Prominent Bells of America, Past Generations

Following are some of the prominent persons by the name Bell , in America , of past generations:

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL, inventor of the telephone, physicist: b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1847; s. Alexander Melville B-; educated at Edinburgh Univ. and London Univ.; removed to Canada 1870; moved to United States, 1872, introducing with success, his father’s system of deaf-mute instruction; professor of vocal physiology in Boston Univ.; first public exhibition of his invention for transmission of sound by electricity was in Philadelphia, 1876; he became wealthy through its complete success; his invention of the “photophone”, in which a vibratory beam of light is substituted for a wire in conveying speech, attracted much attention; member of various learned societies and publisher of many scientific papers; resided in Washington, D. C.

ALEXANDER MELVILLE, educator: b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1819; s. of Alexander, the inventor of a method for removing impediments of speech; lectured at Edinburgh Univ., New College (1843-65), and at University College, London, (1865); removed to Canada, 1870; instructor at Queen’s College, Kingston; invented “Visible Speech”, a method of instruction in orthoepy, which has been successfully used in teaching deaf-mutes to speak; removed to Washington, D. C., 1881.

CHARLES H., naval officer: b. New York, 1798; d. New Brunswick, N. J., 1875; entered U. S. Navy as a midshipman, 1812; served with Com. Decatur in 1813 and in Com. Chauncey’s squadron on Lake Erie in 1814. In the war with Algiers he was with Decatur on board the Macedonian. Commanded the schooner, Ferret, which capsized at sea, and was rescued after remaining twenty-one hours on the wreck; was attached to the Erie in the West Indies, 1829; commanded the brig, Dolphin, 1839, which ascended an African river and compelled a chief to pay for goods taken from an American vessel; commanded at Norfolk navy-yard, 1859; in 1860 was assigned to the Mediterranean squadron; served in Panama; rank of commodore given him, 1862; commanded Brooklyn navy-yard, 1865; commissioned rear-admiral, 1866; retired after sixty-two years’ service.

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CHARLES HENRY, Governor of New Hampshire: b. Chester, N. H., 1823; s. John, who was born in Londonderry, N. H., about 1765; graduated Dartmouth, 1844; studied law; presided over both branches of the N. H. legislature; filled a vacancy in the U. S. Senate, 1879; elected Governor of N. H., 1881; Republican; president of the New Hampshire Historical Society. CLARK, lawyer: b. Rodman, N. Y., 1832; admitted to the bar, 1853, practicing in Hammondsport, N. Y. and Bath, N. Y.; postmaster in Hammondsport during Lincoln’s administration; assisted in preparing the Act of Congress under which the Union Pacific R. R. was constructed; president for six years of the Medico-Legal Society of New York; founded Medico-Legal Journal, in 1883; contributed largely to the daily press.

GEORGE, soldier: b. Maryland about 1832; graduated West Point, 1853; Brigadier Gen. in Civil War; commissary to the Army of the Potomac, and chief during of commissariat of the departments of Washington and the Potomac .

HENRY HAYWOOD, naval officer: b. N. C. about 1808; drowned in Osaka River, Japan, 1868; was on board the Grampus when she was engaged in clearing the coast of Cuba of pirates; commanded a vessel in the East India squadron, 1856, which captured and destroyed the four barrier forts near Canton, China; during Civil War was appointed fleet-captain of the Western Gulf squadron; commanded one of the three divisions of the fleet at the capture of New Orleans and was sent to take formal possession of the city by raising the U. S. flag over the customhouse and city hall; 1863-4, commanded the Western Gulf blockading squadron; as commodore, he was ordered to command the East India squadron, 1865; rear-admiral, 1866.

HIRAM PARKS, lawyer: b. Jackson County, Ga., 1827; taught school; admitted to the bar, 1849; candidate for presidential elector on the Bell ticket, 1860; member of state senate, 1861; dangerously wounded at the battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss., 1862; member of Confederate Congress, 1864-65; served in U. S. House of Representatives, 1873-75, and 1877-79; delegate to St. Louis Convention of 1876 which nominated Tilden for presidency.

JAMES, senator: b. Francestown, N. H., 1804; d. Laconia , N. H., 1857; grad. at Bowdoin, 1822; admitted to the bar, 1825; mem. N. H. legislature, 1846; in 1846 took charge of enterprise of damming outlets of Lake Winnipiseogee and other lakes so that other mills on the Merrimac might not suffer from diminished water supply during dry season; member of state constitutional convention, 1850; served in U. S. Senate from 1855 until his death.

JOHN, physician: b. Ireland, 1796; d. 1872 came to United States, 1810; graduated at Univ. of Pa., 1817; lectured on institutes of medicine in Philadelphia Medical Institute; professor of theory and practice of medicine in Medical College of Ohio.

JOHN, statesman: b. near Nashville , Tenn. , 1797; d. Tenn. , 1869; grad. at Cumberland College (now Univ. of Nashville), 1814; studied law; elected to state senate, 1817; elected to Congress over a man who had the support of Gen. Jackson (then a presidential candidate), 1827; served in House of Rep. until 1841; chairman of committee on Indian affairs for ten years; one of the founders of the Whig Party; elected, 1834, to speakership of the House in opposition to James K. Polk; secretary of war, 1841, under President Harrison, but he resigned with the rest of the cabinet (Mr. Webster only excepted) when President Tyler separated from the Whig Party; his nomination for presidency by the “constitutional union” party was well supported, though not successful. He condemned secession.

JOHN: s. Samuel, governor of New Hampshire ; physician; b. 1800; d. in La Fouche, La. , 1830; grad. at Union College , 1819; studied medicine in Boston and Paris and received diploma from Bowdoin in 1822; professor of anatomy at Univ. of Vermont ; editor of New York Medical and Surgical Journal.

Louis, soldier: b. Chester, N. H., 1836; d. near Fort Fisher, N. C., 1865; s. Samuel (governor of New Hampshire); graduated at Brown, 1853; began practice of law at Farmington, N. H.; solicitor for Strafford County, 1860; captain of a company of 1st N. H. regiment, 1861; colonel of 4th N. H. Vol., 1862; member of Gen. Thomas W. Sherman’s staff; inspector-general of the department of the South, 1861-62; mortally wounded while leading his men in an assault upon Fort Fisher, 1865.

LUTHER VOSE, physician: b. Chester, N. H., 1806; d. in camp near Budd’s Ferry, Md., 1862; s. of Samuel (governor of New Hampshire); graduated Bowdoin, 1823; studied medicine with his br. John in N. Y. C.; received diploma from Dartmouth in 1826; practiced in New York; elected twice to the legislature; superintended McLean insane asylum at Charlestown, Mass., 1837; visited Europe for purpose of studying improvements in lunatic asylums, 1845; while at Charlestown he brought into notice a form of disease since known as “Bell’s disease”, and frequently gave expert testimony in courts; in 1853 was member of convention for revising the state constitution; nominated by Whigs for congress, 1852; in 1856 was nominated for governor; entered the army as volunteer surgeon, 1861.

ROBERT, Canadian geologist: b. Toronto, 1841; educated at Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland and McGill Univ., Montreal, receiving degrees of C.E., M.D., and B.A.Sc., from latter Univ.; appointed assistant director of geological survey of Canada, 1877; professor of chemistry and natural sciences in Queen’s Univ. 1863-68; accompanied Hudson Bay expedition in the Neptune as scientist and medical officer and made valuable collection of geological and other specimens, in 1884; one of eighty original fellows of Canadian Royal Society; life fellow of Geological Society of London, England; published reports on geology, natural history, mining, geography, medicine and forestry.

SAMUEL, governor of N. H.: b. Londonderry, N. H., 1770; d. Chester, N. H., 1850; his family emigrated from Scotland to Ireland, whence his grandfather, John, came to New Hampshire in 1722; graduated from Dartmouth, 1793; admitted to the bar, 1796, where he attained distinction; elected to legislature, 1804; during his last two terms was speaker; in 1807 he declined office of attorney-general and sat in the state senate for a year; member of executive council, 1809; judge of state supreme court 1816-19; served five successive terms as governor, 1819-1823; from 1823-1835 was member of the U. S. Senate; he had five sons who became eminent.

SAMUEL DANA, jurist: b. Francestown, N. H., 1798; d. Manchester, N. H., 1868; graduated at Harvard, 1816; practiced first in Meredith, N. H.; removed to Chester, N. H., 1820, Concord, 1830, and in 1839 to Manchester; member of legislature about 1825, and for several years clerk of that body; solicitor for Rockingham County 1823-28; in 1830, 1842, and 1867 was commissioned to revise the state statutes; justice of the superior court; justice of the supreme court, 1855; chief justice of supreme court, 1859; received degree of LL.D. from Dartmouth, 1854; one of the early members of the N. H. Historical Society; leader in establishment of Manchester public library.

SAMUEL NEWELL: s. Samuel Dana, lawyer; b. Chester , N. H., 1829; graduated at Dartmouth , 1847; member of the 42d and 44th Congresses; appointed by the governor and council chief justice of the superior court, 1874, but declined.



Seaver, Jesse Montgomery. Bell Family History. American Historical-Genealogical Society, 1929.

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