Pioneer Period and Pioneer
People of Fairfield Co., Ohio.
by C. M.
Publ. F. J. Heer Printing Co., Columbus, O.
Pgs. 278 - 280
The honor of
founding this town is claimed for Alexander Wells
and William Wells, by their friends. It
is doubtless true that William laid out the town; but
both men were largely interested in it from its beginning.
William Wells was a son of George Wells,
who lived and died in Licking county, Ohio. William
was reared by grand parents, and did not follow his
father to the West. He was always a prominent man of
Wellsville, and acted as magistrate under Governor St.
Clair, a position of more importance than that of
justice of the peace now. The magistrates met at
stated intervals and constituted the Court of Quarter
Sessions - now superseded by our County Common Pleas.
His son, Alexander, was a prominent man of
Wellsville, and the local historian. The man who, in
an address, applied Dr. H. Scott's school house
anecdote to Lancaster, instead of Clark County, where it
The office of Associate Judge was one of importance and
honor, in the first fifty years of Ohio. The judges
settled estates, appointed administrators and granted
licenses, performing the duties now pertaining to the office
of Probate Judge, and were also members of the Common Pleas
THE WELLS BURYING GROUND.
In the year 1810,
Gen. Wells deeded a part of section 29 to Samuel
Hooker, Sr., and in that deed distinctly reserved one
half acre for a burying ground, and there he and his wife
were buried. It was then known as the Wells'
graveyard, where a majority of
Pg. 279 -
his descendants, who since died in this county, were buried.
It became, however, the burial place of all the old pioneers
of the neighborhood, and many of their descendants. It
is fairly well cared for, and held as a sacred spot by the
people of Greenfield.
Alexander Wells a few years since delivered an
address referring to old times. He said:
"In 1828 there was a debating society in Lancaster,
Ohio; the meetings were held in a school house. The
subject of railroads was discussed. In a day or two
one of the members (Dr. Harvey Scott) received a note
signed by a dozen of the solid men of the neighborhood, to
this effect: 'You are welcome to the use of the school house
to debate all proper questions, but such things as railroads
are impossibilities, and are impious, and will not be
Mr. Wells is greatly in error and unwittingly
slanders Lancaster. The occurrence he refers to took
place in Clark County, Ohio, and was related by Dr. H.
Scott in his history of Fairfield County.
General Wells received his patent from the
United States Government, for section 29, Aug. 24, 1809, and
for section28, Feb. 10, 1809. When he came to
Greenfield in 1801, the lands were not for sale, and he was
a squatter. The lands were sold in 1802 or 1803, at
public auction, to the highest bidder, and the best land
between the home of the General and Lancaster would as high
as four dollars per acre. Patents are not always
evidence of the date of purchase, as families have been
known to occupy land 60 years without the patent.
After the death of General Wells, a portion of
his lands, probably one section, became the property of
Richard Hooker. Richard and Samuel
Pg. 280 -
long and honorable lives upon his land, and the station, the
graveyard and the farm are called Hooker.
General James Wells had eleven children, three of
whom died early, and it is known that his descendants to
this time number 500 souls - six generations.
Nathaniel Wells settled in Union township,
Licking County, at an early day, near the point known as
Hebron. He was nearly related to Gen. Wells.
He was a farmer, and lived and died in that neighborhood.
His sons were: John Wells, who was a "49er," but
remained only five yeas in California, when he returned to
Baltimore, Ohio, where he died. He was the father of
Mrs. Dr. J. H. Goss. Basil died in California.
Jesse moved to Illinois and died there.
Daniel lived in Newark, Ohio. Samuel lived
in Licking County; George in Kansas City; Franklin
moved to Iowa; Narcissa lived in Newark, Ohio.
A Dr. Ferguson, of Hebron, married a Wells.
One of his daughters married Mr.
Tomlinson, of Indianapolis, Indiana, who became very
prominent there. One daughter is a preacher, another
is a doctor.
L. Calvin Sutphen, brother of Captain Sutphen,
married Mary, a daughter of Dr. Ferguson.
He died early and his widow married Mr. Brush,
treasurer of Perry County, and they moved to Zanesville,