Jane Brown Bell was born April 7, 1839 in Dotland, Hesham Northumberland, England as one of eleven children of George Brown and Elizabeth Bell. Jane worked for he rich landowners of England at a young age, and when she was twenty years old, she met and fell in love with Edward Bell. They lived in Hexham and together had three children. They were taught and baptized by missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The family left England in 1866 and arrived in Salt Lake City that October. Their son, George, died on the trip, and when they reached Salt Lake, they were poor. They had another daughter, though she died a year later, and in 1868, they moved to Grantsville, where Jane boarded miners and did their washing. A few years afterward, they moved to Ophir, where Jane had another child. They then returned to Grantsville, where Jane planted flowers and trees and helped with the crops. The family had another son before moving to Timpie, where they began a farm. They later returned to Grantsville, where they spent the rest of their years. In total, the family had twelve children. Jane died March 23, 1936.
Part of the J. Allen Parkinson collection, this is a two-page typescript biography written by one of Jane's grandchildren. It is located in the third folder of the collection, which is labeled, Biographies Ba-By. There is minimal amount of detail concerning Jane's personal life; the manuscript suggests that when Jane was first taught the Gospel, she rejected it and attempted to confound it. When she was finally unable to do so, she finally admitted to her husband that she thought it could be true. After arriving in Salt Lake City, the family suffered extreme poverty, such that Jane even sold her wedding ring for a bag of flour. She sold matches in the street until the family moved to Grantsville. The manuscript described Jane as being an industrious woman: on the farm, she gleaned grain in the fields, dried fruit, and she did the washing and various other jobs. Additionally, she was an extremely good cook, known for her pies and jellies. She wore a shawl in the winter, and was noted for wearing a paisley shawl she had brought from England (although she purchased a new one when a woman remarked that Jane was recognizable for her shawl). She is also described as being friendly toward the Indians.