BELL, ELLA REEVES (RIVES) EATON DICKENS (cir. 1835~1897) Ella Reeves (Rives) Eaton Dickens Bell, wife of Peter Hansbrough Bell, was born in Warrenton, Warren County, North Carolina, circa 1835, to William Eaton, Sr. and Martha P. Hickman. Her father, William, was considered to have been one of the wealthiest planters along the Roanoke River, in both land and slaves, and provided his daughter with every possible advantage. Ella, as a young lady, traveled extensively through Europe, attended Mrs. Meade's School in Richmond and divided her time between Warrenton and Washington, D. C.
On October 28, 1847, Ella married Benjamin A. Dickens in Warren County. However, sometime later, thought the date is not known, Benjamin died. After returning to Washington, she met Peter H. Bell, a Congressman and former Governor of Texas. They were later married in Washington on October 22, 1856, though other accounts state that their union took place on March 3, 1857.
At the end of his second term in Congress, Bell retired from public office and returned to Texas with his new wife, though they eventually settled in Warrenton, where they managed her father's estate. In 1890, they sold their property and moved to Littleton, North Carolina, where Ella died on July 16, 1897. Her obituary, from Warrenton's newspaper, "The Record," called her "a lady of rare culture and refinement, well educated and traveled a great deal in her young days. She was delightfully entertaining in conversation having her mind well stored with incidents gathered from extensive reading and travel. She was a christian lady and died a member of the Episcopal church."
Following Governor Bell's death on March 8, 1898, his and Ella's remains were removed from the cemetery in Littleton and were reburied in Austin at the Texas State Cemetery on January 29, 1930.
Information taken from: Montgomery, Lizzie Wilson; "Sketches of old Warrenton, North Carolina; traditions and reminiscences of the town and people who made it," Raleigh, Edwards & Broughton, 1924.; Warren Co., North Carolina Marriages from Newspapers, http://www.ncwarren.net/marriages/mar-newsp1.html; Marriage Bonds - Warren Co., NC, http://www.rootsweb.com/~ncwarren/marriages/wcmb/gr-d.htm and 1880 United State Census.