JOHN W. WELLS was born May 15, 1843, in Rutherford County, Tenn. His father, Thomas P. Wells. was a native of Virginia, born in September, 1811. When a young man he moved to Williamson County, where he married Miss Susan Smith, a native of this State. To this union six children were born, of whom our subject is the fourth. The mother of these children died when our subject was about nine years old, and the father afterward married Miss Frances Tune, and by her he became the father of two children — a son and daughter.
Thomas P. Wells moved to Illinois in 1866, where he now resides; he is a minister of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and is also a farmer. Mrs. Frances (Tune) Wells is now dead. Our subject came to this county with his parents when but eight years of age, and here he was educated at the Flat Creek Academy. In October,1861, he enlisted in the Forty-first Tennessee Confederate Infantry and served in that command about two years. He was then left at Jackson, La., on account of illness, and was there captured and paroled by the Federal Army. He had been captured with his regiment at Fort Donelson and held as a prisoner of war until September, 1862, when he was exchanged.
In September, 1866, he married Miss Sarah E. Shoffner, a native of this county and a daughter of Col. L. Shoffner. To this union were born two sons, Othniel D. and Willie S., both living. The mother of these children died September 4, 1873, and in 1874 their father married Miss Margaret C. Jenkins, a native of this county and a daughter of Rev. William Jenkins. To this union the following children were born: Susan M., Thomas E., Edgar J., Ethel and Herbert, all living. Our subject owns a farm of 235 acres on Duck River, all rich bottom land. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity and belongs to Shelbyville Benevolent Lodge, No. 122, and he takes an active interest in educational matters. He and wife are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Transcribed by Kathryn Hopkins
Goodspeed Publishing Co. History of Tennessee from the Earliest Time to the Present: Together with an Historical and a Biographical Sketch of Maury, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson, Bedford & Marshall Counties, Besides a Valuable Fund of Notes, Reminescences [Sic], Observations, Etc., Etc. Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1988.