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 Clarence Addison Chastine Bell

Clarence Addison Chastine Bell

Death 9 Aug 1980
Burial Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA
Plot Hillside, 328, Plot 2
Memorial ID 173316432 · View Source
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Youngest child of E. E. Bell and Edith D. Reily Bell of Paducah, Kentucky.

Clarence didn't have what could be called an easy start in life. His father Elmer Ellsworth Bell owned a spoke and wheel factory at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers in Paducah, and served as the assistant postmaster of that city for several years. However, the factory burned down (a total loss valued at around $5,900 at the time) without insurance. This likely occurred sometime in Clarence's early childhood, though the exact date remains unknown. This, understandably, left the family in poor financial condition. E. E. Bell passed away in Paducah in 1914, only at age 53. Clarence was only 16.

The years that followed couldn't have been easy either. Two years later, both his older brother Mahlon and grandmother Elizabeth Bell would also pass away. Two years after that, he would also lose his grandfather William Bell.

By 1920, he had moved to Memphis and begun working with the railroad as a Timekeeper. During this time he and his mother lived with his sister Inez Bell Watts on LaClede Avenue. On October 5, 1920, he married Fay Burnett "Effie" Gorham, a fellow Kentuckian.

By 1930, He and Effie were living in a house on Walker Avenue, close to the railroad depot. They had two daughters, Anna Jane and Carolyn. Effie's parents lived with them for a short while, before Mr. Gorham passed away in 1931.

By 1940, Clarence, Effie, Anna Jane, and Carolyn had moved into a house also located on LaClede Avenue.

Sometime in the 1930s or 40s, Clarence was run over by an automobile. Due to the build and weight of cars at the time, the incident crushed his leg, and he never fully recovered. He walked with a cane the rest of his life. Even late in life, his ankle would swell to a concerningly large size whenever he would be on his feet for a long time.

Despite all this, Clarence is remembered for his sense of humor. His wife called him "Ding Dong" (His last name is Bell. Get it?), and he would often say words backwards, just for the entertainment of it. ("Pass the ragus" instead of "Pass the sugar").

While given four names at birth, he rarely ever used his second middle name "Chastine," and only occasionally used "Addison."

Clarence died in Memphis in 1980, aged 83. He was survived by his two daughters, six grandchildren, and his sister Inez.

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  • Created by: Mitch
  • Added: 
  • Find A Grave Memorial 173316432
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Clarence Addison Chastine Bell (23 Dec 1897–9 Aug 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 173316432, citing Memorial Park Cemetery, Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by Mitch (contributor 48003741) .