Angus W. Bell

Pre-1940s Ranching

Inducted 2012

Angus W. Bell was born in Singhampton, Ontario, Canada, in September 1876. His parents, Thomas and Elizabeth (Bates) Bell, moved to Jamestown, ND, when Angus was one year old.

Bell received his education in Jamestown and, at age 15, he went out west to Medora where he worked breaking horses at the Eaton Brothers Custer Trail Dude Ranch near Medora. Bell later filed on a homestead southwest of Medora, near the present-day Burning Hills Amphitheater, and developed his own ranch, one of the earliest in the area.

He won the heart of a Jamestown girl, Agnes Flaherty, and persuaded her that setting up housekeeping on the ranch out west was her destiny. They married in 1903 and had one son, Edwin. After establishing a successful ranching operation, Bell and his family bought a home in Medora.

He opened a livery stable in 1915 and, in the ‘20s, operated the famous Rough Rider Hotel. Lucky and/or skilled in poker, Bell won the hotel in a card game and was its proprietor for years.

Highly respected and well known as a rancher, Bell not only ranched for more than 30 years near Medora, but he also traded horses. Movie star Tom Mix depended on Bell to train and board his horses. He was widely known and respected by all who dealt with him in his ranching and business ventures.

Bell continued in the horse business until the day he died on January 20, 1935, and is buried in the Medora Cemetery.