington Bell, Jacob Israel Bell, Elizabeth C. Bell, John Riley Bell and Jared C. Bell as well as two who died in infancy.


Book picturing Rachel

When "a young man," says the Past and Present book, William "came to Muskingum county with his father. The trip was made in one of the old-fashioned wagons common at that day. He had acquired a common school education and had been trained in all of the work of the farm." When the federal census was taken in 1850, the family dwelled in Adams Township and had five children under their roof.

After their marriage, Rachel and William settled on a farm of 80 acres and "brought to bear his energy and activity in the development and improvement of this place," says Past and Present

He was careful in expenditures, economical and industrious, giving his entire attention to his business interests without active co-operation in political work and as the years passed he won creditable success. From time to time he purchased more land until he had six hundred and forty acres in one tract and in another farm had one hundred and seventy-three acres, so that his landed possessions aggregated eight hundred and thirteen acres, all in Adams township with the exception of fifty-three acres in Monroe Township. Both he and his wife held membership in the Lutheran church and he  voted with the republican party and was a most stalwart advocate of the Union cause during the Civil War. 

William died at the age of 67 on Jan. 30, 1876.

The couple are named in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio, which said the Bells were of "Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry." Rachel also was profiled in the 1913 book History of the New Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church of Adamsville, Ohio


Above: dots mark the location of William and Rachel's farms in Adams Township, 1876. Below: Rachel's profile in the 1913 history of her church.



Postcard of Rachel,
100th birthday

Rachel survived her husband by more than three and a half decades. She told others that efforts had been made to draw her away from her home church and "to undermine her faith, but she replied that these grounds were sacred to her and that her faith in the Lutheran Church was as firmly established as a house built upon a rock."

At the age of 99, the Past and Present book said she was "yet a hale and hearty woman ... [whose mind is clear and bright and she is remarkably well preserved for one of her years." She made her home with her married daughter Elizabeth Minnick in Norwich, Highland Township. 

The day before her 100th birthday, on a Sunday, several hundred relatives and friends turned out at a dinner in her honor at the New Hope Church. "On account of the chilly atmosphere she remained at the bounteous repast, spread upon tables out of doors, only long enough for her pastor to invoke a blessing," said the 1913 History of New Hope book. "In the afternoon a poem, dedicated to her, was read by the author, E.C. Jordan, Esq., a suitable address was made by the pastor, and remarks  by others. Vocal and instrumental music composed a good part of the program, all of which was highly appreciated and enjoyed by Mrs. Bell." The following day, the actual birthday, her pastor Rev. J.J.S. Rumbarger served her with holy communion.


Rachel's pastor,
Rev. J.J.S. Rumbarger

She was profiled in a three-page account in the 1913 book about the history of her church. In part, it reads: 

Never before in the history of this section of the county, perhaps the state, did any one reach the remarkable age of one hundred and one years. She lived here almost from the tie this neighborhood was settled. She was a descendant of one of the pioneer families of this vicinity, her parents having emigrated from Pennsylvania a few years before she was born. Although she was the first in a family of eleven children to come into this world, she is the last to depart. That she can remember an event that occurred over nine-eight years ago seems almost incredible.

Suffering from organic heart disease, her health slipped away. The History of New Hope said that "She bore her infirmity and suffering, incident to her advanced age, with the greatest fortitude, and patiently waited for the Maker's summons to the Kingdom of Heaven."

She died at the age of 101 years, three months and 11 days on Jan. 15, 1913. Three days later, her aged remains were placed into eternal rest in New Hope Cemetery, with her church pastor preaching the funeral sermon based on Hebrews 11:16: "But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." Her daughter Elizabeth Minnick signed the Ohio death certificate.


~ Son George Washington Bell ~


New Hope Lutheran Cemetery, Adamsville

Son George Washington Bell (1832-1922) was born in about 1832 in Muskingum County.

At the age of 18, he was unmarried and lived at home with his parents.

George eventually wedded Elizabeth C. ( ? -1897), a native of eastern Virginia. They were longtime farmers and resided near Adamsville, Muskingum County.

The Bells were the parents of Susan Alcinda Bainter, Mary Alice (Bell) Bell, Miriam "Mira" Hanks and Charles B. Bell.

When the federal census enumerations were made in 1860 and 1870, the Bells dwelled in Adams Township, Muskingum County. In both of those years, Josephine Gascon (or "Gensing") (born 1849) lived under their roof to help with housekeeping. By 1880, with the family still in Adams Township, Josephine had left the dwelling, but Charles Meadowcrauft (age 20) and William Waltman (age 35) lived there and provided farm labor.

They were members of the New Hope Lutheran Church of Adamsville and the Eureka Grange.

Sadly, Elizabeth died at the age of 64 years, three months and five days on March 23, 1897.

In December 1897, George made news in the Zanesville Times Recorder when four Coshocton men trespassed on his farm to hunt quail after the season had officially ended. They were arraigned and released on a bond of $100 each.


Mary's grave, New Hope

George survived his bride by a quarter of a century. He married a second time to Mary J. Vinsel (Dec. 28, 1853-1930), daughter of W.H. and Eliza (Boal) Vinsel. Having lived earlier in Adamsville and Otsego, she had been married before and brought two adult daughters to the union, Maude Thompson and Mrs. Richard Boyce.

He was considered "among the wealthiest farmers in the county and is said to be worth $60,000 and the owner of 630 acres of land," said a 1913 story in the Times Recorder.

By 1913, he became senile and was acting erratically. The local newspaper reported that "He has been observing witches about his place... and he wanted to kill a horse because it was full of germs and they could not be killed. He also thought he had an important mission to perform for the government at Washington, and, it is claimed that he came [to Zanesville] Saturday intending to start for Washington Sunday at noon." His trip was intercepted by Sheriff Frick, and George was taken into custody and then assigned to the state hospital.

He suffered a stroke of paralysis and after a month of lingering passed into eternity on July 19, 1922 at the age of 90 years, one month and 29 days. Interment was in the New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery, following services held at the family church, officiated by Rev. W.L. Couts. Son C.B. Bell of Adamsville signed the official Ohio certificate of death, and an obituary appeared in the Times Recorder.

Mary was burdened with acute heart and intestinal inflammation problems. She died at the home of her married daughter Maude Thompson at 601 Brighton Boulevard in Zanesville at the age of 76 on July 13, 1930. A Times Recorder obituary noted that in addition to her daughters, she was survived by a brothr Frank Vinsel of Little Rock, AR and sisters Emma Trottman of Adamsville and Mrs. John Trottman of Coshocton.

In 2017, George and Elizabeth's great-great grandson, Jim Vernon, was featured in a Times Recorder story about his ownership of the old Bell family farm.


Maps showing George's farms in Adams Township, 1876

1876 Atlas of Muskingum County


Daughter Susan "Alcinda" Bell (1856-1923) was born on Nov. 12, 1856 in Muskingum County. Unmarried in 1880 at the age of 23, she lived at home with her parents. On Dec. 10, 1885, when she was 28 years of age, she was united in wedlock with a cousin, 45-year-old widower Andrew A. Bainter (1840-1918), son of John B. and Margaret (Gaumer) Bainter. See the Bainter biography for more.

Daughter Mary Alice Bell (1858-1919) was born in about 1858 in Muskingum County. In 1880, single, she resided with her parents. She married Ellsworth Bell (1861-1938). Alice spent her final time on earth in Wichita, Sedgwick County, KS. She died there on Dec. 19, 1919. Her remains were transported back to her home community to rest in the New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery. Ellsworth died in 1938.

Daughter Miriam "Mira" Bell (1865-1956) was born on Oct. 25, 1865 in Adams Township, Muskingum County. At the age of about 20, in early Feb. 1887, Mira was joined in matrimony with carpenter Jeremiah H. Hanks (July 20, 1864-1944), son of Jeremiah J. and Teresa (Swink) Hanks of Dresden, Muskingum County. In reporting on the wedding, the Zanesville Times Recorder noted that the "young couple will shortly begin life together on the Mahlon White farm in Adams township, which they recently purchased as an executor's sale." The Hankses produced three known offspring, Mabel Clare Hildreth, Ruth Conn and Raymond Hanks. In about 1905, they relocated to Newark, Licking County, OH, and spent the balance of their lives there. In the early 1940s their address was 48 North Williams. They were members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Newark. For the last two years of his life, Jeremiah was stricken with a cancerous growth on the left side of his face. He was admitted to Newark City Hospital where he succumbed at the age of 80 on Nov. 29, 1944. Funeral services were held at the New Hope Lutheran Church, and an obituary appeared in the Times Recorder. Mira lived for another dozen years as a widow and moved into the home of her daughter Ruth Conn. She succumbed at the age of 90 in July 1956, with an obituary printed in the Times Recorder. They rest for eternity in New Hope Cemetery in Adamsville.

  • Granddaughter Mabel Clare Hanks (1889-1923) was born on Jan. 12, 1889 near Adamsville. She wedded Clarence "Roe" Hildreth (May 31, 1890-1937) of Alexandria, OH, son of George Alexander and Abbie (Goddard) Hildreth. In a story about the nuptials, the Zanesville Times Reporter said that they were held at the Moxahala Avenue Methodist Episcopal parsonage, with Rev. H.E. Holcombe officiating, and that their attendants were her sister Ruth and friend Max Conn. A wedding dinner was held at the home of Mabel Clare's aunt, Mrs. J.S. Slater of Ridge Avenue in Zanesville. She developed a stomach tumor and became an invalid. At the age of 34, she was stricken with an infection of peritinonitis when the tumor burst and spread within her abdomen. She died on May 31, 1923, ending her suffering. Her remains were interred in New Hope Lutheran Cemetery. As a widower, Roe earned a living as a salesman for a natural gas company. He relocated to Baltimore, Licking County and may have married again to Helen (?). He was admitted to Newark City Hospital for uremia and heart symptoms and died at the age of 46 on Jan. 17, 1937.
  • Granddaughter Ruth Hanks ( ? - ? ) married J.M. Conn ( ? - ? ). Circa 1923-1944, they lived in Newark, Licking County, OH.
  • Grandson Raymond L. Hanks ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). He was joined in marriage with Rilla DeVolld ( ? - ? ) of Zanesville, daughter of C. DeVolld. They resided in Dayton, OH in 1927 -- Boston, MA in 1944 -- St. Louis, MO in 1946 -- back in Boston in 1948 -- and West Hartford, CT in 1953-1956.


Adamsville signs, 2018

Son Charles B. Bell (1869-1956) was born in Aug. 1869 in Adams Township, Muskingum County. On Dec. 2, 1897, when he was age 28, he married Dora Belle Bainter (April 8, 1875-1974), daughter of J.H. Bainter of Salem Township. The nuptials were held in her parents' home east of Adamsville, officiated by Rev. H.H. Bachman of the Evangelical Lutheran parish. The day after the wedding, a reception was held at his father's home in Adams Township, and the newly married couple remained there for virtually the balance of their long lives. The Bells were the parents of two daughters -- Mildred Moody and Constance Vernon. For decades, they were members of the New Hope Lutheran Church and Eureka Grange. Said the Zanesville Times Recorder, "They have always taken a helpful interest in community affairs." No longer able to live independently, the Bells left their home farm in October 1947 and moved into a new residence in Adamsville. They celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in December 1947, with the Times Recorder publishing a story about their happy milestone. Ownership of the family farm is believed to have been transferred in 1947 to the Bells' married daughter and son in law, Constance and Harold Vernon. George died at home in Adamsville at the age of 87 on Dec. 7, 1956. His funeral service was led in the family church by Rev. F.M. Koeplin. Dora Belle survived for another 15-plus years. At the age of 95, she was pictured in the local newspaper receiving a plaque commemorating her 75 years of membership in the Eureka Grange, presented by deputy state master Wilber Wheeler and grange master Maurice Radcliffe. Said the Times Recorder, "Mrs. Bell is the 148th member in the nation to receive the 75 year honor." Dora Belle was admitted to the ODC Nursing Home in October 1972 and spent her final two years there. She passed away at the age of 99 on Sept. 5, 1974. At her death, said the Times Recorder, she "was the oldest member of New Hope Lutheran Church and a 79-year member of Eureka Grange at Adamsville." Survivors included four grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

  • Granddaughter Mildred D. Bell (1899-1980) was born in about 1899. She was unmarried and living in Adamsville in December 1947. She married (?) Moody ( ? - ? ). In 1971, she dwelled in Orlando, FL and by 1971 was in St. Petersburg, FL. She is known to have spent the summers of 1968-1970 visiting her mother and then to have visited with her sister in September 1974 after attending the funeral of their mother. Mildred died in St. Petersburg on Aug. 20, 1980 at the age of 81. Her remains were shipped back to Adamsville to rest in New Hope Lutheran Cemetery. Rev. Robert Binkley officiated at the funeral service, and a short obituary was printed in the Zanesville Times Recorder.
  • Granddaughter Constance Bell ( ? -1980) was born in (?). She wedded Harold Vernon (Jan. 6, 1904-1988), son of Wilton and Georgia (Darner) Vernon. Their four sons were Bryce Vernon, Ralph Vernon, Roy Vernon and Lawrence Vernon. They lived on the old Bell homestead from 1947 to 1966 and were longtime members of the New Hope Lutheran Church. The Vernons were members for decades of the Eureka Grange in Adamsville. Harold earned additional income by driving a bus for the Adamsville School District. They retired from farming in about 1966. Circa 1971, they made a home for her aged mother before placing her in a nursing home. Their address was 6450 Adamsville Road. Constance died on Feb. 13, 1980. As Harold's health failed, he became a resident of the Winter House Nursing Home in 1987. A year later, he passed into eternity at the age of 84 on March 21, 1988, with funeral services held at the family church, conducted by Rev. Diana Gugle. Burial was in Lull Cemetery, with an obituary published in the Zanesville Times Recorder. His survivors were numbered as 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.

Great-grandson Bryce Vernon

Great-grandson Ralph Vernon

Great-grandson Roy Vernon

Great-grandson Lawrence Vernon


~ Son Jacob Israel Bell ~

Son Jacob Israel Bell (1833-1917) was born on Sept. 30, 1833 in Muskingum County. At the age of 16, he resided with his parents in Adams Township.

On Nov. 9, 1858, at the age of 25, he was wedded to 27-year-old Leah C. Hanks (1831-1881), daughter of neighbor and Virginia native Jeremiah "Jerry" Hanks.

They produced five children -- Terrissa A. "Theresa" Bell, Harvey Anderson Bell, Albert F. Bell, Marshall T. Bell and Willard Elmer Bell.

He too is profiled extensively in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio. The entry says that Jacob: 

...attended the common schools near his home and in the summer worked in the fields, assisting in the operation of the old home place until twenty-five years of age, when he removed to the farm upon which he now resides. He owns two hundred acres of land that is rich and arable and is conveniently situated about five and a half miles from Adamsville. Although he is now more than seventy years of age he is still active in the control of this property and is also associated in business with his son. he carries on general farming and stock-raising, having good grades of cattle, horses and hogs upon his place.

Leah passed away on June 18, 1881, when she was 50 years of age. Her death "was not only deeply regretted by her immediate family but by her many friends," said Past and Present. The cause of her untimely passing is not yet known. Interment was in Fairview Church Cemetery in Adamsville.

Jacob outlived his bride by 36 years. He was an active voter, "keeping well informed on the questions and issues of the day and that he has the confidence and trust of his fellow townsmen is indicated by the fact that they retained him in the office of township trustee for twelve years. He is also a member of the Grange and he and his family hold membership in the Methodist church. There have been no startling events in the life history of Mr. Bell though in his entire career he has shown the traits of character which constitutes a good citizen, a reliable business man and a devoted husband and father."

At the death of his married son Albert in 1896, Jacob took in the man's infant son Virgil and raised him for a number of years. They lived together in 1900 when the U.S. Census was taken on the farm in Adams Township.

At the age of 84, Jacob suffered a stroke and died on Oct. 19, 1917. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery. His youngest son Willard E. Bell of Adamsville provided details for the death certificate.

Daughter Terrissa A. Bell (1859-1918) -- also spelled "Theresa" -- was born on Sept. 7, 1859 in or near Adamsville. She never married and spent her life performing housework. Circa 1905, she lived at home with her aged, widowed father. She contracted appendicitis in about September 1918, and died six weeks later of septic shock in the home of her brother Willard in Adams Township at the age of 59 on Nov. 10, 1918. Interment was in the Fairview Church Cemetery, with an obituary appearing in the Zanesville Times Recorder. Her brother Willard provided vital information for the Ohio certificate of death. She rests in the same grave plot as her mother and father.


Courthouse Square in Coshocton, Ohio


Son Harvey Anderson Bell (1862-1943) was born on April 2, 1862 in Adams Township. He married Mary Gosser ( ? - ? ), daughter of Michael and Margaret (Hennel) Gosser of Coshocton County. They were longtime farmers and in 1905, they resided at Wills Creek, OH. He may also have married Catherine Barbara Gosser (Nov. 3, 1868-1943), also a daughter of Michael and Margaret (Hennel) Gosser. They did not reproduce. The Bells were members of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Coshocton and of the Eureka Grange in Adamsville. They returned to Adamsville in about 1937. Sadly, Catherine Barbara died at home in Adamsville at the age of 74 on Jan. 30, 1943 from the effects of heart disease. Funeral services were held at the Fairview Methodist Church, led by Rev. L.M. Riggle of Coshocton. An obituary was printed in the Zanesville Times Recorder. Harvey only survived her by nine months. Burdened with chronic heart disease, he was admitted to Bethesda Hospital in Zanesville. After a stay of seven days, he died on Oct. 9, 1943 at the age of 81. Burial was in Fairview Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

Son Albert F. Bell (1864-1896) was born on March 26, 1864. On Christmas Day 1888, he married Rose Edwards (April 9, 1866-1927), daughter of farmers William and Malinda (Shroyer) Edwards of Adams Township. The couple produced two children -- Virgil E. Bell and Paul Bell. Sadly, Albert passed away on Jan. 7, 1896, at the age of 32, after just seven years of marriage. The cause of his death is not known. His mortal remains were lowered into the earth in Fairview church Cemetery in Adamsville. The widowed Rose went to live in her parents' home and is shown there with her five-year-old son Paul in the federal census of 1900. On Dec. 12, 1906, when she was 40 years of age, she married a second time to 51-year-old Richard B. Lacey (Oct. 6, 1855- ? ), son of Benjamin and Mary (Johnson) Lacey of Muskingum County. Rev. H.S. Bailey officiated. At the time, Richard made his home on a farm in Meriden, Jefferson County, KS, and the couple traveled there to establish a home there in the Seals neighborhood. There, Richard bred stallions and other horses. The Laceys remained in Meriden as shown in the 1910 census. By 1918, they relocated to a new home farm in the Muddy Precinct of near Soldier Township, Shawnee County, KS. Rose died in 1927, possibly in Kansas. She rests for eternity in Fairview Church Cemetery in her old hometown of Adamsville.

  • Grandson Virgil Elmer Bell (1890-1955) was born in February 1890 in Muskingum County. Rendered fatherless at the age of five, in January 1896, he went to live with his mother's father, Jacob I. Bell, on his farm in Adams Township. He appears to have been reunited with his brother Paul sometime in or before 1906. When their mother married again in 1906, and moved to Kansas, Virgil and Paul accompanied them. In 1910, census records show him at age 20 working as a farm hand on his step-father's farm in Rock Creek, Jefferson County, KS. He relocated again with his step-father and mother during the 1910s to Soldier Township, Shawnee County, and is shown in their household in the 1920 census. During World War I, in May 1918, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and saw duty. He returned to the U.S. the week before Christmas 1918, sailing on the ocean liner Leviathan, arriving in New York City and then was sent to Hoboken, NJ. Given the choice to return to Kansas, he instead established a home in Zanesville. He married Clara Mae Kreis (July 21, 1896-1986), daughter of Michael and Martha Jane (Foster) Kreis of Adamsville. They bore three offspring -- Vada Pauline Gleckler, Vonda Tyhurst and a son who was deceased by 1986. The Bells seem to have traveled to Kansas every summer or so to visit with his mother and stepfather. On one such visit in June 1923, Vada Pauline contracted measles. Sadly, Virgil died in 1955 at the age of about 65. Clara survived her husband by more than three decades and made her home at 1214 Executive Court in Newark, Licking County, OH. Toward the end of her life, she was admitted to Licking Memorial Hospital, where she died at the age of 89 on May 16, 1986. An obituary was published in the Newark Advocate, and burial was in Wilson Cemetery, with Rev. Clyde McCormick preaching the funeral sermon.

Great-granddaughter Vada Pauline Bell (1921-2011) was born on Nov. 10, 1921 in Zanesville. She wedded Everett Franklin Gleckler (May 15, 1923-1990). They produced two known sons -- David W. Gleckler and Donald Lee Gleckler. Their residence in 1986 was in Newark, Licking County. Vada Pauline passed into eternity at the age of 89, in Newark, on Sept. 30, 2011. Burial was in Wilson Cemetery in Newark. Sadly, son David died on Nov. 1, 2000 at the age of 48. He rests in Wilson Cemetery.

Great-granddaughter Vonda Bell was born in (?). She married (?) Tyhurst ( ? - ? ) and lived in Newark, Licking Coiunty in 1986.

  • Grandson Paul Edwards Bell (1894-1957) was born on June 11, 1894 in Adamsville. Paul was just age 18 months when his father died, and he and his mother went to dwell with her parents in Adams Township. When his mother married again in 1906, and moved to Kansas, Paul joined them on their home farm in or near Meriden, Rock Creek Township, Jefferson County, KS. He was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and light hair. At the age of 22, he registered for the military draft during World War I and eventually served in the armed forces. Paul eventually was united in holy wedlock with Meriden school teacher Zelia L. Dewey (Nov. 4, 1895-1972). They produced three known offspring -- Helen Rodecap, Raymond Bell and Elmer Bell. Zelia was a member of the Order of Eastern Star in Meriden and World War I Widows. Paul died on May 27, 1957 at the age of about 62 or 63. Burial was in Meriden Cemetery. Zelia lived for another 15 years after her husband's death. In 1968, she became a resident of a nursing home in Valley Falls near Topeka. She remained there for four years until death on July 10, 1972. An obituary in the Topeka State Journal noted that she had "spent most of her life" in Meriden and was survived by 11 grandchildren. [Find-a-Grave]

Great-granddaughter Helen Roselea Bell (1929-2015) was born on April 1, 1929 in Topeka. On Sept. 3, 1949, in a ceremony held in Topeka, she wedded World War II Army veteran Roy Eugene Rodecap (June 30, 1925-1996). The Rodecaps were the parents of three -- Marilyn Lee Johnson, Betty Ann Anderson and Norma Vink. During the war, Roy had served as a technical sergeant. They lived in Meriden for many years, where she was employed as postmaster in the Meriden Post Office. She also belonged to the Order of Eastern Star in Meriden, the National Association of Retired Federal Employees and the Meriden FunFair Board and was a member of the Meriden City Council and Election Board. Roy succumbed on Dec. 13, 1996. As a patient in Lexington Park Nursing Home in Topeka, Helen joined her husband in eternity on Jan. 27, 2015 at the age of 85. She was survived by five grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. They rest together in Meriden Cemetery.

Great-grandson Raymond E. Bell Sr. (1930-2007) was born on Nov. 6, 1930. He served as a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. He married Dorothea ( ? - ? ). The Bells dwelled in Fort Worth, TX in the early 1970s. Raymond passed into eternity on his 76th birthday on Nov. 6, 2007. His remains were interred in Meriden Cemetery.

Great-grandson Elmer Bell (1932-1996) was born in 1932. On Sept. 5, 1958, he was united in matrimony with Janet J. Halstead (April 5, 1935-1999), daughter of Myrl A. and Elva (Koehlar) Halstead of Rock Creek near Topeka. Their three sons were Terry L. Bell, Kevin E. Bell and Scott A. Bell. Janet was a member of the ladies auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Meriden. They made their home in Meriden in 1972. Elmer died on Oct. 25, 1996. Janet lived for almost three more years and passed away on Aug. 21, 1999. They rest together in Meriden Cemetery. Sadly, their son Kevin died at the age of 52 on Nov. 8, 2013.


Coshocton's meandering Wahlonding River


Son Marshall T. Bell (1868-1946) was born on Aug. 31, 1868 in Adams Township. On Sept. 7, 1892, when he was 24 years of age, Marshall married Anna Catherine Erman (1870?-1950), daughter of Augustus and Sarah Erman of Franklin Township, Coshocton County. They bore one son, Erman.S. Bell. Marshall earned a living as a school teacher and farmer in Muskingum Couinty. They dwelled in Monroe Township, Muskingum County in 1905. Later in life, his home was in West Lafayette, OH. Reported the Zanesville Times Recorder, "He was a member of the Trinity church at West Lafayette and was the first master of Otsego grange and formerly served on the school board in Monroe township. He was also a former township trustee and treasurer." Anna belonged to the Order of Eastern Star lodge in Adamsville. Marshall died in Coshocton City Hospital at the age of 77 on July 26, 1946. Funeral services were led by Rev. W.S. Baker in the Trinity Methodist Church of West Lafayette, with burial in Fairfield Cemetery. An obituary was published in the Times Recorder. Anna survived her spouse by four years. She died as a resident of Heskett Rest Home in Cambridge, OH at the age of 80 on Nov. 1, 1950. Rev. R.A. Hall led her funeral service, with burial beside Marshall.

  • Grandson Erman S. Bell (1900-1975) was born in 1900. He married Mary E. (1904-1981). Their known offspring were Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Quinn, Duane Erman Bell, Carl Bell and Leslie Bell. Circa 1925, he helped organize a baseball team at Otsego, OH and served as its manager. A related story in the Zanesville Times Recorder said that he was "now ready to book games with other high class aggregations." In 1928, he was elected as an officer of the Hubbard Lodge of the Masons in Adamsville. The Bells purchased property in New Concord and relocated there in the fall of 1941. At the time, Erman was employed as a postal mail carrier. Circa 1957, his daily route on Route 1 near Zanesville covered about 60 miles. Erman died in 1975 at the age of about 75. Mary survived him by six years. She joined him in death in 1981. They rest in New Concord Cemetery.

Great-grandson Duane Erman Bell ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). On June 10, 1961, he married Jane Luth Herrmann ( ? - ? ), daughter of Arthur A. Herrmann of Toledo, OH. The nuptials were held in Point Place Congregational Church of Toledo. She was a graduate of Bowling Green State University and at the time of marriage taught at Point Place School in Toledo, while he had received degrees at Muskingum College and Miami University, served in the Army Chemical Corps and had taught for four years in Millersport, OH. They bore two known daughters, Janeen Marie Dawson and Karen Bell. Circa 1961, he was awarded a National Science Foundation Scholarship for high school science educators. She went on to obtain her master of music degree in 1965 and he earned a doctorate of philosophy degree in 1970, both from Ohio State University. Their home in 1975 was in Columbus, OH, where he was employed as a research scientist at the Battelle Institute. By 1981, he had left academia  and was a private consultant in the environmental and energy sectors, returning to live in New Concord, Muskingum County.

Great-grandson Carl Bell ( ? - ? ) resided in 1975 in Shepherdstown, WV.

Great-granddaughter Elizabeth Ann "Beth" Bell married (?) Quinn. In 1975, she dwelled in Brilliant, Jefferson County, OH.

Great-grandson Leslie Bell lived in Ashville, OH in 1975.

Son Willard Elmer Bell (1873-1934) was born on May 14, 1873 in Adams Township. He never married. In 1905, he made his residence with his widowed father, working to provide farm labor. He continued to farm after his father's death, owning his own farm property. He was a member of the Fairview Methodist Episcopal Church in Adamsville. Said the Zanesville Signal, "he sand in the choir and taught a Sunday school class. He was secretary of the congregation for several years and for a time was church chorister. Mr. Bell was a member of Eureka grange and Hubbard lodge of Masons at Adamsville. He was a well known Democrat and served as township clerk and trustee for several terms.." Suffering from acute kidney disease which led to uremic poisoning, Willard underwent surgery and then succumbed in Zanesville's Good Samaritan Hospital at the age of 61 on June 21, 1934. Viewing was in the home of his brother Marshall, with burial following in Fairview Cemetery in Adamsville, with Marshall signing the Ohio death certificate.


~ Daughter Elizabeth Sarah (Bell) Minnick ~

Daughter Elizabeth Sarah Bell (1835-1924) was born on June 22, 1835 in Adams Township, Muskingum County. 

She married Joseph Minnick ( ? - ? ).

In 1905, when named in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio, they dwelled in Highland Township, Muskingum County. 

Suffering from senility, Elizabeth passed away just a dozen days shy of her 89th birthday on June 10, 1924. Interment was in New Hope Cemetery. J.H. Minnick of West Lafayette, OH was the informant for her official Ohio certificate of death.


New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery

~ Son John Riley Bell ~

Son John Riley Bell (1839-1892) was born on St. Patrick's Day 1839 in Adamsville, Muskingum County.

In about 1860, at the age of 21, John wedded Eliza C. Walker 21-year-old (1839-1877), daughter of Joseph Walker.

They produced these known offspring -- Robert Bell, Rachel A. Bell, George Reugan Bell, Margaret Idessa "Dessie" Edwards, Minnerva J. Bell and Carrie Lacrutia Vensil.

Despite his eligibility, John is not known to have served in the Civil War.

Sadness swept over the family when daughter Minnerva died at birth in 1868.

When the United States Census enumeration was made in 1870, the Bells made their home on a farm in Adams Township, Muskingum County.

Sadly, Eliza passed away from a not-yet-known malady at the age of 36 on May 9, 1877. Burial was in New Hope Lutheran Church Cemetery.

John survived his bride by 15 years and married again to Mary J. (1854- ? ), who was 14 years his junior. The 1880 census shows the family together on a farm in Adams Township.

John died in Adamsville at the age of 53 on Aug. 25, 1892.

Son Robert Bell (1862- ? ) was born in about 1862 in Adamsville.

Daughter Rachel A. Bell (1863- ? ) was born in about 1863 in Adamsville. At the age of 17, in 1880, she lived at home and helped with housekeeping.

Son George Reugan "Rugue" Bell (1863-1941) was born on June 10, 1863 in Adamsville. He grew up helping his father with farm chores. In October 1884, he was united in marriage with Mary Louisa Davis (Dec. 19, 1863-1937), daughter of Benjamin and Rosanna (Winn) Davis of Salem Township, Muskingum County. The couple did not reproduce. In about 1925, they established their residence in Adamsville, where he was considered a well-known farmer. Mary was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and the Adamsville Methodist Episcopal Church. The Bells celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in October 1934 with a dinner at their home. Clara Vinsel and Ruth Harris prepared "two beautiful wedding cakes," said the Zanesville Signal. "They were cleverly decorated. Later the principals of the ceremony of 50 years ago were presented with a number of gifts. The party also was a reunion for Mrs. Bell and her sisters who had not been together for a number of years." At the age of 75, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer which had spread to her liver. She suffered for four months and died at home on Nov. 27, 1937. Rev. John Herion led the funeral service with burial following in New Hope Cemetery. An obituary in the Zanesville Times Recorder noted that she was survived by sisters Etta Vinsel, Icy Saunders and Pearl Doughty. George lived for another three-and-a-half years. He was felled by a heart attack and died suddenly at the age of 77 on March 12, 1941, and the Times Recorder reported that "Having been in his usual good health, his death came as a shock." Rev. Roger Ortmayer officiated the funeral service, and his wife's niece Pearl Doughty signed the Ohio death certificate.

Daughter Margaret Idessa "Dessie" Bell (1866-1953) was born on Sept. 29, 1866 in Muskingum County. Her childhood nickname was "Maggie." At the age of about 20, in 1886, she wedded carpenter George Oliver Edwards (March 11, 1864-1933), son of William O. and Katherine (Schroyer) Edwards of Adamsville. The marriage endured for 47 years until the separation of death. Their offspring were Ethylle Bell Johnson, Emmett Minor Edwards and Ralph Crawford Edwards. The family lived in Newark, Licking County, OH at the address of 143 Maholm. George was burdened with mitral valve problems in his heart and, after contracting influenza, passed away at the age of 69 on June 26, 1933. Dessie died at the age of 86 on Sept. 20, 1953. Burial was in Newark's Cedar Hill Cemetery.

  • Granddaughter Ethylle Bell Edwards (1887-1934) was born on Aug. 4, 1887. She married James "Homer" Johnson (March 1, 1885-1962). They are believed to have dwelled in or near Newark, Licking County, OH. She died on her 47th birthday on Aug. 4, 1934. Burial was in Cedar Hill Cemetery in Newark. Homer survived his wife by a quarter of a century. He succumbed two days before Christmas 1962 at the age of 77.
  • Grandson Emmett Minor Edwards (1889-1987) was born on April 4, 1889 in Adamsville. In about 1913, he was joined in wedlock with Nellie R. Baker (1888-1968), daughter of John Philip and Maria Christiane (Frey) Baker. The couple bore one known daughter, Helen Marie Bishop. Their marriage lasted for 55 years until the cleavage of death. In 1968, Nellie passed into eternity. Emmett died at the age of 98 on May 4, 1987. It's said that he willed his body to medical science at Ohio State University.
  • Grandson Ralph Crawford Edwards (1890-1971) was born on Oct. 19, 1890 in Adamsville. When he was about 28 or 29years of age, in 1919, he was united in matrimony with Mary Estelle Simpson (1897-1982), daughter of Frederick William and Martha Ellen (Bagent) Simpson. They were the parents of Martha Mary Loy. Ralph died the day after Christmas 1971 at the age of 81. He rests in Newark's Cedar Hill Cemetery. Mary outlived him by 11 years. She succumbed in 1982.

Daughter Carrie Lacrutia Bell (1873-1948) was born on March 16, 1873 in Adams Township. In August 1892, when she was 19 years of age, Carrie married Homer Vensil ( ? - ? ). They made their home in Adamsville. They were the parents of three children -- Hobart Bainter Vensil, Naomi Foster and Alice Shirer. The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with an hopen house and noon luncheon at their Adamsville home on Aug. 8, 1942. In reporting on the party, the Coshocton Tribune said that "Mr. Vensil is a retired farmer and he and Mrs. Vensil have spent most of their lives in Adamsville and vicinity." At the age of 75, suffering from bone tissue disease of her face, Carrie was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Zanesville. She endured a heart attack while in the hospital and, after a stay of 20 days, she died on Aug. 10, 1948. Funeral services were held in the Adamsville Methodist Church, with an obituary appearing in the Zanesville Times Recorder. Signing the official Ohio certificate of death was their daughter Naomi Foster of Adamsville.

  • Grandson Hobart Bainter Vensil (1897-1989) was born on July 13, 1897 in Adams Township. When he was 23 years of age, he was a rolling mill employee. Circa 1920, he married 19-year-old glove worker Zella Marieda Kreis ( ? -1970), daughter of Michael Kreis. Rev. I.R. Ladd is believed to have officiated at their wedding ceremony. The couple did not reproduce. They moved to Zanesville in 1920 and lived in the Harding Heights section. Hobart was a 45-year employee of Armco Steel. He belonged to the Armco Veterans Club, and they were members of St. John's Lutheran Church. Sadly, Zella died on July 25, 1970. Hobart lived for another 19 years as a widower. He contracted cancer and was admitted to the Abbot Home for Men. died at the age of 92 on July 30, 1989. Funeral services were officiated by Rev. Joan Gunderman at St. John's, with burial in the Zanesville Memorial Park. An obituary was published in the Zanesville Times Recorder.
  • Granddaughter Naomi Vensil ( ? - ? ) was born in (?). She wedded (?) Foster. She made her home in 1942 near Adamsville. She was deceased by 1989.
  • Granddaughter Alice B. Vensil (1907-1999) was born on Aug. 4, 1907 in Adams Township. She was twice married. Her first spouse was (?) Radcliffe. They bore two sons -- Delbert P. Radcliffe and Donald Radcliffe. On April 19, 1936, she married H. Ralph Shirer ( ? - ? ). They produced one son of their own -- Homer Ralph Shirer. They dwelled in Canton, Stark County, OH in 1942 and at 8045 Main Street in Adamsville in 1989. Toward the end of her life, Alice was admitted to Bethesda Hospital. She died as a patient there at the age of 91 on Jan. 22, 1999. An obituary appeared in the Zanesville Times Recorder, which stated that she was survived by 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Burial was in New Hope Cemetery, with Rev. Richard McNeish leading the funeral service.


~ Son Jared C. Bell ~

Son Jared C. Bell (1841- ? ) was born on July 13, 1841 in Adams Township, Muskingum County.

On Oct. 30, 1862, when he was 21 years of age, he married 20-year-old Martha Jane Caldwell (1842- ? ), daughter of Nancy (Hartman) Caldwell of Guernsey County, OH. Upon marriage, he left home in 1862 and moved to a new home which he later returned to circa 1905.

They produced six children -- S. Leonard Bell, Adam "Howard" Bell, William H. Bell, Dr. Firman Merrill Bell, Everett C. Bell and Lemeret H. Bell. Sadly, son Lemert died at the tender age of five days on May 26, 1878.

Jared is profiled extensively in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio

He afterward removed to another part of this place and later took possession of his present residence, which was erected under his supervision. He has always engaged in farming and to some extent has worked at the carpenter's trade. In his youth he also received instruction in vocal music and to some extent has given instruction in that art. He has always been a great lover of music and has played several instruments, including the fife, the drum and the organ. He now owns and operates two hundred acres of rich and productive land on sections 19 and 21, Adams township, and carries on general farming and stock-raising, working the land himself and also raising cattle and sheep. The farm is well improved, being equipped with all modern conveniences, and the splendid appearance of the place is indicative of the careful supervision of a progressive owner.... They reside about four and a half miles northeast of Adamsville, where they have a fine home and valuable farm.

Jared was active politically and lobbied in support of the prohibition of the sale of alcohol. He held a number of elected offices in Adams Township, among them treasurer (two year), road supervisor, judge and clerk of elections. They were members of the local Grange and were "earnest and zealous members" of the Fairview Episcopal Church. Concluded the Past and Present book: "Mr. Bell is greatly interested in educational and religious work, is a most liberal supporter of the church and contributed generously toward the new house of worship at Fairview. Formerly he was identified with the Lutheran church at Adamsville. His life has ever been upright and honorable and both he and his wife are held in high regard by many friends."

Son S. Leonard Bell (1864- ? ) was born on March 11, 1864. On Sept. 5, 1889, when he was age 25, he married Gertrude Keepers ( ? - ? ). They made their home in Scio, Harrison County, OH and had four sons -- Carl Leonard Bell, Ralph Chester Bell, William Jared Bell and Kennon Maurice Bell. Leonard was a musician who taught at a music conservatory in Scio. He "began playing in public at the age of eight years and accepted a position as church organist when twelve years of age," says the Past and Present book. "Since beginning his musical studies he has always been an earnest and untiring student and has received instruction from some of the greatest musicians and teachers of the world, having attended a number of the leading colleges and universities and receiving the degree of Doctor of Music. He seems to possess natural ability as a teacher as well as a musician and he is well known in musical circles, being a member of the Ohio Music Teachers' Association and the National Music Teachers' Association. under his instruction some of the best pianists of the country have studied."


The only covered bridge in Coshocton County


Son Adam "Howard" Bell (1866-1944) was born on June 8, 1866. At the age of 36, on New Year's Eve 1902, he was united in wedlock with Anna E. Wilcox ( ? - ? ). Circa 1905, they lived on a farm in Conesville, Coshocton County, OH and were named in J. Hope Sutor's 1905 book Past and Present of the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio. At the age of 78, the widowed Howard suffered from hardening of the arteries and died of heart failure in Conesville on Nov. 17, 1944. Interment was in South Lawn Cemetery. Lucile Worthington of Conesville signed the death certificate.

Son William H. Bell (1869- ? ) was born on April 16, 1869. He received his education in plain and ornamental penmanship in Smithville, OH and later graduated from a business school in Topeka, KS. He then taught penmanship for one term at McCormick College in Muskingum County and then obtained employment as a bookkeeper with the Chicago, Rock Island & Gulf Island Railroad Company, moving to Fort Worth, TX. On Jan. 2, 1898, at the age of 29, he was united in wedlock with Nettie Spencer ( ? -1900). They produced one son. Sadly, the marriage only lasted for two years until Nettie's untimely death on Sept. 10, 1900.

Son Dr. Firman Merrill Bell (1873- ? ) was born on Sept. 11, 1873. He attended Scio College for one term, then left school and migrated to Iowa, where he taught school for several terms. He then entered medical school at St. Joseph, MO and graduated with second honors. Circa 1905, he practiced medicine in Grant, NE.

Son Everett C. Bell (1878- ? ) was born on May 21, 1878. He obtained a degree in penmanship at Wooster College of Penmanship and became employed to teach penmanship in a school. Circa 1905, he was single and lived at home with his parents.


Copyright 2000, 2011, 2015-2018 Mark A. Miner