Harvey Bell is recognized as the pioneer business man of Manning, where he opened a grain warehouse in August, 1881, the first business house of any kind opened at Manning. Mr. Bell was born in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1832. He was reared principally in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, till reaching the age of seventeen years, when he left the home roof to begin life on his own account. With an elder brother, Edmund, he came to Iowa, and spent the winter of 1849-50 in Allamakee County. The following spring they platted a town near the present site of Waukon, naming it Bunker Hill. Before the season closed they had sold their land at a handsome profit, and hunting for a new location visited Fillmore County, Minnesota, where they purchased land, becoming pioneers of Newburg Township, that county. The neighborhood where they settled has ever since been called Bellville.

July 14, 1857, while returning from a visit to his old home in Pennsylvania, he was united in marriage at Davenport, Iowa, to Miss A.A. Benton, a former schoolmate. But six of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Bell are living: Allie, wife of Paul Winter of Manning; Effie, wife of W.N. Day, of Carroll City, and Gertrude, Sadie, Maudie and Gracie, students in the Manning schools, fitting themselves for teachers. Mr. and Mrs. Bell lived many years at Bellville, their home being one of the finest farm properties in that locality, and the abode of hospitality. Mr. Bell was associated with his brother in the general mercantile business at Bellville for several years, under the firm name of E. & H. Bell, and in merchandising as well as farming he was very successful.

In 1868 he removed to Houston County, Minnesota, and located at Brownsville, on the Mississippi River, where he was engaged in dealing in grain for several years, and was one of the leading grain operators on the Upper Mississippi River, and during these years he also acted as agent for all the steamboat and express companies. Reverses incident to most business men during those years of declining values overtook him and nearly impoverished him, but although greatly depressed by his losses Mr. Bell held out bravely. He left Minnesota in the spring of 1871 and located at Arcadia, in Carroll County, Iowa, where he was engaged in the grain and produce trade till coming to Manning.

Since becoming a resident of Manning he has become prominently associated with the religious as well as business interests of the place. He is a member of Manual Lodge, No. 450, A.F. & A.M., at Manning. In politics he affiliates with the Republican party, his first presidential vote being cast for John C. Fremont. Wherever Mr. Bell has lived he has established a reputation for strict integrity, and by his fair and honorable dealings he has gained the confidence and esteem of all who know him.

Back to Carroll County 1887