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Shawano County Journal

23 July 1891



The following account of the death of M. H. WELLS, of Yankee Hill, Cal., is taken from the Oroville Mercury of July 6th. Mr. Wells was well known in this city and Belle Plaine, having married the daughter of a former resident of the latter town. The community was startled and inexpressibly shocked yesterday at noon by a telegram from Professor Stout, of Cherokee, announcing the death of M. H. Wells, of Yankee Hill, an hour previous. His death was very sudden, resulting from hemorrhage of the stomach.


MICHAEL HENRY WELLS WAS BORN in Philadelphia on Christmas day, 1829, his family standing among the first in the Quaker city. One of his brothers was a commodore in the U. S. Navy during the war, and others of the family have been distinguished in civil life. The boyhood years of Mr. Wells were spent in the public schools and as a drug clerk in his native city. He arrived in San Francisco in 1850, coming around the horn. Returned to the East in 1852, and in 1853 came back to California and followed the mining excitement to the mouth of Rogue river, Oregon. During the Indian outbreak of 1856, Mr. Wells was one of the brave company of 130 who garrisoned Fort Miner, seventy of whom fell "by the hands of the savages. In the fall of the same year he removed to Yankee Hill, and has since been prominently identified with the interests of that locality.


He visited his old home in 1876, attending the centennial exposition; on his return he married Miss Dora E. Spencer, the daughter of John W. and Abbie A. Spencer, of Belle Plaine, Wisconsin, on November 18, 1876, who with 3 children, two boys aged respectively 14 and 5, and a girl 8 years of age, survive him. Mr. Wells was a very zealous worker of the Masonic fraternity. He was a member of the Cherokee Lodge No. 124, Franklin Chapter No. 22, and Oroville Commandry No. 5. In 1852 he was one of the organizers of Pennsylvania Fire Engine Company, No, 12, of San Francisco. He was the oldest Justice of the Peace in term of service in Butte county, his first official act being the marriage of ex-Sheriff Sam McClellan, His library was a valuable and well selected one, numbering nearly 2,000 volumes. Among his treasures are unbroken files of every newspaper published in Butte county since the establishment of the Butte Record at Bid well's Bar by Geo. H. Crosette in 1853.