Charles M. Bell was born in El Monte, February 22, 1863. His parents were William C. and Rebecca A. (Fears) Bell. Mr. Bell’s life was spent in his native place, and his education obtained in the local public schools. Early in life he entered the general merchandise store of L. Melzer of El Monte, as clerk. He remained with Mr. Melzer about four years, and then entered the employ of Thomas McLain for whom he also worked in the same capacity, for five years. While working, young Bell attended school when the opportunity afforded, and became a thorough master of his business as a general merchandise dealer. In 1882, he formed a partnership with John T. Haddox, under the firm name of Bell and Haddox and established a store in El Monte. This enterprise was successfully conducted until 1885, when Mr. Haddox sold his interest in the business to Mr. Lanstadter.
Mr. Bell was a progressive citizen, taking an interest in the development of the community, and was a strong believer in its future prosperity. In political matters, he was a Democrat, and a worker in the ranks of his party. He served several times as a delegate in the Los Angeles County Democrat Committee. He was a member and one-time Master of Lexington Lodge, No. 104, F. & A.M., of El Monte.
In 1885, Mr. Bell married Miss Sallie R. Kimbell, a native of California. Mrs. Bell’s parents were Albert G. and Sarah C. (Gleaves) Kimbell, natives of Tennessee, who came to California in 1851. Mr. and Mrs. Bell had two children, Mary G., and Wayne, both residing in Los Angeles. Mr. Bell died in 1912.
Source: Mayon, C. D., F. Brow, L. Stoddard, and C. Mudd; El Monte from the Pioneer Days. WPA Project No. N-5740, 1936. In record 19-187072. (California Historical Landmark No. 765: El Monte). On file at the SCCIC, CSU Fullerton.