When he wanted a supply of goods he took his produce to Petersburg in wagons; and with a little money in addition, he obtained his supplies. After loading his own wagons, he rode along with them on horseback, keeping with the wagons through the day, and lodging in some house at night.
Having learned from him the route and the names of all his lodging places on the road, Martha set off on her first trading expedition and found no difficulty either on her way or in making her purchases. But after leaving Petersburg, it began snowing early in the day, and and she decided to leave the wagons and get out of the snow as soon as possible.
For a whole day's journey, there was not a house of any description, and the only growth of timber was pine. The snow was whirling about in every direction, driving in her face and blinding her until she became completely lost. But having learned that the largest limbs of the pine tree grow on the south side, she used that as her guide, and arrived at her destination, where she rested for the night.
On May 6, 1779, Martha McGee married William Bell, who was also quite wealthy, and moved to his home on Deep River, in Randolph County, North Carolina, where he operated a mill and store. Bell was the first sheriff of Randolph County. There were no children from this marriage.
Martha was characterized as a "woman of strong mind, ardent temperament, and remarkably firm resolution." Martha was also a midwife, and often traveled about the countryside to attend the births of children and to care the sick. She was known to set out in the middle of the night at imes to go to a neighbors home to help with a birth dressed in her husbands' Militia Uniform coat, and armed with two pistols and a knife.
|Portions of the old Mill Dam Wall lay scattered in Deep River, and some are still intact behind the brige supports that crossed the river.|
|Close up view of the remains of the Mill Dam of Bells Mill.|
The area where the Bells lived was divided between Patriots and Tories (American colonists loyal to the British), and there was a great deal of violence on and off the battlefield. William Bell, was a Capitan in the North Carolina Militia, and the Quartermaster for General Greene's Army.