James Bell & Company
James Bell & Company commenced business in Springfied, Illinois, on March 26, 1835, with a full line of merchandise. James Bell and his cousin Joshua F. Speed were the principle partners in the enterprise, with Speed serving as general manager. The store was located next to stores operated on one side by Robert and John Irwin and on the other by Archer G. Herndon. In 1836, the store had merchandise valued at $5,ooo. The company continued until January 1, 1841, when the partners dissolved the business by mutual consent, and Bell entered into partnership with Charles R. Hurst to form Bell & Hurst.
Robert L. Kincaid, "Joshua Fry Speed—1814-1882: Abraham Lincoln's Most Intimate Friend," The Filson Club Quarterly 17 (April 1943), 123, 30n; Susan Krause, "Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed, Attorney and Client" Illinois Historical Journal 89 (Spring 1996), 37-38; Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 28 March 1835, 3:5; 8 January 1841, 3:4.