Biography of George E. Wells

GEORGE E. WELLS. – The subject of this sketch is a man of great energy and power of adaptability, as is manifested in the occupations that have been engaged in by him during the years in which he has been in this western country, and it is pleasant to remark that during all of these varied undertakings, some of which have been exceedingly arduous and fraught with hardship and danger, he has manifested a stanch and unflinching courage, marked industry and enterprise, with excellent personal qualities of integrity and upright principles, while a good success has attended his efforts, both became of the excellent practical judgment used and because of his keen foresight and untiring efforts to do well whatever his hand undertook.

George E. was born in Licking county, Ohio, on November 3, 1850, being the son of John and Sarah (Holmes) Wells. The father came to Oregon in 1859, settling at Oregon City and following the milling business for two years, when he repaired to Vancouver, Washington. The mother and three children then came and they all remained in that place until June, 1865, then they went to Lagrande, landing there on June 1, of that year. The father engaged in packing from Umatilla Landing to the mines of Boise Basin and others in this section. Our subject remained with his father one year in packing and then procured teams and continued the transportation of freight to the various points named until 1871. At that date the father quit teaming and went to dealing in wood in Lagrande and in that business he continued until the time of his death on November 16, 1888, that sad consummation being brought about in an accident with a team. The mother died on May 30, 1899. After 1871, our subject began teaching school, and continued the same until 1873, then went to Silver City, engaging in the hotel business for three years, following which during the winter of 1876-1877 he was a disciple of Nimrod, hunting all winter in the Wind River mountains. After this he spent six months in the Black Hills and on December 26, 1877, he landed in Prescott, Arizona. Remaining there until the spring of 1878, he returned to Roseburg, Oregon, and for one and one-half years was occupied in a printing business, handling the Douglas Independent. In 1879 he rode back to Lagrande and again took up teaming from Umatilla Landing to Lagrande and adjacent points, continuing the same until 1883 (?), the date of the advent of the railroad. He then went into the wood and tie business, following the same until February 9, 1891. He then removed to his present place and has been engaged in general farming since. He owns two hundred and forty acres five miles southeast from Alicel, which is all farmed to grain, except two acres which are planted to apples and pears. His farm is skillfully handled and produces excellent returns in good crops.

On August 4, 1889, Mr. Wells married Mrs. Minnie Buchanan, widow of D.J. Buchanan, an old resident of Union county. She is a daughter of Alexander and Carrie (Lucas) Jackson, natives of Des Moines county, Iowa. They came to California in 1860, to Oregon in 1861, and to the Grande Ronde in 1879. Mr. Jackson carried the mail from the depot to the postoffice from the time of the railroad’s coming until 1900. He did also a general draying business. On November 4, 1901, he was called away by death. The mother is still living in Lagrande. To Mr. And Mrs. Wells have been born two children. Ralph, eleven years old, and Fred, seven years of age. Mr. Wells is school director of his district, and is a member of the I.O.O.F. Lodge No. 16, of Lagrande, and he has held all the chairs of the same. He is also a member of the Maccabees Tent No. 31, at Lagrande.



An Illustrated history of Union and Wallowa Counties: with a brief outline of the early history of the state of Oregon. Western Historical Pub. Co., 1902.

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