Born in Walden, Vermont, CHARLES JAMES BELL joined the military during the Civil War, attaining the rank of Corporal. He then returned to his family’s farm to work. He was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1882 and to the state Senate in 1894. He was a member of the Board of Railroad Commissioners from 1894 to 1896, a member of the State Board of Agriculture from 1897 to 1904, and Secretary of the State Board of Cattle Commissioners from 1898 to 1902. As governor, he supported centralized schools and favored restricting the newly-invented automobile to a few roads. In addition, legislation was enacted during his administration forbidding the employment of children in mills, workshops, and factories. After serving one term, Bell returned to farming. He died in New York City and was buried in Walden, Vermont.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 4. Westport, CT: Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Vol. 13. New York: James T. White & Company.