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Emily (Palmer/ Sconce/Ebey) Bell

Emily Palmer Sconce Bell was an interesting character in her own right.

While I am not sure if her last husband, Bell, was related to John Bell of the famous “Bell Witch” of Tennessee, it is at least a possibility.

She had one daughter, Anna, with her first husband (John W. Sconce).  It is believed that he might have died during an attack on a wagon train or suddenly due to heart attack. Emily was on the wagon train in 1853 that brought over many of the Ebeys, including Isaac’s wife Rebecca and their two sons. Rebecca died shortly after giving birth to Ebey’s daughter, Sara (Hettie) in 1853. And it was not long before Emily married Ebey.

They did not have any children together. When the Ebey house was attacked, Emily and her daughter escaped through the kitchen. The two Ebey boys were believed to have ran into the woods. By morning, it would become clear that Issac Ebey was the only one who died that evening. Emily had to sue Isaac Ebey’s brother for her widow’s share of the estate. There are instances in his diary where Winfield Ebey notes inconsistencies in stories and this may have given him pause to provide Emily with any money.

Emily moved to Oregon with her daughter. She lived with her brother and then with her sister for some time but there are many letters showing her distress over a lack of money. There are some indications that she was working as a teacher or considering doing so when she met Dr. L.M. Bell and married.

My hope is that the date of the letter was an oversight.