Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Harry Gilbert Cunningham Bell (1907-1982)

Businessman, municipal official.

Born at Gilbert Plains on 12 September 1907, son of Joseph Nelson Bell (1869-1946) and Harriet Cunningham (c1873-?), he was educated at Brickburn School and later, at Grandview School when the family resettled at Grandview in 1919. He farmed, owned a livery stable at Grandview, worked as a lineman with the Manitoba Telephone System, operated a Massey Harris implement business and oil agency (1934-1944), and partnered with Harold Lawson to create the Bell and Lawson Garage and oil agency, a hardware and service station which operated until his retirement in 1974.

Active in the community, he served as a Town Councillor (1940-1947) and Mayor of Grandview (1948-1951, 1958-1966). He was a member of the Grandview Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer of the Senior Citizens Drop In Center. He served on the Executive Council of the Manitoba Chamber of Commerce (1956), and was a member of the Grandview Manor Board (?-1982) and the Grandview District Cemetery Board (1982).

On 23 November 1938, he married Myrtle Edna Marie Livingston and they had two children: Tom Bell and Susanne Bell (wife of Lawrence Kilmister). An avid sports fan and outdoorsman, he enjoyed fishing, golfing, birdwatching, hunting, and curling. He was a life member of the Grandview Curling Club and Masons (Hiram Lodge No. 94), and a member of the Odd Fellows.

He died at his Grandview residence on 21 August 1982 and was buried in Grandview District Cemetery.


1916 Canada census, Library and Archives of Canada.

Obituary [Joseph Nelson Bell], Winnipeg Free Press, 18 July 1946, page 20.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 9 September 1982, page 34.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 24 October 2015

Memorable Manitobans

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