Dr. John Charles Bell was born the 12th of September, 1856 in Ailsa Craig, Ontario. His parents Archibald Bell and the former Agnes Hood met and married in Paisley Scotland and emigrated to Canada in 1832. They settled in Lobo Township located in Middlesex County. Dr. Bell attended Trinity Medical School and graduated M.D.C.M. in 1884 from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine.
According to the 1928 Ontario Medical Register, Dr. Bell, joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 12th of July, 1886. He set up his medical practice in Merlin, in 1885.
Dr. Bell married Elizabeth Smith on the 19th of January, 1887 in St Thomas, Ontario. She was born on the 19th of February 1854, the daughter of Robert Smith and the former Anna Graham. Dr. and Mrs. Bell had 5 children; Minnie Edith Bell was born on the 27th of October, 1887, Charles Garland Bell was born on the 31st of August, 1889, Lizzie Beatrice Bell was born on the 26th of August, 1891, Florence Mabel Bell was born on the 14th of September, 1893 and Eva Annie Bell was born on the 26th of March, 1897.
In November of 1895, the family moved to Bothwell, Ontario when Dr. Bell, took over the medical practice of Dr. Conx. The family moved back to Merlin in the summer of 1898 and Dr. Bell became the Medical Officer of Health for the area. In 1905, Dr. Bell went back to school in Edinburgh, Scotland and obtained his L.R.C.P.
Dr. Bell hosted a Liberal rally on the front lawn of his residence in Merlin on the 23rd of August, 1911. The rally was well attended. The Hon. Mackenzie King, the future Prime Minister of Canada and the Minister of Labor at the time attended and gave a rousing speech.
Dr. Bell retired in 1936. He died in London on the 9th of February, 1938 and he was buried at the Pardoville Cemetery in Raleigh Township. His wife Elizabeth died later that same year, on the 7th of October, while living in Blenheim, Ontario. She was buried beside her husband.
His son, Charles Bell, attended the University of Western Ontario and graduated M.D. in 1911. Dr. Charles Bell practiced in Lion’s Head, Ontario. He enlisted in the Canadian Army on the 9th of June, 1915 and served in the Medical Corp as a surgeon. After his military service he re-located to the Windsor area.
*His son Dr. Charles Garland Bell is featured on the Gathering Our Heroes website.