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Mary Elizabeth Bell Center
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Birth: May 10, 1844
Cooper County
Missouri, USA
Death: Nov. 29, 1927
Washington County
Arkansas, USA

Mary Elizabeth Rebecca Joplin Wire Bell was the 8th of James H. and Caroline Jane (Harrison) Bell's 12 children and the only child born in MO during their short stay in Otterville. In 1843 they moved to Cove Creek Township, Washington Co, AR, where Mary grew up.

She met Amus Nickerson Center, a nice looking young man, born in Allen County, KY, on October 28, 1843. Amus (known as Nick by family and friends), was the son of James Guilford and Sarah (Hatler) Center.

The Center family supported the side of the Union, so when the Civil War started, Amus, as well as his father and brothers, enlisted in Company D, First Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers. Amus's enlistment took place at Cassville, MO, on June 14, 1862.

Mary & Amus were married in Fayetteville, AR, on December 12, 1863. Their wedding ceremony was performed in the home of Mr. Zinnanon by Rev. Cox. James Guilford, their first child, was born on March 9, 1865, and was named in honor of Amus's father. Amus survived the war and was discharged on August 3, 1865. They had 12 children: Malisa, Thomas John, Amos Franklin, Herman, Louis, Matilda, Martha Ellen, Mason, Henry, Mark, Caldonia, and Alvis.

Before settling down in Winslow, they traveled to MO and then to TX. On June 13, 1878, Amus filed a homestead claim on 80 acres in Washington Co., which was located near Winslow, off Devil Den's road. On January 15, 1883, he filed for an additional 40 acres, adjacent to his land.

Daisy (Center) Bruns said her father, Louis, told her that he and his brothers and sisters were raised in the strict faith of the Mennonite belief. His parents worked hard, living a simple life.

After Amus died at home in January 1915. Mary immediately applied for a widow's Civil War Pension. On May 10, 1917, a group of people got together to help celebrate her 73rd birthday. Fifty years later (March 24, 1977) their picture and the celebration was published in the Washington County Observer. Mary's granddaughter, Daisy (Center) Bruns, has furnished a copy of the article, which is shown in Mary's biography in "The Family of James and Caroline Bell." Underneath the photograph of the people who attended the event is written: "Up until well past the turn of the century, hill country people of Northwest Arkansas took advantage of any occasion for a ‘get together.' In most families, the ties were close and kith and kin would gather for miles around to observe everything from a hog scalding to a birthday dinner. A birthday party brought this group together May 10, 1917, observing the birthday of Mary Bell Center. . . . "

Mary, age 75, was living alone in January 1920 when the Federal Census was taken. Mary had a stroke on November 4, 1927, at the age of 83. She died at home four days later, November 29, at 5 p.m.

Much of the above information is from a book I (Virginia Brown) wrote titled "The Family of James and Caroline Bell."
Family links: 
  James H. Bell (1801 - 1884)
  Caroline Jane Harrison Bell (1812 - 1888)
  Amos Nickerson Center (1843 - 1915)
  James Guilford Center (1865 - 1937)*
  Malisa Center Caughman (1866 - 1958)*
  Thomas John Center (1868 - 1944)*
  Herman Henry Center (1871 - 1939)*
  Amos Franklin Center (1872 - 1953)*
  Louis Center (1874 - 1963)*
  Martha Ellen Center Dudley (1876 - 1965)*
  Henry Center (1879 - 1946)*
  Mark Center (1880 - 1964)*
  Caldonia Center Curry (1882 - 1968)*
  Alvis Center (1885 - 1973)*
  George Harrison Bell (1827 - 1906)*
  Henry Harrison Bell (1830 - 1921)*
  James Jefferson Bell (1833 - 1926)*
  Jane Ellen Bell Vance (1835 - 1861)*
  Malichi Bell (1837 - 1927)*
  Galveston Bell (1839 - 1882)*
  Cynthia Ann Bell Anderson (1842 - ____)*
  Mary Elizabeth Bell Center (1844 - 1927)
  Priscilla Hollan Bell Sharp (1845 - 1929)*
  Martha Ellen Bell Richards (1850 - 1918)*
  William Riley Bell (1851 - 1941)*
  Alzonia Faye Bell Preston (1853 - 1891)*
*Calculated relationship
Collier Cemetery
Washington County
Arkansas, USA
Maintained by: L Bruns
Originally Created by: Shelba
Record added: Mar 14, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25258975
Mary Elizabeth <i>Bell</i> Center
Added by: Virginia Brown
Mary Elizabeth <i>Bell</i> Center
Added by: Shelba
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- Virginia Brown
 Added: Feb. 11, 2012
Happy to transfer Mary's Memorial to Lulu Bruns, her g-granddaughter.
- Virginia Brown
 Added: Apr. 20, 2010

- L Bruns
 Added: Jun. 20, 2009
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