Charles R. ‘Charley’ Bell, was the son of Thomas Thodore Bell and Harriet Dull. He was born in 1868 and died at the age of 32 in 1901. Charley did a great deal of traveling as a train conductor and has been remembered by my family and our Bell cousins as a favored uncle who wrote regularly to his family members in Monroe. He was married to Lillian Miller in 1890 and they had three girls together; Lilian, Gertrude, Charley Mae and a son Harvey Allen.
Charles R. Bell to his cousin Georgiana Van Emburgh
Tucson, Arizona December 27, 1887 to Monroe, Louisiana
I thought I would drop you a few lines to let you know that I am well and hope thus to find the same with you all. I wrote to you sometime since but have not received an answer yet.
I send you a photo today for you and your mother also one for Aunt [Elizabeth Dul] but I forgot to put it in mas envelope and it is so far up town and it is late So I will ask you to hand it to her
X mas was dull with me as I was on the road all day but hope it was livelier with you all
give my love to your mother and William and the children and my best regards to the Old Man [Henry O’Kelly] Write Soon
A very merry Christmas with the O’Kelly children.
Left to right: Anita, Mary Lin, Bill and Alice O’Kelly. Descendants of William O’Kelly of Antrim, these children are the third and last generation of American O’Kelly’s in name.
Left to right: James George, Malinda, and Georgiana Van Emburgh.
Taken by E.W. Mealy Monroe, Louisiana.
Upon learning of her son’s abandonment of his family, his mother Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest was anxious to receive another, more detailed, letter from her daughter-in-law Malinda and enclosed five dollars, instructing Malinda and the children to have their “carte-vistas” taken and sent with her response letter to New Jersey “immediately”. As per her mother-in-laws request, Malinda dressed herself and her two children in their best clothes and walked into town to pose for a family portrait at the recently established photography studio of E.W. Mealy. They had never had their images taken, war and poverty had had not allowed for such a luxury. Five dollars was a precious sum of money for Malinda to have been given and so she smartly paid for only one group photograph of her family, keeping a copy for herself, and put the remainder towards more practical needs.
1893 The Home Insurance Company policy taken out to insure the O’Kelly store by William Abram O’Kelly Sr.
$600 on the one story frame building, including frame gallery in front, with shingle roof, occupied for mercantile purposes and situated on west side of sixth street near DeSiard Street Monroe, La.
Heading of the insurance policy.
Close-up of the Port of New Orleans illustration.
Front cover of the policy.
Illustration closeup of the Meyer Brothers General Merchandise.
The Meyer brothers were Bavaria natives Solomon, Herman and Sigmund Meyer. The Meyer’s settled in Monroe around 1860 and played a significant role in establishing Jewish roots and landmarks in the city. Sigmund served as a drummer in the Civil War and after returning from army life, he opened Sig Meyer Mercantile on the corner of DeSiard and Grammont streets. In 1876 he added to the business and went into partnership with his brothers and formed Meyer Bros. Mercantile. By the time this receipt was issued Meyer Brothers had consolidated as a general merchandise store that carried quite a bit of everything. Both the O’Kelly’s and Van Emburghs shopped at the store and it’s likely that most folks in Monroe did.
Credit receipt issued to Malinda Van Emburgh
Ouachita Telegraph February 20th 1880 Monroe, Louisiana
Henry’s teetotaler niece, Jennie, declared that liquor was never sold at the O’Kelly store. The O’Kelly family was to be admired for our ancestors refusal to make their money dealing in something so vulgar as the sale of spirits. As proven by the advertisement above, there was a bar and the “best brands of Wines, Brandies and Whiskies [were] kept constantly on hand.”