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Memorable Manitobans: John Bell (1799-1868)

Fur trader, explorer.

Born in the Island of Mull, Scotland, in 1799. In 1818 he entered the service of the North West Company and in 1821, after amalgamation, joined the Hudson’s Bay Company. He was stationed in the Winnipeg district until 1824. From then until 1850, with the exception of one year, he assisted in Arctic exploration, being stationed in the Mackenzie River department. In 1851, Bell was at Oxford House, from 1853 to 1856 at Fort Chipewyan, and from 1858 to 1860 in the Montreal department. He was promoted to Chief Trader in 1840.

He married Ann “Annie” Dease, a daughter of Peter Warren Dease. They had at least two children: Peter W. W. Bell and Flora Bell.

He retired in 1860 and died in 1868.


Pioneers and Early Citizens of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Manitoba Library Association, 1971.

We thank Janet White for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 22 February 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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