William Wells This venerable pioneer died at his home
in Elk Prairie, last Friday morning, April 15, 1887 in the 74th
year of his age.
The Wells family has been so promnent in the southwest quarter of
the county as to deserve more than a passing notice. The grandfather
of the deceased removed with his family from Pennsylvania to Montgomery
county Kentucky, at a very early day.
His family included 5 sons and 3 daughters.Two of the sons remained
in Kentucky, one came to Illinois and died in Pike county, where the
other two removed to Giles county, Tennessee. These were William and
Jonathan, William had married a Miss Livingston in Ky., a sister to
John Livingston, so well known to old citizens of Mt. Vernon. In Giles
county, William a son of William Wells was born September 16,1813.
In 1819, William Wells removed to Lauderdale county, Alabama.
In 1823 Jonathan Wells came to this county, and stopped in a cabin west
to where Ben Bullock lives 3 or 4 miles west of Mt. Vernon. Then he
lived on the creek above the old Tolle mill place, then located in
Wolf Prairie, where he died Aug. 21, 1869 in his 79th year.
His children were Green Beery, who married Susannah Maxey, a daughter
of Jack Maxey, Nov. 15, 1832, by whom had two sons, Stephen L. and
John W. and 3 daughters, one of whom, the wife of Calvin Ireland,
went Oregon--G.B. taking for his second wife Phebe Allen, the daughter
of Rhodam Allen, Aug. 10, 1846, by whom he had 3 sons and 3 daughters--
Littleman, who married Susan Hays, Feb. 1 1837, and after her death,
Clarentine, daughter of Green Scott, and went to Ark;--Jerusha, wife
of Carroll Dare, mother of Simon and 3 girls;--Jonathan , who married
Elizabeth C. Keller went to the Mexican war, came back and died;--,
Polly Ann, who married Edward Carter, Aug. 24, 1841;--Lucinda, wife of
Jas.G.Davis;--William; and Joseph and James T., who married Mickleberrys.
Joseph dying in Arkansas.
William Wells Sr., came from Alabama in 1823, rented land of John
Wilkerson near Old Union one year, lived two years near Rhodam Allen
and Isaac Hicks two miles west of Mount Vernon, and in 1828 settled in
Wolf Prairie. Here he became a prominent man, filling the office of
magistrate and other positions of public trust: and died June 2, 1865
in his 82d year. He and his brother Jonathan were leading Methodists.
The following were his children: Polly was the wife of Reuben Crosno,
and mother of Jos. H., John S., Chas. B., Pueblo K., and Samuel W.
Suda was the wife Clinton S. Davis and mother of Jasper, William A.,
ex-superviser, co. treasurer, etc., John and Pickney.
William was the oldest son and third child. John married Sarah W.
Jarrell, sister to Richard C., died 1842 and his widow married David
Moore. Barton married a Carter, both now dead, leaving a son, Barton C.,
now chairman of the board of supervisors and a daughter, the wife of
Lorenzo Cunio. Tabitha married Habe Carter and died--her son, Ed, still
living. Pinckney married Nancy E. Ford, April 17, 1853, after her death
married the widow of A. J. Watson, and went to Texas. Henry married
Jane Osborn, June 1, 1846, and Newton died single. Uncle Billy, who
has just passed away, was educated in the subscription schools and
the log school houses of his day; Rev. Edward Maxey being his first
teacher in Illinois. He was married to Lucy Farthing, Feb. 22, 1838.
She was a daughter of Wm. and Sarah Farthing, and a native of Madison
Soon after marriage, Mr. Wells erected a log cabin on public land,
almost on the very spot where he died, and without waiting to finish,
even so much as hang the door, shutters, he moved into it. It was handy.
He killed deer, wolves and other game without going out of doors,
resting his gun in the cracks of his cabin. But in this wild place his
industry acquired and developed a farm of nearly 500 acres--now reduced
by advancements to his children.
Of his children, one or two died in childhood. Elizabeth was the wife
of Joseph Dial, whose death is noted in this issue, but has no children.
Thomas married Elizabeth Hays and lives in McClelland. John W. married
Susan C. daughter of Philo Gilbert. Harvey married a Guthrie, and after
her death a Farthing; is a prominent teacher, a preacher of the Christian
order and was the Prohibition candidate for school superintendent in 1886.
Mary is the wife of Thomas Puckett of Blissville. Newton married a
Loman; Edward, a daughter of Green H. W. Lynch; Jonathan or Doc., a
daughter of Rev. J. N. Brown; and Joseph married a daughter of Gilbert
W. Hays, and lives in Spring Garden township.
As a man, a citizan,a neighbor, Elk Prairie has had none that stood
higher than William Wells. Eight years he served as justice of the peace;
and indeed most of the time, til age caused him to decline, he continued
in some office of responsibility. He was not connected with any church,
but carried through life the rigid adherence to right that he learned
in that strick school of primitive Methodism, his father’s house.
His widow and most of his children are of the Christian denomination,
and people of quiet and exemplary lives. His remains repose
in Hickory Hill burying ground.
Mt. Vernon News Thursday April 21, 1887
Submitted by Phyllis Patterson
Died, at his residence in Elk Prairie, on the night of April 14, 1887,
William WELLS, aged 73 years, 6 months and 29 days. For years he had
suffered with kidney trouble, which at length developed into Bright's
disease, with acute cystitis, and his last illness was protracted and
painful. He was buried on Saturday at the Hickory Hill Cemetery. He was
a man who to an eminent degree enjoyed the respect and confidence of
those who new him. Eight years he was Justice o the Peace and held minor
offices for many years. Reared under the strict rules of primitive Methodism,
his life was marked by an uncompromising adherence to what he believed was
right. For many years he was not connected with any church, though most of
his family are members, and one son a minister of the Christian Church.
He was one of the earliest settlers in Elk Prairie, putting up his first
cabin 49 years ago on the place where he died. Married to Lucy, a daughter
of William FARTHING, on February 22d, 1838. He located and went to work on
government land, afterwards bought that and added to it in after years till
he owned one of the best farms in the Prairie.
Here two of his children died, and he reared eight to matrimony - Thomas, John,
Harvey, Newton Edward, Jonathan and Joseph; Elizabeth, wife of Joseph DIAL of
Spring Garden, and Mary of Thomas PUCKETT of Blissville. His father's name was
William WELLS, of a Pennsylvania family that located near Mt. Sterling, Ky., about
the beginning of the century. There the elder William grew up and married a
Miss LIVINGSTON, and a few years later he removed to Giles County, Tenn., where
the subject of this sketch was born on the 16th day of September, 1813. In 1819
the father moved to Lauderdale County, Ala., whence in 1825 he came to Jefferson
County, Ill. He lived a while on rented land near Old Union, a while in a house
south of the Rhodam ALLEN place - now FERGERSON's - and settle in Wolf Prairie in
1828, and there in June, 1865, in his 83d year, he died. A large per cent of the
people in the southwestern townships are related to the WELLES. The elder William
and his brother Jonathan, who came two years later and also settled in Wolf Prairie,
raised nine children each. The subject of this notice was the oldest son and the
third child of William WELLS, Sr. His sisters were Polly, wife of Reuben Crosno;
Susan, wife of Clinton S. DAVIS; and Tabitha, wife of Habe CARTER. His brothers
were John, Barton, Pinckney, Henry and Newton. The register of officers in this
county contains names from nearly every branch of this numerous family.
Date and paper unknown.
Submitted by: Mary Zinzilieta