BELL, T. L. or T.R.
(4 Apr 1913, The Carter Express, Carter, Beckham Co, OK):
Sunday night about 9:30 the home of T. L. Bell, five miles Southwest of
Willow, was burned down while he was in the building.
Mrs. Bell and her three children were not cremated in the house as was
first supposed. Bell had been on a drunken spree, so Mrs. Bell says, for
two days before the fire, that he came to the farm house Sunday afternoon
in an intoxicated condition, with a knife and threatened to kill her and
the children. Fearing he would carry out his threats Mrs. Bell and the
children hastened to Denny's home where they spent the night, and say they
did not know anything about the fire till the next morning.
An investigation of the ruins of the Bell home reveals the fact that the
house was set on fire and coal oil was used. It is evident Mr. Bell
himself started the fire. By the side of the charred body, identified as
that of Mr. Bell, a razor blade was found but the jury conducting the
investigation was unable to determine whether Bell had fired the house,
then cut his throat with the razor, or whether he had met with foul play
and the home burned to hide the crime. The body was found in the
northeast corner of the middle room, and the house was fired from the
south side. The jury was unable to determine whether the man had been
murdered or committed suicide, because the body was so burned there was
little left save the charred bones.
The fire started just about an hour after Mrs. Bell and the children had
left their home for that of her son-in-law. They had not taken any of
their belongings and Monday morning Mrs. Bell made the statement that the
sum of $170 in currency had been left in the house and it probably was
burned along with the other good and household effects.
That Mr. Bell was temporarily insane from drink is the statement his wife
makes, and adds that she fully expects he would carry out his threats.
(Research: Oklahoma, Greer county Death Records: 1912-1918: Book 1, page 35:
Bell, T. R., white male married, age 47. Informant: Mrs. T. R. Bell,
Bloomington, Okla. Death: 3 Mar 1913. saw him alive 15 Mar 1913, cause:
burned in fire of unknown origin. S. J. Purdy, J. P., Mar 31, 1913. Usual
residence: Bloomington, Ok. Burial: Jester, Okla., 5 Apr 1913. Undertaker:
John W. Little, Mangum.)
Plainview (Greer County)
Created by: Oklahoma Grave Walker
Record added: Mar 16, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 66996931