Served as mayor: December 1, 1881–November 30, 1882
William Thomas Reilley Bell was born in Accomac County, Virginia to George and Margaret Welch Bell. He earned a degree from the University of Virginia and went on to fight in the Civil War with the Virginia Infantry. After the war, he moved to North Carolina where he started a military school.
In 1876, Captain Bell moved to Kings Mountain where he opened another school with just 18 students. In 1878, the school name was changed from the Kings Mountain Military School to the public school of Kings Mountain. Captain Bell continued as the principal. This school stayed open until 1886, when Captain Bell closed its doors. The building was destroyed in a fire in 1910. By 1900, Captain Bell had moved to Rutherfordton where he continued to teach. He remained there until his death.
Captain William T.R. Bell was married to wife, Nannie Hill Bell, for 47 years before she passed away in 1915. The couple had three children.
Captain William T. Reilley Bell passed away at the age of 73.