As a young man, John met Laura Frances Askew of the Maysville-White Oak area. They were married by Job Smith on December 8,1878. Laura was born in July of 1856 to Nancy Bynum and Amos Askew. Amos Askew was killed by a tree limb falling on him, while serving as a cook in the Civil War.
Nancy later married a Riggs. In 1880 John and Laura were living in the White Oak Township of Jones County where John was a farmer. The Census lists John and Laura as being married within the year. John and Laura lived on the Jenny (Eugenia) Oldfield farm in the Maysville area of Jones County, where all their children were born. Sometime at the turn of the century the older Bell sons came to Richlands to build a home on the farm of Dunnie Koonce Mattocks and Annie Koonce Jenkins.
The Bell family later moved to this home, perhaps as late as 1905, and remained there until 1919. In 1919 Linwood and Dollie Barbee purchased the home. On November 17, 1919, Laura Bell purchased from Walter and Delia Rand a home on two acres of land in the Ervintown Community 1/2 mile northwest of Richlands. The family moved to this new home before the new year. The purchase price for the property was $800.00. In the Ervintown community Herman Ervin lived and operated a general store.
Frank Daly lived on the opposite corner and operated a store. John Bell lived across the street from these two stores and he coined the jingle: Ervintown Daly Street Bell Hotel and Nothing to eat Sometime after their marriage, John became sick with a very high fever. This fever left him with his left eye crossed. The Bells were Baptist until they moved to Richlands at which time they became members of the Christian Church. The Bells were remembered as kind, gentle, Christian, neighborly people, with lots of friends. Herman Ervin is said to have remarked that he never knew a finer family. Dorris A. Bell, the eldest grandson of John and Laura, says he can remember his granddaddy coming across the field to visit from Ervintown. This always tickled the children because he never came without bringing a bag of candy.
John died February 2,1929, and was buried in the Bell Family Cemetery on the Amos Bell farm in Onslow County. The cemetery is located at the corner of Koonce Fork Road and Banks Bridge Road. It is 1/8 to 1/4 mile off either road and is on the east side of Banks Bridge Road. Located on Koonce Fork Road, approximately 1 mile from the Jarman's Fork intersection of Highway 24 and 258. Turn right at Day's Tire Service and follow dirt road to the edge of woods. This farm also joins the Dollie and Linwood Barbee farm.