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Home Boy Elevated to One of America's Difficult Tasks
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Home Boy Elevated to One of America's Difficult Tasks
Contributed by edmad709008
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Newspaper Date:

September 24 1936
Newspaper Article:

Little did Daniel M. and Ottis (Hardy) Bell joined in matrimony in September, 1880, dream that the little son, born to them on July 23, 1891, would some time be confidential advisor to the world's highest executive. Daniel W. Bell was the name given to this baby, who grew up to be a quiet and unassuming boy, but always ambitious and looking to the future. While attending local school he worked on farms in the vicinity of Kinderhook during vacations.

His ambition and diligence so aroused the interest of one of the town's leading merchants and close neighbor, D. S. Griffeth, a man in position to know and appreciate these qualities. When little Dan Bell decided in 1910 to further his education, with the help of Dave Griffeth, he enrolled in Gem City Business College. He made an excellent record as a student and when through with his course, he took a Federal Civil Service examination, which he passed with such high grades that he received an appointment and was assigned to the Treasury Department. Appreciating his handicap because of his limited general education, he took advantage of his spare time by completing a course in law in one of the Universities in the City of Washington while earning a salary as an employee of the Treasury Department.

It took him nine years to finish his college work and during that time, he was advanced until he became the commissioner of the Departments of Warrants and Disbursements. His appointment as Director of the Budget does not come as a surprise to his many friends, all of whom recognize his unusual ability.

His work s been very pleasing to Mr. Roosevelt and Secretary Morgenthau, and he has been summoned to the White House with increasing frequency in recent months for long conferences with the President. Those close to President, say he has expressed amazement at Mr. Bell's aptitude in understanding complicated treasury ledgers and in grasping the intricacies of government finances with their ten and eleven digit figures.

He has been with the Treasury Department twenty-two years. In 1919 he began specializing on foreign loan accounts, learning to keep in his head with amazing accuracy, the figures of debtor nations.

Records conceivably could be stolen. Ledger sheets could be copied. So the key figures of the stabilization manipulations are not to be found on paper. The are behind Mr. Bell's unlined brow, for the sole use of President Roosevelt, and Secretary of the Treasury, Henry A. Morgenthau.

Daniel Bell met and married his wife at Washington, D. C., and they have one child, Kathleen, now a young girl of fourteen. Daniel Bell has made several trips back to Illinois in these past few years and old friends and associates find him the same friendly unassuming Dan. An unfailing gauge of a man's worth and popularity can always be measured by the way his old friends feel toward him and truly Dan is a Prophet honored in his home County. But why shouldn't Daniel W. Bell go far, as would any one with the prayers and blessings of a wonderful woman as he called mother, who a truly noble character, untiring in her efforts for family. She passed away at Kinderhook, January 17, 1929.

This is the story of Daniel W. Bell, 45 years old, Career Man of Washington, D. C., who started as a poor boy but by his own efforts became one of the highest financial figures in the United States. This showing that efforts directed in the right way, when coupled with determination and diligence, can attain for anyone unlimited success.

Daniel W. Bell is the grandson of Ninnian H Bell and Ann M (Walburn) Bell, pioneer settlers of Kinderhook. Mr. Bell was born February 27, 1838, and passed away at Kinderhook, October 28, 1922.

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