Tuesday, April 16, 2013

1880s Autograph Album of Samuel Evan Bell of Bladensburg, Ohio


1880s autograph album of Samuel Evan Bell of Bladensburg, Ohio; the album was presented to him on 10 July 1881.



Many autographs appear to have been collected while Sam or Evan, as signers variously called him, was at Normal School in the early 1880s, and at least one was signed by one of his pupils in 1888.  Perhaps their use of Sam or Evan reflected the length of their friendship.



The album is approximately 7" x 4-1/4" and contains about 70 pages signed by the friends, schoolmates and relatives of Samuel Evan Bell.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct: [corrections and additions welcome!]

Samuel Evan Bell was born 10 October 1857 in Ohio, the son of Reverend Benjamin and Mary (Moore) Bell, who were born in Greene County, Pennsylvania, and Knox County, Ohio, respectively.

By the time of the 1880 Census, Samuel was already a teacher.  Either he went to Normal School for more training in the early 1880s, or he was a teacher there.

Five signers, "the Normal Boys", inscribed a page to Friend Samuel at Utica, Ohio, on 17 November 1882.  They were E. M. Bell; B. F. Bennett; S. E. Jones; E. J. Hyatt; and M. C. Gilbert.  At least two of these young men signed individual pages as well.



Mattie Giffen signed a page at Newcastle, Ohio, on 24 February 1888.  She inscribed her page to "Friend S. E. Bell and teacher".



Two pages were signed by someone whose name I believe to be Jennie Bricker.  She called herself Samuel Evan Bell's cousin.  On the page below, which she signed on 17 November 1882, she gave her residence as Utica, Ohio.





Another cousin was Miss or Mrs. M. A. Harris of Utica, Ohio, who signed a page2 November 1882.



Yet another cousin, Iona Harris, signed a page at Utica, Ohio, on 31 October 1882 and decorated it with some sketched leaves.


On 1 March 1883, Samuel Evan Bell married Della Geneva Hagans, daughter of Samuel S. Hagans, Jr., and Mercy Anne (Nichols) Hagans.  Della was born 15 August 1865 at Newcastle, Ohio.

By the time of the 1900 Census, they were living at Newcastle, Ohio, where they were farming and raising four children.  They would have another child in 1910.

If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Some interesting selections:

Mattie A. Creighton signed a page on 6 July 1881 and included a nice sketch.



Someone made an intricate sketch at Fallsburg, Ohio, on 27 January 1888 but didn't leave a name.



I'm not sure of the name on the page below, as the signer used up every bit of space and had to cram a name on the very bottom.  It's possibly J. D. Jimkins who signed a page at Fallsburg, Ohio, on 27 January 1883.  If you have another read on the name, please leave a comment.



Another name I'm not sure of is the page of Sophia, who signed her page on 17 February 1882.  Her name is possibly Sophia Feltman.  Again, please leave a comment if you have another take on her surname.






Alphabetical list of signers: [Note: given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]


  • Annabell
  • Morris of Bladensburg, Ohio, signed on 24 December 1882
  • Ginny, signed on 6 August 1881
  • Louie
  • No name written; intricate sketch, drawn at Fallsburg, Ohio, on 27 January 1888
  • Friend
  • "S. E."  The page could have been penned by Samuel Evan Bell himself
  • Emma F., signed at Mt. Vernon, Ohio, on 19 November 1881
  • Inscribed to Evan, by "One of the four", on 27 October 1881
  • Ida
  • M. E. H. "I will be a good girl and come up to society prepared next Friday eve."
  • Sallie C., signed on 11 November 1881
  • Unsigned, but a friend from the "backwoods
  • Dora, signed on 17 February 1882
  • F. M. D., signed on 18 February 1882
  • Samuel Evan Bell of Bladensburg, Ohio; the album was presented to him on 10 July 1881
  • E. M. Bell, shared a page composed on 17 November 1882 at Utica, Ohio; multiple signers described as the "Normal Boys", presumably students at the Normal School at Utica, Ohio
  • E. M. Bell, signed on 30 October 1882.  Mentions "Normal" [presumably Normal School] and refers to Samuel Evan Bell as a schoolmate; possibly the E. M. Bell who signed a page shared with the "Normal Boys".
  • B. F. Bennett, shared a page composed on 17 November 1882 at Utica, Ohio; multiple signers described as the "Normal Boys", presumably students at the Normal School at Utica, Ohio
  • Name is very faint, but might be Jennie Bricker, signed 19 July 1881; can't make out middle initial.  If the name is Jennie Bricker, she may have signed another page, in which she called herself the cousin of Samuel Evan Bell.
  • Jennie Bricker of Utica, Ohio, signed on 17 November 1882; Samuel Evan Bell's cousin.  She may have signed another page as well.
  • Paulie Brown of New Castle, Ohio, signed on 2 January 1882; signed another page as well
  • D. C. Brown; Sam's schoolmate
  • Emma Chilcote, signed at St. Louisville, Ohio, on 22 September 1881
  • Lizzie M. Cooksey, signed at Utica Normal School on 14 November 1882
  • Mattie A. Creighton, signed on 6 July 1881
  • M. A. Creighton, signed on 10 July 1881
  • Miss Melissa Crumrine of McComb, Ohio
  • John C. Earlywine, signed at Bladensburg, Ohio, on 27 November 1882
  • Sadie E. Earlywine, signed on 27 November 1882 at Bladensburg, Ohio
  • Allie Edwards
  • Sophia Feltman or similar surname, signed on 17 February 1882
  • Mamie Fillman of New Castle, Ohio, signed on 17 February 1882
  • Mollie L. Fitzgerald, signed on 17 February 1882
  • Otta Garrison, signed at New Castle School on 2 January 1882
  • Mina Giffen or Nina Giffen
  • Mattie Giffin, signed at Newcastle, Ohio, on 24 February 1888.  She refers to Samuel Evan Bell as friend and teacher
  • M. C. Gilbert, shared a page composed on 17 November 1882 at Utica, Ohio; multiple signers described as the "Normal Boys", presumably students at the Normal School at Utica, Ohio
  • F. P. Hampshire
  • Miss or Mrs. M. A. Harris of Utica, Ohio, signed on 2 November 1882; cousin of Samuel Evan Bell
  • Vic S. Harris, signed at Utica, Ohio, on 21 September 1881
  • W. B. Harris of Utica, Ohio
  • Iona Harris, signed at Utica, Ohio, on 31 October 1882.  Cousin of Samuel Evan Bell
  • Ella Harrison of Brandon, Ohio, signed on 22 September 1881
  • R. W. Hill, signed at Utica, Ohio, on 17 September 1881
  • R. A. Holl, signed on 24 January [1881 or 1881, depending on what he meant by the "winter of Eighty two]; possibly Richard Alvin Holl
  • E. J. Hyatt, shared a page composed on 17 November 1882 at Utica, Ohio; multiple signers described as the "Normal Boys", presumably students at the Normal School at Utica, Ohio
  • E. J. Hyatt of Gambier, Ohio, signed on 31 October 1882; perhaps the E. J. Hyatt who shared a page with the Normal School boys. Possibly the future doctor, Ellsworth J. Hyatt
  • The signer used practically every inch of the page and was left with little room to write his or her name.  It appears to be J. D. Jimkins or Junkins, signed at Fallsburg, Ohio, on 27 January 1883
  • Ella B. Johnson
  • S. E. Jones, shared a page composed on 17 November 1882 at Utica, Ohio; multiple signers described as the "Normal Boys", presumably students at the Normal School at Utica, Ohio
  • Eugene Lawrence, signed in August 1883
  • Rocksina McCamment
  • Miss Lillie McKinney of Vanatta, Ohio, signed on 21 September 1881
  • W. Melick of Utica, Ohio, signed on 22 September 1881.  Middle initial appears to be L.
  • Laura Moreland of Utica, Ohio, signed on 16 November 1882; schoolmate of Samuel Evan Bell
  • Ella E. Morrison of Brandon, Ohio, signed on 2 November 1882
  • Mrs. Florence Rupert; Sam's schoolmate
  • C. Etta Sellers of Utica, Ohio, signed in 1882
  • J. A. Seward of Utica, Ohio, signed on 22 September 1881
  • Callie Skinner, signed on 21 March 1882 at Coshocton, Ohio
  • D. S. Snider, signed on 28 January 1883
  • Flora Stewart, signed at New Castle, Ohio, on 2 January 1882
  • Ida VanVoorhis, signed on 10 July 1881
  • Sylvia VanVoorhis of Bladensburg, Ohio, signed on 30 September 1881
  • E. B. Wilson of Vannatta, Ohio
  • Ella Wilson of Martinsburg, Ohio
Bladensburg, Ohio


Thanks for stopping by!


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