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Hon. W. H. Bell, whose operations in the real estate field have contributed much to the development of the city, has also been prominently connected with the upbuilding of Racine through his activity in the political field, doing important work as a member of the city council, while upon the legislative records of the state he has left the impress of his individuality. A native of England, he was born in Liverpool on the 8th of August, 1863, and is a son of John and Ellen (Rushton) Bell. The father was a native of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, and after removing to England was married in Liverpool. He continued his residence in that country until his death, which occurred about twelve years ago, and his wife passed away about nine years ago.
Reared in his native city, W. H. Bell there attended the public schools until 1880, when he determined to try his fortune in the new world and crossed the Atlantic to America, settling in Racine. Here he entered the employ of the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Company, with which he continued from 1881 until 1889. He was afterward with the Racine Hardware Company until 1892, when he turned his attention to the real estate business. In this field he has since operated. He largely handles his own property and he has opened up the Hamilton addition, making this one of the attractive residence districts o f the city. He is thoroughly conversant with property values, knows what is upon the market and his wise investment has enabled him to make profitable sales. He is also one of the board of directors of the City Bank and was formerly a director of the Manufacturers Bank. He has led a most active life, fruitful of good results, his labors having been crowned with a very desirable measure of prosperity.
That Mr. Bell is recognized as a man worthy of marked trust and confidence is shown in the fact that he has frequently been called upon to act as guardian or as trustee of important interest& In politics he is a most earnest and loyal republican. In 1902 he was appointed public administrator of Racine County and served in that connection until 1915. In 1905 he was elected to the state legislature and was again chosen to represent his district in the general assembly in 1907 and 1911. He was a member of the city council of Racine from 1902 until 1915 and exercised his official prerogatives in support of many measures that have been of direct benefit and value in the upbuilding of the city. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity in all of its different branches and has held many offices in connection therewith. Reared in the Episcopal faith, he still attends the services of that church. An analyzation of his life shows that his entire career has been actuated by honorable purposes and dominated by the spirit of advancement. What he has undertaken he has accomplished, for in his vocabulary there is no such word as fail. When one avenue of opportunity seems closed he seeks out other paths that will bring him to the desired goal and at all times his business interests and his public life have measured up to high standards.