From: History Of La Salle County, Illinois; Vol. I; Inter-State Publishing Co., pp. 508-509; 1886
William E. Bell is a native of Berkley County, Va., born June 5, 1815, a son of Vincent and Rachel (Chenoweth) Bell. In 1832 Vincent Bell moved to Seneca County, Ohio, and bought land on the Seneca Reserve, where he lived until his death in 1856. His wife died in 1858. He raised a company for the War of 1812, and was commissioned its Captain, but arrived in Baltimore after its evacuation by the British, and therefore too late to participate in active service. His grandfather, Jeremiah Bell, was a member of the company known as Washington’s life-guards in the war of the Revolution. William E. Bell was seventeen years old when his parents moved to Ohio. He was soon apprenticed to learn the carpenter and joiner’s trade, working in the summer and teaching school in the winter. He worked three summers when his employer said he was as good a mechanic as ever went out of the shop. He then went to Michigan City, Ind., and went into a shop where there were thirty workmen, and was surprised to learn how little he knew about his trade. In December, 1836, he came to Illinois and located at Tiskilwa, Burean County, where he remained ten years, and in 1846 moved to Ottawa, where he has since lived. He was employed two years in La Salle County by Josiah Pope, his first work being on a Congregational church. For thirty years he worked for the Rock Island and Northwestern Railroad companies building many of their bridges and shops. Mr. Bell is thoroughly conversant with every detail of his trade, and is one of the best mechanics in the State. In 1858 he published “The Art and Science of Carpentry Made Easy,” which was revised and enlarged in 1875. Mr. Bell was married in Tiskilwa to Almira Hadley, a native of Muskingum County, Ohio, born May 27, 1823, daughter of Henry Hadley. They have had six children; but three are living - William S., Frank E., and Ermina, wife of J. A. Hossick. Mr. and Mrs. Bell are members of the First Baptist Church of Ottawa.