Isabella "Belle" Stewart



Belle was raised in Coshocton, Ohio. She was the eldest of two daughters born to John and Sarah Stewart, though her sister, Haddie, wasn’t born until just after Belle’s ninth birthday. 

Belle’s father was a successful businessman and the family lived comfortably in a large house on a double block on Main Street. They had a live-in servant. 

Belle probably met her future husband, Will Ells, before the Civil War when he came to Coshocton as a photographer, but she was just a young teenager at the time. They didn’t marry until 1866, a few years after the war, when she was 20 and he 27.

They had two daughters, Lulu and Bessie. For awhile, the young family lived in Newark, Ohio, a short train trip from Coshocton. Will was again working as a photographer, probably for his brother-in-law Charles Hempsted.

Sometime in the early 1870s, they move back to Coshocton where Will then worked as a cashier at his father-in-law's bank. But in 1874, at the age of 28, Belle suddenly died after an illness of less than two weeks.

The Coshocton Age newspaper reported that, “Thus has the ever-dreaded Messenger plucked from our community a devoted wife and mother, an affectionate daughter, and from society one of its most valued and highly esteemed members. Although just in the spring-time of life, the last debt of nature was liquidated with that christian fortitude enjoyed by those only who, while on earth, live an exemplary and virtuous life....The grief stricken husband, parents, and motherless children, who have been so severely tried in the afflictions of sickness and death, have the earnest condolence and sympathy of the entire community.”

Father: John G. Stewart (1814-1885)
Mother: Sarah Humrickhouse (1826-1906) 

Spouse: Lieut.William Eugene Ells (1839-1883) 


*At some stage after Belle's death, her two daughters were raised by Belle's parents and eventually became known as Lulu and Bessie Stewart instead of Ells. 


  • 1845

    November 1 - Born in Ohio, probably in Coshocton. The 1st of two children of John G. and Sarah (nee Humrickhouse) Stewart. 

  • 1866

    October 23 - Marries Lieut. William Eugene Ells in Coshocton, Ohio.

  • 1868

    April 28 - Daughter Lulu born in Newark, Ohio.

  • 1870

    February - Daughter Bessie born.

  • 1874

    March 24 - Dies in Coshocton, Ohio, aged 28 years. Buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Coshocton. 

  • 1904

    October 29 - Remains removed to South Lawn Cemetery, Coshocton, Ohio (Section F, Lot 82).

Newspaper Clippings

From The Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio), Friday April 3, 1874:
Image of newspaper death notice which reads: A dispatch received here Wednesday morning announces the death at Coshocton, Tuesday night, of Mrs. Belle (Stewart) Ells, wife of Mr. Will Ells, formerly of this place. The deceased was a most estimable lady, and had made many and dear friends in Newark, where she had at one time resided at. Newark American.

Belle Stewart and Lizzid Crawford
Belle Stewart and her cousin Lizzie Johnson

Stewart residence, Main Street Coshocton
Belle's parents' home on Main Street, Coshocton – where Belle grew up.[1] 

Belle Stewart

Footnotes & Sources 

  1. [1] Lithograph from NN Hill, Jr, comp., History of Coshocton County, Ohio: Its Past and Present, 1740-1881 (Newark, Ohio: AA Graham & Co, Publishers; 1881; facsimile reprint, Salem MA: Higginson Book Co; 1995), p607.

Last updated: 8 January 2024

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