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Location: Walkerville Illinois

Biography of Joseph A. Wells

Joseph A. Wells was one of the earliest settlers in Neosho County. He moved into that section in March, 1866, less than a year after he was discharged with an honorable record as a soldier of the Union. On April 4, 1866, he took up his claim of a quarter section of land three miles northwest of the townsite of Erie. For over half a century he has been identified with that community. After farming for a year and a half, Mr. Wells sold his claim, and moved to Erie. In the meantime he had been elected to the office of probate judge, and filled that position with credit for two years. Since then he has been engaged in the real estate, insurance and law business. In 1873, at the time of the panic of that year, he left Kansas and went into Texas, where he followed contracting for a couple of years. Mr. Wells is of very old American stock. His immigrant ancestor John W. Wells came from England to Virginia in colonial days and during the Revolution was a member of Washington’s body guard. In the next generation Philip Wells, great-great-grandfather of Joseph A. Philip, lived in Georgia and was a shoemaker by trade. The great-grandfather was Carter Wells, who died in Tennessee, where he was a very early settler. Grandfather Philip Wells became a Baptist minister,...

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