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Bell, Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson Bell is one of the well known real-estate dealers in Colville, having for the past six years been identified with L. M. McFarland in the operation of the Colville Land Company. He is a native of Iowa, his birth having occurred in Belknap, Davis county, that state, on the 10th of November, 1858, his parents being Charles R. and Sarah A. (Scoles) Bell. When he was a youth of sixteen the family residence was changed to Salem, Oregon, while two years later they became citizens of Latah, Washington. Here the mother passed away in 1891, but the father is still living in Hamilton, Montana, having attained the venerable age of seventy-five.
Reared in the country Oliver Nelson Bell devoted the winters of his boyhood and youth to the acquirement of an education in the common schools, first in Iowa and later in Oregon, while in summers he worked on the farm. After the mastery of the common branches he gave his undivided attention to agricultural pursuits, remaining under the parental roof until he was twenty-two years of age. He then left home to begin his independent career and going to Latah, Washington, filed on a timber claim, afterward a homestead and then bought railroad land until he owned a section. He and his father bought the first threshing machine north of Colfax. They did the first threshing on the Coeur d'Alene Indian reservation and were there before the new mission was built by Old Cataldo or Josette. Mr. Bell and his father also constructed the first wagon road across what is now known as Rock Creek valley, running from Latah across the reservation to Farmington, landing on Coeur d'Alene lake. For eight years thereafter he devoted his energies to the cultivation of his land and the raising of stock, withdrawing from these pursuits to engage in the livery business, in connection with which he also dealt in real-estate. He was a resident of Latah until 1898, with the exception of a brief period in 1884, during the mining excitement, when he went to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. After closing out his interests in Latah, Mr. Bell again took up his residence in this state, locating at Bossburg, where he engaged in the livery and stage business, which occupied his attention until 1905, and compelled him in the interest of the business, to travel extensively in both British Columbia and Washington. Upon leaving Bossburg, Mr. Bell came to Colville where he has ever since been located. During the period of his residence here he has met with good success in the pursuit of his business, which has developed in a most gratifying manner and is among the thriving ones of the town.
Mr. and Mrs. Bell attend the Methodist Episcopal church, while they devote much time and money to promoting the temperance cause in this county, Mr. Bell having been one of the most prominent factors in abolishing the liquor traffic in his community. He and his wife both take an earnest interest in all movements tended to promote the moral and intellectual welfare of the community, while he is a generous contributor toward all church and charitable work whether under the auspices of his own denomination or that of some other. They have one son, Hugh M., attending the North Western University at Shenandoah, Iowa. Mr. Bell belongs to the Chamber of Commerce and the Stevens County Pioneer's Association, while in politics he is a democrat; although he takes a helpful and active interest in all municipal affairs, he has not been an office seeker, but on the contrary has consistently declined to accept any public honors at the hands of his constituency. Fraternally he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, by the principles of which organization he has always striven to direct his life in both his public and private relations. Mr. Bell's efforts have been rewarded in a substantial way and in addition to his thriving business and property interests he is a stockholder in the New Golden Crown Mining Company, in the First Thought mining district in this county. His interests are thoroughly identified with those of Stevens county in the development and upbuilding of which he freely gives his aid and cooperation.

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