Hugh Bell (settler)

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Hugh Bell
Died10 August 1872
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Wiggins
  • Sarah Ann Bell

Hugh Bell was an Irish emigrant to Upper Canada. He was married to Elizabeth Wiggins also of Ireland.[1] They had a daughter Sarah Ann Bell.[2][3] In 1834 he built a tavern across the road from Malcolmson's tavern in what was then known as "the Corners" on the south side of Richmond Road on the site of what is today the Bells Corners Public School.

There Sarah Ann, or Sally as she was known, met Edward Rielly with whom she eloped.[4] Hugh later gave the couple a 400 acre farm and the means to build the Rielly Hotel in nearby Richmond.[5]

Bell played an active role in local politics and served as councillor, assessor, and tax collector. He often hosted Nepean Township Council meetings in the 1830s and 1840s. When the first post office opened in the area in 1851 it had to adopt a more formal name and it was named Bell's Corners after Hugh Bell.[6]

In 1853, Hugh Bell donated the land on which the stone Union Church was built (now the site of the Union Cemetery).[7] It was the only building in Bells Corners to survive the great fire of August 1870.

He remained in business there until 1863.[8] His hotel was destroyed in the great fire of 1870 and was never rebuilt.

Hugh Bell died on 10 August 1872 at age 74 and is buried in the Bells Corners Union Cemetery.[9]


  1. ^ "Descendants of George Johnstone". Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Reilly's Hotel, Richmond, Ontario, Canada". Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area: Goulbourn Township. Retrieved 24 August 2011.
  3. ^ "The Elopement of Sarah Bell and the History of the Rielly House". The McElroy Family of Richmond, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved 23 August 2011.
  4. ^ McElroy, George. "The Elopement of Sarah Bell and the History of the Rielly House". The McElroy Family of Richmond, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  5. ^ "At the Crossroads – the Rielly House Hotel". Richmond Heritage. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Patchwork Communities of Historical Nepean". Rediscover Ottawa: Exploring the Capital's local history. Retrieved 23 August 2011.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Christ Church (Anglican), Bell's Corners, Ontario fonds". Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Archives. Archives Association of Ontario. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  8. ^ Larry D. Cotton (2007). Whiskey and Wickedness. Lanark, ON: Larry D. Cotton Associates. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-9784875-0-8.
  9. ^ "Bell, Hugh - Carleton County, Ontario". Bell's Corners Union, 3551 Richmond Rd. - Carleton (incl. Ottawa) , Ontario. Retrieved 24 February 2015.