James Harvey “Harve” Wells
b. 31 May 1834, Clark County, Indiana, to James and Malinda (Owens) Wells
d. 13 July 1902, Sangamon County, Illinois
m. 8 July 1852, Sangamon County, Illinois
Margaret Jane Sackett
b. 25 December 1834, Sangamon County, Illinois
d. 20 February 1914, Salisbury, Sangamon County, Illinois
Children with Margaret Jane Sackett:
- Levi Marion
- Harriett Ellen
- Mary R.
- James Harvey
- Richard R.
James was one of five children born to James and Malinda Wells. His father died in 1851 when James was just 16 or 17 years old, and his mother is said to have also died when James was young. James married at the young age of eighteen and started with little or nothing. Through hard work he became a large land owner in Sangamon County, Illinois.
Besides being a farmer, James was a musician with a beautiful tenor voice. To supplement the family income and buy land, he would sing and provide music for various events in the evenings and on weekends. His work caused him to travel so much that sometimes he would swim his horse a mile and even two across rivers and streams to avoid the longer distances roads presented.
James built a fine home near Salisbury, Illinois, with a spiral staircase right in the middle of the house. All the floors were of alternate pieces of ash and walnut. No boards with knots were acceptable. When his grandchildren would play in the basement, they would look up, looking for knots in the wood.