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 A Mount Allison University Archives Virtual Exhibition

 

Hazel Lawrence (Deinstadt) Bell

 

Hazel Bell with waxberry branches at Lobster Point, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia during November 1938.

Dr. Winthrop Bell's wife was Hazel Lawrence Deinstadt. She was born on October 7, 1889 in Saint John, New Brunswick the daughter of the Rev. Thomas J. Deinstadt (1840-1926) and Mrs. Rebecca McCallum (Beer) Deinstadt (d. 1922).

She attended the Mount Allison Ladies College between 1908 and 1910 in keeping with the family tradition. During 1911 she spent much of the year visiting with family and friends in Toronto, Ontario and furthering her studies in voice and china painting. In January of 1916 she left for Europe where she worked as a nursing sister in a British Hospital that was supported by private subscription and a small grant from the French Government.

Her patients were predominately French nationals and she gave her services free of charge. The hospital was located at Arc-En-Barrois, Haute-Marne, France. She returned home to Saint John, New Brunswick in the fall of 1918 after the close of hostilities. Hazel Bell later wrote that the years immediately after the war were very hard emotionally on her and she suffered with bouts of depression.

Hazel Deinstadt would have been well known to Dr. Bell since his brother had married her sister, Marguerite Deinstadt, in 1910. His diaries provide evidence of occasional visits to the Deinstadt home in Saint John, New Brunswick after his return from Europe and during his years spent teaching at Harvard University prior to his marriage.

Hazel Bell with waxberry branches, Lobster Point, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, November 1938

Mount Allison University Archives, Winthrop Pickard Bell fonds, 6501/17/11/9

May only be reproduced with the permission of Mount Allison University Archives.

On the occasion of her thirty-sixth birthday on October 7, 1925 Hazel Deinstadt married Winthrop Bell in a private ceremony at the Bell family home, 'Boulderwood', in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The couple went back to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1926 so that Winthrop could continue his work there. They moved back to the Maritimes in 1927 taking up residence in Lockeport, Nova Scotia where Dr. Bell was involved with his brother's fishing company. In 1934 the couple relocated to Chester Basin, Nova Scotia and oversaw the construction of their new home, 'Drumnaha', in the Village of Chester which they occupied in April of 1936.

During World War II Mrs. Bell was actively involved with the work of the Canadian Red Cross and looked after small children from England until health troubles and exhaustion restricted her from continuing as care-giver. In 1944 the children returned home to England. Her health was not reasonably restored until 1945. In 1947 she reported to friends in Germany that she was also suffering from rheumatism. In 1951 Mrs. Bell suffered through a case of the shingles and later in the decade began a battle with glaucoma. In 1962 she suffered a serious fall and subsequent accident which caused her to be bed-ridden for much of the year which gradually weakened her health and she was forced to reside in an extended care facility.

Mrs. Bell died in the Mahone Nursing Home in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia on January 24th, 1966 her husband having predeceased her on April 4th, 1965. She was buried beside her husband in the Old Baptist Burying Grounds adjacent to her home in Chester, Nova Scotia.


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This virtual exhibition project was made possible through the generous support of the Marjorie Young Bell Endowment Fund Committee, Mount Allison University.