Historical Details

Bell, Tom History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/05/2020


by Evelyn Stark

Tom Bell, former Wyoming resident and pioneer, and one of the men whose holdings in the Lance Creek field during the first oil boom here brought him an estimated wealth of upwards of a million dollars, passed away at his home in    St. Cloud, Fla. following a sudden heart attack.

Bell came to Wyoming in the late "70"'s, and during his more than half century of residence here, became one of the largest cattle growers of the state.  He was head of the Torn Bell cattle company, and operated what in early years was known as the famous Node ranch. This place is now owned by Jas. Christian and Dan Jordan and is still regarded as one of the finest ranches in the west. Mr. Bell also owned a ranch in the vicinity of the present Lance Creek oil field, and it was there that his boom to high finance began.

When oil was first discovered in the local field, Mr. Bell organized to develop his own land and among the companies which became most prominent and which still exist as leaders in oil circles are the Tom Bell Royalty Co. and the Buck Creek Oil Co., stock in each company had par value of $1.00 a share.  Tom Bell Royalty sold as high as $2.50 a share.

Mr. Bell remained here for several years after the oil boom first began, and then went to Florida, where he purchased an orange grove. He has resided on the ranch in active charge until recently, it is understood, when he became physically unable to handle all the work therein entailed.

Besides his wife and son, Lionel, Mr. Bell is survived by one daughter, Miss June
Bell, who resides in California. Miss Bell for a number of years was private secretary to the late United States Senator, Robert D. Carey.

Three other sons, Floyd, Tom, Jr., and Max preceded their father in death. Floyd died as the result of a spider bite; Tom Jr. was dragged to death by a horse and Max was killed in an automobile accident. The latter two are buried here.

The Bell residence in Lusk is the property now owned and occupied by Joe Kuhn and family.    Mr. Bell also at one time owned the residence property now belonging to J.M. Bishop and family.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Bell, Thomas (11/20/1863 - 01/07/1940) View Record
Historical Bell, Thomas Family History View Record