JAMES R. BELL. There is no business of more importance than that of the abstractor of titles, as it is of the greatest value to the purchaser of real estate that his title be clear and untarnished. Mr. James R. Bell is one of the most prominent in this line of business in Springfield. He springs from an old American Colonial family of English stock. His father, Morgan Bell, was born in Greene County, Penn., and was merchant and farmer. He married Catharine A. (Kimball) Bell, who was born in Wheeling, W. Va. She was from a Massachusetts family, To Mr. and Mrs. Bell were born four children: James R., Carrie, Ralph D., and Della L. Mr. Bell is now a respected citizen of Springfield. James R. Bell, our subject, was born in Greene County, Penn., October 10, 1853, and received a good common education. He began his business career as a clerk in a mercantile establishment and went with his father and family in 1867, when a boy of fourteen, to Brownsville, Fayette Co., Penn. In l870 he came also with his father to Ozark, Christian County, Mo., and in company with his brother, Ralph D., became editor and publisher of the Ozark Leader and soon after consolidated the newspaper with the Ozark Monitor, and published this paper for six years. In 1878 he was appointed Circuit and County Clerk by Gov. Phelps in place of J. M. Pettijohn, resigned. He was also Deputy County Clerk under John C. Rogers, four years. In 1883 he came to Springfield and engaged in the abstract and loan business and has established a large office in this line and has made a success. He is an abstractor of skill and accuracy and has the most complete as well as the oldest set of abstract books in Greene County, and his abstracts are relied upon for their accuracy. In 1877 he married Sallie Vaughan, daughter of Thomas H. and Susan B. Vaughan. Mr. and Mrs. Bell have five children: Maude, Bessie, Ralph, Blanch, and Lucile. Mr. Bell is a substantial man owning real estate in Springfield and is a man of energy and business ability and strict integrity in his line.
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