The Bell-Felmlee Family Farm

William Clark Bell (1866-1923) was born in Illinois, second child of Dr. John H. Bell and wife, Eliza Ann (Martin) Bell. His parents returned to Mifflin County by 1879 and the family lived in Lewistown until Dr. Bell’s death in 1884, when William was 18 years old. After his father’s death, he and his mother moved to the old stone house on what had been the Henry Long farm along Riden’s Road, recently owned by the Aitkins family. Henry Long was a parental great-grandfather of William C. Bell.

In 1895 Bell married Mary M. Sterrett (1873-1949) of the Alfarata area. He later purchased a small tract (29 acres) on the south side of Vira Road, across from the Long farm and worked as a truck farmer. He lived at this location with his family until 1914 when he purchased the nearby old Stoneroad-Baker farm (about 200 acres) from Joseph Baker and wife [Deed V-3-275]. He continued truck farming until 1923 when he died at the age of 57 after about a year long illness.

His widow and their two children continued living on the farm. Ownership passed to their son, Roy S. Bell (1896-1963), who continued truck farming and operated produce stands for 30 years in Lewistown and Reedsville markets.

In 2008 the Bell farm (about 200 acres) was sold by Roy S. Bells’ three daughters, one of whom was Nora M. Bell, married to John T. Felmlee, Jr (1927-1995). Purchasing the property at this time was their son, Michael L. Felmlee and his wife, Suellen, who are the current owners of Bell Mountain Estates property. Mike Felmlee, a great-grandson of William Clark Bell, is now the fourth generation of the Bell family to own the old family homestead.

As of April 2014, this property has been in the family long enough to be considered as a century farm. It has now been owned by family members and descendants of William Clark Bell for 101 years. The Felmlee’s have worked on improving the property by restoring the old stone farmhouse, adding new structures, etc., and have made the Bell Mountain Estates location in Little Valley available for weddings, reunions, meetings, parties and other activities.