The old coal mining town of Bells Mines always will be a mystery to most of us. Oh yes, we've heard a few stories and read some interesting tidbits about it in the old papers, but there is so much that is just lost to the world about the old town and it's coal mines.
My father, Billie Travis spent many years of his young life there, but he never talked about it very much. Not good memories I guess, things he's rather not recall. He kept telling me that he would tell me about it, and also he was going to sketch out a picture of how he remembered the old mining town. Dad was a good sketcher and could draw most anything he wanted. I looked forward to these items of history that only he could provide for me. But he put it off too long and when he passed away in 1993, the history and stories went with him.
The picture is of my dad, Billie Travis, on the right and his cousin Kermit Sarlls, on the left. The picture was made about 1928. They are standing at the base of the coal tipple or coal loading dock that was at Bells Mines. They looked happy and carefree in this picture of long ago.
Kermit was the the son of Richard and Cora Travis Sarlls. They also lived at Bells Mines. The Sarlls name is gone from Crittenden County now. Gone like most all the people that remembered the old community of Bells Mines.