George Washington Bell and his wife had ten children. His brother, James Jefferson Bell, who lived in Senoia, Coweta County, and was married to Martha Coppedge, had none. After much soul-searching, George and Martha Bell agreed to let their first-born daughter, Katie Lou, live with James and Martha Bell during the school year, and return home to Clem in the summer to be with her siblings.
This arrangement worked very well for Katie Lou. She later said she felt as if she had had four parents. Living in Senoia as an only child, she had some advantages in educational opportunities and extracurricular activities such as horseback riding and music that would not have been available in Clem. Then in the summertime and other vacation periods, she was able to return to Clem and be with her brothers and sisters, with whom she maintained a close relationship throughout their lives. She ended up living all of her childhood years in Senoia with her aunt and uncle, "Mama" and "Papa".
Among Katie Lou's souvenirs is a small autograph book that she started in 1889 in Senoia when she was seven years old and continued until 1898. Most of the writers appear to have been her Sunday School and school friends, and a few relatives. Here are the entries in the order they are shown in the book:
1. December 31, 1889. Senoia. J. D. Goodman: Dear Little Katie Lou, I appreciate the honor of being the first to write in your --. May your pathway through life be strewn with rarest flowers & may the Angel of the Lord ever encamp around & about your dwelling place. Your S.S. teacher.
2. January 21, 1890. Senoia. Blanche Brown: Dear Katie Lou, I wish for you all that is best and truest in life. God grant that you may grow into a noble woman and be an honor to your father and mother. Your friend.
3. January 22, 1890. Senoia. Alvea R. Addy: Dear Little Friend: Ma your future through life be strewn with the sweetest flowers and that your little life boat be guided by the gentle hand of God's angels into the smoothest waters of life's ocean is the sincere wish of your Little friend.
4. February 2, 1890. Senoia. Lucy M. Dear Katie Lou, May all your sorrows make you strong life's race to run, till the lips of smiling angels greet you with the word well done. Your friend.
5. February 13, 1890, Senoia. M. H. Smith. Dear little Katie Lou, May Heaven's choicest blessings rest on your childhood days, and as you grow older may the new beauties of life so present themselves to your mind that you will embrace all that is good, and shun the vice to which you may be exposed, and thus attain to noble womanhood is the sincere wish of one who loves you.
6.Undated. Susie Hardy. Remember your friend and schoolmate.
7. Jan. 24, 1894. Senoia. Sallie T. Barnes. Your album is a golden spot in which to write forget me not. Your true friend.
8. Jan. 29, 1894. Louella Bussey. Dear Katie Lou, When in some far and distant land, view this the writing of my hand; when my face you cannot see, then kind friend remember me. Your friend.
9. Sept. 18, 1899. Senoia. Ruby Bell. When clouds are dark and friends are few, remember me and I will you. Your sister.
10. Undated. Lizzie C. Dear Friend, No life can be well ended that has not been well spent.
11. April 10, 1890. Ida Sue Methwin. Dear Katie Lou, May refreshing showers of love ever fall around thy pathway. Your friend.
12. Jan. 29, 1894. Senoia. Maxie Searcy. Your album is a golden spot in which to write Forget Me Not. Your friend.
13. April 15, 1891. A. (?) A. (?) B. Dear little Katie Lou, Remember well and bear in mind, a faithful friend is hard to find. And when you find one good and true, change not the old one for the new.
14. March 11, 1892. Atlanta. Kittie Westbrook Remember your cousin.
15. Undated. Susie Fall. Dear Katie Lou, In memory's casket drop one pearl for your friend. Your friend.
16. March 6, 1898. Fannie A. C. Dear Katie, Remember your cousin.
17. Undated. Nettie. Dear friend, Remember is all I ask.
18. Undated. Mary Linch. Remember your friend.
19. Jan. 23, 1894. Senoia. Walter Day Couch. To Miss Katie Lou, Think of me when you are happy, Keep for me, one little spot. In the depths of thy affection, plant a sweet "forget-me-not". Your little school-mate.
20. Feb. 4, 1893. Senoia. Hubert Couch. Dear Friend, May life be in the deep ocean, and when you are happy think of me.
21. July 7, 1898. Senoia. Kittie Westbrook. Flowers gathered at my Father's and Brother's graves. Yours truly. (dried flower and ribbon attached).
22. Jan. 25, 1895: Jennie Fall. Dear Katie Lou, May the silver waves that bear you Heavenward be filled with loves whisperings. Your friend.
23. Undated. Ottie. Dear Katie Lou. Some love one and some love two, but I love one and that is you.
24. January 1, 1893. Amanda L. Tompkins. Dear Katie Lou, On this spotless page my pen assays to trace a record of affection, and as I write an ache is in my heart that for thee every life's ____ may be written with the golden pen of love.
25. Mar. 16, 1898. Senoia. Ora Scott. Dear Katie, Remember your schoolmate.
26. Undated. Alice Hitch. Dear Katie Lou, May there be just enough clouds in your life to forma glorious sunset. Your friend.
27. Feb. 4, 1803: Charlotte Stakely. Dear Katie Lou, Our lives are albums, written through with good or ill, with false or true; and when the blessed angel turns the pages of our years, God grant they read the good with smiles, and blot the bad with tears. Sincerely your friend.
28. Undated. Hubert C. Dear Katie Lou, Remember me is all I ask.
29. Jan. 24, 1894. Fannie Reeves. Dear Friend, May your life be bright and happy, May your friends be kind and true. May you enter the gate of Heaven when your work on earth is through. Sincerely yours.
30. Undated. Senoia. H. D. Coppedge. Remember me is all I ask, but if remembrance be a task, forget me. Your friend.
31. Undated. Lillie Tull. Always remember your true friend.
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