JOHN A. BELL, farmer and lumberman, sec. 6, Deerfield Tp., was born March 3, 1826, in Canada. He is a son of James and Amelia B. Bell. His father ws born in England and came to Canada in 1814, where he married and passed his remaining years. Mr. Bell's mother was a native of New Jersey.
Mr. Bell remained under the paternal roof until the age of 23, engaged on the farm and fitting for future usefulness. After managing his father's farm for two years, he purchased 200 acres of land with limited improvements, on which was a saw-mill. He carried on the farm and engaged in lumbering, and operated in this two-fold method five years, when he sold out and bought another farm of 100 acres, which he occupied four years, and again sold out. In the fall of 1861, he came to Michigan, and was engaged in lumbering in Mecosta County about nine years, when he bought 280 acres of land, chiefly unimproved, with the most primeval type of buildings. They have passed to the oblivion of destruction and decay, and have been replaced by others which rank with the finest in the country. An additional purchase of 160 acres adjoining his estate has increased his landed possessions to 440 acres, 340 of which are under a good state of cultivation. Mr. Bell is a Republican of no uncertain type, and though often urged to permit the use of his name in the interests of his township, has always declined.
He was married in Canada, Nov. 6, 1850, to Margaret Johnson, a native of Canada. Four of six children from this union are living: Am. A., born June 30, 1852; James P., June 14, 1855; Theodore A., Dec. 14, 1858; and Emily A., Aug. 29, 1861. Mary L., born April 24, 1857, was married Jan. 23, a878 to Arthur Allen of Meocta County, and died Aug. 9, 1883. One child died in infancy. Mrs. Margaret Bell, the mother, died Feb. 22, 1866, at her home in Mecosta County. Mr. Bell again contracted marriage in Canada, Oct. 30, 1866, with Sarah, daughter of Angus and Sarah (McDougall) McCollum. Her parents were natives of Scotland who emigrated to Canada at an early period of their lives. Her father is yet living in Canada, where her mother died about 1873. Three of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Bell are living, - Sarah A., born Jan. 8, 1878; Clinton R., born Jan. 23, 1876 and Edith C., born Nov. 22, 1879. John A. was born Jan. 23, 1873, and died May 11, 1876.
The family are communicants of the Episcopal Church, and are esteemed and worthy members of society, and lend every effort to elevate its standard.