Background, page design, and transcription format 2003 - 2009 Leona L. Gustafson

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was born August 23, 1828, at Utica, Licking county, twelve miles north of Newark, where his father still resides. He passed his youth there, and was educated at Martinsburg academy, in Knox county. The first official position of consequence which he held was that of sheriff of Licking county. He was elected to that office in 1852, and at the expiration of his term was appointed postmaster at Newark. He retained this position until 1858, when he was again chosen as sheriff. In 1870, he was re-elected. From 1852 to the present time, the subject of this sketch had been almost constantly in some honorable public position, within the gift either of his county or State. The people of Licking made him their county auditor for three successive terms, from 1864 to 1870, and in 1871 he was chosen to represent the county in the lower house of the State legislature. He was re-elected in 1873, and in 1874 was honored with election as secretary of State, which office he held for two years. In 1878, he was appointed, by Governor Bishop, commissioner of railroads and telegraphs, which position he now occupies. While a member of the house of representatives, he was chairman of the standing committee on public works, and a member of the committee on insurance and municipal corporations. Mr. Bell's whole official career has been characterized by faithfulness, efficiency, and impartiality. He is a man of simple, sterling character, possesses many happy qualities that are seldom found in combination, is of a genial, affable nature, and has the admiration and respect of a very wide circle of friends, not simply in the party of which he is a member, but among his political opponents as well. He has been a life-long Democrat, and prominently and actively identified with the history of the party in the State for the past thirty years. Mr. Bell was married, January 1, 1856, to Lizzie O. Ocheltree, of Newark. The offspring of this union are: one son, Sam C., chief clerk in the commissioner's office, and two daughters, Virginia M. and Maggie O.


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