Bell Elementary School opened in 1951 and was named for well-known community and business leader, Henry Marsh Bell. The original building was located just east of the current school, on what is now the playground. The main building had a bell tower in front and when the old building was taken down the bell was saved and can now be seen in the Bell Library. The current building was the first new school building constructed from the 2004 TISD Bond Election. The “new” Bell opened in August, 2006, and during that year Bonner Elementary moved into the old Bell so that their old building could be razed and a new building constructed. Bonner moved into their new building in 2007 and the old Bell was razed and cleared away to allow for a playground and more parking.
Bricks from the original building can be seen bordering the sidewalk next to the playground. One of the first ones you might see has this inscription: “We survived the tornado.” The original Bell Elementary was hit by a tornado in April, 1957. One classroom was destroyed but happily there were no serious injuries, possibly because only the week before the school had been practicing “duck and cover” drills for threatening weather.
In 2013, Bell became a “Leader in Me” school, following the “Seven Habits of Happy Kids” program developed by Dr. Steven Covey, with the core belief that every child is capable, every child is a leader.
HENRY MARSH BELL
(Thank you to the City of Tyler for sharing this video)