Bell, Alfred J.

From NBGS Miramichi-WIKI

Jump to: navigation, search

Alfred James Bell was born in Derby, NB on July 1, 1872, the fourth son of David Bell and Isabella Robinson. On January 25, 1905 at St James Manse in Newcastle he married Villa Jane Allison, the daughter of William Allison and Margaret H. Russell of Boom Road.

It was March 24, 1922 when the late A.J. Bell, originally ushered his family into the funeral services profession, opening an undertaking business in the family furniture store on McCullam Street in Newcastle, New Brunswick. Advertising "funeral supplies, caskets, funeral wreaths and flowers," A.J. Bell and Sons was on its way to becoming an institution among the communities along the famed Miramichi River which today make up the City of Miramichi. The business quickly expanded a short time later when Mr. Bell purchased the funeral business of Thomas Maltby and Sons from Margaret Maltby and Mary Gough.

He went with his horse and sleigh in the winter or wagon in the summer, dressed the deceased and laid the body out in a casket, suitably placed on two support pillars in the living room. If the home had a parlor, the casket was placed in there.

This was something spooky about funerals and caskets and anything related to death. One prevalent superstition was that if you heard a knocking sound on the outside of the house after dark on three different occasions over a period of days, it was a sure thing that a close relative or friend was going to die. It was a superstition of course, but so many people to this day still believe in forerunners.

It was March 24, 1922 when the late A.J. Bell, originally ushered his family into the funeral services profession, opening an undertaking business in the family furniture store on McCullam Street in Newcastle, New Brunswick. Advertising "funeral supplies, caskets, funeral wreaths and flowers," A.J. Bell and Sons was on its way to becoming an institution among the communities along the famed Miramichi River which today make up the City of Miramichi. The business quickly expanded a short time later when Mr. Bell purchased the funeral business of Thomas Maltby and Sons from Margaret Maltby and Mary Gough. Mr. Bell's sons Boyd, Wilson and Sterling joined their father in the funeral profession and established the family tradition that his family proudly maintain today at Bell's. Sterling Bell was responsible for a number of significant changes in the business over the years, building a new funeral home on the Old King George Highway in 1965 and then overseeing a second move when he, and son-in-law Sandy Jardine, purchased the current Bell's location on King George Highway in 1981. Today Sterling's son-in-law Roy Walsh and daughter Bonnie Roy strive to maintain both the important traditions and the very high standards passed on by the earlier generations of Bell's. "We've been here for more than 75 years," said Bonnie," not just as a business, but as a family, and we have very strong ties with the people we serve. As a result the service we offer is very personal and we're often able to provide a great deal of moral and emotional support as well as our professional services." Bell's local business stature was secured when the funeral home became associated with the Brennan Group - a Saint John-based family owned firm - in 1996. Local ties were strengthened in 2003 when Roy Walsh returned to the business as the local owner-operator and President of the firm which now also encompasses Meadows Funeral Home in Sunny Corner.

Source: North Shore Leader and Bells Funeral Home
This text is available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
For more information, select the following link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Personal tools