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  Archived Collections

Bell Family Papers 


The Bell family was a very prominent African-American family in Norfolk during the first half of the 20th century. The papers included Charles Bell, Sr. obituary, a family photograph, a 1943 article on Randall Bell who was born in slavery in Norfolk County, other obituaries and newspaper articles on family members, and business papers of Charles Bell, Sr. who operated a tailor shop on Church Street and later in Jamaica, New York.

Both Charles E. Bell, Sr. and Lucy Barnes Bell attended Norfolk Mission College. They moved their family to upstate New York. Included in this collection are papers pertaining to their children. They are listed according to age. Maude M. Bell, school teacher, guidance counselor, writer, and social leader; Charles E. Bell, Jr., Assistant Director, New York City Housing Authority; Randolph Bell, electrician and musician; Lucy Bell Powell, Assistant in Housing, New York City Housing Authority; Mattie Bernice Bell, teacher; James M. Bell, M.D., psychiatrist, Colonel U.S. Army; June Melba Bell, social Worker; and grandson, James Moorhead, Jr. Photographs, new articles, publications, awards, correspondence, and obituaries are included in these papers.

Donated by the Norfolk YWCA