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Lilah Bell Personal Papers

Identifier: 2011-01

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of local history materials including documents and photographs pertaining to St. Luke's School of Nursing in the 1920s, Davenport High School from the 1920s, Red Cross, Homemaker Service, Meal Service, Clarissa Cook Home,and Grit Club. It also includes awards, photographs, scrapbooks, volunteer, and family papers.


  • 1920-2010

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials are available for use in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center only.

Request permission before copying materials.

Personal digital cameras and scanners are allowed in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center on a case-by-case basis. The items that a researcher may want to scan or photograph must be examined and evaluated for physical condition, copyright issues, and donor restrictions by staff.

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

The copyright law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of reproductions of copyrighted material.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement.

Biographical / Historical

Lilah [Mergy] Bell (1908-2011) was a lifelong resident of Scott County, graduating in 1925 from Davenport High School. She graduated in 1929 from St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing. On March 1, 1932, she married Walter Bell, a long time worker at Rock Island Arsenal. He died in 1980. Bell worked as a visiting nurse in Scott County during the Great Depression years then taught home nursing classes for the American Red Cross in the 1940’s. After raising her children she began a14-year tenure working as financial secretary and school board secretary for the Pleasant Valley School District. Mrs. Bell started the Homemaker Service in 1963 and served as its director until her departure in 1977. Later, she was a volunteer counselor for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program, or SHIIP and served on many local boards and volunteered for a variety of programs and organizations. Bell was an avid traveler and compiled a variety of scrapbooks documenting her life. She was one of the original inductees to the Senior Voice QC Hall of Fame. [Acc.#2008-22]


16 Box(es) (in 8 archive boxes, 7 record center cartons, 1 flat box.)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Range 37 Section 9 and 10

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Physical Description


Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center Repository

321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490 United States

About the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center:

The Special Collections Department of the Davenport Public Library was established in 1982. In November of 1999, the newly renovated department opened to better serve its community and was renamed the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center. The Center acquires, arranges, describes, preserves, and makes available local history and genealogical materials concentrating on those pertaining to Davenport, Scott County, and Eastern Iowa.

Books and other printed materials in the collection can be found using a Library Search. For additional digital resources, browse the Upper Mississippi Valley Digital Image Archive. For more information about specific subjects relating to Scott County History, please browse the Research Guides.
Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center
Davenport Public Library
321 Main Street
Davenport IA 52801-1490
(563) 326-7902