James Ellis Bell, long-time superintendent of Ellwood City Area School District before retiring 25 years ago, died at 9:40 a.m. today, April 7, 1987, in Ellwood City Hospital. Mr. Bell, who was 88 years old, resided at 216 Johnston Drive with his wife, the former Mary Elizabeth Braham. He came to Ellwood City as high school principal in 1929, a year after receiving his master's degree from Columbia University. In 1934 he was named principal at Clairton High School and in 1938 he returned to Ellwood City as superintendent of schools, a post he held until retiring in 1962. As local school superintendent he succeeded Vaughan DeLong. At that time his salary was $3,800. He also served a brief time as football coach. After retiring from the local superintendent's post, Mr. Bell served as assistant business manager at Geneva College for six years. Mr. Bell, who was actively involved in many community events, was the first recipient of the Jaycees's Distinguished Service Award as outstanding senior citizen. The award was presented Feb. 2, 1959, at the Sons of Italy hall. At that time it was mentioned that Mr. Bell was a past president and past lieutenant governor of Kiwanis, had been an elder and clerk of Session at Christ Presbyterian Church (now Christ Presbyterian Church) and was active as a member of the library board, Lawrence County Tuberculosis board and training board for boy scouts. He was also a mason and a member of the Westminster Alumni Council. He had served as president of both the Beaver Valley Superintendents Assn. and the Midwestern School Superintendents Assn. Mr. Bell was mentioned in today's A Look Back column as it was 25 years ago that he was given an honorary life membership in the Lincoln High School choral department. He was born November 24, 1898, just south of New Wilmington, and was one of seven children of James Hugh and Ella Junkin Bell. Mr. Bell graduated from New Wilmington High School in 1917, served in the army in 1918 and graduated from Westminister College in 1922. His first teaching job was in New Wilmington where he was also assistant basketball coach. From there he went to Sandy Lake where he was a teacher, coached the football, track and boys' and girls' basketball teams and was principal. His survivors include his widow; two sons, Bruce in the state on Washington and Eric in Scotland; a daughter, Jane Arnott of the Milwaukee, Wis., area; and a sister. Mrs. W. Boyd (Alice) Barrett of Churchill Plan. Other obituary information and funeral arrangement will be announced tomorrow by the Harold J. Marced Funeral Home, 200 Fountain Avenue.
Bell, 94 former teacher,
active in church, groups
A former French teacher who was involved in many activities in Ellwood City, Mrs. Mary Braham Bell, 94, of Sheboygan, Wis., died Wednesday, January 24, 2001, in Sheboygan. She was born in 1906 in Volant [Pennsylvania], the sixth of seven children of Robert Renwick and Olive Wilkin Braham and was married some 55 years to J. Ellis Bell who died in 1987. The Braham family moved to New Wilmington where Mrs. Bell graduated from high school and attended Westminster College. She received a bachelor of arts degree in French and later a master of arts degree from the teachers college at Columbia University. In 1927 she became a French teacher at Ellwood City high school and in 1932 she married Mr. Bell, then principal of the high school. He had been her physics teacher at New Wilmington High School. After living in Clairton for four years, the Bells returned to Ellwood City where he served as superintendent of schools for 30 years. In the 1950s Mrs. Bell designed a program for teaching French on the elementary level. She volunteered her services to teach French to Ellwood City elementary children. In the 1960s she taught French in the Beaver Falls school system. Mrs. Bell was one of the founders of Ellwood City Hospital Auxiliary and was active in First (now Christ) Presbyterian Church where she served as elder and deacon. While in Ellwood she also was involved in the Order of Eastern Star, Business and Professional Women's Club, Girl Scouts and Meals on Wheels. She also directed numerous plays for Ellwood City Rotary Club. In 1989 she moved to a retirement home in New Wilmington and then to Sheboygan. Mrs. Bell is survived by a daughter, Jane Bell Arnott of Sheboygan; two sons, Dr. J. Bruce Bell of Vancouver, Wash., and Dr. Eric Braham Bell of Manchester, England; six grandsons; and three granddaughters. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions in Mrs. Bell's name may be made to Christ Presbyterian Church, 325 Spring Ave.
The William Bell Family Tree is a collection of information gathered by
Eric & Liz Davis,
Mary Eleanor Bell,
and Alice Erma Bell.
This HTML version was iniated in 1998 by Eric and Elizabeth Fisher-Davis.
Tree outline of Bell Generations