Correspondence to John A. Bell

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Correspondence to John A. Bell

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  • 1840-1899 (Creation)
    Bell, Hugh

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1 cm of textual records

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Biographical history

Hugh Bell was born in County Fermanagh, Ireland, in 1780, the son of Samuel and Ann (Cross) Bell. He was brought to Nova Scotia by his parents about 1782. After the death of his father, his mother kept a boarding house on Water Street, Halifax. Between 1801 and 1804 Bell taught at a school at Point de Bute, New Brunswick. He returned to Halifax in 1804 and worked as a bookkeeper for Lydiard and Nock, Brewers and Tallow Chandlers. On 5 December 1808 Bell married Elizabeth Lain. They had two sons and one daughter. Soon after the war of 1812, Bell purchased property on Marchington Lane (later Bell's Lane) and carried on the brewing, soap and candle business. Elizabeth Bell died in May 1814. Bell married Nancy Allison (1790-1866) on 14 June 1815, and they had four sons and five daughters. Bell was an active member of the Methodist church in Halifax and acted as a local preacher. In 1838 Bell moved to a new home which was given the name “Bloomfield.” In 1835 Bell was elected to a seat in the provincial legislature representing the Township of Halifax, where he served four years. In 1840 Bell was appointed to the Board of Governors of Dalhousie College, and served until 1858. In 1841 he was elevated to the Legislative Council. That same year Halifax was incorporated as a city and Bell became an alderman on the City Council. In 1844 he was appointed Mayor of Halifax. Around 1848 the Bell Brewery was completely destroyed by fire. In 1848 Bell was appointed to Executive Council and served until 1854. During this period he was Financial Secretary and later Chairman of the Board of Works. As Chairman he was superintendent of the Mental Asylum in Dartmouth. Bell also served as Commissioner of the Poor's Asylum, trustee of the Acadian School, and a judge of the Probate Court. He worked closely in the mid-1850s with American reformer Dorothea Dix. This collaboration led to the founding of the Nova Scotia Hospital. Bell died 16 May 1860.

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Biographical history

Francis Hugh Bell was born 6 August 1855 at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he later became a barrister. He married M. Leila Steede (1862-1933) of Hamilton, Bermuda. They had at least two children, a daughter Barbara and a son, Hugh. Bell was a member of the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron and closely involved with the Marblehead to Halifax races. Frank H. Bell died in 1940.

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Series forms part of John A. Bell fonds and consists of personal letters to John from his father, Hon. Hugh Bell; letters from the office of the City Auditor signed by Bell.

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