Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway aka NC&StL, NC&Stl.L, ncstl,  




William Gilbert Bell, Sr.

William Gilbert Bell, Sr. was born in 1889 the son of Mr. Allen Tribble “Tib” Bell and Mary Crouch Bell of Tracy City, Tennessee and he married Alice Lucille Rawlings of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

While employed as a switchman for the NC&StL Railroad in Chattanooga, Mr. Bell was knocked from the top of a box car by a wire on 1 March 1923 and was seriously injured. He had been walking towards the front end of the moving train and evidently, because of the heavy smoke he did not see the telegraph wires that cross the tracks. It was also reported that ice had formed on the wire, as a result of freezing rain, which resulted in the wire being lower than it was normally. He died from his injuries four days later.

Photo, Left to Right: J. L. Morris-switch engine foreman, Tom Mayers-engineer, John O’Connor-fireman, H. W. Easley and William. G. Bell-switchman.

The following articles are from the Chattanooga Times:

March 2, 1923

W. G. Bell, switchman for the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railway, residing at 1208 East Thirty-fourth street, East Lake, was knocked from the top of a box car by a wire last night and seriously injured. He was rushed to the Newell sanitarium by Wann’s ambulance and late last night was reported as doing nicely.

Bell was walking towards the front end of the moving train and, evidently, because of the heavy smoke, did not see the telegraph wires that cross the tracks at Fourteenth and Fort streets. Bell was knocked backwards and toward the side. Wires struck him about the face and chest and badly lacerated his face, and he was badly bruised and scratched on the cinder and rock track bed.

March 6, 1923
William G. Bell

William G. Bell, employee of the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis railway, who was injured last Thursday, died at noon Monday, in a local sanitarium. He is survived by his wife, three children, W. G., James and Margaret; his mother, Mrs. Mary Bell; and three brothers, J. A., R. N. and J. L., all of Birmingham. He was as member of the Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen, No. 215 and Damon lodge, Knights of Pythias. Funeral services, in charge of Wann’s, will be held at the home of Mrs. J. T. Rawlings, 2500 East Fourteenth Street, this morning at 10 o’clock, with the Rev. Mr. Eastwood officiating. Interment will be in Forest Hills cemetery. Pallbearers will be: J. L. Morris, A. D. Willis, W. G. Moore, J. C. Cox, W. H. Lewis and R. B. Parker.

At the time of his death his wife Lucille was 27 years old and they had three children William Jr., James, Margret, and one on the way; Gene. After his death Lucille and the children moved to Tracy City, Tennessee and lived with her mother- in- law, Mary Crouch Bell a widow. William’s father Mr. Allen Tribble Bell had died on 24 July 1919. The house they lived in is located next to what is now the Foster Funeral Home.

Their son James went to work for the NC&StL at the Cravens Yard in 1940.

NC&StL Christmas Dinner attended by William G. Bell.
Mr. Bell is left to right the 8th person on the front row in the white shirt.

Submitted by James F. Bell, Jr., Grandson. June 2006



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