This column is part of a feature series which focuses on a different Centre County family each week. Five new columns will be released each month unless some technical difficulty enters the picture.
This column's focus is on Bell. An effort has been made to identify all persons carrying that name in the 1890 U.S. Census, using the Centre County business directory which was formed from a preliminary review of that census before the larger set of 1890 U.S. Census records was destroyed by fire. (Sadly, the postal directory does not typically provide the ages of females, but it's the best record we've got).
Two books in the Pennsylvania Room of the Centre County Library in Bellefonte apparently deal with the Bell family. They are: Raymond Martin Bell's Founders of the Bell Family: a Record of Pioneer Settlers in Mifflin County, Pennsylvania (Carlisle, Pa., 1930), and Raymond Martin Bell's William Bell (died 1783) of Paxton, Pennsylvania, and His Descendants (Ann Arbor, Mich.: Univ. Microfilm Intl., 1978).
There are 18 different first-name entries for Bell in John Blair Linn's History of Centre and Clinton County (1883). However, there are no separate profiles of persons with the name in Beers' Commemorative Biographical Record of Central Pennsylvania (1898).
And, now, your ancestors' BELL neighbors in 1890:
In BELLEFONTE Borough:
Charles C., 36, bricklayer--29 S. Thomas Kate M. Maggie E. John R. 12 Henry H. 10 Andrew I. 8 Calvin E. 5 Samuel A., 55, bricklayer--17 E. Howard Precilla W. Thomas C., 28, stonemason--245 West High Annie L.
In BENNER Township:John, 15, laborer--Fillmore Julia L.--Fillmore Annie L. Mary E.
In COLLEGE Township:William W., 57, mason--State College Eveline J. Annie M. John R. 21 William 19 Eva B. Bessie E. Lyda P.
In FERGUSON Township:James N., 44, farmer--Rock Springs Sadie C. George M. 13 Margaret--Rock Springs Amanda
In HARRIS Towsnhip:Samuel M., 35, agent--Boalsburg Ruth
In RUSH Township:Thomas, 28, laborer--Philipsburg Elizabeth E. Thomas Jr. 3 Sarah E. Florence W.
In SPRING Township:William C., 49, carpenter--Pleasant Gap Nancy M. Ida C. Kate A. Burton P. 14 Mary