Bell, Charles C. (1840–1930)

By: Shain Thomas and Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: January 23, 2018

Charles C. Bell, Texas state legislator, son of William W. and Elizabeth (Weaver) Bell, was born at Old Nashville, Texas, on October 12, 1840. Two years later, the Bell family moved to Old Warren on the Red River in Fannin County. The youngest of seven children in his family, Bell attended Mound Prairie Institute in Anderson County and then McKenzie College in Red River County. Sometime after the onset of the Civil War, he volunteered to serve in the Confederate Army. On September 11, 1862, he married Almira Elizabeth “Bettie” Inge in Fannin County. Although numerous relatives lived with them over the nearly seventy years they remained together, the couple bore no children, but the 1880 census did list an adopted daughter, Janie B. Fisher, in the household.

Following the war, Bell moved to Denton and bought a tract of land just northeast of the town’s center that he later sold to the educational institution that became Texas Woman’s University. In 1867 he opened a school called Denton High School at which he taught until 1870, but then he became a farmer, nurseryman, and according to one source, “a financier of no ordinary ability.”

Bell represented District 32 (Denton County) in the Texas House of Representatives for two terms from January 13, 1885, to January 8, 1889. During the nineteenth regular session of the Texas House, Bell served on the Contingent Expenses, Finance, Military Affairs, and Revenue and Taxation committees.

During the twentieth session, while Bell remained a member of the Finance Committee, he was also an active member of the Internal Improvement and New Capitol committees. Also, during the twentieth regular session Bell served as the chair for the Public Lands and Land Office Committee.

Following his legislative service, Bell continued, with the exception of a brief time around 1910 when he lived in Decatur, to pursue his various business interests in Denton. He was active in the Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Masonic Order. Charles C. Bell died at the age of ninety on December 15, 1930, at his Denton home. Bell’s grave can be found in section C of Denton’s Odd Fellows Cemetery. He is honored by a major Denton street that bears his name.

“Charles C. Bell,” Find A Grave Memorial (, accessed January 18, 2018.
L. E. Daniell, Personnel of the Texas State Government, with Sketches of Distinguished Texans (Austin: City Printing, 1887). Legislative Reference Library of Texas: Charles C. Bell (, accessed January 18, 2018.

  • Nineteenth Legislature (1885)
  • Twentieth Legislature (1887-1888)
  • House
Time Periods:
  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas

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

Shain Thomas and Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Bell, Charles C.,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022,

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January 23, 2018