John D. Bell – A Little History
Kentucky Genealogy and Biography – Volume III
John D. Bell was born in Ohio County, Kentucky on October 12, 1825, and is the son of David and Mary (Igleheart) Bell, both of whom were natives of Maryland, and of Scotch and German descent, respectively.
David Bell, at the age of twenty, in the year 1815, came to Ohio County, Kentucky, then an almost unbroken wilderness, having driven a team all the way from Maryland. Here he married and soon after bought a partially improved farm near the present site of Centertown, moved into a rude log cabin, and subsequently improved farm, upon which he resided until his death in 1871, in his seventy-seventh year. He made one trip down to the Green, Ohio and Mississippi rivers with a flat boat load of provisions to New Orleans, returning on foot. Soon after this he walked to the state of Maryland on a business trip. He was a veteran in the War of 1812, having gone into to service at a very early age and participated in several of the battles of that war. He and his wife were members of the United Baptist Church. Of Mr. Bell it may be said that he was the architect of his own fortune; he commenced at the bottom round of the ladder, having no inheritance, but a stout heart and willing hands, industry, economy and integrity secured to him a handsome fortune.
John D. Bell received such an education in youth as could be obtained in the primitive schools of Kentucky. He was employed on his father's farm until he attained his majority. His father-in-law then gave home some 200 acres of the wild land near Hartford, where he commenced to improve a farm; this however, he lost after about one year and a half in consequence of a defective title. Some two years later he bought a partially improved farm on Rough Creek, near Centertown, upon which he resided for four years, when he again sold out and bought another farm near Hartford. There he remained another four years, when he again sold out and bought a farm near McLean County. In 1876, he sold the farm in McLean County and bought the farm near Point Pleasant, Ohio County, upon which he now resides, and which is one of the best improved places in the county. Mr. Bell owns well improved farms amounting to some 1,500 acres. He is extensively and successfully engaged in agricultural pursuits and in the live stock trade. He is decidedly the most extensive and successful stock grower in the county. He is also largely interested in the lumber trade, running large drives of logs down the Green and Ohio Rivers to Evansville, Indiana.
He was first married August 2, 1848 to Eliza E Miller, a native of Ohio County, Kentucky; she departed this life June 14, 1850. She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church South. Mr. Bell next married on March 15, 1852, Sallie A Barnard, also a native of Ohio County, Kentucky. Four sons and two daughters have been left to them. Mr. Bell and wife are members of the United Baptist Church. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, and in politics a staunch Democrat.