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Sarah Jane "Jennie" Steagald Bell
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Birth: Dec. 16, 1869
Death: May 26, 1959

Sarah Jennie was raised on a plantation and all her siblings had nannies. She was definitely a southern bell - lived a privileged life of the Antebellum South. She did not know how to do any domestic work when she married - she was schooled well and learned fine embroidery and lace making

She always dressed nicely in a freshly washed and ironed cotton print dress.  Jennie came west from Texas to New Mexico in a covered wagon with her children and husband, Billy Bell (William Kyle  Bell).  She had 12 children.  She and Billy must have had trouble, because a Chinese Laundry man gave Jenny a wagon to get out town and escape Billy. She left Willie Sarah behind because she had a job and was old enough to stay. So Jenny took the other 9 children to escape. My Grandmother Edna (Jennie's daughter) said Billy "lived by the gun."  He worked as a ranch hand on the Bell Ranch, quite a large ranch in New Mexico.  Even though the name was the same as his, I gather he owned none of it.  Billy was a handsome man with black hair, olive skin and blue, blue eyes.  Grandmother said Billy would practice target shooting outside, and Jennie and the children would be praying on their knees inside. It is said that he had a problem with alcohol.

Jennie lived in Electra, Texas until many years later, when she came back to New Mexico.  Billy went from ranch to ranch as he got older, doing odd jobs and living with the people for a while, and then would move on.  He ended up living in a hotel, sitting out in a rocker on the sidewalk, watching people go by.  At the very end, he lived in a nursing home and is buried in a cemetery in a tiny little town in northeast NM.  Some of the descendants put a stone there with a cowboy hat and boots and a rope going all around the stone.  Very appropriate.  It is believed he and Jennie lived about 35 miles apart the last few years, each never knowing about the other.

1870 Census states that Sarah was 5/12 . The 1880 Census states that she was 9 years old. Her death certificate says that she was actually
born on the 16th of Dec 1869 instead of the 15th.

~Found in Sarah Jennie's autograph book:
"Oh Jannie My Child
your mom once was my Bride
and In the bloom of youth She Stood by my Side
To day She lay molden In the toom wher I will be shortly go to her my doom.
Oh Jannie your as dear to my hart
I hop we all will meet again never to Part.
Your father. March 8th 1885
J.J. Steagald"

This was written when Sarah Jennie was 15, 6 months before she married Billy Bell. 
Family links: 
  John Jacob Steagald (1816 - 1907)
  Elizabeth Emily Steagald Walters (1843 - 1911)*
  Absolom Albert Steagald (1845 - 1912)*
  Martha Jane Steagald Rogers (1850 - 1921)*
  John Alexander Stegall (1860 - 1918)*
  Sarah Jane Steagald Bell (1869 - 1959)
  Minnie Irene Steagald Harris (1874 - 1953)*
*Calculated relationship
House Cemetery
Quay County
New Mexico, USA
Maintained by: Lori Ellsworth Robbins
Originally Created by: Wendy Green-Swaim
Record added: May 27, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19556972
Sarah Jane Jennie <i>Steagald</i> Bell
Added by: K D Higgins
Sarah Jane Jennie <i>Steagald</i> Bell
Added by: Wendy Green-Swaim
Sarah Jane Jennie <i>Steagald</i> Bell
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Wendy Green-Swaim
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Jeannie
 Added: Oct. 13, 2012

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