|J. S. BELL, of Brooklyn, a veteran of the Civil War, comes of a soldierly line. He was born in Sussex County, N. J., February 9, 1842. His parents, Almond and Mary (Sutton) Bell, were natives of the same state, the former born in 1800 and the latter in 1821. Mr. Bill’s paternal grandfather, Josiah Bell, was in the Revolutionary War, and took part in that famous crossing of the Delaware, leaving his blood-stained tracks upon the ice and snow. That he was no weakling is shown by the fact that he not only survived the incredible hardships of the war but lived to the extreme old age of ninety-eight years.Mr. Bell’s parents were married in New Jersey and resided there a number of years before coming west in 1848. They came to Dane county, staying for a few weeks in Cooksville, and then settled in Rutland Township, buying one hundred and twenty acres of land of Rogers & Cummings; this Mr. Bell improved and made his home continuously until the time of his death, April 28, 1900, except one year that he spent in California. His widow is still living upon the old homestead.
Mr. J. S. Bell was a child of six years when he came with his parents to Wisconsin. He received this education in the public school of district number five, and was a young man of nineteen at the breaking out of the Civil War. He promptly enlisted as a private soldier in Company D, Second Wisconsin Infantry, and served four years, two months, and nine days. He enlisted May 19, 1861, was sworn into the U.S. service June 19, and mustered out July 1865, following the close of the war.
He took part in a number of battles and was appointed captain in the battle of the Wilderness, by General Grant. In one engagement he was wounded in the head and left for dead on the field where he was captured by the Confederates. His wound was neglected, for the first ten days not even washed, and he suffered the privations of three rebel prisons. Libby first, for four months, then Tuscaloosa, where he first saw the black flag raised, and then four months in Salisbury prison.
Mr. Bell belongs to the Republican party, has been treasurer of the town of Rutland for four years, and postmaster in the village of Brooklyn for eight years. He was a charter member of the Masonic and Modern Woodmen’s lodges in Brooklyn, and Master for first five years after organization; was a charter member of the Evansville chapter of I. O. O. F., to which he belongs; he is also a member of G.A.R. Post, No. 41, of Evansville.
He was married, November 4, to Miss Elnora V. Colburn, daughter of Hobart and Katherine (Prouty) Colburn, who came from Vermont and settled in Rutland where the father died two years ago, and where the mother is still living. They have five children, Bertha M. (Mrs. Albert Winkler), of Iowa; Dr. Hugh R. Bell, of Ft. Atkinson; Harvey H., who is in the west; Leslie H., of Iowa; LeGrand L., at home. All were born in Rutland and educated in Brooklyn and Madison.
Mr. Bell has lived in Brooklyn for twenty-five years; he has an interest in one hundred acres of land now in the probate courts, and owns property in the village. He still has many interests although he has retired from some of his more active labors.
1906 History of Dane County, Wisconsin, p. 80-81.