CHESTER C. WELLES. - Chester C. Welles, formerly of Sangamon county, is now living in Normal, Illinois, a native of Ohio, his birth occurred in Licking county, February 14, 1827, and he is a representative of an old New England family, of English lineage. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Thomas Welles, born in Middlesex, Connecticut, in 1749, practiced medicine in that state for many years. His son, Chester Welles, born in Chatham, Connecticut, October 14, 1788, arrived in Licking county, Ohio, in 1805, then a young man of seventeen years. He began farming there and at a later date resided in Putnam and then in Coshocton counties. In Licking county he married Polly Case, a daughter of Job Case, and they became the parents of five sons, and five daughters, who reached adult age, of whom three sons and a daughter are now living. the father died in Coshocton county, May 24, 1868, at the age of eighty years, and his wife, July 18, 1841.
C. C. Welles, of this review, was reared in Ohio, and on the twenty-second anniversary of his birth, he was married in Circleville, February 14, 1849, to Miss Martha Bell, who was born and reared in Circleville, a daughter of Squire Bell. Following their marriage they came to Springfield, and Mr. Welles purchased a farm in connection with his brother Horace. To the cultivation and improvement of this he directed his energies for some time and then sold out. He next engaged in railroad construction as a contractor on the Illinois Central railroad for four or five years, on the expiration of which period he removed to Iroquois county, where he purchased land. He located at Gilman and engaged in farming there for five or six years. In the meantime he made a trip to Pike's Peak and spent the year 1860 in mining for gold, after which he returned to Illinois. On selling his farm in Iroquois county he removed to Macoupin county and was engaged in the meat and dairy business in Virden for four or five years. He afterward spent two years on a farm in Divernon township, Sangamon county, and on selling that property went to Springfield, Missouri, where he purchased valuable land adjacent to the city. In a cyclone in 1884, however, his house was destroyed and his skull was fractured.
Mr. Welles then returned to this county and followed farming in Gardner township for two years, when he again sold out and bought land in Woodside township, near Chatham. On disposing of that farm he located in Springfield, where he owned residence property and also improved two other residences, spending four years in the capital. In June, 1902, he came to Divernon and purchased a home, and he now living retired from further business cares in Normal, Illinois.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Welles two children were born: Lillian is the wife of Rev. E. G. Sage, a minister of the Baptist church of Normal, Illinois, who also owns a large farm near Divernon. Mrs. Sage has six children and two grandchildren. Horace Leland is married and resides in Chicago. He has four sons and a grandson. Mrs. Welles is now an invalid, requiring the almost constant care of her husband, who is most devoted to her. Politically he is a republican with firm faith in the principles of the party. Both he and his wife belong to the Presbyterian church and he served as an elder in Onarga and again at Gilman. In early life he formed exemplary habits and developed a character of sterling worth, which has made his career an honorable one, and gained him the trust and good will of his fellow men.