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Fayette County, Iowa
Portrait & Biographical Album of Fayette County Iowa
Containing Full Page Portraits and Biographical Sketches of
Prominent and Representative Citizens of the County
Lake City Publishing Co., Chicago
Willis L. Wells
Willis L. Wells is the owner of a fine farm of one hundred and eighty-five acres situated on section 7, Dover Township. He was born in Ohio, June 26, 1827, and is a son of William and Elizabeth (Wood) Wells, the former born in Ohio in 1798, and the latter in Pennsylvania in 1795. Both were of English descent. Their family numbered seven children, six sons and one daughter - Lorenzo Dow, James A., Willis L., Jesse William, Simeon, and Elizabeth C. The living are Simeon who is residing in Farmington, Van Buren County, Iowa, and our subject.
Willis L. Wells has been a resident of Iowa since 1858, when he located in Alden, Hardin County. The following year he came to this county and soon afterwards moved to the farm in Dover Township, which has since been his home. He was married in Will County, Ill., to Miss Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, daughter of George and Jemima (Newman) Kirkpatrick, on the 7th of March, 1848. The lady was born in Fountain County, Ind., March 27, 1828. Her father was born in 1790, and served as a soldier in the War of 1812. In the family were four sons and four daughters - Rebecca, Joseph, Andrew, Hannah, Elizabeth, John, Mary Ann and James, but only John and Andrew are now living, the former residing on a farm near Fairfield, Neb., and the latter being a resident of Madison County, Iowa. The wife of our subject died July 22, 1883, at her home in Dover Township, and her loss was deeply mourned by many friends. By her marriage she became the mother of nine children - Elizabeth C., who was born in Lake County, Ind., December 20, 1848, became the wife of Joseph W. Stirk, April 7, 1870, and resides in Madison County, Neb. They had nine children, seven of whom are yet living. Mr. Stirk is a farmer by occupation and has been a prominent personage in political circles, having represented his county in the State Legislature of Nebraska. Adelia Ann, who was born in Will County, Ill., July 27, 1851, lives at home with her father; Lenoria Alice, born in Kankakee County, Ill., July 13, 1853, became the wife of William E. Easton, March 15, 1876, and resided in West Union until her death, which occurred February 15, 1878; James William, born in Kankakee County, Ill., August 27, 1855, was married March 6, 1882, to Thurby Olesen, who died of quick consumption August 29, 1889, leaving two daughters. His home is now in Madison County, Neb.; Sarah Ellen, born October 13, 1857, in Kankakee County, Ill., became the wife of G. W. Lee, February 14, 1875, and resides in Madison County, Neb. They have four living children and have lost one. Mary Albina, born in this county, September 6, 1860, was married December 25, 1884, to Jacob W. Tope, a farmer residing on section 19, Dover Township, and unto them have been born two children, Susie E. and Glen H. Jemima Elva, born in Fayette County, November 6, 1862, is living in Madison County, Neb., with her husband, Samuel Inkley. They were married December 13, 1887, and have two daughters: Florence Ida, born in this county, January 31, 1865, became the wife of Amos Shaw, May 5, 1887, and they reside with their child in El Dorado. Willis Hardy, who was born May 5, 1867, resides at home. He is a worthy member of Round Grove Lodge, No. 41, I. O. O. F., of West Union.
Mr. Wells' farm is under a good state of cultivation, highly improved and pleasantly located. It is furnished with good buildings and all necessary conveniences for successful and profitable farming, and the success which crowns his efforts is the reward of his industry and enterprise. He has been a member of the School Board for many years, has ever manifested a deep interest in educational affairs, is a defender of the public schools and its interests, and does all in his power to secure good schools and better wages for teachers. In the fall of 1888 he was elected by the Republican party as a member of the County Board of Supervisors, and has filled that important office for nearly three years to the entire satisfaction of his constituents. For the present year he is chairman of the board and has supervision of the northern district of the county in regard to its bridges and public roads. He lives at peace with his neighbors and has the esteem and respect of all with whom he comes in contact.
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