Bell township was erected out of parts of Loyalhanna and Salem townships, and was organized in 1853. It is bounded
on the north by the Kiskiminetas river; on the east and southwest by Loyalhanna township; on the south by Salem
township, and on the west by Huntingdon township. On the northeastern boundary is built the Pennsylvania railroad.
Its principal stream besides the Kiskiminetas river is the Beaver run. This township is underlaid with coal, which
is being mined. It has also large deposits of fire clay from which fire brick is manufactured. In former chapters
we have spoken of the Carnahan blockhouse. It was built in this township by John Carnahan, and was for many years
a refuge in time of Indian incursion, for himself and neighbors for miles around.
Among the early settlers were the Yockeys, Carnahans, Callens, Marshalls, Whitfields, Clawsons, Ewings, Hiens,
Rumbaughs, Taylors, Alcorns, Neelys, McKees, Hiltys, Thompsons, Kuhns, Blairs, Pauls, Kennedys, Glasses, Klines,
McDivitts, McCauleys, Walkers, Beattys, Gartleys, Montgomerys, Bowmans, Householders, Robinsons, McConnells, Elwoods,
Wolf ords, Bears, Huffs, Longs, etc.
The Getman Reformed and Lutheran Churches established a congregation nearly a mile north of Helena, on a bluff
overlooking the Kiskiminetas river, near the site of an old Indian village called "Old Town." The land
was donated by a farmer named Simon Hine. Upon it they established a Church and a graveyard, and in 1803, a few
years after the graveyard was in use, the neighbors hewed logs, each one on his own home, and hauled them to this
point, and at a time fixed the entire neighborhood met to roll the logs together and build a church. But a dispute
arose between the churches on the question as to whom the ground should be deeded. This dispute was never settled,
and the logs were left to lie there untouched until they decayed. About 1810 Christopher Yockey, of the Reformed
Church, gave a lot of ground about three miles southwest of this, and upon it a church was erected. The first Reformed
pastor was John William Weber, who began preaching there about 1808, and continued until about 1816. His successor
was William Veinel, who preached to them until 1838, in which year they built a very respectable church edifice
of brick as a church building. The church cost $2,200. Both the Reformed and the Lutheran congregations were united
in constructing this church. It was built by Matthew Callen and John Paul. Rev. Henry Kneeler, a Reformed minister,
preached here, though he lived in Kittanning and preached also in Butler. He remained attached to the charge till
1846. Rev. Voight also preached there, probably following Rev. Veinel. Rey. Samuel H. Giesey began preaching there
in November. 1848, and remained with them till 1855. He was followed by Rev. Thos. G. Apple in 1856 and 1857. During
these years the charge had been connected with Greensburg. A separation took place in 1856. Rev. Apple was followed
by Rey. Richard P. Thomas, who preached to them from April 1, 1858, to April 1,1863. He was succeeded by Rev. T.
J. Barkley, who remained till January 1, 1867. Revd. T. F. Stauffer served them from May, 1867, till September,
1861. The church has had much difficulty in procuring a separation from the Lutheran interests, and has not had
regular pastors since. Rev. J. B. Welty, Rev. John McConnel and others have served them since 1874. The township
has seven schools, and 192 pupils enrolled.