BENJAMIN F. BELL has passed practically all of his long and useful life in Pine township, Armstrong county, where he was born May 8, 1837, son of George W. Bell. His grandfather was Scotch-Irish, and his grandmother was an Italian.

George W. Bell, father of Benjamin F. Bell, was born May 4, 1811, in Kittanning, Armstrong county, Pa., and passed his life in Armstrong and Jefferson counties. He had a farm in Pine township, Armstrong county. His wife, Elizabeth (Starr), was born in Pine township, in 1816, and died Jan. 30, 1897, she was a Baptist in religious faith. Mr. Bell died in December, 1886. He had served in the Civil war, having enlisted in the army in 1862, in the 2d Pennsylvania Cavalry; during his service he contracted rheumatism, and was discharged for disability. Mr. And Mrs. Bell had a large family, namely: Ann married John Murphy, Esq., of Knox, Pa.; William, who served during the Civil war in Company B, 78th Pennsylvania Regiment, being in the army for four years, is now living in the Soldiers� home at Dayton, Ohio; Benjamin F., is mentioned below; Jacob was in the 62d Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war, serving two years, was wounded and discharged for disability, and now lives at Sharpsburg, Pa; James, deceased, was in the 8th Pennsylvania Reserves during the Civil war, serving three years; Jane, deceased, was the wife of John Brenen; Mary is the wife of Daniel Breck, a lumberman, and lives at Tacoma, Wash.; Samuel is a merchant in Washington county, Pa.; Sarah, Mrs. Shunk, lives at East Hickory, Pa.; Esther, twin of Sarah, is deceased; George W. is deceased; Margaret married John Sharer, a blacksmith of Templeton, Pa.; John is decease; Priscilla married Joseph Church, of East Hickory, Pennsylvania.

Benjamin F. Bell was obliged to begin hard work when a mere boy, so that his opportunities for obtaining an education were limited. He worked part of the time at home and the rest for others until his marriage, and a few years later, on Aug. 8, 1862, entered the Union service, enlisted in Company K, 155th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. He was sent to Pittsburgh and on to the South, and took part in the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, as well as other engagements. Being taken sick with malarial fever, he was discharged on account of disability Jan. 3, 1863, and returned home; he has never fully recovered from the effects of this illness, which has caused the almost total loss of his hearing.

Since the war Mr. Bell has been variously employed, as pilot on the river, as foreman in the ore mines, and in farming to some extent. He has prospered, and owns several dwellings in the village of Templeton, as well as ten acres in Pine township. He has been an active and public-spirited citizen, giving faithful service in the local offices of trust to which he has been elected, having been constable, overseer of the poor and road supervisor of his township. Mr. Bell is very well preserved for a man of his years, and he ascribes this to his temperate habits, as he does not use tobacco in any form and is a strict teetotaler. On political questions he is a stanch Republican. He formerly held membership in James O�Donnell Post, No. 281, G. A. R., later transferring to John F. Croll Post, Kittanning.

On Dec. 13, 1858, Mr. Bell married Priscilla Wise, and the two children born to this marriage, Mary and James, are both deceased. On Dec. 13, 1893, Mr. Bell married (second) Katherine Nolf, of Putneyville, Pa., daughter of Joseph and Jane (Milliron) Nolf, of Armstrong county, and the only survivor of their children; Mr. Nolf, who was a carpenter by trade, died June 9, 1875, and his widow now lives in Templeton with Mrs. Bell. Nine children have been born to Mr. And Mrs. Bell, namely: James, who married May Yohe and lives in Armstrong county; Helen; Mabel; Laura; Doratha; Thomas; Edna; Nettie, and Benjamin Franklin, Jr.

Source: Pages 875-876, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J. H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed April 2002 by James R. Hindman for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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