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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
West Columbia in Brazoria County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell

(October 16, 1799 - May 30, 1856)

 
 
Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
1. Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Marker
Inscription.  

Born in North Carolina to Andrew and Elizabeth (Stevenson) McKenzie, Mary Eveline McKenzie met her future husband, Josiah Hughes Bell, while visiting her aunt and uncle in Christian County, Kentucky, where her family helped found Little River Presbyterian Church. Mary was educated morally and academically by a Presbyterian minister. When she met Josiah, he had sold his Missouri mercantile business and was traveling to Tennessee to visit his mother. Josiah returned to Kentucky to wed Mary in 1818 and they immediately left for a new business venture in Natchitoches, Louisiana. When Mary and Josiah crossed the Sabine River into Texas on April 22, 1821, it was said that Presbyterianism came to Texas.

The Bells were among Stephen F. Austin's "Old 300" families and by Christmas 1824 moved into a home near Bell's Landing, an important port on the Brazos River. Besides raising their children, Mary opened her home to many people. Her generosity and strength were remarked upon by such notable Texans as Thomas J. Pilgrim ("Mrs. Bell was one of the noblest women I ever knew in any country ... her house was a welcome home to every stranger,
Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
2. Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Marker
The featured marker is on the far left and her gravestone is the second stone from the left in the group of four.
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where the hungry were fed, the naked clad, the sick nursed"), Andrew Phelps McCormick "Her brilliant gifts and graces, her high executive force and sweet motherly care") and Guy M. Bryan ("A purer, nobler-minded woman never breather the air"). When Columbia was capital of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston was a guest in the Bell home. In 1840, Mary hired Rev. W. Y. Allen to pastor the Columbia church (later Bethel Presbyterian Church in West Columbia). Mary and Josiah had eight children, five of whom preceded her in death. Her son, James Hall Bell, was educated at Harvard and was elected to the Texas Supreme Court. Mary was thrown from her carriage and died at the age of fifty-six. She is buried on land that the Bell family deeded to the cemetery.
 
Erected 2018 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18922.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesChurches & ReligionPatriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1821.
 
Location. 29° 8.423′ N, 95° 38.863′ W. Marker is in West Columbia, Texas, in Brazoria County. Marker can be reached from East Jackson Street east of South 16th Street, on the right when traveling east. This marker is located in Old Columbia Cemetery,
Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Gravestone image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
3. Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell Gravestone
whose main entrance is located on East Jackson Street near the intersection with South 16th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: West Columbia TX 77486, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Thaddus Constantine Bell (here, next to this marker); Josiah H. Bell (here, next to this marker); George Rounds (here, next to this marker); Samuel Tubbs Angier, M.D. (within shouting distance of this marker); Nathaniel C. Hazen (within shouting distance of this marker); John S. D. Byrom (within shouting distance of this marker); Henry S. Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Columbia Cemetery (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Columbia.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 10, 2021, by Chris Kneupper of Brazoria, Texas. This page has been viewed 40 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 10, 2021, by Chris Kneupper of Brazoria, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 18, 2021