Bell, Jesse B. Papers, 1924-1998

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Jesse B. Bell

Title: Papers, 1924-1998

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for this collection, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 1 cubic foot

Locator Number: Mss./A/B433

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of correspondence between Dr. Bell and numerous boards and organizations to which he belonged over a long medical career in Louisville, Ky. Included are letters of appreciation, appointment to various boards and hospital staffs, and congratulatory cards and letters for several local and national awards. A large collection of award certificates and a series of minutes from meetings of the Louisville Lung Association and the Louisville Memorial Hospital Board of Governors are also included. Photographs, depicting events in the life of Dr. Bell and his wife, Geneva Howard Bell, have been transferred to the photographic collection. Some of them include persons of national importance, such as Roy Wilkins and Muhammad Ali.

Biographical Note

Jesse Bennett Bell was born in Tallulah, Louisiana, 20 April 1904. He received a B.S. degree from Morehouse College, Atlanta, Ga., and an M.D. degree from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tenn., in 1931. After practicing for two years in Frankfort, Ky., he contracted tuberculosis and moved to Louisville where he could receive better care. While recovering, he decided to devote his career to public health, specializing in chest diseases. He married Geneva Howard in 1936. He worked with the Waverly Hills Sanitarium and the Health Department of Louisville. He later served as medical director of the Red Cross Hospital from 1942 to1946. He then opened a part-time private practice in Louisville and was appointed to the medical staff of several hospitals. Dr. Bell initiated the first program in Kentucky for screening disadvantaged persons for high blood pressure. He served on several local civic boards and local and state health-related boards, including the Kentucky Heart Association and the Kentucky Health Services Advisory Council. He received two prominent national awards, appointment to the American Lung Association Hall of Fame in 1980 and the Louis B. Russell, Jr. Award from the American Heart Association for outstanding service for Minority Programs in Kentucky in1983. Dr. Bell died 27 November 1998 in Louisville, at the age of 94.

List of Folders

Folder 1: Correspondence, certificates; 1924-1959

Folder 2: Correspondence, minutes, certificates; 1960-1969

Folder 3: Correspondence, minutes, certificates; 1970-1972

Folder 4: Correspondence, minutes, speeches; 1973-1976

Folder 5: Correspondence, minutes, certificates; 1977-1978

Folder 6: Correspondence, certificates; 1979

Folder 7: Correspondence, certificates, 1980

Folder 8: Correspondence, minutes, certificates; 1981-1982

Folder 9: Correspondence; January – February 18, 1983

Folder 10: Correspondence, certificates; February 19-24, 1983

Folder 11: Correspondence, certificates; February 25-28, 1983

Folder 12: Congratulatory cards, notes; February, 1983

Folder 13: Correspondence, newspaper clippings; March – December 1983

Folder 14: Correspondence, certificates; 1984

Folder 15: Correspondence, congratulatory notes, cards, certificates, newspaper clippings; 1985

Folder 16: Correspondence, certificates; 1986

Folder 17: Correspondence, certificates, newspaper clippings; 1987

Folder 18: Correspondence, certificates, miscellaneous; 1988

Folder 19: Certificates, items from Bell memorial service, miscellaneous; 1989-1998

Folder 20: Undated correspondence, certificates, cards, miscellaneous

Folder 21: Oversize documents: certificates

Subject Headings

African American physicians – Kentucky – Louisville

African American business enterprises – Kentucky – Louisville

Chest – Diseases – Louisville

Health boards – Kentucky

Hospitals – Kentucky – Louisville

Insurance companies – Kentucky – Louisville

Kentucky. Commission on Higher Education

Kentucky. Health Services Advisory Council

Kentucky Heart Association

Louisville Lung Association

Louisville Memorial Hospital

Mammoth Life and Accident Insurance Co. (Louisville, Ky.)

Physicians – Kentucky – Louisville

Public health – Kentucky – Louisville

Venue Rental

Spaces Available for Rent Beginning 2022

The Filson Historical Society is a unique venue that blends the historic with the modern and provides a stunning background for any event. Several areas of the campus are available to be rented for dinners, retreats, meetings, receptions, parties, or weddings. The venues have access to 74 free parking spaces and wifi, as well as small catering areas. All of the Filson’s facilities have accessible parking.

View a virtual tour of our spaces!

Visit the Filson

1310 S. 3rd St., Louisville, KY 40208
(502) 635-5083

The Filson will reopen to the public on September 1st, 2021 – Read More! All events are currently being held virtually; to register for our live virtual events, please visit our Events Page; for information on recorded lectures and other activities, please visit us online at Bringing History Home.

We are resuming in person research, and suggest reserving a seat – learn more here.  The research library is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4:30 pm.  Please note: For the remainder of 2021 the Filson’s Research Library will be closing at 12:30 pm on the third Friday of each month.

We also continue to provide remote research services; please email gro.l1632145136aciro1632145136tsihn1632145136oslif1632145136@hcra1632145136eser1632145136.


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