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Gerald Wells, Sr. Family

Photos courtesy of Mary Louise Tanner



The story of the Gerald  Wells, Sr., family began in Beardstown, Illinois, where, on August 14, 1912, Gerald was born to Maude Elizabeth Lashbrook and William A. Wells. One of seven children, "Sport," as he was then known by his family and friends because of his sporty dress, left school in the seventh grade to help support his family because his father was ill. He came to Texas with his grandmother in 1933, and settled in Collegeport where he met and, on September 24, 1933, married Mamie Franzen.


Mamie was born on June 29, 1913, in DeMoss, one of nine children born to Gust Franzen, Sr. and Ellen Bladlund Franzen. Her father was born in Rod, Sweden, in January of 1881, came to America in 1902 and to Collegeport in 1909. Her mother was born on August 20, 1886, came to America in 1903, and to Collegeport in 1909. Gust Franzen, Sr., died in 1945, Ellen Franzen died in 1970, and both were buried in the Collegeport Cemetery.


Gerald and Mamie settled in Collegeport where they first farmed cotton and later farmed rice and raised cattle. Their three children were Mary Louise, Gerald Wells, Jr., and Lynda Gail.  They were active members of the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport where Gerald served as Elder and Mamie as a Sunday school teacher.


Mary Louise married Eugene Fitzpatrick and they had two sons, Stephen and Alan. Steve and his wife, Debbie, lived in Houston. Alan, his wife, Kathy, and their two sons, Alan, Jr. and Eric, lived in Bay City. Eugene Fitzpatrick died in November of 1968 and Mary Louise married second Bill Tanner and resided in Waco, Texas.


Gerald, Jr. made his home in Palacios with his wife, Bettye Wuethrich Wells. Bettye managed the Sears Catalog Store in Palacios and Gerald farmed rice, milo, and soybeans on the family farm in Collegeport where Mamie still lived in 1984. Gerald, Jr. and Bettye's daughter, Meloni, was a student at Howard Payne University. Gerald, Jr. was graduated from Wharton County Junior College and Southwest Texas State University following his discharge from two years military service. Their family were members of the First Baptist Church of Palacios where Gerald, Jr. was a Deacon and Bettye taught Sunday School.


Lynda married Buddy Lenz of Palacios. They both attended Wharton County Junior College and Sam Houston State University. They made their home in Collegeport on the Lenz Single Acre Farm with their two sons, Taylor and Garrett, where they raised and showed cattle. Lynda was postmaster in Collegeport and served as an elder, treasurer, and Sunday School superintendent of the First Presbyterian Church of Collegeport. Buddy was a chemical operator for Du Pont Company.


Gerald Wells, Sr., who was a proud man, centered his life around his family and friends, church work, and farming. He died on October 13, 1979, in Bay City after a lengthy battle with cancer, and was buried in Hawley Cemetery.


Lynda Lenz - 1984

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pp 553-554


Gerald and Mamie Franzen Wells at the Collegeport School



Family home of the Heffelfingers, Rolens, and Gerald & Mamie Franzen Wells.

Photo courtesy of Mopac House Foundation

Mamie Franzen Wells, Gerald Jr. and Mary Louise



Mary Louise Wells, Carole Franzen and Gerald Wells, Jr.



Copyright 2008 - Present by the Wells Family
All rights reserved

Mar. 02, 2008
Aug. 18, 2017