In search of Jacob S. Bell's second wife, I decided to take what information I had and try to work around it.
"Frances M." was born abt. 1877 in North Carolina. She had been married previously at the age of 30, abt. 1900. So I searched the 1900 Census for Carteret County for a woman named Frances, b. abt. 1877. There were eighteen results.
The closest match was a 22-year-old, single, black woman named Frances Wilson, born April 1878, and residing in Beaufort, Carteret, NC on June 21st. She was the mother of four children, ranging in ages from 8 to 3/12. There was no male head of house recorded. I then decided to search for a Frances Wilson in 1910. On April 20, 1910, Frances Wilson, age 37 and still single, resided with her nine children in Beaufort. In 1920, she is still recorded as single, and living in Beaufort with five children. In 1930, I was unable to find a Frances Wilson who fit our description; so, I began searching for her children: Levi, William and Alexander, the oldest living in her household in 1920. However, a search for Alex Wilson in 1930 led me to an enumeration for Francis Wilson, his mother, and his brother Steve and sister Minzette.
Although this search proved unfruitful in that it led me to yet another brick wall, at least I have been able to discern that this was NOT Jacob S. Bell's second wife, and that there must be a "Frances M." out there, somewhere. . . .
My next guess would be that perhaps she did not come from Carteret County. . . .