Biography of Thomas B. Welles

Thomas B. Welles, whose fine country home is in section 7 of Compromise Township, in the Penfield community, has gained an enviable position among the progressive and successful farmer citizens of Champaign County. The passing years have brought him a large degree of that material prosperity which is characteristic of this rich section of Illinois, the esteem of the community has increased in proportion to the length of his residence, and his fellow citizens have come to rely upon him as a leader in many of those movements which mark the enlightened progress of any locality.

Mr. Welles was born in Compromise Township and is a son of J. H.; and Ann Sarah (Jones) Welles. His father was born in Connecticut and his mother in the State of Maine. They were industrious and thrifty people of Yankee stock, and were pioneers in Champaign County, moving here from Ohio in 1863. When they first located in Compromise Township all the surrounding country was a bare prairie and only four houses could be seen between their home and Rantoul. They had the characteristics of the real pioneers, and in the course of time they had their land under the plow, commodious buildings erected, many fruit and shade trees set out and much of their effort is represented in the present value and attractiveness of the old homestead.

Thomas B. Welles was the youngest in a family of eight children, two sons and six daughters. He grew up on the home farm, and secured his education from the nearby country schools. He gained a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Emma McHenry. Mrs. Welles was born in Vermilion County, Illinois, daughter of Joseph and Nancy (Watson) McHenry. Mrs. Welles was also well educated in the local schools. After their marriage they located on the old Welles homestead, and with 160 acres under his management Mr. Welles has made more than a comfortable living for himself and family and his farm shows the evidences of expert study and handling. For a number of years he has been noted among the breeders and raisers of Percheron horses in this county.

Mr. and Mrs. Welles are the parents of six children: T. Maxwell, Ralph J., Marian Frances, Margaret Alice, Helen Louise and Kate Elizabeth.

It has been Mr. Welles’ desire to give his own children good educations, and with this object in view he has striven to raise the standards of the local schools and has served as a member of the board of directors. In politics he follows the example of his honored father and is a Republican. Mrs. Welles is a member of the Christian Church, but all the family attend the Methodist Episcopal Church at Penfield, where the children are in the Sunday school. Thus Mr. and Mrs. Welles with their family live on an old homestead which has a host of associations centering on the name and there they enjoy the good things of life and the years that are past are as grateful in recollection as the future is bright before them.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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