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- Variations in title: Formerly known as Hazel Deinstadt journal.
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- Bell, Hazel Lawrence Deinstadt
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Hazel Lawrence Deinstadt Bell, the daughter of the Rev. Thomas James Deinstadt (1840-1926) and Rebecca McCallum Beer (d. 1922), the daughter of John Beer, of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, was born on 7 October 1889 in the Exmouth Street Wesleyan Methodist parsonage, in Saint John, New Brunswick. The Deinstadts had five other daughters -- Marguerite (Bell), Maud, Lillian J. (d. 1924), Janet Louise (McMann), and Irene. Hazel Deinstadt's father served as pastor of Exmouth Street Methodist Church on three separate occasions, 1870-1873, 1888-1891, and 1899-1908. He also served at churches in Moncton, New Brunswick, and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
Hazel Deinstadt received some of her early education in Saint John. Between 1908 and 1910, she attended the Mount Allison Ladies College in keeping with family tradition. During World War I, she volunteered for overseas work while training as a nurse in a Toronto hospital. She arrived in London, in January 1916, and gained some experience with the Canadian Red Cross before heading for France. She worked as a nurse at a hospital at Arc-En-Barrois, Haute-Marne, located near Verdun, caring for wounded soldiers. She stayed there at least three years before returning to Saint John in the fall of 1918. While visiting her family, she helped raise funds for the volunteer hospital at Arc-en-Barrois.
After the war, Hazel Deinstadt married Winthrop Pickard Bell, the son of Andrew Mackinlay Bell (1847-1918) and Mary Emerancy Pickard (1847-1918), on 7 October 1925, at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her sister, Marguerite Deinstadt had married Winthrop Bell's brother, Ralph Bell. After her marriage, Hazel Bell moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Winthrop Bell resumed teaching at Harvard University. They returned to Nova Scotia, in 1927, and made their home at Lockeport, where Dr. Bell was involved with his brother's fishing company. They also lived at Chester Basin, Nova Scotia.
During World War II, Hazel Bell was actively involved with the work of the Canadian Red Cross. She cared for small children from England until health troubles and exhaustion restricted her work. Hazel Deinstadt Bell died in the Mahone Nursing Home, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, on 24 January 1966 and was buried in the Old Baptist Burying Grounds, in Chester. Her husband predeceased her, passing away on 4 April 1965.
Sources: Daniel F. Johnson's Vital Statistics from New Brunswick Newspapers on-line; MC6; RS141 Vital Statistics from Government Records; and finding aid for the Winthrop Pickard Bell fonds at Mount Allison University Archives, Sackville, N.B.
Scope and content
Hazel Deinstadt Bell's reminiscences about growing up in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick, take the form of a letter to her great nieces and nephews, and were written in the 1950s. She recalls the introduction of the telephone, activities along the waterfront in Yarmouth, as well as street cars, hurdygurdies, trained bears, and Hallowe'en celebrations, in Saint John. She also mentions the Boer War (South African War), attending school, silent movies, outbreaks of smallpox, the exhibition, paddlewheel boats on the St. John River, and a visit to New York in 1901. She makes brief comments about her time overseas during World War I.
The fonds also includes a very few newspaper clippings containing information about her time in England and France, during World War I, and her father's career as a pastor in the Methodist Church.
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