J. A. Bel Residence
The wedding festivities, at the residence of Capt. Daniel Goos, last Wednesday night on the occasion of the marriage of J. Albert Bel, Esq., to Miss Della M. Goos, will always be remembered with pleasure by the invited guests, of whom there were somewhere between one and two hundred. Music, dancing, refreshments and social conversation, made the long winter night seem very short, and it was nearly day-light before the steamer
Pearl Rivers bore the last remaining guests away. Capt. Goos and his amiable Wife have fifteen or sixteen living children, all issue of the same marriage, Mrs. Bel being the eighth married daughter, and Misses Catherine and Marie remaining to enliven the spacious family mansion at Goosport some day with a repetition of those wedding festivities which are always so pleasant there.
Lake Charles American Press,
Monday, May 7, 1934:
MRS. J. A.
WIDELY KNOWN AND LOVED, DEAD
Succumbed to Brief
Illness Last Night.
FUNERAL AT HOME TOMORROW
Widespread Sorrow Prevails at Death of
sorrow spread through Lake Charles and the surrounding country
today at news of the death of Mrs. J. A. Bel, well known and
loved throughout this section, which occurred at 12:55 this
morning, at her home, 527 Mill street, after a week's
Bel, a life-long resident of Lake Charles, and a member of one
of the oldest and largest pioneer families of this section,
was stricken a week ago Saturday, with a cerebral hemorrhage,
from which she never regained consciousness, remaining in a
coma until her
services will be held Tuesday afternoon at 4 o'clock at the
home, the Rev. Father Gaudin, of the Church of the Immaculate
Conception, officiating, Burke & Trotti in charge.
Interment will be in the family mausoleum in Orange Grove
pallbearers will be J. Albert Bel, R. E. Krause, Harry C.
Hanszen, Albert Bel Goos, Lock Paret, Charles Fitzenreiter,
Dr. Olin W. Moss, J. R. Green, Dr. R. G. Holcombe, Charles H.
With Mrs. Bel at the time of her death were her daughter, Mrs.
Harry C. Hanszen of Houston and Mrs. Ernest Bel of Lake
Charles, both of whom were with her constantly during her
illness, together with other members of the family and close
Messages of condolence were being received today by the family
from all parts of this section and callers at the Bel home,
including people from all walks of life, came to pay their
tribute of affection and
Bel reached her 72nd. birthday last Jan. 20. Born in Lake
Charles she had lived here all her life. She is survived by a
large family connection.
Goos was one of a family of 15 children of Captain Daniel Goos
and Katherine Moeling Goos. Goosport was named for her father,
who was one of the early settlers here, a prominent lumberman
in the days when this was a young lumber town and the
Calcasieu river was busy with lumber traffic. He operated a
number of schooners in transporting the products of his mill.
The Goos home was a center of the social life and hospitality
of the town.
Lake Charles Echo, in its weekly issue of Friday,
December 20, published an account of the marriage of Della M.
Goos to J. Albert Bel at the home of the bride's parents in
Goosport on Wed. Dec. 17, 1879, the Rev. Father M. Kelly,
Mrs. Bel was preceded in death by her nine sisters – Mrs.
Babette Fitzenreiter, Mrs. Nellie Lock, Mrs. Rosalie Wachsen,
Mrs. Medora Jessen, Mrs. Fredrica Perkins, Mrs. Katherine
Flanders, Mrs. Marie Williams, Mrs. Emma Richards, and Mrs.
Three brothers, Walter and Fred Goos of Lake Charles, and
Albert Goos of Goos' ferry, a few miles north of Lake Charles
survive. Dan and Christian, two older brothers, died a number
of years ago.
Mrs. Bel is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Harry C. Hanszen of
Houston. A son, Ernest Bel and another daughter, Mrs. Marie
Bel Fay have
seven grandchildren surviving – J. Albert Bel and Mrs. R. E.
Krause of Lake Charles, Katherine Bel Gardiner, now a student
at Smith college, Northampton, Mass., Marie Bel Gardiner and
Jimmy Gardiner, all of Houston, and Albert Bel Fay and Ernest
Bel Fay, students at Yale and Harvard, who also live at
are also two great-grandchildren, Della Bel Krause and
Katherine Bel Krause, children of Mrs. and Mrs. R. E. Krause
of Lake Charles.
Her husband, the late J. A. Bel, carved for himself an
outstanding career which began in a small way as an employee
in a saw mill which later became the J. A. Bel mill. He
brought this mill up to one of the most signal successes in
the lumbering industry and with it he gained renown and
fortune in lumber circles. He was engaged in vast enterprises
and was interested in many
Bel was bereaved in 1918 by the death of her son, Ernest on
Dec. 14, and by her husband one week later, on Dec. 20.
Through all the intervening years their memory was ever fresh
in her mind.
of her gifts which has probably given the greatest pleasure to
the greatest number of persons is the memorial organ in the
Masonic temple, one of the finest in the state, which she gave
in memory of her son and father, members of the
She was one
of Louisiana's wealthiest women, yet despite the many business
cares with which her wealth encumbered her, and the many
demands on her time made by her business interests, she always
found time to devote to her numerous charities and these
formed one of her chief pleasures in life. She declined to
have in intermediary interview persons calling on her for aid,
insisting that she see them personally. She listened
sympathetically and understandingly to their troubles. Their
problems became her's and she went to work to solve
auto was kept mainly for the purpose of conveying groceries,
clothing and household supplies to people in need. She herself
went on these visits of mercy. When stricken with the stroke
which proved fatal, more than one week ago, at 11:30 o'clock
in the morning, the car was standing ready, having just been
filled with supplies, the chauffeur having instructions to be
ready to start at 1 o'clock on one of these frequent
had a special sympathy for needy incurables. There are
numerous such cases where she not only looked after their
needs in food and medicine but employed someone to take care
of them, and built an addition to their homes for their
further comfort. Many were the women or children, suffering
from illness, who needed an operation or hospital treatment to
recover and could not afford it, who had their bills paid by
Mrs. Bel, and so found their way back to
occasions, she visited the hospital, remaining in the room she
had engaged for the sufferers, and awaited the outcome of the
later visits of some of these beneficiaries to her home, after
the recovery of their health, were occasions of great joy to
her. Often they brought little tributes of flowers and farm
products to show their appreciation for her kindness. She was
always deeply affected by this
vast extent of her various charities was known, doubtlessly,
only to Mrs. Bel herself.
especially touched by old women, in need, and came to the
relief of all of whom she heard. Never would she allow burial
in a pauper's grave, if she knew about it, of any aged woman
who had died without funds. Even if the woman were a stranger
to her, she would offer to pay all expenses. She would
reproach friends knowing of such instances, for not bringing
the plight to her
was a deeply religious nature and she was a firm believer in
prayer – always for someone else. Her philosophy of life was
one that enabled her to bear up well under suffering. When her
loved ones were taken from her by death she faced her sorrow
bravely, telling her friends, "God took them because He had
need of them."
outstanding trait in her home life, as well as in her contact
with the outside world, was her absolute unselfishness, her
giving of herself to others. She took homemaking as the
serious work of her life. She made home the center of the
family's interest. It was her practice to have family
gatherings – not just on special occasions – but every
Sunday, with all the members who could possibly be there being
present for Sunday dinner. Anniversaries were family occasions
to be always remembered, with the observance of everybody's
birthday, from the grandchildren on up, being most happy
will be long remembered, and widely missed.