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

Josiah H. Bell

 
 
Josiah H. Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
1. Josiah H. Bell Marker
Inscription.  

A member of Stephen F. Austin's original 300 colonists, Josiah Hughes Bell was born August 22, 1791, in Chester District, South Carolina. Josiah Bells father died when he was five years old, so he went to live in Tennessee with family to learn the trade of hatter. While living in the Missouri District, Bell became friends with Moses Austin and his son, Stephen F. Austin. Josiah Bell joined the Missouri Mounted Militia as a second lieutenant during the War of 1812. Following the war, he traveled to Tennessee to visit his mother and met his future wife, Mary Eveline McKenzie (1799-1856). She and Bell married in 1818 in Kentucky. The couple operated a mercantile business in Natchitoches, Louisiana, for two years before moving to Hemphill, Texas.

In 1821, Austin wrote bell granting him permission to settle in the new colony near New Washington. Bell served as Alcalde, constable, and judge in the new colony, even taking over Austin's duties while he was traveling in Mexico. Bell and his family moved several times along the Brazos River and eventually settled in the town of Columbia near the present-day cemetery. Bell laid out two towns,
Josiah H. Bell Marker image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
2. Josiah H. Bell Marker
The Josiah H. Bell Marker is on the far right and his gravestone is the first stone on the right of the four.
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developed a sugar plantation and built the first hotel in the area. During this time he began work on the Bell family home, completed in 1827. The home was often used as an office for Stephen F. Austin when he was in town. Bell and Austin continued their friendship through correspondence, including letters regarding tax laws, regulations of the Mexican government and education in the colony. Bell died on May 17, 1838, and was buried in the cemetery that his wife later gave to the citizens of West Columbia.
 
Erected 2016 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18437.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Patriots & PatriotismSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1821.
 
Location. 29° 8.42′ 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, 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); Mary Eveline McKenzie Bell (here, next to this marker); George Rounds
Josiah H. Bell Gravestone image. Click for full size.
By Chris Kneupper
3. Josiah H. Bell Gravestone
(a few steps from 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); Byrd Lockhart (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.
 
Also see . . .  Josiah Hughes Bell at the Handbook of Texas. (Submitted on May 10, 2021, by Chris Kneupper of Brazoria, Texas.)
 
 
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 44 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. 20, 2021