Died: 1842-12-XX Springfield, Illinois
Flourished: 1830-1842 Sangamon County, Illinois
Bell lived in Sangamon County, Illinois, as early as 1830. He was a merchant; at different times, he was involved in partnerships with Seth M. Tinsley (Bell & Tinsley), A. Y. Ellis and Company, with Joshua Speed in James Bell and Company, and with Charles Hurst (Bell & Hurst). Bell married Jane Butler on May 10, 1837. Abraham Lincoln and his partners handled many legal cases involving Bell and his various mercantile firms. After Bell's death in 1842, William H. Herndon was named administrator of the estate, and Lincoln was retained to settle several of the estate's outstanding debts.
Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 7 June 1834, 3:3; 23 May 1835, 3:3; 23 April 1836, 1:6; 30 April 1836, 3:2; 13 May 1837, 3:2; 22 July 1837, 3:2; 8 January 1841, 3:4; 29 December 1842, 3:3; Illinois Public Domain Land Tract Sales Database, Sangamon County, 68:91, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index, Sangamon County, 10 May 1837, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; For cases involving Bell, search "Bell, James," Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009), http://www.lawpracticeofabrahamlincoln.org.