Judge Thornton Fletcher Bell

Judge Thornton Fletcher Bell

Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Death 28 Oct 1938 (aged 60)
Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Burial Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
Memorial ID 129355774 · View Source
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Obituary from the Shreveport Times newspaper, Oct. 29, 1938, Saturday, pp. 1 & 3:

Judge T. F. Bell Dies; Funeral Service Today – District Jurist and Son of Shreveport Pioneer Succumbs Friday

Funeral services for Judge Thornton Fletcher Bell, 60, of Caddo Parish district court, who died in a local sanitarium at 11:05 a.m. Friday after an extended illness, will be held at 10:30 a.m. today from the First Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Wade H. Boggs, assisted by Dr. J. M. Owens and Rev. U. B. Currie, will officiate. Burial, under the direction of the Osborn Funeral Home, will be in Forest Park Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Frank J. Looney, Elias Goldstein, Clare C. Clark, Robert A. Crain, Albert Van Hook and Judges Robert J. O'Neal, J. H. Stephens and E. P. Mills.

Honorary pallbearers will be the members of all courthouse departments, the members of all departments of the federal, district and city courts, the city commissioners, the members of the police jury, the members of the Caddo Parish school board, the elders and deacons of the First Presbyterian Church and all members of the local bench and bar.

Judge Bell is survived by his wife, Mrs. Nannetta Schuler Bell; one daughter, Mary Evelyn Bell; one son, Thornton Foster Bell; one brother, W. B. Bell, and one sister, Miss Sallie Bell. All are of Shreveport.

Other surviving relatives include several cousins: Will, Wilfred and N. W. Buckelew and Mrs. Andrew Buckelew of Shreveport; Charles Bell of Tonkawa, Okla.; Mrs. Tom Moore and Mrs. Sidney Melton of Longview, Texas, and Mrs. Daisy Carallsie [sp.] of Fort Smith, Ark.

Born Here in 1878

Judge Bell was born in Shreveport Oct. 10, 1878. He was a son of the late Judge Thomas Fletcher Bell and Mary Buckelew Bell.

Judge Bell's father had been a captain in the Confederate army, a state adjutant-general under Governors Francis T. Nicholls and Murphy J. Foster and superintendent of the Caddo Parish schools. He was a native of Lancaster County, Virginia. Mrs. Mary Buckelew Bell was a native of Alabama.

Thornton Fletcher Bell attended the old Thatcher school and public schools in Shreveport. He was a classmate of Sheriff T. R. Hughes. C. E. Byrd, for whom Byrd High School was named, was one of his instructors.

He was graduated from Tulane University in 1899 and from the Tulane University law school in 1901.

He practiced law in Shreveport until the death of his father Nov. 14, 1912, when he was named to fill his father's unexpired term as Caddo Parish district judge. He was regularly elected to the Caddo bench the following year.

Elected to School Board

Judge Bell resigned from the bench in 1919 to form a law partnership with Clare C. Clark. He was elected to the Caddo Parish School Board the same year. He was serving as president of the school board when he was again elected to the parish bench in 1921. He remained on the bench until his death.

"Judge Bell was respected and loved by all who knew him," in the opinion of Judge E. P. Mills. "His was an exemplary life."

"He was a good judge."

"Judge Bell served on the bench longer than any other man in the history of Caddo Parish," Judge J. H. Stephens, oldest in point of service on the Caddo bench recalled. "He was always fair, impartial, just and wise in his decisions. He was loved by both the members of the bar and the people of Caddo Parish."

"His passing is a great personal loss to me," Judge Robert J. O'Neal said when he was informed of Judge Bell's death. "I, as the youngest in service of the Caddo Parish district judges, have always looked to him as an ideal."

Resolution on Birthday

Judges Mills, Stephens and O'Neal and Sidney L. Herold, Cecil Morgan and Clare C. Clark signed less than three weeks ago, on Judge Bell's birthday, a resolution of the bench and bar as follows:

"It is the hope and trust of his brethren of the bar that Judge Bell devote to himself for the ensuing months a care and attention comparable to that which he has given to the administration of the law, and that he accord to himself the same measure of justice that he has conscientiously given to all, rich or poor, of every race and calling.

"We extend to him our sincerest wishes for a speedy recovery, and that it will not be many months before we shall again have his tried and trusted hand at the helm of the ship of justice."

The Caddo Parish grand jury, in the report submitted to Judge Stephens at noon Friday, included the following statement:

"Word has just reached this grand jury of the passing of the Hon. T. F. Bell, judge of the first judicial district court, and this jury is unanimously of the sense that it is proper to record their sentiments concerning this beloved and esteemed citizen of Caddo Parish. We desire to record in permanent form our esteem of his sterling character and his long and useful public service, and ask leave of the court that we may be adjourned subject to the call of the court, and that our present adjournment be a token of our respect for this great and good man. Respectfully submitted.


Judges Mills, Stephens and O'Neal and Judge E. C. McClendon of the Claiborne-Bienville district, who has conducted Judge Bell's court during the veteran jurist's illness, suspended their courts at 12:30 p.m. Friday out of respect to their late colleague.

The Caddo Parish district courts remain closed today and no motion will be heard until Wednesday morning, Judge Mills announced.

Judge Ruvian D. Hendrick announced Friday afternoon that city court will also be closed today out of respect to the memory of Judge Bell. All cases on the city court docket for this morning will be heard Monday morning, Judge Hendrick said.

The office of Sheriff T. R. Hughes and the office of the clerk of the Caddo Parish district court will be closed at 10 a.m. today out of respect to the funeral of Judge Bell at 10:30 a.m., it was announced Friday.

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  • Created by: Shawn Bohannon
  • Added: 7 May 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 129355774
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Judge Thornton Fletcher Bell (10 Oct 1878–28 Oct 1938), Find A Grave Memorial no. 129355774, citing Forest Park East Cemetery, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by Shawn Bohannon (contributor 47062096) .