Mrs. Thomas Bell passed away at Two o'clock this morning Has many years in this country, Having settled here in 1839
Many Relatives In This Vicinity; The Funeral to be Held at Cedarville Thursday Morning Mrs. Jane W. Bell died at the White Sanatorium this morning at 2-o'clock, as a result of a complication of diseases, she having been at the sanatorium for the past year and a half. She has had symptoms of cancer and a few weeks ago had a fall which resulted in some fractured bones, which in her weakened condition, probably hastened death. Jane W. Young was born in Union County, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1822. She moved to Stephenson county, near Cedarville with her parents in 1839, when she was about 17 years old. Mrs. Bell was married December 16, 1845 to Thomas Bell at Cedarville at the home of Jane Addams. She has lived in Cedarville and Freeport ever since coming to this part of the country. Her husband, Thomas Bell, died 13 years ago last March. She was a sister of Capt. William Young, Robert Young, and Mrs. W.W. Robey all deceased. Her brother, Thomas B. Young still resides in Rock City, and her sister, Mrs. Margaret Graham, on Pleasant street, in this city. She leaves three children, J.E. Bell, of Cedarville, Samuel H. Bell, of Spencer, Iowa, and Mrs. E.B. Clingman of Minneapolis. Mrs. Bell has long been a member of the M.E. Church. The funeral will be held at Cedarville Thursday morning at 10:30 at the home of J.E. Bell. On Feb 24, 1909, on her 87th birthday, Mrs. Bell was tendered a reception by her relatives and friends. At that time she had retained the use of faculties to a wonderful extent. Her memory was very good and her recollections of the early days of Stephenson county were interesting and accurate. She described the trip from Union County, Pennsylvania to Stephenson County, Illinois, very vividly. The father, mother, and nine children made the trip in two covered wagons and one carriage, requiring six weeks on the journey. Her father, Mr. Young, was a man of considerable means, and prominently identified with the early history of the county. He had purchased a farm or claim on the town line road between Cedarville and Freeport the year before he moved his family here. When the Youngs arrived the family who had been living on the place had not yet moved, so there was no house to shelter them. The Youngs spent their first night in the old log house in the middle of the road on the road between Cedarville and Freeport. They stayed there two weeks and in the meantime, neighbors hearing of their plight, hewed logs and fashioned some into boards, and built them a cabin. A short time later Mr. Young built a brick house for his home. This was the first brick house in Stephenson County, and was demolished but a few years ago. After coming to this county Mrs. Bell taught in the old log school house in the middle of the road in the summer of 1840. Aaron Chamberlin, a surveyor, accompanied the Youngs from the east. When they arrived there were no churches and all denominations used the court house as a place of worship. Mrs. Young, mother of Mrs. Bell, and O.H. Wright were among the first to take steps towards founding the first Presbyterian church. While living on their first homestead near Cedarville, Rev. Mr. Pillsbuiry preached at the home of the Youngs. He was one of the first ministers to come to the county, and the sermon preached in the cabin was at least the first preached in the county by a Methodist minister. Mrs. Bell was very clear in her recollection of this county, which she had seen develop from a wilderness, to its present state, and her stories concerning the same have been very interesting and a help in producing literature concerning the county and its founders.
Obituary from the Freeport, Stephenson, IL Newspaper, 30 November, 1909. Submitted by: Toni Campbell on 14 Mar 2000