1789 Hugh Bell BIRTH 2 APRIL 1789 • Fairfield, South Carolina on his farm near Winnsboro, DEATH 13 SEPTEMBER 1864 • Starkville, Oktibbeha, Mississippi married Martha Watt 1793-1871
William Bell, Hugh’s father, dies Sept 3, 1825. Find a Grave page for William Bell: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25402886/william-bell
Margaret Montgomery, Hugh’s mother, dies January 10, 1798. Hugh Bell is 9 years old. Find a Grave page for Margaret Montgomery: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/62891946/margaret-bell
- Maj William Bell 1814–1881 m. Margaret McClure 1818-1891
- Elizabeth Jane Bell 1816–1897 m. Frank Asberry Ware 1810-1897
- Nancy Rebecca Bell 1818–1856 m. William Clark McDowell 1814-1847
- James Watt Bell 1820–1877 m. Elizabeth H Brown 1827-1881
- Isabelle Elizabeth Bell 1823–1911 m. William Robert Wiseman 1816-1888
- John Thomas Bell 1827–1889 m. Mary Jane McCollum 1851-1829
- Sarah Martha Bell 1829–1901 m. William W. Goyen 1828-1864
- J. G. Bell 1830 –
- Mary Bell 1832–1864 m. Archibald Miller 1825-1905
- Henrietta Susannah Bell 1834–1855 never married
- William Bell, 1775-1845
- James Bell, 1779-1809
- Margaret Bell McGill, 1780-
- John Bell, 1781-1849
- Charles Bell, 1785-1844
- Thomas Bell, 1785-1850
- Hugh Bell, 1789-1864
- Elizabeth “Betsy” Bell McKell, 1790-1842
- Adam Bell, 1791-1833
- Robert Bell, 1795-1848
- Isabella Bell Montgomery, 1797-1891 (son in law Hugh Montgomery executor)
FACTS and NOTES:
In 1800 Hugh Bell is 11 years old and living with his parents in Fairfield County, South Carolina – he would be one of the children listed on the 1800 US Census for William Bell Sr in Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Hugh Bell’s brother, James Bell dies October 11, 1809 in Fairfield County, SC.
Find a Grave for James Bell (1778-1809): https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/41964927/james-bell
By 1810, Hugh Bell is 21 years old, but does not show up in a separate household in Fairfield County, SC. He likely is still living at his father, William Bell Sr in Fairfield County, SC.
1810 United States Federal Census
Name: William Bell
Home in 1810 (City, County, State): Fairfield, South Carolina
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 10 thru 15: 1
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Household Members Under 16: 5
Number of Household Members Over 25: 2
Number of Household Members: 12
Year: 1810; Census Place: Fairfield, South Carolina; Roll: 62; Page: 591; Image: 00195; Family History Library Film: 0181421
1817 Nov 25 – … I, John Findley of Fairfield District … planter in consideration of $3000 dollars to me in hand paid by William Bell junior … release unto the said William Bell all that plantation or tract of land containing 300 acres being comp… of two original surveys that is to say a tract of 100 acres granted Maria Catherina Munichan the 21 day of Jan 1761 and a tract of 200 acres adjoining the same granted to James Trainer the 7th day of May 1774 situate on Broad River in Fairfield District …. bounding SW on said River, NW on John Hutcheson, NE on Philip Davison(sp?), and SE on Isaac and Charles Dansby …. Signed: John Findley. Wits: William McKell, John Findlay junr, Judea Findley. bk HH2, pg 110. Fairfield Co, SC.
(the very next entry in bk HH2):
1818 May 23 – . . . I William Bell Jr of Fairfield Dist, SC, planter, in consideration of $4000.00 paid by Hugh Bell, of same Dist aforesaid, planter, grant . . . to Hugh Bell 300 acres composed of two – a tract of 100 acres granted to Maria Marina Munchan the 21st day of January 1761, and a tract of 200 acres adj the same granted to James Trainer the 7th day of May 1774 (or 1764 or 1794 – smudged), situated on the Broad River in Fairfield Dist bounding SW on said River NW on John Hutcheson NE on Philip Pearson onto SE on Isaac and Charles Dansing. Signed: William Bell Jr. Wit: Richard Nugent, Adam Bell, William Bell Sr. Proven on May 23, 1818 by Richard Nugent in front of JP Charles Bell. bk HH2, pg 112. Fairfield Co, SC. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSKW-JYQM?i=472&cat=207758
The 1820 US Census in Fairfield County, SC shows Hugh Bell with 2 young sons and 2 young daughters along with himself and his spouse, Martha Watt Bell.
1820 United States Federal Census
Name: Hugh Bell
Home in 1820 (City, County, State): Fairfield, South Carolina
Enumeration Date: August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – Under 10: 2
Free White Persons – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Free White Persons – Females – Under 10: 2
Free White Persons – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves – Males – 26 thru 44: 1
Slaves – Females – Under 14: 4
Slaves – Females – 14 thru 25: 2
Slaves – Females – 26 thru 44: 1
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture: 4
Number of Persons – Engaged in Manufactures: 1
Free White Persons – Under 16: 4
Free White Persons – Over 25: 2
Total Free White Persons: 6
Total Slaves: 8
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other: 14
1820 U S Census; Census Place: Fairfield, South Carolina; Page: 58; NARA Roll: M33_118; Image: 261
September 3, 1825, Hugh Bell’s father, William Bell Sr dies in Fairfield County, SC.
Find a Grave for William Bell: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/25402886/william-bell
William Bell writes his will that is probated in 1825 and names his his children, including Hugh Bell.
1824 May 14 – Last Will and Testament of William Bell
Fairfield Wills, 1785-1865. Book 10, pg 5
South Carolina, U.S., Wills and Probate Records, 1670-1980
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751285?h=e95f03 (pg 1)
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751287?h=5634ea (pg 2)
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751291?h=6eeec1 (pg 3)
The probate accounting of William Bell Sr, dec’d estate from 1825 to 1832 shows Charles Bell and Hugh Montgomery as executors of the estate. Distributions to the following children are noted in the Fairfield County, SC court minutes: Paid to: Adam Bell, Robert Bell, John Bell, Margaret McGill, Charles Bell, Thomas Bell, Hugh Bell, Betsy McKell, and Isabella Montgomery.
1825 Sept 20 – Letters Testamentary for William Bell decd.
Granted to Charles Bell and Hugh Montgomery named executorys in the said Will.
Fairfield Estate Records 1821-1837
Item Description Estate Records 1821-1837. pg 1.
1825 Nov 2 – Appraisement of William Bell decd’s estate
1825 Nov 3 – Sale of William Bell decd’s Estate
Will Bk H, Vol 10. 1825-1828. pg 321-324
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751462?h=c9710c (pg 1)
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751468?h=8018fd (pg 2)
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751475?h=34b5a0 (pg 3)
1832 Jan 19 – Accounting of William Bell decd’s Estate
Will Book L, Vol 13, 1830-1835. pgs 46-48
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751352?h=353e72 (pg 1)
https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/29751359?h=464b16 (pg 2)
Between 1825 to 1832 the Fairfield County, SC court noted the following transactions on William Bell Sr dec’d estate. The court notes transactions of the following family members:
1832 Jan 1 :
Recd note of Adam Bell
Recd note of Robert Bell
Recd note of Hugh Bell
Recd note of Thomas Bell
Recd note of Charles Bell
Recd note of Hugh Bell on an open account
The following family members received payments:
1827 Aug 2 – paid Adam Bell
1829 Feb 17 – paid James Bell Legacy and interest
1829 March 9 – paid R. M. Taliaferro amount of Legacy to his wife formerly Nancy Bell
1829 March 9 – paid James Watt amt of legacy bequeathed to his wife formerly Margaret Bell
1830 March 30 – paid Wm Bell amt of legacy and int
1831 Jan 1 – paid John Hawthorn amount of legacy to his daughters Margaret, Isabella, Mary, and Nancy.
1831 Feb 3 – paid William M. Bell amt of legacy and interest
1831 March 3 – paid Robert Bell’s proven account
1831 Aug 19 – paid Saml G. McCreight amount of legacy bequeathed to his wife (formerly Sarah Bell) plus int.
Signed by Charles Bell – one of the executors.
Charles Bell and Hugh Montgomery executors for William Bell Sr deceased turned in the accounting to the Fairfield County, SC Court.
1829 Nov 6 – William Brown of Fairfield Dist, SC in consideration of $300 dollars paid by Daniel Kellner of Fairfield Dist, SC … sell to Daniel Keltner land in Fairfield Dist, SC on Hunters Branch a water of Broad River part of a tract conveyed to William Brown by William Bell and Elizabeth McKell executor and executrix of William McKell decd, the remaining part of said tract being conveyed to James Alston…bounded by Charles Free, James Alston, Nathan Free … Signed: William Brown. Wits: James Alston, Hugh Bell. Fairfield Co, SC deed bk HH2, p 113. http://www.ken-shelton.com/Fairfield/Deeds/Deed_HH2/Deed_HH2.htm
1830 July 17 – Petition for Sale of Negroes – Filed July 17,1830
William Bell-deceased-Will dated May 14, 1824
Margaret Bell-daughter-dicd in November 1824-married a McGill
Isabella McGill- granddaughter-married William Hodge
Mary McGill-granddaughter-married William Robinson
Betsy Bell-daughter-married a McKell
Isabella Bell-daughter-married Hugh Montgomery
Equity Court Decrees Film No JR 4705 – Fairfield Co, SC
South Carolina State Archives box – FA76
Frame 129 – 1830 #1
Jan 26, 1835 a final accounting was filed by Charles Bell, Esq. It noted payments of notes to William Bell Junior, and Hugh Bell. Distributions under the will are noted to:
Adam Bell, Robert Bell, John Bell, Margaret McGill, Charles Bell, Thomas Bell, Hugh Bell, Elizabeth McKell, and Isabella Montgomery. Signed by Charles Bell.
The 1830 US Census in Fairfield SC shows Hugh Bell with 1 male 40-50, 1 male 20-30, 1 male 15-20, 1 male 10-15, and 1 male under 5.
It shows 1 female 30-40, 2 females 10-15, 1 female 5-10, and 2 females under 5.
1836 May 5 – Hugh Bell from J. Erskine Pearson, bk MM, p 349. Fairfield Co, SC.
… that I, J E Pearson … for and in consideration of the sum of eleven hundred and two dollars … paid by Hugh Bell … sell … unto the said Hugh Bell all that parcel plantation of tract of land situate lying in said District of Fairfield on Wilkinsons Creek a branch of Broad River bounded by lands of Daniel S Free, J E Pearson, L Day, and Nathan Free, being part of a plantation formerly the property of Nicholas Tungis deceased having such forms boundaries and buttings as by reference to the plats of resurvey made by Jacob Feaster DS dated 25th Feb 1833 … containing 110 acres laid out for J E Pearson, one for DD Finley containing 165 and 1/2 acres together with all … to the said Hugh Bell … this 5th day of March 1836 … Signed: J Erskine Pearson. Wits: Wm F Pearson, W D Lyles.
Nov 12, 1836 – Ann W Pearson, wife of J. Erskine Pearson, appears in court to renounce her right of dower …
1838 Jan 4 – Hugh Bell of Anderson Orne – Deed bk 2, p 510 Pontotoc Co, MS
… Henry Anderson and Edward Orne of the County of Pontotoc and State of Mississippi for and in consideration of the sum of $2082 dollars and 34 cents paid to us by Hugh Bell of the County and State aforesaid … convey unto the said Hugh Bell … the following tract or parcel of land … the N half of Sec 21 in TS9 of R3E …. 320 and 36/100ths acres … Signed: Henry Andreson, Edward Orne. Wit: W G Crawley, G E Hallett. Pontotoc Co, MS.
1838 Jan 10 – Hugh Bell to W Goodman – Deed bk 2, p 292. Pontotoc Co, MS
… between Hugh Bell of the first part, Walter Goodman of the second part, and Henry Anderson and Edward Orne of the third part… party of the 1st part … purchased of the said parties of the third part the N half of Sec 21 in TS9 of R3E … sum of $2082.83 dollars and cents … a note at each, twelve twenty from thirty six months for $694 dollars and 11 cents each with interest from date on said sums at the rate of 8 percent per annum …. in consideration of the premises and to secure the parties of the third part the payments of said several sums of money and interest when the same shall become due and payable … in consideration of one dollar by the party of the second part to the party of the first part paid, the party of the first part hath granted … unto said Walter Goodman the above described half section of land … if the party of the first part shall make default in the payment of the above sums or any part thereof … when the same shall become due and payable then the said party of the second part shall proceed to make sale of said tract of land for cash by public or private sale as he may think best … out of the proceeds of such sale he shall pay and satisfy the charge of this conveyance … Signed: Hugh Bell. Wit: G E Hallet, W G Crawley. Pontotoc Co, MS.
The 1840 US Census in Fairfield County, SC shows the following people at Hugh Bell’s residence shows the following people:
1 male 50-60, 1 male 15-20, 2 males 10-15.
1 female 40-50, 1 female 20-30, 2 females 15-20, 1 female 10-15, 2 females 5-10.
(Note: Even though Hugh Bell is conducting land transactions in Mississippi, he appears to have kept a residence in Fairfield Co, SC where he shows up on the US Census).
1840 March 2 deed date – Hugh Bell from David D Free, bk NN, p. 268. Fairfield Co, SC.
… I, Daniel D Free of Fairfield District … in consideration of the sum of $605 dollars … paid by Hugh Bell of Fairfield District … sell and release unto the said Hugh Bell all that parsel plantation or tract of land situated lying and being in the said District on a branch of Wilkeson Creek a water of Broad River bounded at th time of resurveying by land of the said Daniel D Free on one side, by land held by Hugh Bell known as the Ranger Place (Note: or Ringer Place), on one other side by Nathan Free, and lastly by the public road leading from Hugheys Ferry on Broad River to the up country by Mr John Hutchesons being a piece of land set off and surveyed from a tract now belonging to DD Free known as the James tract having such other forms and marks buttings and boundings as by reference to a plat of resurvey made by William B Ethan DCS dated the 12th February 1840 containing 70 acres and 3/4ths …. Signed: Daniel D Free. Wits: Daniel B Kirkland, Charles Bell, Francis A Ware.
Proved up in court on March 2, 1840 by Francis A Ware by oath …. Recorded March 2, 1840.
1840 Sept 19 – Hugh Bell to Jas M Drake – Deed bk 3, p 411 Pontotoc Co, MS
… between Hugh Bell of the County of Pontotoc in the State of Mississippi of the first part and James W Drake of the said County and State of the second part …. for and in consideration of the sum of $600 dollars .. to him in hand paid by the said party of the second part …. convey … to the said party of the second part … a certain tract of land situate withing the County and State aforesaid … Section 21, in TS9, R3E … containing 40 acres … Signed: Hugh Bell, Margarett Bell. Wit: John A McNeil. Pontotoc Co, MS.
1840 Sept 19 – Hugh Bell to R E Orne – Deed bk 3, p 460 Pontotoc Co, MS
… between Hugh Bell of Pontotoc County of the first part and Richard E Orne of the second part, and Edward Orne of the third part…. said party of the first part did purchase under date of the 4th day of Jan 1838 a certain tract of land known and desiganted in the surveys … as N half of Sect 21 in TS9, R3E … in the County of Pontotoc and State of Mississippi … now in consideration of the premesis and to secure the party of the third part the payment of the said sums of money on the day when the payment falls and in consideration of one dollar by the party of the second part to the party of the first part, he that party of the first part hath granted …. unto said Richard E Orne the party of the second part the above described premises except 40 acres off the west side of the NW quarter of the same … if the party of the first pary shall make default … then the party of the second part shall procede to make sale of said land for cash … Signed: Hugh Bell, Edward Orne, Richard E Orner attorney in fact. Pontotoc Co, MS. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSL5-WCVX?i=299&cat=250540
Nov 6th, 1842 Hugh Bell, William Watt and James McCreight sign a Petition for the Poor in Fairfield County, SC.
1843 Dec 14 – Hugh Bell to Edward Orne – Deed bk 5, p 275 Pontotoc Co, MS
… between Hugh Bell of the County of Pontotoc of the first part and Edward Orne trustee of Desoto in the State of Mississippi of the second part … party of the first part, for and in consideration of $282 dollars lawful money …. to him paid by the said party of the second part …. confirm unto the said party of the second part …. all that tract or parcel of land situate lying and being in the County of Pontotoc and State of Mississippi … the N half of Sect 21 in TS9, R3E … except 40 acres off the West side of the NW quarter of the same … Signed: Hugh Bell. Wit: Richard E Orne. Pontotoc Co, MS.
1844 Dec 17 – Hugh Bell from D A Outlaw and others bk 4, p. 465
… between Lawrence Beverly, Dandy A Outlaw, James Bell and David Bell all of the County of Oktibbeha and State of Mississippi of the first part and Hugh Bell of the second part … parties of the first part for and in consideration of the sum of $2560 dollars to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part …. sell unto the said party of the second part … a certain tract or parcel of land known and designated as follows the South half of Section 30, TS19, R15E, containing 320 acres … Signed: Lawrence Beverly, D A Outlaw, James Bell, David Bell, Clara E Outlaw, Eliza J Beverly, R A Bell. Wits: Lewis Moore, William E Smith. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
(Note: This is Hugh Bell’s first transaction in Oktibbeha Co, MS that I have found so far).
The 1845 Mississippi Census in Pontotoc County shows Hugh Bell has moved to Mississippi. Hugh Bell’s household has 3 males and 4 females (no ages given).
Locations of Bell family lands and families related in Oktibbeha Co, MS:
The 1846 Oktibbeha County, Miss tax rolls show Hugh Bell in that county.
1847 June 14 – Hugh Bell from Charles P Montgomery and Caroline his wife. bk 4, p 93
… we Charles P Montgomery and Caroline B his wife of Mississippi and County of Oktibbeha of the first part, and Hugh Bell of the above named State and County of the second part … in consideration of the sum of $12 to me in hand paid by the party of the second part … quit claimed to the said Hugh Bell … land viz commencing at the NW corner of Sec 32, in TS19, R15E, thence S 29p chains, thence E 40 chains, thence south 23 chains to the road … contains 26 and 34/100 acres … Signed: C P Montgomery, C B Montgomery. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
The 1850 US Census in Oktibbeha County, Miss shows Hugh Bell head of household age 61, Martha age 57, John age 23, Sarah age 20, Mary age 18, Susannah age 16, Jane McDowell age 32 with her children Martha age 9, Dorothy age 7, and Elizabeth age 5
All in the household were born in South Carolina other than 5 year old Elizabeth McDowell who was born in Mississippi.
By 1851 Hugh Bell has taken on William W. Goyen as a boarder in his home while William W. Goyen teaches at the local school. During his time there, William W. Goyen marries Hugh Bell’s daughter – Sarah Martha Bell (b. 1829).
At least two of William W. Goyen’s letters he wrote while living as a boarder at Hugh Bell’s home have survived. Transcripts of them are below. William W. Goyen’s parents (Drury Goyen and Elizabeth) had died around 1847-1848 leaving several of his younger siblings as true orphans. Those siblings are raised by relatives. The letters below are letters to his sisters and cousins who live with his paternal grandmother Doshia Plaxco (mother of Drury Goyen – she had remarried to a John Plaxco after William W, Goyen’s grandfather Elijah Goyen died in 1807). The cousins were the McCluneys, and his sisters are the “Goings” – he and his sisters used both the Goings and Goyen spellings. After the mid-1860s some of the siblings kept Goyen, others kept Going as the spelling of their last name.
July 29, 1851 – William W. Goyen Letter: William W. Goyen is living as a boarder at Hugh Bell’s place in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Miss, and writing his sister Elvira D. Goyen and to his cousin Adeline McClueny who are living at his uncle Thompson McCluney’s home in Yalobusha County, Miss.
Miss. – Oktibbeha County, July 29, 1851
(William W. Goyen to his sister Elvira D. Goyen) – (W W Goings to E D Goings).
I embrace this opportunity of answering yours of June 10th which gave me great satisfaction to hear that you were all enjoying tolerably good health. It found me in good health. My health for the last few days has been rather delicate, but it is improving, owing to the intensity of the heat and long continuance of the drought I concluded to defer comming down until fall.
My first session closed the 18th inst. and I will resume the second the 4th of August. I had quite an interesting examination and an excellent dinner given by the patrons and friends of my school. The Rev. Mr. Presley delivered an address suited to the occasion. All that was present was well pleased. Next session I shall have several new schollars. I am well satisfied and am getting along with great facility. Since my school closed I have enjoyed myself finally.
Last week I road about and became acquainted with several young ladies, some of which I am greatly distressed about. This week we have had a protracted meeting at the 16th Dist. Section. I saw the Miss Burts and Miss Rife there. I can say but little about them except they are not married as yet and I suppose there is no probability of it soon.
I am still in the notion of settling myself next fall though; if I could always have such a boarding house as I have now I would be satisfied to board. I have all the conveniences that I could ask for and nothing to pay.
I am now boarding at the house of Mr. Bell the father of the beautiful Miss Bell I alluded to some time since. I intend to make a speach to Miss Bell in good earnest soon. If you or cousin A. either are going to marry I want you to write and I will come down without delay. If not I will not come before my school is out which will be the first of Dec.
The health of the country is good so far as my knowledge extends. Crops are very short in this vicinity owing to the drought. So nothing more.
Give my best love and respect to all and more especially to Granma. Tell her I want to see her very much.
I am your most affectionate Brother until death.
Wm W. Goings.
Part 2 of letter
(William W. Goyen to his cousin A. E. McCluney) – both letters sent on same paper at same time.
I was greatly moved when I heard of your illness, but glad to hear that you are getting better when Sister wrote. I am sorry to say to you that owing to the delicacy of my health that I shall have to defer paying you a visit until fall. Nothing is more painful to me than to defer a visit in which I have anticipated as much pleasure.
At this time I have vacation. I have enjoyed my self finally for the past week, and am getting along most admirably both in school and out of school.
I spend my evenings in conversation with a very amiable and intelligent young lady who shares the greater part of my affections and is sweet and consoling to me. I vainly cherish the hope that my love is reciprocated by her. However, I have pledged myself not to give my hand in matrimony until I see Miss P of whom you spoke of, and I am resolved to stick to my integrity if Miss P does not marry, which I hope she will not do before I come down.
Though the time may seem long the fleeting moments will soon rool round. If it be the will of God for us to live we may then be blessed. Think not hard of me dear cousin for not coming sooner, for I want to see you all worse than you can want to me. Write as soon as this comes to hand. Give my respect to all and believe me I am your
Affectionate cousin until death.
Wm. W. Going
to Miss A. McCluney
(Source: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, William Goyen, 1915-1983, Papers, ca. 1923-1984, 54 Boxes, Box 43 – Folder 10 and Box 48 – Folder 4)
July 13, 1851, Hugh Bell’s father in law – William Watt – dies in Fairfield County, South Carolina. In the will, William Watt names his children. He names:
Son – James Watt (who was married to Margaret Bell – sister of Hugh Bell). Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=43075933
Son – Charles Watt
Son – Thomas Watt
Son – John Watt decd – (his children – Nancy Rabb, Alexander Watt, William Watt, John Watt, Rebecca Watt, Thomas Watt, and Mary Watt)
Son – William Watt decd – (his children – Elizabeth Watt, Lenora L. Watt, Mary Jane Watt, Nancy Louisa Watt, and William Watt).
Daughter – Martha (Watt) Bell wife of Hugh Bell
Daughter – Margaret (Watt) Weir (actually Margaret Ware – she married Thomas C. Ware who died in 1835 in Fairfield County, SC). (Hugh Bell is listed several in the probate papers on Thomas C. Ware’s probate papers).
Daughter – Jane Watt Jr
James Watt and Thomas Watt are appointed as executors:
Probate distributions in 1853 and 1854 name several of his children who have been living in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi since before William Watt’s death in 1851.
1851, September 9 – William W Goyen letter to McCluney family:
While boarding at Hugh Bell’s home – William W. Goyen marries Sarah Martha Bell – daughter of Hugh Bell. He writes to his sisters and cousins living in Yalobusha County, Mississippi who are living at his uncle Thompson McCluney’s home. In the letter are descriptions of his life with the Bell family.
The following two-part letter was sent to T. E. Goings (T. Elizabeth Going – sister of William W. Going), and A. McCluney (Adeline McCluney – cousin of William W. Going). Also mentioned in the letter are 1) Uncle – who is Thompson McCluney, 2) Hugh Bell – father in law, 3) Sarah Martha Bell – now his wife, 4) cousin John (John McCluney), and 5) cousin Samuel (Samuel Thomas McCluney). T. E. A. McCluney is a combination greeting for T. E. (for T. E. Going) then A. McCluney (for Adeline McCluney). Contents of Letter: __________________________________ Starkville, Miss. Sept. 4th, 1851
Starkville, Miss mailed to Oakland, Miss
Miss T. E. Goings
“Most Dear and affectionate Sister, it is with renewed manifestation of love that I assume the pleasant task of answering your joint letter, which I have just received by today’s mail. It found us in good health and gave us great satisfaction to learn that you were enjoing the same blessing, thanks be to our great and beneficient Preserver for his mercies and blessings. You gave me a genuine riding down for not writing. I think the whipping should come on the other hand as I wrote immediately on the reception of your last letter.
I am yet teaching and anticipate teaching the ensuing year . . . if I can get Six Hundred Dollars for my services, if not I presume that I shall settle on a farm somewhere West. I have gotten along with great ease and facility in my school this year, had but one or two graduates last session and none this. Fletcher Beard came to me part of last session and for some incident I thrashed him sorter like oats and he runaway, graduated, and absconded, which I do not regret. My present patrons express their regret as not being able to procure my service for the rival year.
Crops are very fine through this County. Corn crops are by far better than I have ever saw in this County. I am of opinion the corn may be bought at 25cents per bu. There was also a very spontaneous yield of wheat. Cotton fine except where the bole worm has infected it. The Farmer in new prospect views his spacious barns filled with the yellow antennal grain and supremely takes his ease this year in the farmers’ jubilee. Nothing more on this page turn over. Page 2.
I am highly gratified to hear of your excellent meetings, and regret much that I am not there to participate with you in your religious devotion. We have had several protracted in this vicinity, Several conversions. The health of our County is good but few deaths have occured since I last wrote you. Some marriages have taken place none of whom you were acquainted.
I am boarding at Mr. Bell’s and have been since married. You requested me to give you a description of my better half. She is of medium size, dark hair, black eyes, and indescribably hansome. She has sweet, mild and amiable disposition, and I think dear Sister when you see her and become acquainted with her that you will say that I have been happy in my choice. We anticipate paying you a visit as soon as my school is out. Sarah sends her love and respect to you. Nothing more, but remaining your affectionate brother and sister until death.”
W. W. and S. M. Goings to Miss T. E. Goings.
P. S. “Wright immediately, if not sooner.” ___________________
Sept. 9th, 1852 Miss T. E. A. McCluney (2nd part of letter)
“Dear Cousin, it is with pleasure that I assume the pleasant task of answering your letter which I received the 4th inst. You will see by references to sister’s part of this letter that it was written a few days ago, the reason of the delay is that I have been sick, quite sick four or five days, but I have gotten considerable better and think by good nursing and prudence that I will soon be as well as usual hear. I will assure you that I have one on whom (Page 3) I can rely to nurse and administer to my wants whilst sick and convalessing, this is none other than my sweet and darling wife. Sarah is well except a bad cold. I have gotten along finely with my business and have enjoyed fine health until this little spell.
I am much rejoiced to learn of your excellent meetings and regret much that we could not be there to participate with you in your religious devotion. The health of our County is tolleabl good though there is more sickness at this time than has been this season and some fatality attending it.
I shall resume my school next Monday if I do not relapse. Tell Uncle if he can find a good piece of land for sale that he thinks will soot me to some measure what it can be bought at and perhaps I will move there. I received a letter from cousin John a few days ago and he is well and better satisfied. He wrights that he is enjoying himself finely with the young ladies. You and Sister and cousin Samuel must not get married before we come out.
You must excuse me for not writing more as I am quite week this morning. You must wright as soon as this comes to hand. Give our love to all and accept the same for your self. Nothing more, but remain your affectionate cousins until death.”
W. W. and S. M. Goings To Miss T. E. A. McCluney.
(Source: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, William Goyen, 1915-1983, Papers, ca. 1923-1984, 54 Boxes, Box 43 – Folder 10 and Box 48 – Folder 4)
1851 Sept 29 – BILL for Partition – Filed September 29,1851
Margt. Weir and others
Mary J. Watt and others
William Watt, Sr.-died in 1857-Will on Frame 224
Jane Watt-widow-died before William
William Watt-son-died before William
Elizabeth Watt-daughter-married Thomas Puller
Leondra L. Watt-daughter-marrled James Irwin
Mary Jane Watt-daughter
Nancy Louisa Watt-daughter
John Watt-son-died before William
Nancy Watt-daughter-married John G. Rabb
James Watt-son-died before William
James B. Watt-son
Martha Watt-daughter-married James Cassells
Rebecca F. Watt-daughter-married David Wells
William J. Watt-son
Sarah A. Watt-daughter
Margaret Watt-daughter-married a Weir
Martha Watt-daughter-married Hugh Bell
Frame 229 has a plat of the property.
Equity Court Records – 1852 Part 2
Film No.Jr.4716-Fairfield County, SC
South Carolina State Archives Box – FA90
Frame 215 -1852 #29
1852 March 6th – Letter re. Hugh Bell’s daughters – Nancy Bell McDowell in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi, writes to her sister Isabelle Elizabeth Bell Wiseman (who goes by Elizabeth). She is married to William R. Wiseman, and living in Texas.
I received your kind letter a few days ago. We were all glad to hear from you but sorry to know you suffered so much when you were confined. We are all well at present but Susanah. She has had a rising under her arm. It has been there for three months. We are afraid she will lose the use of her arm.
The friends are all well as far as I know. Elizabeth is not well. We have not heard from her in nearly a week.
Jane was confined on the last day of February. She has a fine son. It weighed 12 pounds. She came off as well as she generally does. She is able to be up and about.
Nancy Watt has lost two Negroes, a boy and a woman Charity. Her property was divided. Peter and Irving got their part. The Negroes that died belonged to the three young children. Irving has moved to where his father lives.
Peter lives where he did last year. It is very healthy here. David Montgomery and David Curry has a great deal of sickness. Every one of the Negroes is sick with Winter fever. D. Montgomery lost two.
We have had a very dry winter. Old settlers say they never saw it as dry as this season. We have had no big rains at all. Most every person is planting corn. We have had a very cold winter and the wheat are very backward.
You did not say whether your breast was rising again or not. You must write every particular. How you are fixed and how you are satisfied. Mother says you write whether you have got pork or not and what you had to give. You must be sure to write often. Mary has got a fine child. A good many say it favors your little Sarah.
You said we must came and eat turkey. I wish we could but I think it is very uncertain when we will eat together again. Dear Sister don’t think that we have forgotten you for there is not a day but we talk of you and wonder what you are doing.
Mother is very much distressed about you and says she can’t feel reconciled, but so it is.
You must write. That will be some satisfaction to hear from you. I wrote to you this day three weeks ago. Jane and Mr. Ware wrote. I will write often. Your father and mother brothers-and sisters (send) their love to you and Mr. Wiseman and children. We got the seed and hair you sent. You must kiss the baby for me and write what you will call it.
Nothing more but remain,
Your affectionate sister, till death so farewell,
Nancy B. McDowell to E. and W. Wiseman
(Source: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, William Goyen, 1915-1983, Papers, ca. 1923-1984, 54 Boxes, Box 43 – Folder 10 and Box 48 – Folder 4)
1852 August 3 – Letter between Hugh Bell’s daughters: Henrietta Susannah Bell writing to her sister, Elizabeth Bell Wiseman and husband William R. Wiseman in Texas.
This letter confirms that Hugh Bell’s wife’s maiden name was Martha Watt – not Montgomery. In the letter, Hugh Bell’s daughter, Susannah Bell, writes to her sister, Elizabeth Bell Wiseman in Texas. She describes what is happening in the Starkville, Mississippi area. She states that her “uncle James Watt” died of a fever, and then states that “aunt Nancy Watt and Billie” area also both dead. Martha Watt’s siblings who died were her brother William W. Watt’s wife – Nancy Watt, who died in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi June 22, 1852 from illness, and then tragically her 7 year old son “Billie” died a couple weeks later, on July 5, 1852. Those mentioned in the letter are:
1) uncle James Watt – who died May 9, 1851 in Fairfield County of an illness. He was her uncle two ways – he was the brother of Martha Watt Bell, and his wife was Margaret Bell – sister of Hugh Bell: Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Watt&GSfn=James&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=43&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=43075933&df=all&
2) William Watt and aunt Nancy Martin Watt, and son Billie:
William W. Watt (1804-1850) – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=201&GScid=57776&GRid=67530811&
Nancy Watt (1807- June 22, 1852) – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Watt&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=27&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GSsr=121&GRid=73137110&df=all&
William B. Watt (1844- July 5, 1852) – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=73137039
Temperance Walker (1832 – July 17, 1852). The Walkers were close neighbors of Hugh Bell – each of the US Census 1850, 1860 list them directly next to the Bells. The 1870 US Census has them listed one page earlier – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=60834528
The contents of the letter are:
Oktibbeha County Miss. August 3rd, 1852
I now seat myself to write you a few lines to let you that we are all well at this time hoping that this may find you all enjoying the same great blessing as it is one of the greatest blessings that God affords to man.
The friends are all well as far as I know. Eward Bell got here a few days ago and started back last Wednesday. He said that the friends were all well.
The same fever that uncle James Watt died with the people are all dying with. Aunt Jane Bell lost both of her daughters. Cealy Brice died Saturday and Isabella died the next Saturday. William Walker’ s wife died yesterday three weeks ago. She died very sudden. She was taken a Sunday evening and had a fine child and she died a Friday. It was a girl. I suppose you have heard that Aunt Nancy Watt and Billie are both dead.
Lizzy got home yesterday for the first time since March. James and Mr. Ware went to Columbus with Edward. James went to buy a buggy and Mr. Ware bought a fine carriage.
Mary was up last week aweaving a piece of cloth. Her baby can walk. I never look at it but I think of little Sissy. We all talk about her every day. I don’t believe there ever will be a child that I loved better than I did her.
Cealy Gladney expects to be confined every day. Mary Chiles has a fine son. Mr. Cross starts to Virginia tomorrow week.
I received a letter from you two weeks ago but did not see it. I was down at Millers and Mr. Ware got it out of the office and put it out of the way some way or other. He said that he was afraid that Sarah would see it. He did not tell me what was the secret but I guess you hear Sarah is married and is living here and likely to remain here. He said that you said that I had better hurry and marry but God knows where he would come from. But if I don’t marry till I do like some of the rest I’m afraid I will go manless. Milton Wiseman is down but has never been to see us yet. Some clod hopper will come along someday and I expect that I will do like the rest.
You must tell Mr. Wiseman that be must make a heap of corn and raise a heap of cows and you must save me some hens for I tell you that if I live and keep my health that I will come there or some place else.
I went to the Barbecue last Friday and I caught a beau and a fine one it was. Dr. Rogers and I am going to set my cap for him and you know I will come then. Tell Anace that her children are well. Tell her howdy and Mary howdy tor me. Ann, Lize, Julia, and Nancy say they will write in a week.
Give my love to Mr. Wiseman and the children. Mother says she thinks the time long to see you. Pappy says that he will write to Mr. Wiseman soon but his hand is nervous. Kiss little John for me. John says that he will send him a coat the first chance. I must come to a close for want of room. Remember me when this you see. Farewell
Signed: H. S. Bell ~~~ (Henrietta Suzannah Bell)
To: William and Elizabeth Wiseman
People Mentioned in letter: Hugh Bell, Martha Watt, William Wiseman, Isabelle Elizabeth Bell, Henrietta Susannah Bell, Edward Bell, uncle James Watt, aunt Jane Bell, Cealy Brice, Isabella, William Walker’s wife, aunt Nancy Watt and Billie, Lizzy, James and Mr. Ware, Mary, Cealy Gladney, Mary Chiles, Mr. Cross, Miller’s, Sarah is married, Milton Wiseman, Dr. Rogers, Anace in Tx, Mary in Tx, Ann, Lize, Julia, Nancy, Mother and Pappy, little John in Tx, John in Starkville.
1852 Dec 15 – Hugh Bell from John Phillips bk 10, p 442.
… between John Phillips of the first part and Hugh Bell of the second part … party of the first part for in consideration of $600 dollars to him paid in hand has granted …. to the said party of the second part a certain tract or parcel of land lying in the State and County aforesaid to wit the West half of the the South West quarter of Section 21, TS19, R15E… Signed: John Phillips, Sarah W Phillips. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
1853 Nov 28 – Letter to William Wiseman (husband of Elizabeth Bell Wiseman – Hugh Bell’s daughter) – from Hugh Bell’s oldest son – William Bell and his wife M. M. Bell in Fairfield County, South Carolina. William Bell born 1814 stayed in Fairfield County, South Carolina – and considered moving to Mississippi and even dreamed of going as far as Texas, but appears to have stayed put in Fairfield County, South Carolina (as stated in the letter).
South Carolina Fairfield District
November the 28th 1853
To Mr. William Wiseman
I once more take up my pen to drop a few lines to you. In the first place I would say to you that I received your very kind letter dated the 12th of October. It gave us a great pleasure to hear that you were all well and well pleased with Texas.
This leaves us all well except colds amongst the children. They were all hoarse this morning and Margaret is very uneasy as we have had such bad luck with our children as Elizabeth knows. We have had six born and only three living. That is the three youngest. Our youngest is a daughter. Her name is Elbabeth Sarah.
The two youngest — sons. The oldest we call Hugh. The youngest we call Thomas Edward. They are fine hearty children.
Enough about children. In my last letter I stated that crops would be short. The corn has turned out some better than we expected. The cotton not so good. I may make corn enough to do me by stinting. My cotton crop will not be as good as I thought at one time it would be. I have sold 12 bales – 6 at 9 cents per lb.- 6 at 8 and 1/2 per lb. and I have 6 stored at Columbia and 5 or 6 more will be my crop and I work six hands and there is no man that has out-cropped me. Some will not make one bale to the hand. I now offer my land for sale and my notion is to go to Texas but the distance is so great it almost scares me.
I have thought if I do sell I would move to Mississippi and stay until next fall and then move to Texas as I would like to know how long it took you to go from Miss. to where you live and what the expense was.
Mr. Rob and Wm. Martin my nearest neighbors have left before I got your letter. He spoke ot going to your section of the country and I hope he may as Bell’s aunt E.
Bell’s son has an idea of Texas and several others. When you write let me know how far you are from market, what conveyance you have, cost of transportation etc. Also the distance by land from Starkville. Everything is up in this country.
Negroes from $1000.00 to $1400.00 hundred. The oldest kind of a negro that is able to go to field will be $700 to $800 Dollars. Mules from $125 to $175 Dollars. In fact a man can get his own price for a mule. Corn from 75 cts to $1.00 per bushel. Flour from $6 to $6.50 per barrel. Pork will bring 5 or 6 cents Gross cotton is rising. I learned today that is worth 11 cts Columbia. You must excuse a hasty written letter as I neglected to write until the mail is about to start. Margaret will write to Elizabeth in a short time and give her the information she desires. She joins me in sending our best love to yourselves and family.
Wm. and M. M. Bell
1853 Oct 15 – Hugh Bell to A J Parnell bk 10, p 690.
… betw Andrew J Powell of the first part William W Crop of the second and Hugh Bell administrator of the Estate of William C McDowell of the third part all of the County of Oktibbeha and State of Mississippi… said party of the first part is justly indebted to said party of the third part as administrator of the estate of William C McDowell decd by a promissory note … for the sum of $550 dollars due the first of January 1855, drawing interest …. (not finished – the copy is a bit faded – review again later for the rest of this deed). Oktibbeha Co, MS.
1854 March 18th – Letters to William R. Wiseman and his wife, Elizabeth Bell Wiseman (Hugh Bell’s daughter), from J. G. Bell (Hugh Bell’s son), and Susanna Bell (another of Hugh Bell’s daughters). The initials of “J. G.” Bell in this letter have been transcribed as “I. G.” Bell – he refers to himself as the “brother” of William Wiseman – meaning he is the brother of his wife – Elizabeth Bell Wiseman – and thus son of Hugh Bell. He is sharing the same piece of paper to write the letter with his sister, Susanna Bell. I have not found an “I. G.” or “J. G.” Bell – but he speaks of planting the fields, and the tone of his letter is masculine, so his part definitely sounds male. The “I.G.” or “J.G.” may have been mistranscribed. It is possibly “J.W.” or “J.T.” – J.W. Bell would be James Watt Bell b. 1820, or if it is J.T. Bell, that would be John Thomas Bell born 1827 – both are sons of Hugh Bell. There are two J. G. Bells listed on the 1850 and 1860 US Census in Oktibbeha County – one born in 1830, the other in 1833. One is J. Glenn Bell – who is not Hugh’s son, the other is unaccounted for. I’ve created a J.G. Bell b. 1830 as a son to Hugh Bell in my tree – because obviously the author of this letter is his son. But again, it is possible that this letter was written by James Watt Bell, or John Thomas Bell (sons already known).
Starkville, Miss. Mar. 18th 1854
Mr. William R. Wiseman,
I take my seat this evening to write you a few lines to inform you that I am well at this time and hope that these few lines may find you and family all well.
I have no news worth writing. We have a very backward Spring and the people generally are very backward. There are a great many people that have not stretched a furrow yet. I have heard of but a few people that have commenced planting. I think I will commence planting tomorrow if it does not rain. We have had nothing but rain since the first of January. I do not think that our land has been in order to plow this year. We made a very sorry crop of cotton last year only thirty-nine bales of cotton. We made a very good crop of corn. We have not got through feeding our old corn yet.
We have not heard a word from any of you this year. We have some very pretty weather now. I have planted about sixty acres of corn and have about thirty acres more to plant. I have about forty or fifty acres of cotton land bedded ready to plant.
James Bardwell is lying very low at this time. He is not expected to live. Montgomery and Marioner is waiting on him. They think he cannot live long.
I was up in Tepper last fall. I went after a buggy Miller bought from Hastings and got me to go for it.
I was at Hugh Wiseman’s one or two days. He was inquiring about you a great deal. Jane was married the Thursday before Christmas. I had an invitation to the wedding but did not go.
Goings has bought Joe Valentine’s place. He gave six hundred dollars and Joe bought Dr Watt’s place. He gave a thousand dollars for it.
We received a letter from brother William a few days ago. He said he was fixing to go to Texas this fall. I think I will come out on a visit next fall if nothing happens. I must close as Susana wants to write a few lines to Lizy.
Yours respect. J. G. Bell (or I. G. Bell)
We have been looking for a letter from you all for the last four months and have never received one yet.
Ma has very good garden. We have fifty chickens and seven or eight hens setting. It you will send over you may have a basket of good eggs. The rest of the brothers and sisters are all well and doing well. Peggy has been sick but has got well again. I recken you think and wonder about them all but Lizy, Peggy is stingy yet.
Miller wrote for his sister to come out last fall but she did not come but she got here in January and is now teaching school at Bob Lampkins. He lives on the road below Stark’s. She is staying here. I think she is a very fine girl.
Cealy Gladney has a fine daughter, that is two she has got. Caroline will be confined in a month and Nance also. That is the (slave) woman that came from Carolina. Jane is in the family way also, that is sister Jane.
It you will send me some work I will try and do some for you. Send a dress or a shirt or some clothes for the children as I have nothing to do but make quilts. I have made two or three since you left.
Mary has two very fine children. The oldest is very smart. Sarah’s child can nearly walk. She is the crankiest child I ever saw.
We all want to see your children very much we often till about you all and wonder if we will ever see you.
Tell Mr. Wiseman that he must pick me out a beau and send him out as beaux is scarce. Jane Ware is not married yet and as likelyhood she is as proud as we are.
I have not been in that house for two years. Mother says that you must write often as you might not have her long to write to. She says write all about the children. How they look and who they are like.
Nancy says that she will write soon. You must write often and I will do the snme. Mother sends her love to you all and we all send our love to you and the children. Kiss the children for me.
Tell Anis howdy for me and tell her that she must send me a laugh when you write. Give us all the news about all of you. I must come to a close as I can think of nothing more so nothing more but remain your affectionate sister until death.
Susanna W. Bell to her sister Elizabeth I. Wiseman
1855 Dec 22 – Letter from Hugh Bell to his daughter Elizabeth Bell Wiseman in Texas – informing her of the death of her sister – Susanna Bell in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi on Dec 22, 1855.
Starkville Miss. Dec. 22, 1855
With grief and sorrow do I enclose to you these few Melancholy lines. Perhaps you are prepared to receive the sad intelligence of poor Susanna’s death. You have been made acquainted with her afflictions. She suffered immensely for many months, but seemed to bear her afflictions with Christian fortitude and seemed resigned to her Savior’s will.
Mr Presly was with her and conversed with her about her spiritual welfare. She expressed no fear and seemed only to be awaiting the will of God. She spoke often to her brothers and sisters about death. She also often spoke of you and Billy. It was her request that her friends should not grieve over and after her. Blessed be God our loss is his gain.
We no more will hear her sweet and cheerful voice on earth, but we thank thee Oh our God we soon shall meet again in heaven. Let us then try to be more perfect with our God.
She was tapped three times. The last time she was tapped was the 19th inst. from which time she gradually grew worse until God released her from pain. She died this evening at 4 o’clock Dec. 22.
Nancy’s health has improved some and she is now able to be up most of the time. Margaret’s health is very delicate and we fear that she is not long for this world.
My health and your mother’s is about the same as it has been for some time. The rest of the friends are all in tolerably good health.
Yours as ever.
To Elizabeth Wiseman (Mrs. W. R. Wiseman)
1856 Jan term – Hugh Bell is listed as a juror in Oktibbeha Co, MS ….
“Mississippi Probate Records, 1781-1930,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-99QX-4NK?cc=2036959&wc=M7MK-SWP%3A344538001%2C344777701 : 21 May 2014), Oktibbeha > Minutes 1854-1860 > image 72 of 319; county courthouses and public libraries, Mississippi.
1856 Aug term – … Hugh Bell admin … the estate of William McDowell decd produced in open court a final settlement of said estate ….
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1857 May 3 – Letter from Starkville, Oktibbeaha County, Mississippi, from Isabella J. Ware (daughter of F.A. Ware and E. J. Ware in part 2 of letter) to Elizabeth Bell Wiseman, and part 2 of same letter from F. A Ware and his wife Elizabeth J. Bell Ware (Hugh Bell’s daughter and Isabella J. Ware’s mother) to her sister Elizabeth Bell Wiseman in Texas.
Oktibbeha Miss. May 3, 1857
I seat myself down to write you a few lines to inform you that we are all well at present and I hope that you are enjoying the same blessing. I have no news worth writing to you.
Grandpa is getting well. Ma and Pa has been to Mobile and come back. Ma got me a new bonnet and Sally and Adeline a new hat. We had a May party the first of May in my school. All the girls had to march and speak. None of our folks could go but Bell because it was araining and too muddy. We had a fine supper. I enjoyed myself very well.
We are going to have an examination the last of the session. I wish you were here to come to it. Granny is not any better. She has got the dropsy. It is raining so hard that none of our folks can go to preaching today. Our school is doing very well in Starkville. We have got forty-three scholars. We have got about two hundred little chickens. We have not got but five little goslins. The rain Friday drowned them all. You must answer this letter as soon as it comes to hand. Excuse my short letter and bad writing from your affectionate niece,
I. J. Ware.
As Isabella has some room I will try to fill up. Mr. Bell has been at the door of the grave but is recovering. He was 15 days that no one thought he would recover. But it has pleased the Almighty to spare his life a little longer. He is able to sit on a chair a short time. His bowels is not right yet. He has no action on his bowels without the use of the Glister pipe.
Jane and myself have just returned from a trip to Mobile. We had a pleasant trip except I was sick 2 days. Had I remained well I think you might look for us to pay you a visit this summer but my being sick scares Jane and she says what would do if I should be sick on the road.
Our railroad is running in 33 miles of us and they will commence laying down iron soon and we have the assurance that it will be completed above us by Fall. We found goods cheap in Mobile compared with Starkville prices. Jane was well pleased with the traveling on the cars. We have very poor prospects for a crop. Corn is not a good stand and looks poorly owing to so much cold and cotton is not up yet and some has been in the ground near 2 months. It has been dry or every seed would have rotted. We had a good rain on the first inst. and have today a great deal of rain. It is cool today. Wheat looks well and we expect a good crop on 30 acres.
If Liza will come with her bag I think I can load her. James is just home from Carolina and Dr. Watt’s widow came with him and three children. All well in Carolina I believe. No other news worth relating. This is 3 since I heard a word from you.
F. A. and E. J. Ware
1859 Feb 4 – No. 132 – Est W. C. McDowell intestate Adms Rept.
The State of Mississippi, Oktibbeha Co.
To the Probate Court of said County at the February Term 1859. Hugh Bell administrator of William C. McDowel decd. makes this as his annual report of said decedent. He charges himself with the following items, viz:
…. (items listed)
And asks allowance for the following disbursements, viz,
Pd for taxes in 52 as per voucher No 1..
Pd for A R Cushman … No 2….
… A M Corothers …. No 3….
… A R Cushman … No 4 …
(several others and other names listed) 1853-1858… Bk Inventories No 1 on pg 257.
1859 Nov 8 – W C McDowell final settlement of Hugh Bell admr p. 259-260
The 1860 US Census in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi has 71 year old Hugh Bell as head of house, with 68 year old Martha. Also living there is 32 year old son John T. Bell, and 16 year old Dossie McDowell, 14 year old Elizabeth McDowell, and 30 year old Charles Adams.
1860 May 7 – William W. Goins admr of estate of A S Davis – No. 314. p. 335-336
W W Goins and John E Davis administrators – 1st annual acct.
1859 disbursements noted to:
John E. Goins, Pig Cromwell, Chapmnan and Seely, Thomas Ward, Wm McCreight, James Ross, John M Moseley, James Gillespie, Mat Ames, S Milton, J M Rogers, Cross and Suddoth …
Signed: J E Davis, W W Goins, admrs.
SALE of A S Davis intest estate included the following purchasers: A W Miller, Squire Clark, Hugh Bell, A W Miller, P Cromwell. Signed: W W Goins.
1860 Nov 26 – Letter to Elizabeth Wiseman in Texas from Hugh and Martha Bell in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi.
Starkville, Miss. Nov. 26, 1860
Mrs. E. Wiseman,
My Dear daughter,
It has been some time since I heard from you and as a parent I will address you again by the way of latter and perhaps for the last God only knows for I feel some times as though my probation was at an end and my case was finally consumated and I shall soon go forward to receive my reward from the judge both of quick dead. This leaves us all well as usual. your father is enjoying good health considering his superanuated frame. He like myself has almost numbered his three score and ten years. Pray that we may be prepared for the coming of the Son and that we may have our robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb and be able to enter into the marriage feast. And prepare thyself to meet us there. It is our constant prayer that you may have your house in readiness and waiting for the coming of the bridegroom for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man cometh.
We have no news of importance. Crops are a general average cotton in particular.
Margaret Valentine has another daughter. Her health is not good but she is better than she has been for a few weeks past.
Martha I. Miller has a fine son almost able to plow considering he is yet an infant. Frank’s people has got well again after a protracted spell of sickness. I believe I have given you all of the general news of the day. James W. Bell’s people are well as far as I know and the friends generally speaking.
Write often is the request of your father and mother. Mr. Wiseman shares this letter equally with you. Nothing more but remain. Your affectionate Father and Mother
Hugh and Martha Bell (Written by Martha Bell).
1861 April 3 – No 132. Wm McDowell intes acct and rept of the proceeds of the sale of slaves account and report of Hugh Bell, admr of W C McDowell decd on account of the proceeds of sale of two slaves George and John.
J W Bell for negro man George dated Jan 9, 1860 – $2010.10
Robert Miller note for negro John dated Jan 9, 1860 – $1905.00 …
… by amt paid Martha Jane Miller, formerly Martha Jane McDowell as per 1/3 – $1280.63.
… by amt paid J W Bell guardian of Dorothy and Elizabeth McDowell 2/3 – $2561.27.
… TO estate of Nancy McDowell to negro woman Julia and her child George hire of woman Julia in 1860 …
… Jan 1, 1861 by amt paid executor J W Bell …
… shows in said report the delivering of the property of the estate of Nancy McDowell to the executor James W Bell the same having been paid for out of the portion of her husbands estate to which she was entitled, the notes reported by the final settlement … Signed: Hugh Bell. Filed April 2, 1861. Book Inventories No 1, page 434.
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1861 May 6 – No 314 A S Davis intestate annual acct. W W Goyens and J E Davis admins of A S Davis decd, 1861 2d annual acct.
Disbursements (payments to the following people listed): J E Davis, R A Miller, James Williams D S Johnson, James Gillespie, W C Bishop, Calvin Bridges, Squire Clark, E M Sayle, T J Black, W L Cromwell.
Receipts (payments from the following people listed): T C McCuney, James Williams, Mrs T Davis, G W Champion, Thomas Rice, J B Saunders, T W Strowhan, T E Davis, R P Davis, Silas Cooper, John McCarady, Hugh Bell.
Signed: W W Goyen.
“Mississippi Probate Records, 1781-1930,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9QX-7C4N?cc=2036959&wc=M7MK-3P8%3A344538001%2C344782201 : 21 May 2014), Oktibbeha > Final records 1857-1867 > image 242 of 415; county courthouses and public libraries, Mississippi.
1861 June 19 – Hugh Bell from F A Ware – E, NE, 34, 19, 15. bk 14, p 340. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
… between F A Ware and E J Ware his wife of Oktibbeha Co, MS of the one part and Hugh Bell of Oktibbeha Co MS of the other … F A Ware and E J Ware his wife … in consideration of $480 dollars … convey to Hugh Bell … the East half of the NE quarter of Section 30, TS19, R15E …. 80 acres … Signed: F A Ware, E J Ware. Wit: H B Ware, D Valentine. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
1861 Nov 11 – Letter to Elizabeth Bell Wiseman (Hugh Bell’s daughter) in Texas from Isabella Jane Ware (neice of Elizabeth Bell – and daughter of E. Jane Bell Ware and Frank A. Ware). Second part of letter is to William R. Wiseman from Frank A. Ware.
Starkville Miss. Nov 11, 1861
Mrs. I. E. Wiseman,
My dear Aunt,
I seat myself this morning to write you a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you yet but I think you have entirely forgotten me. I have written to you two or three times but have not received an answer but I thought that I would write to you whether you write to me or not. We are all well. We had a great deal of sickness last summer. Nearly everyone on the place was sick black and white. All the white ones were sick but Paul and Martha and myself. We had three doctors and they were here twice nearly every day. We had two negroes to die. Themis’ oldest child. He was about fifteen years old and Betty’s oldest. He was seven. There was only two weeks between their deaths. They died with inflamation of the bowels. We had to sit up every night for four weeks. Grandpa’s family is all well. Bell has been home and he has gone back to Due West. He has been gone five weeks. We have heard from him twice since he left. He is well. Cousin Elizabeth McBell’s oldest son went back with him. I received a letter from Sally Bell about two months ago. She said her Pa’s family was all well. She was in Winsborough going to school but she has gone hom to stay. She asked me to tell her where you Post Office was that she was going to write to you. I don’t know whether she wrote or not. Aunt Margy is not well. She has a young baby not a week old. It will be a week old tomorrow. It is a girl. I believe the rest of her family is well. We have a negro woman got a baby just four weeks old and Grandpa’s Cely has got a baby three months old. Grand Pa bouth a little negro girl from a trader. He gave one thousand dollars for her. She is about ten years old. There isn’t any preaching at the A. R. Church today. Mr. Pressly will preach over at Pine Cone. Ma and Pa have gone over there to preaching. They will stay at uncle Miller’s tonight and come home in the morning. Uncle Miller’s family is all well.
Martha Jane and Mr. Miller are living over there about a half a mile from uncle Miller. Mr. Miller is building Mr. Muse a fine house. Martha Jane has got a baby three weeks old. It is a boy. When we heard from Aunt Sallie she was well. They are going to live over at Trim Cane next year. Pa made a good crop of cotton. He made 75 or 80 bales. He won’t get it picked until March. He did not make much corn. We did not raise but about ten hogs to kill. We will have to buy meat next year and it is so dear. Pork is worth nine cents a pound. We have got a garden full of cabbage and a good turnip patch. Pa saved a large wheat patch and there is a good stand up. Captain William Montgomery had a little negro girl burnt to death last Monday morning and Mr. Tom Gladny had one burnt to death last night. Charles Adams is married. He married Elisa Ann Reese. I have not seen his wife yet. Cousin Thomas Adams is up here. He lives in Dixon County and is up here on a visit. Cousin Robert Bell is married. He married Miss McCall. Presbytery will meet here next April. Martha wrote to you the last time I wrote you and you have never answered our letters yet. I sent you a piece of my hair. When you write you must tell me whether you got it or not Auntie. If you don’t answer this letter I don’t think I will write you any more. I think you might answer my letters as I am your namesake and the only one of your nieces that writes to you. If you don’t answer this letter I will think you don’t care anyhing about me. I have written two or three letters and have received no answer yet. Pa wrote to uncle William but he did not answer his letter. We have got a box of apples put up for winter. I wish you were here to help eat them. If you will come out here next spring I will save you some. We had a great deal of fruit this year. Tell Sammy and Erskine to come out here to live and they will have plenty of apples and peaches to eat. Well as I have nothing more of importance to write I will close. Give my respects to uncle William and all of the children. Uncle John is not married yet. Now you must be sure and answer this so good bye.
From your affectionate niece,
Isabella J. Ware
Mr. W. R. Wiseman,
As there is still room I will try to write you a few lines to inform you that I am still in the land of the living and not altogether forgotten you although it seems that we are forgotten by you. I suppose you have got so old and so rich you scarcely remember that there is such beings as we are on the earth. But I can assure you that we are sitll knocking about doing as well as we can. Trying to get out the cotton now and it is raining and cold. I am compelled to loose $1000 worth of cotton. I have sixty-five out and one hundred acres I might say never touched. We have hired all that I can and now the weather is so bad that it wil not pay to give a high price for hands to pick and you may guess I am in the suds or blues which please to call it. I can’t contrive what is best to do. We are making a fair crop of cotton in this neighborhood. It is not so around us. Cotton is flat in Mobile. Worth ten to eleven cents. Corn crop is short though plentiful in this neighborhood. We hear of great scarcity almost in every direction and pork is worth 9 cents and scarce at that. There will not be more than half a supply. Ben Seales is married to Wm. Vick’s oldest daughter, Mary Francis. Been married three or four weeks. I want you and Liza to come over soon. You won’t write and tell us what you are doing and I know I would be glad to see you once more and hear from some of your hunts and many other things would interest me if it should be about — If you don’t write tell the boys to write. We want to hear from you.
F. A. Ware
People mentioned: F. A. Ware, Elizabeth Bell Wiseman, William Wiseman,
1862 May Court – No 314 A S Davis intestate annual acct...
Receipts noted from the following people: A W Miller, Hugh Bell, R P Davis, W H Cross.
Paid: W W Goyen admr – on voucher at 8 percent: $3690.22.
Signed: W W Goyen, admr.
“Mississippi Probate Records, 1781-1930,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-L9QX-7C4N?cc=2036959&wc=M7MK-3P8%3A344538001%2C344782201 : 21 May 2014), Oktibbeha > Final records 1857-1867 > image 242 of 415; county courthouses and public libraries, Mississippi.
1863 Feb 10 – Hugh Bell from John T Bell 1 slave, bk 15, p 1.
… in consideration of the natural love and affection I have for my son John T Bell, I Hugh Bell ... give to my said son John T Bell my negro man named Dick aged about 28 years … Signed: Hugh Bell. Wits: W J Richy, G A Culpepper. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
1863 Nov 7 – Hugh Bell to John T Bell – S and ENE, 30 – bk 14, p 327.
… between Hugh Bell of Oktibbeha Co, MS of the one part and John T Bell of the same County and State … Hugh Bell for $4000 dollars paid by John T Bell has conveyed to John T Bell certain lands … S half and E half of NE quarter of Sec 30, TS19, R15…. containing in all 400 acres … Signed: Hugh Bell. Oktibbeha Co, MS.
May 9th, 1864 — Letter from William W. Goyen to his daughters and wife – Sarah Martha Bell (daughter of Hugh Bell and Martha Watt Bell) – from the field during the Civil War. This letter and the following letter were found on his body after he had been killed on June 10, 1864 at the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads:
CAMP NEAR VERONA, MISSISSIPPI.
“Dear Little Girls” — Your dear Papa has for the first time in his life seated himself for the purpose of writing you. This leaves me in good health and doing well and I hope it may find you in the same enjoyment.
Papa often thinks of his dear little girls and asks the Great God to keep them from harm, and I hope that he will do so. Be good and kind to all, but especially to each other. Love is only to be obtained by giving love in return, and this I enjoin upon you. Love each other and you will have the blessings of your good and kind parents and at the same time secure the blessings of our appreciating God.
Study your books diligently and learn to write soon. Papa would like to have a letter written by you very much indeed, and I know if you mind Cousin Martha that you will soon be able to write yourself, but now you will have to get them or Cousin Doff to write for you as you are just beginning to learn. My Dear Little Girls you must have them write me how you are getting along at school and how fast you are learning and whether you are well satisfied at school or not, also what you are studying.
Let me know when you heard from Ma and how she and John Bell and Eugene were.
My dear Little Girls you must be good to your kind GrandPa and Ma and must not vex them and they will love you and bless you.
I saw your Aunt NANNIE PROVINE and her little boy (Joseph Fipdley Provine) and Kin a few days ago at Coles Creek. They were very well and would like to see you very much. They speak of visiting you this summer.
Love to you and your Grand Pa and Ma, also Cousin Doff; Uncle Frankand Aunt Liz and cousin Martha and others that you wish to, and remember to do good. Goodbye my dear little “Bettie” (Martha Elizabeth) and Anna Mae. Love to all there and remember to do good. This is from your dear Papa —W. W. GOYEN. — P. E. – Write to me soon, Direct your letter to Duff’s Regiment, Verona, Mississippi.”
Letter No 2: dated June 7, 1864 – From William W. Goyen to his wife Sarah Martha Bell Goyen (daughter of Hugh Bell and Martha Watt Bell) from a camp near New Albany – this was the 2nd letter that was found on his body after he was killed at Brice’s Crossroads. Both letters were returned home to his wife, Sarah Martha Bell:
“My Dear Wife: . — In haste I drop you a few lines. This leaves me in good health, and I hope it may find you in the same enjoyment.
We have been on the March two days to meet the enemy. They are at Ripley, and we expect to fight them today or tomorrow if they come on. I do not know how many there is. We have about 1500 in our Brigade. We have had a great deal of rain here. I found all the boys willing and in good spirits. I hope that we will come out all right.
Tell Billy to push ahead. I will write again as soon as we get through the scrap that we are in.
Write to me – Direct it to OXFORD, Duff’s Regiment, Company “K”. Kiss the children for me.
God Bless all of you. — W. W. GOYEN”
1864 October – Letter from Frank A. Ware and Hugh Bell Ware in Starkville, Oktibbeha County, Mississippi to Elizabeth Bell Wisemand and William R. Wiseman in Texas. The letter is to inform of the death of Hugh Bell and of Hugh Bell’s daughter, Mary Bell Miller – who was married to Archibald Miller.
Hugh Bell (Apr 2, 1789 to Sept 13, 1864) – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=43738791
Mary Bell Miller (Oct 3, 1831 to Oct 4, 1864) – Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=67530658
(Letter to Mrs. I. E. Wiseman from her nephew Hugh Bell Ware).
Starkville, Miss. October 1864
My Dear Aunt,
As an opportunity presents itself of sending a letter by hand across the river, I will write you a few lines informing you that we are all well. I have been very sick but I am going about improving rapidly. Sad new to write you I dislike writing, nevertheless it is my duty and must be performed. Grandpa and Aunt Mary Miller have departed from this earth to take their final resting place elsewhere. Grandpa died the 14th September very suddenly. He was taken about dark with an appoplectic fit. He lived about four hours with the fit on him speechless the whole time. Aunt Mary died from the effect of measles on the 4th of this month. She was sensible to the last and died willingly. She left five children the younges nearly two years old. Arch Miller is at home and has been ever since the fall of Vicksburg. He was paroled and has never been exchanged. His children are staying with him at home. He (Mr. Miller) has one of his sisters keeping house for him. You heard I guess befoe this that Mr. Goings was killed the 10th of June in an engagement in the northern part of the state. Aunt Sallie has four children the youngest nearly three years old. She is keeping house and getting on finely. Brother Thomas is in the army in Georgia. We have not heard from him in a month the last we heard he was well and getting on finely. I had a letter from Jimmie Wiseman a few day ago. He was well and getting along pretty well. Mr. Miller is here and sends his respects to you all. Have not heard from South Carolina in some time. As Pa wishes to write a few lines I must quit for him. Write to me soon. Nothing more. Kiss your children for me. I will write again. I would write more bu Mr. Gibson who will take this is in a hurry to leave.
Your most sincerly
H. B. Ware
(Letter to Mr. W. R. Wiseman from F. A. Ware – brother in law).
As Bell has left room for me to write to tell you some about the things left as the will of our old father which I send you a copy in this. I am going to test the validity of the will and think you might authorize me to act for you or someone. I wish to know from you if you want the will contested or not and it will be necessary for you to have some agent here to sign for you. Do not think I wish to be your agent. I mean that it is necessary you should have an authorized agent to act for you here. I have been today trying to compromise and do not know but I will succeed and if so you will need an agent to take charge of your property. Miller and John are in favor of setting the will aside. James is all I have to contend with. Sarah is willing to anything but she has an advisor as you may know. I am determined to put the thing through and I think I will succeed. I maynot. Billy is in the army in Virginia and I can’t hear from him yet will soon. If you conclude to take an interest let me hear as soon as you can from you. I can’t say anymore as I have to meet John in town. I have but few minutes. If the bearer of this, Mr. Gibson does not leave today I will write tonight and give you more of the particulars. As ever your true friend and brother,
F. A. Ware
1864 Nov 7 – Letter from James Oliver Wiseman to his mother, Elizabeth Bell Wiseman (daughter of Hugh Bell and wife of William R. Wiseman – living in Texas).
(Letter from James Oliver Wiseman to Mrs. I. E. Wiseman)
Camp 4th Texas, Nov 7, 1864
Yours of the 25th Sept. was received this morning and my joy can better be imagined than described on paper. I could hardly contain myself. I was sorry to hear of Pa’s affliction and I hope by this time he is better. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news to you. Your Father and sister Mary Miller are both dead. Aunt Mary died on the 4th of Oct. from the effects of the measles. Grandfather was sick only 3 hours. I have not heard his disease or date of his death. His last words were, “I am slipping”. I am truly sorry to be the bearer or rather the writer of such bad news to you, but I fear that you have not heard it through other sources. Uncle James wrote uncle Billie’s family about it, and they wrote to me. Aunt Mary left five little children.
Uncle Billie’s family are all well. Cousin Sally has been going to school for eight months and she now is enjoying vacation for two months. From all accounts she with two others received the first honors. I received a letter this morning from my little South Carolina sweetheart. I received yours at the same time, but my anxiety to hear from home could not be compared to anything and so I devoured the contents of your letter first and came near forgetting the other.
Tell Mr. Erk and Press they had better be at school, for they are losing the golden moments fast. They should by all means be sent to school, for it is all nonsense to think of waiting until the war is over, for I would not be at all surprised if the war did last long enough yet for them to be old enough to be soldiers. I think our people of the South are acting very unwisely in not shcooling the rising generation. I think that it will take four more years of war to bring the northern people to their senses. I think that there is no doubt but that Lincoln will be elected. We will know be the last of the week who will be the next Northern President. This week will be recollected and noted, as our Congress meets and the Yankees choose freedom or despotism and perhapse some large battle will be fought. We are making our fortifications stronger every day, and you may be sure that Richmond can never be taken by assault and I might say it can never be taken while Gen. Lee and his army lives, for I consider Richmond now the strongest place in the South, and if we can not hold it we can’t hold any place. I sometimes think we are treated badly by our authorities. They will not give a man in the Brigade a furlough to go beyond Selma, Alabama. I am willing to stay here until next November and do good soldiering, that is if I live, and after that time I am going to come home, and I do not think the people of Texas can blame me or any one else.
1865 March 4 – Letter from James W. Bell to his sister Elizabeth Bell Wiseman (both children of Hugh Bell).
Starkville, Mississippi – March 4, 1865
Mrs. Elizabeth Wiseman
Jimmy is going home. I will endeavor to drop you a few short lines. As there are so many going to write I will not endeavor to give you any news and as James is here he can tell you all. I was glad to see him and somewhat surprised too.
I have no doubt you have heard how father made his will. He left everything to John, Mary, Sarah, and myself. I don’t suppose any of his children or anyone else knew he had such a will. We have all agreed to make an equal division at mother’s death but some of them are not willing for that.
I think som of them have acted queer in the eyes of the world. They are all mad at poor old mother who had nothing to do with it and must grieve because it was so.
I will tell you how the Ware family has acted. They have sworn they would never eat a mouthful in the house and Peggy not much better. You know it grieves mother. They scarecely ever put a foot in the house but we are getting along very well without them. I don’t think I could treat my own dear mother the way they have treated her. She went to Wares a few times after father’s death and they would hardly countenance her.
I know they will give you an account of it all. I will leave for you to say if that is Christian like and to treat one so that was innocent an has done so much for them but eaten bread is soon forgotten. As for my part I am willing to divide if they don’t take it to law but if they take it there I will hold it if I can but I don’t want any more than my share. I don’t reckon some of them would have anything that was on the place and I don’t think they deserve anything after the way they have acted. They wanted a division this spring but they couldn’t get that.
As some of them have been praying for father’s death I reckon they will pray for mother’s now. They would turn her out of doors if they could. I have been attending to the place ever since the war. I don’t expect after the war is over there will be much to fuss over. If they free the negroes there will not be much left as the land is John’s. Enough of that subject. This leaves us all well and plenty to eat but don’t know how long it will be the case for we have nothing to call our own and never will again.
Elizabeth’s health is much better than it has been for many years. I have been four trips to the war but ninety days is the longest time I have ever been out bu I don’t it will have to be before I will have to go. E. joins in love to all the family. I hope we may meet in this world and if not I hope we will meet in heaven is my prayer.
I remain your affectionate brother.
James W. Bell
1867 Sept 2 – J W Bell filed his – September Term of Probate Court of Oktibbeha County, Mississippi
Annual account of J W Bell, executor of the last will and testament of Hugh Bell, decd.
Balance filed Sept 5, 1866: $2467.35
1866- …amt pd Jos Bardwell, guardiand and C. as per voucher $109.50
1866 Oct 8 … pd F A Ware administrator $154.70
1866 Dec 9 … pd Hamilton, Young & Bush $98.18
1867 May 29 … pd R W Bond for monument $105.00
1867 July 22 … pd W L Rives judgement in part $400.00
Total Pd: $866.38.
New Balance: $1600.97
Recorded Jan 17, 1868 in Book Inventories No 1, p 723.
The 1870 US Census in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi shows 78 year old Martha Bell as head of household. Hugh Bell has died back in 1864. Living at the household is John T. Bell and Sarah Goyen with Sarah’s children – 15 year old Lizzie (Elizabeth), 14 year old Anna, 11 year old John, and 8 year old William. Also at the house are 37 year old Henry Johnston, and 40 year old James Abercrombie.
The 1870 US Census above lines up with the letters above, Martha Watt Bell is head of household as Hugh Bell has died in 1864. William W. Goyen died at the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads June 10, 1864 and his wife, the daughter of Hugh and Martha Bell – Sarah Martha Bell Goyen – has moved back into her parent’s home along with her children.
James W. Bell’s letter in 1865 says that “John” received all the land in Hugh Bell’s will – and there is 40 year old John T. Bell living at the home of his mother Martha Watt Bell. John T. Bell is listed as a farmer – so obviously he is tending Hugh Bell’s old land that he has inherited.
The South lost the war, so just as James W. Bell predicted in his 1865 letter, the slaves have been freed, and so Hugh Bell’s other children have lost much of the value of their inheritance.
The following year, Dec 29, 1871, Martha Watt Bell dies. Find a Grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=43738875
(Note: The Find a Grave site for Martha Watt Bell mistakenly has her maiden name as Montgomery. William Watt’s 1851 will confirms Hugh Bell married William Watt’s daughter Martha Watt. Additionally, the 1852 letter from Susanna Bell to Elizabeth Bell Wiseman confirms that Hugh Bell’s children have “aunts and uncles” that are in the Watt family. Susanna Bell never marries and never has children, so her only aunts and uncles could be from her own parents. We know Hugh Bell’s parents are father Bell and mother Montgomery – no Watts there. These are not paternal aunts and uncles. This verifies that these are Martha Bell’s siblings, and so her maiden name is Watt – daughter of William Watt – as stated in William Watt’s 1851 will. I have provided information to Find a Grave and hopefully they will correct the entry).
I want to give a special thanks to Nan Hoos – who provided me with the letters found on William W. Goyen’s body and photographs of Martha Elizabeth Goyen, and John Bell Goyen’s families (children of Sarah Martha Bell, and grandchildren of Hugh Bell) that I have used with the Bell and Goyen families that lived in Mississippi and then to Texas. Nan Hoos’ grandmother was Martha Elizabeth Goyen – daughter of Sarah Martha Bell Goyen and William W. Goyen.
Sarah Martha Bell Goyen saved these letters. Her daughter, Martha Elizabeth Goyen, saved the letters. Martha Elizabeth Goyen’s granddaughters (Nan Hoos, Geneva Ashby Jones, and Mrs. Elmer Adams – Rosine Lanora Martin), all did significant work in ancestry research and maintaining copies and/or transcripts of these letters. Nan Hoos has corresponded with and provided the information directly to me in my research.
Nan Hoos, Geneva Ashby Jones and Rosine Lanora Martin (Mrs. Elmer Adams) all provided copies of their information and letters to author William Goyen – who saved the ancestry information. Their information was found in a collection of William Goyen’s literary work and personal letters, etc. The ancestry information was ordered and provided by the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center. If you wish to order a copy of the complete ancestry files, you can order them through the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin, William Goyen, 1915-1983, Papers, ca. 1923-1984, 54 Boxes, Box 43 – Folder 10 and Box 48 – Folder 4 – (those are the folders in particular that contain the ancestry information).
1873 Oct 5 – letter to William R. Wiseman, from his son S. P. Wiseman while away at college.