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George Alfred Bell Letters

Identifier: M543

Scope and Contents

The collection contains ten letters between George Alfred Bell and Alice Rebecca McCulloch, dated between April 24 and December 7, 1909. In the first letter, Bell discusses his relationship with McCulloch after receiving a letter from her meant for another male friend. The second letter, dated May 12, contains information on Bell’s plans in the lumber industry as he attempts to persuade Alice of his future career. These first two letters are written on Crichton Lumber Company letterhead, as Bell wrote from his business in Mobile, Alabama.

The third letter was written while Bell was staying at the Hotel Hattiesburg and describes his plans for a business trip to look at timber in Brookhaven. The fourth letter was written on his return to Hattiesburg from Brookhaven and offers negative descriptions of transportation, bed bugs, and a lack of food during his trip. It includes a hand drawn map of the area. The fifth letter was written in Mobile, Alabama, on stationary from the Hotel Escambia Pensacola, Florida, and it discusses bed bugs as well as a lack of return letters. Bell’s sixth letter was written while in Chicago and describes a business meeting with McCulloch’s father and McCaskill. The seventh letter was written while in Chicago and discusses Bell’s business with Alice’s father and McCaskill as well as their relationship.

The eighth, ninth, and tenth letters are all written on Crichton Lumber Company letterhead, and Bell discusses his movements and economic endeavors.


  • 1909

Conditions Governing Access

Noncirculating; available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code).

Biographical / Historical

A businessman and entrepreneur in the coal and lumber industries, George Alfred Bell, III was born September 22, 1878 to George Alfred Bell, Jr. and Eliza Corinne Chandler. He graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on June 13, 1900 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and began working as an assistant estimator for Foster & Green in New York City. In 1905, Bell co-founded Bell & Haswell Coal Company, and he later organized the Bell Coal Company in Marion, Indiana. Interested in the lumber industry, particularly in Mobile, Alabama, Bell organized the Crichton Lumber Company and sold his interest in 1911. Bell married Alice Rebecca McCulloch, daughter of Colonel John Lewis (Alice) McCulloch, in 1910, and the couple had one son, John Lewis McCulloch Bell, on June 21, 1913. George and Alice Bell both died in 1956.


10 Items (1 folder)

Language of Materials



The George Alfred Bell Letters include five letters written by George Alfred Bell to his future wife, Alice Rebecca McCulloch. All of the letters are addressed to McCulloch at 1610 or 1116 So. Boats Street, Marion, Indiana, and they are descriptive of his trips and meetings to acquire timber in the south as well as of their relationship. The collection is of particular interest to researchers studying the lumber trade in Mississippi and/or the South and courtship in the early twentieth century.


This small collection consists of one folder, containing ten letters.

Physical Location



Purchased through the Douglas A. Noverr Grant for Collection Enhancement for Institutions to Build Culture and American Culture Research Collection (Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association) on December 2009.

Transferred from Southern Tourism Collection M448; originally purchased with the Popular Culture Association Grant, May 2014


The collection and case file.

“New Shipping Company Organized.” American Lumberman. 30 October 1920.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, The Polytechnic, volumes 25-26, p. 153.

Roll, Charles. Indiana: One Hundred and Fifty Years of American Development, vol. 5, Lewis Publishing Company, 1931.

"United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 March 2018), George Alfred Bell, 1917-1918; citing Grant County no 1, Indiana, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,503,893.

Whitson, Rolland Lewis (editor), Centennial History of Grant County, Indiana, 1812-1912, vol. 2, Lewis Publishing Company, 1914.

George Alfred Bell Letters
Collection processed and finding aid written by Jonathan Puckett
07 May 2019; revised 28 January 2020
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Repository

118 College Drive - 5148
Hattiesburg MS 39406-0001