Dr. Edmund Charles Bell was born on the 27th of April, 1890 in Stayner, Ontario. He was the eldest of three children born to Daniel Gilbert Bell and the former Margaret Jemima Hodgson. His father was a dry goods salesman and Dr. Bell’s sisters were Jessie Elizabeth Bell and Dorothy Gertrude Bell. Dr. Bell was named after his maternal grandfather, Edmund Hodgson.
Dr. Bell was educated locally in the Stayner area. According to the 1911 census, Dr. Bell boarded with the Allan family and he was a school teacher in the Innisfill, (Simcoe County) area.
Dr. Bell began his studies at The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine, but he left after completing 1 year to answer the call to serve his country during World War I. Dr. Bell enlisted on the 13 of April, 1916 in Kingston, Ontario. He served with the C.A.M.C. in England and in France. According to his enlistment documents he was 5’7″ tall, 137 pounds with blue eyes and dark brown hair. His Regimental Number was 318958. Dr. Bell was discharged on the 16th of November, 1918 and he sailed home to Canada on the 22nd of November, 1918. He held the rank of private and his conduct and character was recorded as “very good”.
After Dr. Bell was discharged he resumed his studies at The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine. He graduated M.B. in 1922. Dr. Bell joined the College of Physicians and Surgeons on the 13th of November, 1922.
Dr. Bell entered into a partnership with Dr. Stanley A. Richardson in Wallaceburg. On the 15th of August, 1925, Dr. Bell completed an immigration card indicating he was moving from Wallaceburg to Cincinnati, Ohio to work at the Cincinnati Sanitorium. Further he indicated on the immigration card that his intentions were to become a U.S. citizen.
An article appeared in the April 20th, 1926 edition of the Chatham Daily News, that Dr. Bell had married Hazel Irene Rice on the 7th of April, 1926. The article stated that Dr. Bell was a surgeon at the State Hospital in Massillon, Ohio. Mrs. Bell was born on the 18th of November, 1895 in Ohio, the daughter of Ira J. Rice and the former Della Eyster. Mrs. Bell had an older brother named Clyde L. Rice and 2 youngers sisters; Beulah Fay Rice (died at the age of 10) and Doris Marie Rice. Her father farmed on the grounds of the Massillon State Hospital. The hospital is a massive structure that was built in 1893. Even though it was called the Massillon “State” Hospital, it was not supported by the state but by income from the farm on the grounds of the hospital and patient payments. The 1915 Massillon Ohio City Directory lists Mr. Rice as a foreman at the Massilon State Hospital and it lists his daughter Hazel as a student and resident of the Massillon State Hospital. According to the 1920 U.S. Census, Mrs. Bell was living with her parents and she was a stenographer.
Mrs. Bell had a 4 year old daughter named Shirley Mae Bower that Dr. Bell adopted. Shirley was born on the 22nd of June, 1922 in Massillon. Her father’s name was Paul Bower.
Dr. Bell was drafted during WWII and he served with the United States Army. The address on his Draft Registration card was 116 Harris Street in Lodi, Ohio. Further it recorded that he was “Self Employed” as a medical doctor and his office was located at 113 Harris Street.
Dr. Bell died on the 21st of November of 1952. Mrs. Bell died on the 4th of December, 1990. Dr. and Mrs. Bell were buried side by side at the Woodlawn Cemetery in Lodi, Ohio. Their daughter Shirley Mae died in 1999 and she is also buried at Woodlawn Cemetery next to her husband George Harold Mong.
*Dr. Stanley A. Richardson also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.