Montgomery Bell was a liberated slave from Missouri. After living in Santa Fe and the Pecos valley, he borrowed money at 18% to open a grocery store on the Las Vegas Plaza in 1884, and temporarily moved in with Margarito and Irenea Romero. He succeeded with his store and investments in real estate and livestock, earning him the reputation as the wealthiest African-American in the Southwest. The Bell's were also well known for their pet parrot.
Montgomery was the son of Elijah Bell and Martha (maiden name unknown.) Martha's obituary says that she was born in December 11, 1826 in Clarksville Tennessee, in one of the census she says her father was from France and her mother was from Tennesee. Elijah was born in Kentucky and one census says that his father was from Ireland and mother from Kentucky. After the family was freed they were in Atchison, Kansas. You can find Montgomery there with the family. If you search also search PELL and Bell. There were 12 children born to Elijah and Martha, but in Martha's obituary it names Montgomery (Las Vegas, NM) Mary Jane (found as Rose and also as Rose Ramey in other census) Harris (St Joseph, MO) JW (Joseph) Bell (Kansas City, KS) Alice Reeves (Emporia, Kansas) Not listed but known to be alive in 1914 was Arneda McFry (marriage 1) Johnson (marriage 2). She had one child Montgomery Mcfry named for his uncle.
Thanks to Cathy Gordon for the information.
See picture caption for more.
Elijah Bell (1823 - 1881)
Martha Bell (1826 - 1914)
Annie Bell (1852 - 1910)
International Fellowship of Odd Fellows Cemetery
San Miguel County
New Mexico, USA
Created by: DChester
Record added: Nov 10, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22809783
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