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Bell, John, flourished 1847 : John Bell was born about 1799 on the Island of Mull, Scotland. He joined the North West Company (after 1821 the Hudson's Bay Company) in 1818 as an apprentice clerk and spent the majority of his time in the Winnipeg River area. In 1824 he was transferred to the Mackenzie River District. In 1825-26 Bell was appointed clerk at the company's most northern port, Fort Good Hope. In 1838 he began exploring west of the Mackenzie and in 1840 established Fort Mackenzie on its banks. In 1841 he was appointed the company's chief trader but left the area in 1846 because of ill health, not returning until the spring of 1847 to conduct an advance party north from York Factory for the 1848-1849 expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. In 1850-51 he took charge of the Mackenzie River District, then went on to Oxford House and then Cumberland House where he took charge of the district. From 1853 to 1857 Bell supervised the company's Athabasca District from Fort Chipewyan. Following a year furlough (1857-1858) Bell's final years with the company were spent in Canada East at Sept-Iles and Weymontachinguemin the Saint-Maurice District. He retired because of ill health in March 1860 and settled at Saugeen where he farmed. Bell died there 24 June 1868.