Alfred Buhrman Bell
5/3/1881 Lyons, KS
11/4/1908 San Jose, CA
Baptismal – 4/8/1882 Evangelical Lutheran Church, Topeka, KS
Parents: Martin Luther Bell & Lydia Ann Oaks
Alfred was named after the Pastor presiding at Jacob’s Lutheran Church from 1864-1871. This would have been the family congregation while living in Washington County, MD. Alfred’s sister, Lyday May was born in Hagerstwon, Washington, MD during this time then a few years later the family up and moved to Kansas where Alfred was born.
1885 Kansas State Census-Shawnee County, Kansas: Martin 47yrs; Lydia A 41yrs; Harry 17yrs; Morland 15yrs; Lyday 7yrs; Burhman 3yrs
1900 US Census-resides Kansas City, Jackson, Missouri – Martin L 60yrs; Lydia A 54yrs; Lyday M 22yrs; music teacher; A Buhrman 19yrs; Luther K 12yrs.
From some of the documents and reference that I’ve come across I believe he went by his middle name Buhrman, although no one can verify that for me at this time. I will refer to him as Buhrman since this is my belief.
Buhrman moved to San Jose, CA about 1902 to live with his brother Moreland who already had started his family and career there. With his brothers family Buhrman attended Trinity Episcopal Church where he met Lona Sherburne, originally of Oberlin, OH. They married at the church on December 16, 1906 and had a wedding party at the home of Lona’s parents. They had all the guest sign a napkin to remind them of their special day.
By 1907 he and Lona had three children. Grace Elizabeth Bell born 1904; Cyril Sherburne Bell b. 1906 and Marna Gertrude Bell b. 1907 and moved to 975 Palm Street, San Jose, CA.
Buhrman started working for a land developer, clearing land for tract homes. His father in law was helping in the dealings of real-estate and land development was a potential industry for making great money at this time. In November of 1908, while clearing off a piece of land with a steam tractor, the boiler on the tractor exploded. Buhrman died hours later, leaving Lona to raise her three babies alone. Alfred Buhrman Bell, died at the age of 27 and is buried at Oak Hill Memorial Park, San Jose, CA, there is no head stone where he lay and I’m not sure why, maybe the family could not afford a stone. Lona never remarried and raised her “three little bells” without their father.