Who Was A. W. Bell of Carleton Place? Andrew Wilson Bell


I began to find many notations of an A. W. Bell from Carleton Place in the old newspapers circa 1890’s and wondered who he was. From what I can figure out– he was noted as being a well known business man and barrister. In the last few days I have found a bit of information. It is a start, and if anyone can add any other tidbits that would be great.

aw bell





He was part of an Old Boys and Girls reunion in Perth.

Then I found this:

The son of Mr. and Mrs. John Bell in Appleton and brother to William J. Bell of Carleton Place died on Friday, 25th July, aged 57 years.  The deceased was the son of the late John Bell, once a merchant in Perth and elder brother of Messrs. A.W. Bell and George Bell.  He served his time as a cabinet maker with the late David Hogg of Perth, afterward spending many years in the gold fields of California.  The deceased never married.  His remains were brought to Perth and interred in Elmwood Cemetery on Sunday last, the funeral services being conducted by Prof. Hart of Manitoba College.

His parents Wedding Anniversary (1893)
“Christmas Day was the sixtieth anniversary of the marriage of Mrs. John Bell of High Street, formerly Margaret Wilson of Appleton and mother of the well known A. W. Bell.


This photo of the two women is from the Perth Museum archives. The names are written on the back of the photo in ink. The photo seems to have been taken in a Chicago or possibly Atlanta studio. — Charles Dobie.

I don’t know what they were doing in Chicago or Atlanta but the two ladies in question are quite likely my great grandmother Margaret Hope Bell and her sister Clementina.They were two of three daughters of Andrew Wilson Bell and Margaret Hope Gibb of Carleton Place. A.W. Bell was the son of Margaret Wilson and John Bell, twin brother of William Bell, (i.e. the W. & J. Bell merchants of Perth and Carleton Place). These were the second and third sons of the Rev. William Bell of Perth.
Clementina Bell married Ottawa barrister Alfred Fripp, who later became a Senator. They had one daughter, Alfreda Fripp, who did not marry. When her estate was wound up, numerous items were donated to the Perth museum, including possibly this photo, and some shinplasters printed by the Bell brothers in 1837.

The third sister Jane Isabella Bell, did not marry but served as a nurse in World War I and continued to live in Carleton Place.
Margaret Hope Bell is my great grandmother. She married Peter McRae of Renfrew in 1884 and they subsequently moved to Ottawa. They had two children, Margaret Hope and Ivan Leslie. On July 2, 1896, the family (except my grandmother Margaret Hope, then 4 years old) were out sailing on Lac Deschenes (the Ottawa River) near Aylmer. A squall blew up and the sailboat overturned and the family drowned. The orphan M. Hope was raised by her aunt Clementina.-MALCOLM SISSONS

Wedding Announcements found on the internet

The social event of the week at Carleton Place was the marriage of Clementine S. Bell, daughter of A.W. Bell of Carleton Place to Alferd E. Fripp, barrister, Ottawa.  The ceremony took place at St. James Church and was performed by Rev. Archibald Elliott assisted by Rev. G.H.P. Grant of Newboro.  The bridesmaids were Misses Mary Campbell of Perth, Nellie Findlay of Carleton Place and Margaret Heenan(?) of Pembroke.  The presents were magnificent. 1894

McRae-Bell—Married, at St. James Church, Carleton Place, on the 7th May, by Rev. G.J. Low, Rector, assisted by Rev. G.W.G. Grant, Rural Dean (Lyn), Mr. Peter McRae, second son of Mr. J. McRae, Esq., Renfrew, to Miss Maggie Hope Bell, eldest daughter of Mr. A.W. Bell, Esq., Carleton Place.  No cards. 1884


A.W. Bell is buried with his wife Jane in St. James Anglican Church+, Carleton Place Cemetery
Lanark Co./Reg./Dist., Ontario


In Memoriam
Jane Andersen Gibb
Wife Of
A. W. Bell
June 2,1886
Aged 52 Years

A.W. Bell died in 1909 at the age of 75

All about William Bell his father

Staple and fancy dry goods, groceries, liquors-also for sale, a few first rate building lots in the flourishing village of Carleton Place. – W. & J. Bell, Perth, August 14, 1834.

A. W. Bell residence- Charlotte Street-1887
The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
10 Apr 1971, Sat  •  Page 35

Full record for Bell, A.W.

Last NameBell
First NameA.W.
Datesb. 1835
NativityLanark Co., Canada
BusinessAssignee, Carleton Place
Post OfficeCarleton Place
TownCarleton Place
1904 fire–The “Chosen Friends” of Carleton Place –The Fire of 1904
A.W. Bell on buildings occupied by Keays, Tucker, Muirhead, Stuart, Dolan, DeWinter, W.H. Hoper, partly ins

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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