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Frank W. Bell Collection

Scope and Content

The Frank W. Bell Collection is primarily concerned with real estate records from Milledgeville, Baldwin County and the surrounding counties. The collection also includes wills and estates executed by Bell, paperwork involving the Milledgeville Banking Company and deeds and land grants from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

The Frank W. Bell Collection mainly consists of real estate records dealing with Baldwin County and other counties in Georgia. These include Putnam, Washington, Jones, Hancock, Wilkinson and Wilkes Counties. The collection also contains wills prepared by Bell and files referring to litigation involving the Milledgeville Banking Company, of which Bell was president.

Some items of note in the collection are:
Box 139 includes three folders of records detailing correspondence between Georgia's Secretary of State and the director of the Lunatic Asylum. Included in this is a letter from Georgia's Surveyor General directing that Baldwin and Wilkinson Counties be divided and mapped. It is not known if this document is the original letter or a duplicate. Also included is a tracing of the original map of Baldwin County.

Files concerning Marion W. Stembridge are in Box 177. Stembridge was a local banker and grocer who is best remembered for his involvement in a case which was fictionalized in the novel "Paris Trout." Stembridge murdered two men, Marion Ennis and Thomas "Pete" Bivins in 1953 and then committed suicide.

Box 154 contains the schedule of taxes for Baldwin County from 1934-1940.

Box 206 contains a group of folders entitled "Deeds, Various Counties." These folders contain deeds ranging in date from 1795 to 1903. The deed from 1795 is from Wilkes County and involves a man named John Garrard. Also included are three original Georgia Land Grants from 1805. Two of these grants have the original seal attached to them.

Box 207 has a list of Garrard family members born in 1700s. The list is handwritten on the back of the title page of a New Testament printed in Edinburgh, Scotland in1769. The title page was roughly torn out of the Bible and is missing some of the dates. The first birth recorded is Nancy Garret, who was born Oct. 18, 1787.