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Transcription of

Bell Cemetery

Smith County, Kansas

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by Richard Cochran, grandson of John David and Nancy Jane Bell Niles Carter
(notes by Dorothy Lee Cochran Chase, granddaughter of 
John David and Nancy Jane Bell Niles Carter)

Transcribed by J. Lynn Chase
27 March 1999

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First rows counting west to east. GARVER: 5 marked stones and 3 unmarked stones.
*Note: As a child, Mrs. Chase remembers that there was a wreck south of Smith Center and 
everyone in the car was killed. The name of the deceased family was Garver, but it is uncertain 
that the people buried in Bell Cemetery are the people killed in this accident.

Second row: McGilurey, 4 stones

This is the fence row on south side: a temporary marker indicating Mary C. 
BELL ABBOTT, died 1953. (She is actually buried in the 4th row by her 
husband, John Wilson BELL.

North of third row: 4 stones North to South; #1. Son of J. D. (John David) & 
N. J. (Nancy Jane BELL) CARTER, b. 11Feb1894, d. 29Mar1900.
*Note: Family tradition holds that this is William (Willy) Carter of whom Mrs. Chase's daughter has a 
portrait framed in funereal art which usually indicates that the infant died. It has a depiction of the angel 
of death and an epitaph inscribed on a black background. #2. John David CARTER b. 
12Apr1864, d. 01Jun1940. #3. Nancy Jane BELL NILES CARTER, wife of 
John David, b. 31May1863, d. Feb, 1897. #4. Infant son of John David and 
Nancy Jane CARTER who was b. 06Feb1891 and d. 22Feb1891.

South of 3rd row - Large stone in the center is marked Nathaniel BELL, b. 
29Jun1820, d. 02Feb1894. Mary A. WILSON BELL, b. 1823, d. 20Feb1914. 
There are two unmarked marble stones on each side (unknown).
*Note: Nathaniel was the brother of John Wilson Bell listed in the Fourth Row.

Fourth row: Large stone, John W. (Wilson) BELL, b. 13May1848, d. 
20Feb1914. Mary C. Bell, b. 20Feb1857, d. 21Jun1953. Two markers on left: 
Rosa A. (Anna), b. 11Jan1873, d. 11Oct1882; Mary Louisa, b. 22Aug1876, d. 
9Oct1882. They were daughters of J. W. and M. C. BELL.
*Note: Mary C. was called Aunt Molly. Her head shook all the time. She is the mother of Roy Bell and 
her maiden name was Sells. She later married George Abbott and always lived with Charlie & Myrtle 

Fifth row: Mary A. (Ann EPPERSON) Bell b. 16Jan1854, d. 11Mar1949 and 
Isaac BELL, b. 14Feb1852, d. 01Apr1876.
*Note: They had three children. One daughter was married to a McElfresh (?); their daughter, Bertha, 
married a House and the other daughter was married to Herman Coe.

Near the center of the yard, 3rd. row: Mother, Percia A. HOMAN 1854-1896.

Far north side, 3rd row: Eddie F., Son of J. W. & M. L. LANIER, d. 31Jul1880 at 
age 1 year, 8 months and 6 days.
Note: There are more Laniers who were cousins of Dorothy Cochran Chase's father, Caleb Leroy 
Cochran, who are buried in the old cemetery above Harlan, KS.

Fourth row: 2 stones: Nancy H. wife of Fred W. BRUNNING d. 30Oct1886, 
aged 51 years, 4 months, 1 day; Fred W. BRUNNING d. 9Jan1887, aged 61 
years, 11 months, 23 days.

*Note: The story of the Bell Cemetery is that the Bell Family marked off a corner of their farm for a 
cemetery. Any relative could be buried there. Also, anyone in the community that could not afford a plot 
or funeral could use it. The land belonged to Roy and Mary Bell. They, however, are buried in Fairview 
Cemetery, Smith Center, KS. It is assumed that Roy and Mary thought that after they were gone the 
cemetery would be abandoned. Roy did want his daughter Katharine Bell Heide and her cousin, Dorothy 
Lee Cochran Chase to assume the care for the cemetery. However, due to the ill health of these women, it 
wasn't possible for them to do so. Roy's son, Roy Dean Bell, has assumed the care of the cemetery and 
may now receive a stipend from Smith County for the care and upkeep of the cemetery.

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Last update: Sunday, November 11, 2001 15:58:34

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