This collection contains the papers of Irish immigrant John
Bell (born circa 1830), who was an insurance and loan agent in Richmond, Indiana, in
the 1860s-1870s and in San Jose, California, beginning in 1875-6. Includes diaries chronicling Bell's
oceanic travel to Central America and his overland journey from Indiana to California, as well as documents, correspondence,
ephemera, and 49 volumes related to Bell's business in both San Jose and Richmond.
John Bell was born about 1830 in Ireland and immigrated to the United States with
his father before his 21st birthday. He was an insurance and loan agent in Richmond,
Indiana in the 1860s and 1870s. He moved to San Jose, California between 1875 and
1876 and continued working as an insurance and loan agent. Sometime after 1881, he
married Hannah B. Cooper, John L. Cooper's widow, and helped raise her two
daughters, Elizabeth P. and Anna J. Cooper. John and Hannah B. Cooper Bell had a
daughter of their own named Mary Elma.
3 boxes and 49 volumes.
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