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Henry Ogle Bell-Irving was a native of Dumfries, Scotland, the eldest son of Henry Bell Irving and Williamina McBean Irving. Bell-Irving was a Vancouver Alderman and Chairman of the Civic Board of Works, as well as President of the Board of Trade 1895-1896, but was best known as a prominent local businessman, co-founder of Bell-Irving and Paterson, and founder of H. Bell-Irving Co. Ltd., the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company, and Bell-Irving Insurance Agency.
Bell-Irving had trained as a civil engineer in Edinburgh, Scotland and Karlsruhe, Germany. He came to Canada in 1882, and his first employment was as a surveying engineering on the Canadian Pacific Railway. H.O. Bell-Irving, along with his brother Dr. Duncan Bell-Irving, moved to Granville in 1885. In 1886, he returned to England and married Marie Isabella del Carmen Beattie ("Bella"), who returned to Canada with him.
H.O. Bell-Irving served as Alderman for Ward 4 of the City of Vancouver from 1887-1888, at the same time acting as chairman of the Civic Board of Works. In 1888 or 1889, he founded Bell-Irving and Paterson, in partnership with R.H. Paterson. The firm billed themselves as importers, shipping agents, wholesale and commission merchants, and in 1891 became the shipping and commercial agents of the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company, which Bell-Irving had founded in 1890 with British capital.
Bell-Irving served as Commodore of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, was a co-founder of the Vancouver Club and of the Vancouver Connaught Figure Skating Club.
Henry and Bella Bell-Irving had ten children:
1. Henry Beattie Bell-Irving (1886-1959)
2. Richard Bell-Irving (1888-1962)
3. Isabel Bell-Irving (1889-1974)
4. Roderick Ogle Bell-Irving (1891-1918)
5. Malcolm McBean Bell-Irving (1892-1942)
6. Anita Helen Bell-Irving (1893-1959)
7. Allan Duncan Bell-Irving (1894-1965)
8. Mary McBean Bell-Irving (1896-1972)
9. Aeneas McBean Bell-Irving (1898-1966)
10. Helen beatrice Bell-Irving (1904-1977)
Henry Ogle Bell-Irving died in 1931.