The Shemwell Family

Gertrude Frances BellAge: 75 years18791954

Gertrude Frances Bell
Given names
Gertrude Frances
Married name
Gertrude Frances Armstrong
Birth April 2, 1879
MarriageAlbert Howard ArmstrongView this family
December 20, 1905 (Age 26 years)
Birth of a daughter
#1Emma Elizabeth Armstrong
April 21, 1907 (Age 28 years)
Birth of a daughter
#2Opal Ruth Armstrong
November 21, 1909 (Age 30 years)
DivorceAlbert Howard ArmstrongView this family
1915 (Age 35 years)

Death of a husbandAlbert Howard Armstrong
March 8, 1917 (Age 37 years)
Death May 5, 1954 (Age 75 years)
Cemetery - also add to Place of burial: Holy Cross Cemetery
Family with Albert Howard Armstrong - View this family
Marriage: December 20, 1905McLean, Illinois, United States
Divorce: 1915
16 months
Emma Elizabeth Armstrong
Birth: April 21, 1907 22 28McLean, Illinois, United States
Death: February 13, 1985Schuyler, Missouri, United States
3 years
Opal Ruth Armstrong
Birth: November 21, 1909 25 30DeWitt, Illinois, United States
Death: February 9, 1992Denver, Colorado, United States

No family available

We have found no proof of Gertrude's true maiden name. She always said her father's name was George Bell and in another place she said Herman Bell. No marriage record for her mother, Lydia, has been found. In the 1880 census Lydia was found living with a Grassley family as a housekeeper and there was no baby listed with her. Gertrude claimed to have been born in 1879. Certificate of Record of Marriage, State of Illlinois, County of McLean: Howard Armstrong 23 years at next birthday was married to Gertrude Bell age 23 at next birthday - 20th December 1905 by W.A. Mast a clergyman. When Gertrude's mother died she went to stay with an Aunt Emma Schultz in Chicago and then with aunt Sadie and Jim Pike in Bloomington, Illinois. She worked for a family named Engle in Bloomington before she married Howard Armstrong. There is suspicion within the family that she had been committed to a mental instution or a prison, as she was gone for awhile and her inlaws, Annie and William Armstrong, took care of the two little girls, Emma and Opal. Emma remembered her mother coming to get them and had the sheriff with her, she remembered having to leave their toys and go with their mother and the sheriff. "I cried so hard cause mom gave away my toys to some other kids." They went to some relatives on the Mentzer side of the family up in Wisconsin and Minnesota for a short time and ending up in Omaha, Nebraska for awhile with another family member.Gertrude answered an ad in the Omaha, Nebraska newspaper (about 1912) for a housekeeper, got the job and kept house for Frank Miller and eventually married him. It was in Palaside Nebraska that Emma and Opal grew up. personal interview with her daughter Emma Armstrong Snider - "Her mother and sister stayed in Minneapolis, Minnesota with Emma and Ruddy Shultz in the fall of 1912. In March (after the big tornado in 1913) Gertrude and girls came to Omaha, Nebraska to Aunt Mayme (Hartman) Kirby to help run a rooming house. Stayed in Omaha till August then went to Nebraska to Millers. Gertrude answered an ad in the Omaha paper for a housekeeper. They arrived in Nebraska in time for Emma to go to the 1st year of school. After Frank Miller died Gertrude continued to there and worked out as a nurse for Dr. A. B. Fellers and did housework by the hour. She went to California in December 1938 to stay and died out there. She joined the Catholic Church in Fresno--her confirmation was the 22 April 1944, St. Thresa Church. While in California she worked for Ethel Astone doing housework and baby sitting and then for St. Agnes, Hospital housekeeping or kitchen." Letter dated 15 Aug 1925 from Aunt Emma E. Schultz to neice Gertie and children - She states that Jessie and Mamie put her in a poor farm, stole all of her property and made her sign a deed to her place -"beat me and pulled my hair". She says that she will be 59 years old the 16 of September. "Willie told me that Jessie had taken up Christian since I said she ought to the way she acts towards the only aunt he had in the world she did not care if I was living or dead her and Mamie doped me until I was nearly dead they fed it to me in food and milk and got others to do it also just like H A did you." In the district Court of Hayes County, Nebraska: Gertrude Armstrong, Plaintiff vs Howard A. Armstrong, Defendant - Decree of Divorce: On this 5th day of April, 1916, the same being one of the days of the regular April, 1915, term of the district court in and for Hayes county, in the state of Nebraska, the plaintiff being present in person, and by G.A. Ready, her attorney, this cause came on for trial to the court. The court finds that due and legal service has been had on the defendant, Howard A. Armstrong; that defendant has failed to appear, answer or plead, and default of the defendant is hereby entered. This cause coming on further to be heard upon the petition and the evidence, the court hereby enters and order of dismissal of this action without prejudice, for the lack of sufficient proof of the residence of the plaintiff within the state of Nebraska a suficient length of time to give this court jurisdiction in the case. On the same day, upon motion of the plaintiff this action was reinstated, and further evidence had that the plaintiff has resided within the state of Nebraska a sufficient time to give this court jurisdiction, whereupon, upon consideration by the court of all the evidence, the court finds generally for the plaintiff. It is therfore considered, adjudged, ordered and decreed by the court that the plaintiff be, and she hereby is, divorced from the defendant, and the marriage relations heretofore existing between them is hereby dissolved, and both of said parties are hereby released from the obligations thereof, provided, however, that said divorce shall not become effective except for the purpose of appeal, for six months from this date. It is further ordered and adjudged that the plaintiff have the custody and care of the children, the issue of said marriage, to wit: Emma e. Armstrong, and Opal R. Armstrong, subject to any future orders of this court. It is further ordered and decreed that the plaintiff pay the cost of this action. Certificate of Marriage: State of Nebraska, Hayes County - Mr. Lewis Frank Miller and Mrs. Gertrude Armstrong 14 October 1915. L.F. Miller is 60 born in Illinois parents Peter Miller and Emma Pike: Gertrude Armstrong is 36 born in Iowa parents Herman Bell and Lida Mentzer. Death Certificate: State of California Department of Health Services Gertrude Miller born 2 Apr 1879 died 5 May 1954 Fresno County California. Buried Holy Cross Cemetery, Fresno, California. Resided in state 16 years.- Her grandson, Ronald Snider, remembers a priest calling his mother, Emma, several times wanting money to pray his Grandma, Gertrude, through puratory. They did not send money.