William Wells

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 
county, Kentucky. 

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

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