Bell, Andrew Jackson (1818–1885)

By: Jennifer Eckel

Type: Biography

Published: March 24, 2008

Andrew Jackson Bell, pioneer and Texas legislator, was born August 4, 1818, in what would later become Hardeman County, Tennessee, son of William and Julia Johnson Bell. A. J. Bell spent his early life in Alabama, but in 1833 he moved to Texas and settled in the Austin Colony. By 1840 he was the sheriff of Austin County and had accumulated 1,400 acres of land. On February 24, 1842, Bell married Calpernia Hutchinson Shelbourne in Austin.

Bell was a significant landowner holding considerable acreage in Austin and surrounding counties. Andrew Jackson Bell was Austin County's representative to the Fifth Legislature from 1853 through 1854. During the Civil War Bell was the enrolling officer for the Western District of Austin County. Following the Conscription Act of 1862 Bell faced large-scale protests and "open rebellion" from some of the German settlements in the county. Writing his superiors on January 3, 1863, he claimed that nothing less than a full cavalry regiment would be required to enforce the draft. Bell's suggestion was taken, and martial law was declared in Colorado, Austin, and Fayette counties on January 8, 1863.

After the war Andrew Bell remained in Austin County where he died in his home on June 9, 1885. He is buried in Bethany Cemetery in Austin County.

Betty Meischen, "Brothers James and Thomas Bell" (, accessed August 25, 2006. Claude Elliot, "Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861–1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 (April 1947).
  • Fifth Legislature (1853-1854)
  • Sixth Legislature (1855-1856)
  • House

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Jennifer Eckel, “Bell, Andrew Jackson,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 22, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

March 24, 2008