John Wells

John Wells
b. 4 March 1821, Gill Township, Sullivan County, Indiana, to Benjamin and Priscilla (Ridgway) Wells
d. 14 August 1903, Sullivan County, Missouri

m/1. about 1845, Sullivan County, Indiana
Rebecca Landers
b. to James Landers
d. between 1846 and 1852

m/2. 2 August 1853, Wayne County, Iowa
Mariah Elizabeth Cook
b. 21 July 1835, to Alfred and Rebecca Cook
d. 21 March 1920, Sullivan County, Missouri

Children with Rebecca Landers:

  • James (1846-1917) married Malissa Redding

Children with Mariah Elizabeth Cook:

  • Mary Jane (1855-1930) married Murl Kerns
  • Rebecca Priscilla (1856-1937) married Jacob Henry Hatfield
  • Isaac Alexander (1858-1954) married (1) Nancy J. Duncan, (2) Mrs. Hannah Franklin
  • Nancy Caroline (1860-1932) married George Miller
  • Benjamin A (1862-1896) married Jane Ellen Evans
  • Henry Morton (1864-1941) married Mary Catherine “Mollie” Lewis
  • Jacob Thomas (1866-1931) married Margaret E. “Mag” Evans
  • Laura Belle (1869-1952) married Martin G. Smith
  • Joseph Marrion (1871-1972) married Nettie Ann McDonald
  • Emma Cordelia (1875-1936) married John Frederick “Fred” Petre
  • Mildred May “Mid” (1878-1935) married Lee Roy Riley

John’s parents, Benjamin and Priscilla (Ridgway) Wells, married on 17 February 1813 in Bullett County, Kentucky. By the 1820 Federal Census, they were living in Gill Township, Sullivan County, Indiana, with five children. John was the sixth child of eight and the first born in Indiana.

After his first wife, Rebecca Landers, died, John took his young son and went to Iowa where he had a brother. He met and Married Mariah E. Cook and they moved across the border into Sullivan County, Missouri. They had eleven children with seven born in Missouri and four in Indiana (1856, 1862, 1864, and 1866). John told family members in later years that he made so many trips to Indiana and was so well known along the way that he could borrow cornmeal for bread making if the family supply got low and repay the lenders on his return trip.

They were in Indiana when the Civil War broke out and his 17 year old son, James, enlisted and served in Company H, 132nd Regiment, Indiana Infantry from 30 April 1864 to 7 September 1864. John is said to have been in the Home Guard during that time.

John was always a farmer. In later years he and Mariah settled in the small town of Pollock, Sullivan County, Missouri, in a house on land owned by his son Jake. John was a member of the Church of Christ and was instrumental in organizing the Church of Christ in Pollock. John was always a Republican while his father, Benjamin, was a strong Democrat who considered John a “black sheep.” John was totally blind in the final years of his life. He is buried in the Pollock Cemetery and his grave is marked by a tall spire tombstone.

Submitted by: 5363
Dorothy L. (Wells) Van Cleef
Lafayette IN
E-mail: dwvancleef@aol.com

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