Ohio Biographies

John Marion Bell

The Democratic candidate for Prosecuting Attorney was born in Franklin Township, Richland County, June 30th., 1857, where his parents still reside, is of German extraction and having been raised upon a farm still possesses many of the frugal and industrious traits of his ancestors. When a young man he attended the North Western Ohio Normal College, at Ada, Ohio, for several terms; receiving a moderate but well learned education by teaching school in this county during the winter season and attending College during the summer and fall for a number of years. In 1879 he commenced the study of law under the tuition of Thos. Y. McCray, of Mansfield, and in June, 1881, at Columbus, Ohio, was admitted to the practice of law in the several courts of this State, and by diligent study and close application he has identified himself with the Richland County bar, as well as the politics of his native county, as one of the rising young attorneys, striving for an honorable place in the profession. He is an ardent and enthusiastic Democrat, and at the recent nominations on the 2d. of May was complimented by the Democrats of this county with the nomination for prosecuting attorney over a worthy and estimable competitor by a majority of eight hundred votes, which well vouchsafes for the esteem in which he is held by those who well know him.


From MANSFIELD HERALD: 02 July 1885, Vol. 35, No. 33



On Tuesday morning County Treasurer Lersch will turn over the cash in the vault and the books of the Treasurer's office to J.M. Bell, who was elected Treasurer last November. The new County Treasurer is well known to the people of Richland County. Sixty-two years ago Andrew Bell and wife came from Pennsylvania and settled on a farm two miles east of the city. On February 5, 1837, a son came to bless them. He was christened John Marion Bell. This son for several years to come will be the custodian of the money of the taxpayers of Richland County. Treasurer Bell, being of Pennsylvania Dutch descent, was taught to "hoe his own row" quite early in life. Indeed, when he was fifteen years of age, an accident resulted in the death of his father, and he was compelled to assist his mother in supporting the family. He found time, however, to attend the district schools, and graduated from the latter while Prof. Bentley Smith was superintendent. In 1858 Mr. Bell was married to Miss Elizabeth Wallace, daughter of Washington Wallace. To them eight children have been born, seven of whom are living. They are: Mrs. A.B. Shull, of Philadelphia; Mrs. S.H. Croft, of Canton; Andrew Wallace, Misses Dora, Anna, Mary and Master John, of this city. The first twenty-seven years of Mr. Bell's life was spent in farming during the summers and teaching district schools during the winters. He then engaged in active business and for eighteen years was collector and general agent on the road for various manufacturing concerns, during which time he was appointed assignee and receiver of a manufacturing concern in Fremont and was required to give a bond in the sum of $150,000. He conducted the business for two years and finally closed up the affairs of the concern to the entire satisfaction of every stockholder and creditor. For many years Mr. Bell was engaged in the coal and mercantile business in this city, but about a year ago, after having received the Democratic nomination for county treasurer, he sold out and retired. During his long and successful business career Mr. Bell gained the confidence and respect of everybody with whom he came in contact, and that the people believe he is a man of great integrity was shown by the result of the ballots cast at the November election. Although Mr. Bell has always been an unswerving Democrat and has stood by the colors when desertions were frequent, and many were lukewarm in the cause of the people, he will make an excellent officer, irrespective of party. For the present Treasurer Bell will retain Deputy Treasurer Cook in his employ.


Richland Shield & Banner: 08 September 1894, Vol. LXXVII, No. 17