Dr. J. Finley Bell

Recently I found an obituary for Doctor J. Finley Bell who was born in Aaronsburg, Pennsylvania in 1860. He graduated from the University of the City of New York on March 13, 1873. Dr. Bell started practicing medicine in 1881 in Glen Hope, PA. A few years later he was appointed to the staff of the State Hospital on Wards Island and some time after that he practiced medicine at the Brentwood Sanitarium also known as Ross Sanitarium on Long Island. It was while he lived in East Hampton that he researched milk bacteriology for which he became a known scientist. In 1883 Dr. Bell married. He was elected to the New York Academy of Medicine in 1889 for his studies in Bacteriology in relationship to milk. In 1901 Dr. Bell moved his family to the staff at Englewood New Jersey and joined the staff of the Englewood Hospital. In 1908 Dr. Bell chaired a Bergen County Medical Society committee to investigate poor care and treatment of prisoners in the Bergen County Jail. In 1910 he founded the Englewood Baby Dispensary in Englewood, New Jersey. Dr. Bell wrote a letter to the New York Times Editor on Prescription in Metric Form, an article describing the conversion of prescriptions to metric measurements. The Bells enjoyed motoring and had raced in several local races while belonging to the New Jersey Automobile and Motor Club of Newark. The Bells celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in March of 1933 the same year Dr. Bell celebrated his 50th year in medicine and his 73rd birthday. We know that he continued to own a summer residence on Long Island in Quogue or East Hampton where it was reported in the New York Times that the Bells had opened their summer home on July 27, 1933. Dr. J. Finely Bell died on June 16, 1936 at his daughter’s home. He was 76 at time of death and was survived by his wife, three sons, and two daughters. Dr.Bell corresponded with Henry Leber Coit a pediatrician who won recognition for his work on the care and feeding of infants. These correspondence are housed at the National Library of Medicine. M. Koferl -- May 2006 -- Local History Newsletter

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