The collection primarily belonging to Fred Tate Bell (1888-1966), his wife Grace Agnes Bell née Patterson, and their son Norman.
Among the many priceless documents in this donation are a series of letters from Marguerite Patterson to her sister Grace during Marguerite’s time as a nursing sister in World War I. Marguerite Elma Taylor née Patterson was born on Aug. 27, 1893 in Moscow, Camden Township. She was the daughter of William John Patterson (1850-1933) and Carrie Rocepha Patterson née Martin (1868-1952). As a young girl Marguerite attended Moscow Public School, and in high school attended Albert College in Belleville. In 1913 Marguerite studied nursing at New York Civic Hospital. Marguerite was a nursing sister in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War I. She enlisted in July 1916, serving in Canada, Britain, and France. She was posted at No. 2 Canadian General Hospital in Letreport from October 1916 to March 1918. Marguerite’s letters home capture her varied experiences during the war: exploring London by foot and tram, working in Letreport as a surgical nurse, and serving with a CAMC casualty company tending to the wounded near the front lines at Amiens. Marguerite was discharged to Kingston in March 1919, after being wounded during a bombing near her worksite. Upon recovery at her family’s farm in Camden Township, Maple Nook Farm, Marguerite continued on with a successful nursing career, working in Wichita, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Parrel, Chihuahua. She retired to Napanee in 1961, marrying Dr. Clifford Taylor (d. 1967) and settling into a home on Bridge Street.