Mrs. Angeline Bell Bruce was the mother to eight children, helping to raise her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other children of her neighborhood.
Ms. Bell was born in the winter of 1824, the child of Mr. Robert and Fannie (Lee) Bell. She was born free as part of a small free Black community. At the time of the 1830 Census, less than 5% of the population of Baltimore County was free Black people, with twice as many Black people enslaved.
Shortly after 1850, Ms. Bell married Mr. Alfred Bruce. By 1860, they were living in Westminster with their six children, including two sets of fraternal twins. In 1870, their family had grown and two more children were with them. The family continued to live near Westminster, as a prominent and respected family.
When Mrs. Bruce’s husband died in 1898, she stayed in Westminster for a time. Her son, Thomas, and his wife and child lived with her. By 1910, Mrs. Bruce had moved to Ashbury Park, New Jersey, living with a granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Again she moved to another grandchild’s home in Pennsylvania. It was in this home that she died in the spring of 1915. She had outlived four of her eight children.
Mrs. Angeline Bell Bruce is buried in Ellsworth Cemetery. Her headstone has recently received professional repair. The restoration was funded by the grant received from the Maryland Historical Trust.
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