Wells, John – Obituary

LaGrande has had a full share of accidents during the year past. The last is the accident by which one of our oldest and most prominent citizens, Mr. John Wells met his death.

For twenty years Mr. Wells has been hauling wood from his mountain ranch into town and had never met with an accident. Last Friday morning he went to the mountains as usual for a load of wood taking with him a China man whom he had employed. The road was frozen so that although the wagon was rough locked, in coming down the mountain there was danger of its sliding off the grade. He had a new horse, for which he had recently traded and which, not being accustomed to mountain work, became excited and in some manner stepped into the stretchers of the leaders, thus becoming so entangled as to render it impossible for Mr. Wells to control the team. He jumped from the wagon to the upper side of the grade, but the ground being frozen and slippery and having nothing to hold to, he sliped back and fell between the wheels and the hind wheels of the wagon passed over his body about the waist, breaking his back and rendering him unconscious and insensible to pain almost immediately. He died about an hour after the accident.

Mr. Wells was a native of Ohio, and was at the time of his death, about 68 years old. He came to this coast with his family in 1857, and settled at Portland. Subsequently he removed to Vancouver, and in 1861 came with his family to La Grande where he has since resided.

In the early pioneer days Mr. Wells was engaged in running pack trains from The Dalles to Canyon City and later from The Dalles to Boise City. As civilization advanced and roads were built, he engaged in running freight teams.

About 20 years ago he purchased the wood ranch he owned at the time of his death and from that time on divided his time between hauling wood in town and freighting and later was employed at railroad work.

He leaves a wife and four children to mourn his death. – Mr. Leander H. Wells, of the Oregonian staff, Mr. George F. Wells, Mrs. J.L. Curtis and Mrs. Fred Scott, all of this place.

Mr. Wells during his lifetime was an honest, conscientious man; making as a guide of his life the golden rule. He was a man firm in his opinions and expressed his views openly and plainly. In the early pioneer days when it was not safe to antagonize a man cherishing a contrary opinion, Mr. Wells firmly and manfully contended for his ideas but why such gentlemanly demeanor as to avoid a conflict with those differing from him. A good man has gone to his rest and the community suffers a loss ? irreparable.

Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday
November 22, 1888


It is strikingly singular that both Mr. Wells and Mr. Wood should have come to Oregon in the same year, 1858; that both should be natives of the same state; that the death of each other have occurred so nearly at the same time; that each should in later years have become somewhat careless as to preparation for death, that each should have been thoroughly and soundly re-converted at about the same time last spring; that each should have again joined the M.E. church on probation on the same evening; that each was to have been received into full fellowship in the church on the day that they were laid to rest, that the funeral of each should have occurred at the same time and place and that the aged and bereaved wife of each should be sick almost unto death, so as to have been unable to attend the funeral.

But those families are not alone in their grief. Both Mr. Wells and Mr. Wood were of ripe years. The frosts of many summers had tinged their heads with silver gray. Their mortal frames were wearied and worn. They knew they were rapidly nearing the terminus of life’s journey. They knew they would soon be at the banks of the river of death and must cross its surging billows. We expect death to come thus to the aged but when it visits the young, the fair, the lovely and lovable, taking them just as they are budding into manhood and womanhood, the sting of sorrow is greater.

The rest of the article talks about the death of Mrs. Katie Estella McCrary.

Eastern Oregon Republican, Thursday
November 22, 1888



MLA Source Citation:

White, Judy Wallis. Union County, Oregon Obituaries. Published by AccessGenealogy.com. Copyright 1999-2013, all rights reserved. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 22 October 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/ohio/wells-john-obituary.htm - Last updated on Nov 26th, 2011


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