March 10, 1939 Jesse B. "J.B." Bell moved to Crosbyton from Wellman where he was superintendent of schools. His wife, Una, joined him May 12, 1939.
J.B. had purchased Continental Oil Wholesale business and a service station at 123 East Main. He continued in the marketing division of Continental Oil Company as their agent in Crosby and Dickens counties until his death June 9, 1954.
During their tenure in Crosbyton, they lived at 401 W. 4th Street. From there, Una made her way to Crosbyton Elementary School each school day for 15 years to teach class of fourth graders for two years and second grade for 13 years.
J.B. was on the City Commission two terms and was known as the best sourdough cook and the worst ice-cream maker in town.
J.B. was born to William Jasper and Mary Mounger Bell Dec. 1, 1901 in Italy, TX., but moved as an infant to Gunter where he grew up. His mother was a native of McKinney and his father of Paulaski, TN. They were of English and Irish descent, respectively.
Una was born on the family ranch in Glasscock Co. to Nathaniel Wilson Keeling III and Oscelola Powell Keeling. Her Keeling ancestry in America goes back to Adam Thoroughgood who came to Virginia from England in 1621. He built the first brick house in America and it still stands on Shore Drive Norfolk, VA., a member of the historic homes of the U.S.A.
Thoroughgood´s daughter´s daughter married the son of the first Keeling who came to Virginia from England in 1628.
The first of the Powell ancestors came from Scotland to Georgia about 1800 and established a trading post for the Indians. Una´s grandmother´s people, the Whitts, came to Georgia from England about 1810.
After serving in the Confederate Army from Georgia, Una´s grandfather and grandmother came when her mother was 11 years old. Her mother was born in Arkansas.
Una´s ancestry in Texas goes back to the time when Texas was part of Mexico. Reuben McKenzie came from Scotland and purchased a tract of land in what is now Anderson Co., while it was part of Mexico. His daughter inherited the land while it was in the Republic of Texas. She, Sarah McKenzie, married an Irishman, Peter R. McClanahan. Their daughter Mary Ann Susan, married John Robert Keeling, Una´s grandfather.
It was from that tract of land that her grandfather volunteered to serve in the 1st Texas Infantry, or Hood´s Texans, with the Confederacy in the Civil War. After surrendering with General Lee at Appomattox Courthouse, he came home to Anderson Co., married Mary Ella Aviritt, had a son. Nathaniel Wilson, Una´a father, had moved his family with his wife´s family to Coleman Co. He raised cattle and operated a stage line there, with his father-in-law, the Reverend John Crumpter Averitt, D.D., first Baptist minister in Texas who was a graduate of a Theological Seminary and was busy organizing the First Baptist Churches of Brady, Stacey, Coleman, Ballinger and Bronte and helped establish Howard Payne College later.
N.W. Keeling and Oscelola Powell were married in Coleman Co., and lived there a number of years before moving to Glasscock Co. with their children, five years before Una was born.
Una continued to live in Crosbyton for 15 months after J.B.´s death operating their business and teaching at Ralls. She sold the wholesale business to Fred Edwards and moved to Andrews Aug. 27, 1955, but kept business interest in Crosbyton until Oct. 12, 1976.
(Written by Una Bell)
Source: "A History of Crosby County 1876-1977" © Crosby County Historical Commission 1978; Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas.
Survivors: Wife - Una; Bro. - J. W., Gunter; 5 Sis. - Mrs. Roy Moore, Lubbock; Mrs. Lucy Doggett,Lubbock; Mrs. Roy Cook,Lubbock; Mrs.L.E.Heim, Mrs.R.W.Breedlove; Mother - Mrs. Mary Bell.
CROSBYTON (Special) - Graveside services for Una Mabel Keeling Bell, 81, of Andrews will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Crosbyton Cemetery with the Rev. Ronnie Travis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Petersburg, officiating.
Burial will be under direction of McNett Funeral Home of Andrews.
Mrs. Bell died Friday, Sept. 16, 1994, in Permian General Hospital.
She was born Dec. 1, 1912, in Konahassett. she married J.B. Bell on May 31, 1929, in Floydada. He died on June 9, 1954. She received bachelor´s and master´s degrees from Texas Tech University and was involved in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society in Andrews. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star in Crosbyton, Colonial Dames of the XVII Century of Lubbock, Ladies Golf Association of Andrews Country Club, National and Texas Retired Teachers associations and the Andrews Retired Teachers Association. She was a past worthy matron of the Ralls and Crosbyton Chapters of the Order of the Eastern Star.
She taught school in Denton, Terry, Wellman, Crosbyton, Ralls and Andrews.
Survivors include three nephews and nine nieces.
Lubbock Avalanche Journal, September 18, 1994Record provided by Crosby County Pioneer Memorial Museum
transcribed by Linda Fox Hughes
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