America Virginia Palmer was born on June 11, 1848 in Cass County, Missouri to parents William Henry and Jane Francis (Cowherd) Palmer. The Palmer family is enumerated on the 1850 Census with William listed as a farmer with property worth $340 with three young children (America is one year old). By the 1860 Census William’s property has increased to $5,000 and now there are eight children ranging in age from seventeen to two – America was eleven years old.
By 1870 I suspect the Palmer family had migrated to Colorado to pursue interests in silver mining, but I found no census record for them that year. In 1880 America had married (some family trees list the date of marriage as either August 15, 1871 or 1872) and was living in Crookeville, Hinsdale County, Colorado. Her husband Thaddeus P. Bell was listed as being forty-two years old and working in a silver mine. Jennie, as she was known, was thirty years old and kept house. Their daughter, baby Jennie, was listed as one month old(?). Baby Jennie, according to her gravestone died in 1879:
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