Bell, Sanford

Born: 1808-12-23 Albany County, New York

Died: 1881-10-14 Leadville, Colorado

Flourished: 1851 to 1864 Springfield, Illinois

Sanford Bell, physician, was a native of the town of Rensselaerville in New York. In 1829 Bell was recommended for admission to the U.S. Military Academy but was not admitted. Prior to settling in Springfield in 1851, he provided medical services in numerous places, including Kentucky, Philadelphia, New York City, and for a steamship line. In 1852 he was made a permanent member of the Illinois State Medical Society. Bell partnered in Springfield with physician Rufus S. Lord from about 1852 to 1855. He served as a surgeon in the Ninth Illinois Infantry from April through July of 1861. During his tenure in Springfield, Bell encountered Abraham Lincoln several times in Sangamon County Circuit Court as both a litigant and a witness. He was a resident of Springfield through at least 1864; by 1866 he was living in Memphis. Bell married Anna (Nancy) Brewster in 1831 and the pair had three children who survived infancy.

Emma C. Brewster Jones, comp. and ed., The Brewster Genealogy 1566-1907 (New York: Grafton Press, 1908), 2:667; American State Papers (Washington, DC: Gales & Seaton, 1860), Military Affairs, 4:351; U.S., Military and Naval Academies, Cadet Records and Applications, 1800-1908 (Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, 2008); The North American and Daily Advertiser (Philadelphia), 13 May 1845, 1:3; U.S. Census Office, Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Ward 3, New York, New York County, NY, 390; Illinois Daily Journal, 18 September 1851, 3:3; 13 July 1855, 2:6; Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, eds., Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Sangamon County (Chicago: Munsell, 1912), 2:753; The Transactions of the Illinois State Medical Society for the year 1852 (Peoria: B. Foster, 1852), 3-4; Daily Illinois State Journal (Springfield), 7 November 1855, 2:4; U.S. Census Office, Eighth Census of the United States (1860), Springfield, Sangamon County, IL, 249; Illinois Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls, Illinois State Archives, Springfield, IL; For Lincoln’s legal cases involving Bell, search Participant, “Bell, Sanford,” Martha L. Benner and Cullom Davis et al., eds., The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition, 2d edition (Springfield: Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, 2009),; Illinois State Gazetteer and Business Directory, for the Years 1864-5 (Chicago: J. C. W. Bailey, 1864), 769; T. M. Halpin, comp., Memphis City Directory, 1866 (Memphis: Bingham, Williams, 1866), 250; The Daily Memphis Avalanche (TN), 18 October 1881, 1:7; Gravestone, Evergreen Cemetery, Leadville, CO.