John L. Bell and Jacob L. Bell.
[RAIN AND FLOOD: TWO CHILDREN AND ONE MAN DROWNED.]
Arkansas City Traveler, June 19, 1878.
Last Tuesday and Wednesday a very heavy rain fell, swelling the streams to an impassable extent, and carrying off saw logs, wood, wheat, and growing corn along their banks. The abutment of the bridge across the Walnut, south of Winfield, is said to be so badly washed that the bridge will fall, and water surrounded the approach of the bridge at Newman’s mill for more than a day. Mr. Bell, the owner of some sheep, near Park’s schoolhouse, was drowned in Badger Creek while attempting to cross, and the house of Mr. Frew, on Beaver Creek, was washed away and two children drowned, while he was making every effort to save his wife. Dr. Holland’s house was surrounded by water, and the occupants compelled to remain in it twenty-four hours before they were rescued. The Arkansas River rose four feet above the bridge pilings at this place, and carried hundreds of bushels of wheat, in the shock, down the stream. From all parts of the county we learn of its destruction to men, beasts, and the grain in the fields. In Pleasant Valley Township a horse belonging to Mr. Lucas was struck dead by lightning, and hundreds of hogs, young chickens, and ducks drowned. The damage to the county will be severely felt.
Winfield Courier, June 20, 1878.
Death of John L. Bell by Drowning. One of the saddest remembrances of the recent storm will be that of the death by drowning of Mr. John L. Bell in Badger Creek.
He and James White were camping on the bank of the creek; and before they realized the fierceness of the storm, found that the creek had already overflown its banks and that the water was up to the bed of their wagon. Wading from the wagon to their team, White succeeded in getting safely out; but Bell was unable to escape. His body was found about one mile from their camping place partially buried in the mud.
Mr. Bell was one of the most active, business-like young men in the county; was 22 years of age, and highly respected for his many manly qualities by all who knew him. Mr. Bell and his brother, Jacob E. S. Bell, were living in Silverdale Township, near the Centennial Schoolhouse, and were keeping 800 sheep and engaged in wool raising. He was at the time of the storm on his way to Wichita with a load of wool for market. The wool has since been mostly recovered. The two Bells were from Finley, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Both were winning golden opinions as intelligent, energetic, and reliable young men.
Winfield Courier, August 15, 1878.
Card of Thanks Re Deceased John L. Bell. EDITOR COURIER: I wish to express through the columns of your paper to those dear friends whose sympathy was so promptly rendered to my brother in the trying ordeal through which he has been lately called to pass in laying away to his last rest our loved brother, John L. Bell, the heartfelt thanks of the bereaved mother, sister, and brothers. . . . To Rev. Mr. Platter, Mr. and Mrs. Chaffee, Miss Alice Herburt, and Mr. John Bowers our thanks are specially due. . . . J. E. S. BELL.
Los Angeles, California, August 1, 1878.