Baptist Tabernacle: The Architect

The Architect

Edmund Bell 1841-1917

Bell was born in London, he was educated in Essex, and continued his studies at the Toronto Commercial College.

Arriving in Auckland in 1878 he became a successful architect.

Most noted buildings:

Baptist Tabernacle 1882

Ponsonby Baptist Church 1885

Tonson Garlick Building, Queen St. 1897.{dem}

Excelsior House, Customs St

Stanbeth House, Customs St

President of the Auckland Institute of Architects, Bell was also connected with a number of other public bodies and social and political organizations.

He owned land in Mt Eden which he laid out as a suburban development. Raleigh; Bellwood; Marlborough; Cromwell; and Taupata Streets

For several years he resided in Birkenhead and represented Birkenhead and Northcote on the Auckland Harbour Board. In 1870 at Toronto, Canada, he had married Miss Jessie Oliphant, daughter of Mr. Walter Oliphant, formerly of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Their daughter, Florence Lena Bell, who died in 1886 at the age of two years and 11 months was the first internment at the new cemetery at Waikumete.

Following the death of their son Edmund Herbert Bell in 1899 the Bells returned to Vancouver in 1901.

Edmund Bell became involved in local politics including becoming a City Councillor in 1905

Jessie Bell died in Vancouver in May 1911, having expressed a wish to be buried with her children Edmund brought her remains home to Auckland.

Edmund returned to Vancouver but fell ill during a visit to Auckland in 1917.

The funeral took place at the Baptist Tabernacle on the 2nd of July 1917.

He was interred with the rest of the family at Waikumete Cemetery in West Auckland.

Their surviving son Walter Oliphant Bell joined them in 1948.

BELL Edmund, Adult, 5.7.1917, Plot 2

BELL Walter Oliphant, 23.11.1948, Plot 2/4

BELL Edmund Herbert, 22 yrs, 23.11.1899, Plot 3

BELL Jessie, Adult, 19.6.1911, Plot 4

JESSIE ALICE died at Toronto, Canada 2nd February 1876 aged 6 months 23 days