This name is not unknown to the people of Madison County, as he who bears it was born in Fairfield Township April 31, 1831. Allhough receiving only a common-school education, his natural mental ability caused him to advance in whatever field of labor he entered. He has held the office of Trustee of his township for three or four terms, was Assessor two terms. Clerk for one year, and was elected Justice of the Peace but refused to qualify. He has represented the Democratic party as delegate to various conventions and has always been closely identified with the progress of the county.

Our subject is at present engaged in farming and stock-raising in Oak Run Township, and is the son of James D. and Elizabeth (Dewey) Bell. The father was a native of Virginia, having been born near Richmond, and was brought to this State by his father, William Bell, who located in Ross County, where he resided for ten or twelve years and then made his home in Madison County, in what is now Oak Run Township. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and while residing in Ross County was married to Miss Dewey, who was born near Carlisle, Pa., and accompanied her parents on their removal to the Buckeye State when a child. The elder Mr. Bell was a farmer, and, like his father before him, voted the Democratic ticket. He was born October 6, 1802, while the mother of our subject was born June 15, 1804. He was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and was active in all the workings of that body.

Joseph Bell, of this sketch, was the third in order of birth in a family of seven children. His eldest brother, William, is residing in Marshall County, Kan.;  Jane A. married George Clouser and makes her home in Greenfield, this State; Benjamin is a contractor and builder of Columbus; Ann J. became Mrs. Leven Trout and lives in Sullivan County, Ind.; George resides at Sabina, this State, and while serving in the Union army lost one leg; James is residing in Allendale, this State. The parents of these children died in 1843, the father passing away January 1, and the mother two months later.

Our subject was eleven years old at the time of the the death of his parents and was then taken into the home of an uncle with whom he remained for five years, and then began to work for himself. When reaching his majority, he was the possessor of a horse and $100 in money. September 23, 1852, he was married to Miss Elizabeth Amos, who was born in London, January 18, 1833, to Robert C. and Mary (Wilson) Amos. The young couple resided for a year with the parents of Mrs. Bell, when our subject erected a log cabin, in which they resided for a time, and then, returning to the home of Mr. Amos, our subject worked his farm in partnership for three years. At the end of that time, he again located on his own property and there resided until the death of Mr. Amos, when they took up their abode on their present farm. Margaret, Mrs. Bell's only sister, married our subject's brother William and resides in Kansas. Mr. Amos was born in Maryland September 22, 1801, and died July 12, 1859, while Mrs. Amos, who was born in Virginia, July 28, 1810, departed this life September 19, 1844. The present farm of our subject, which includes two hundred and thirty-five acres, was inherited by his wife from her father.

The following-named eight children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Bell: Wesley H., who died October 2, 1860; Mary E., who became the wife of R. N. Mowry, departed this life October 4, 1885, leaving one son, Joseph B., who was born September 12, 1885, and now resides with our subject; Emma J., who died March 22, 1866; Eva Ann, who married A. L. Fitzgerald, has one son, Freddie; Minnie F., who is the next in order of birth, is now Mrs. W. E. Talor; Sallie M. departed this life May 2, 1876; James F., who is successfully engaged as a school teacher, and Lee Amos, who is at home with his parents.