James G. Bell, trail driver and diarist, the son of Samuel Bell, was born in Tennessee in 1832. The family moved to Indianola, Texas, in 1852, and later the father opened a jewelry store in San Antonio. In 1854 Bell decided to join in driving a herd of cattle to California for John James, a San Antonio surveyor. Rather than write letters back to his family, Bell kept a diary of his experiences and observations, a chronicle of a little-known trail to the West. He joined his brother, Edward C. Bell, in California and died there in 1867.