Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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BELL, Clark, lawyer, born in Rodman, Jefferson County, New York, 12 March 1832. He was fitted for College at Franklin Academy, Prattsburg, but ill health prevented the completion of his studies. Subsequently he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1853, after which he practiced for some time in Hammondsport, and was postmaster there during Lincoln's administration. Later he moved to Bath, New York, where he followed his profession with great success. In 1864 he removed to New York, where he has since resided. About this time he became the attorney and counsel of the Union Pacific railway, and assisted in preparing the act of congress under which the road was constructed. He has been employed in several important suits in New York, and as attorney for numerous corporations and organizations. Mr. Bell was the originator and president of the "Saturday Night Club." Since 1870 he has devoted special attention to medical jurisprudence, having in that year joined the Medico-legal Society of New York. For six years he was its president, and its success is largely due to his energy. In 1883 he founded the "Medico-Legal Journal," and is still its editor. His writings on medical jurisprudence include the inaugural and retiring addresses during the years he was president of the medico-legal society, and also the following-named pamphlets: "The Coroner System and its Needed Reforms" (1881) ; " Suicide and Legislation" (1882); "The Rights of the Insane" (1883); "Madness and Crime" (1884) ; "Shall we hang the Insane who commit Homicide?" (1885); and "Classification of Mental Diseases as a Basis of Insanity" (1886). He has also contributed largely to the daily press.
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