Wells Family - Person Sheet
Wells Family - Person Sheet
NameJoseph B. Wells
Birth19 Apr 1803, Washington Twp, Fayette Co, PA
Census1840, Jefferson Twp, Fayette Co, PA
Memoroll#460, pg 274
Census1860, Jefferson Twp, Fayette Co, PA
Memoroll#1109, pg 189
Land Sale16 Oct 1874, Jefferson Twp, Fayette Co, PA
Memosold mineral (coal) rights to their land
Death28 May 1877, Jefferson Twp, Fayette Co, PA
BurialLittle Redstone Presbyterian Cem, Fayette City, Fayette Co, PA
FatherTunis Wells (1745-1809)
MotherMargaret Williams (1767-1845)
Misc. Notes
Became a "Pike Boy" (drove wagon on Nat'l Road).
Listed next to his mother and brother James in 1840:
male 1=5-10, 1=30-40 fem 2<5, 1=5-10, 2=10-15, 1=30-40
Listed in 1850 census as a farmer in Jefferson Twp.
Listed in 1860 with his wife and daughter Louisa. Daughter Mary Coates was also living with, them along with her two children. A farmer with $7,400 land, $1,000 property. He was listed as one of the elders of the original Little Redstone Creek Presbyterian Church, and was listed as a member in 1866.
Genius of Liberty newspaper article 23 April 1874 pg 3 col 5 - Jefferson
“On Tuesday, the 14th, Joseph Wells met with a painful accident in the following manner: he went out into the woods together with two of his little boys, to haul saw logs, and while waiting for his team to return, he and his boys undertook to roll a log in position for loading on the wagon by cutting a notch in a stump and Iaying one end of a skid in it, and the other on the ground. While attempting to get the log on the stump, the skid slipped, !etting the log come back, which broke one of his legs, and crushed the other very badly, holding him fast to the ground until his little boys rolled the log off him. Dr. Shoemaker was summoned and reduced the fracture. We learn Mr. Wells is as comfortable as could be expected under the circumstances.”
Joseph and his wife Anna sold the coal and mineral rights of the land, including the nine foot Monongahela Coal Vein (also known as the Pittsburgh coal seam) to the Redstone Coal Company on October 16th 1874 (Book 29, pg 255).
Article on Jefferson Twp history paints a glowing picture of him as an (Scotch) Irish descendent, a Democrat and a devout Presbyterian. It says that he had eight children: a child who died in infancy, 2 married daughters who died before him, and the remaining son and 4 daughters who were married and still living in the county.
In his will he gave his wife the family homestead (approx 150 Acres), until her death, at which time it was to pass to his son James and his heirs. $100 to his daughter Rebecca Downs, and $1,000 to his daughters Sarah Nutt, Louisa Jenck, and Charlotte Nutt. $450 to his grandsons Joseph and Albert Coats, and $215 to his grandsons Joseph, George, and Jacob Wolf. Forgave debts of his daughter Margaret. $40 to grandsons Joseph Wolf, Joseph Wells, and Joseph Nutt. Remainder to go to his wife, son, and daughters equally. Written 9 May, 1871 and revised 13 Sept, 1876. Died on the old homestead 1877, and his will was recorded on 9th of June, 1877. He and his wife are buried in the churchyard at the Little Redstone Presbyterian Church across from Central High School.

[Bio] HISTORY OF FAYETTE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA by Franklin Ellis 1882, pg 632
It sometimes happens that refined feelings, the domestic virtues, and true nobility of character adorn and brighten the obscurity of a country home, and achieve for the possessor all the happiness and comfort that cultivated society and enlightened civilization can give. Instinctively just and upright in his dealings with his fellow-men, kind-hearted and charitable to the poor, careful and attentive to his business, thrifty and economical, but single-minded and generous,-in short, a good illustration of the domestic and social virtues,-such a man was Joseph Wells, late of Jefferson township, Fayette Co, Pa.
Joseph WeIls was of Irish descent, and was born April 19, 1803, on the farm where, with true Irish instinct, he lived all his days. He received such education as the common schools of the Commonwealth afforded in his youthful days, and in early manhood became a "pike boy," driving his team on the National road from Brownsville to Cumberland and return, a business he followed for many years. On Dec. 1, 1824, he married Anna Shaw, an estimable lady, who is still living, and who is well known for her many social and Christian virtues. They had eight children, one of whom died in infancy; two others, married daughters, are dead, and the remaining four daughters and one son are all married and living in the county, the son occupying the homestead.
Mr. Wells began life with little of this world's goods, but by industry and careful husbandry he acquired the ownership of the paternal homestead, and a handsome competence besides, enjoying in his old age the comforts and even the luxuries of life. While struggling to pay for his farm he unluckily lost several hundred dollars by endorsing for a friend, and although he recovered from this financial trouble, his autograph was seldom, if ever, afterwards seen on the back of a promissory note.
In religion he was a Presbyterian, having been a communicant in that church for fifty years. He joined the Brownsville Presbyterian Church under the ministrations of Rev. William Johnston, and in 1840 united with the Little Redstone Church at its organization, where for many years he was a ruling elder, and continued a member until the time of his death. Of Mr. WeIls, one who knew him long and intimately, pertinently says, "Unlike many Presbyterians we meet at this day, he believed the decrees which constitute the peculiar tenets of his church, or at least he came as near believing them as any person I have ever met, with a single exception." Still in business he was human, and while strictly honest, his excellent judgment often gave him the best end of the bargain in buying a steer or selling a horse. To him the sermon on the mount was law, but in practical operations he had acquisitiveness and secretiveness enough to enable him to do business successfully, and add a balance to the profit account at the end of each year.
In politics he was a Democrat of the old school, and held as firmly to the Jacksonian and Jeffersonian Democracy as he did to the everlasting decrees.
The poor of his neighborhood knew in him one of their most charitable friends, and he gave liberally to the benevolent enterprises of the church. Having a sound and vigorous constitution, and being temperate in his habits, he preserved a hale and healthful body for more than threescore and ten years. After one or two premonitory attacks he was stricken fatally with paralysis, and died May 28, 1877, respected by his neighbors', esteemed by his friends, and sincerely loved and mourned by his family. To the last moment of his conscious life he held fast to his integrity and his Christian faith. Not a single doubt clouded his mind or cast a shadow over his peaceful soul.
His faith, steadfast to the end, is voiced in the lines,- " An angel's arm can't snatch me from the grave, Legions of angels can't confine me there."
Birth15 Dec 1808, Allegany Co, MD
Death3 Apr 1893, So Union Twp, Fayette Co, PA
Burial6 Apr 1893, Little Redstone Presbyterian Cem, Fayette City, Fayette Co, PA
Misc. Notes
Referred to as Anna in some places. She came with her father to Jefferson Twp in 1816 was still living at the family homestead in 1882. She may have had a brother, Joseph Shaw who married Charity Scarborough, sister of Mary M. Scarborough. Listed next to her son James in 1880 census at age 71.
[Obituary] The Genius of Liberty newspaper of Uniontown, Thursday April 6, 1893.
Anna (Shaw) Wells died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. William B. Downs, in South Union township, Monday, April 3, 1893, in the 86th year of her age after an illness of a few hours. The deceased was the wife of the late Joseph Wells, of Jefferson township, this county, to whom she was married December 1, 1824. Mr. Wells died May 28, 1877. They had eight children, one of whom died in infancy. Their living children are Mrs. William B. Downs, Mrs. James Junk and Mrs. A. C. Nutt. The ohildren who died after reaching tbe years of maturity are Mrs. William Coates, Mrs. William Wolf, James Wells and Mrs. Stephen R Nutt.
Mrs. Wells possesed social and christian vIrtues which attracted and held friends. With her husband she united with the Presbyterian church at Brownsville, under the ministration of Rev. William Johnson, and in 1840, at its organization, united with the Little Redstone Presbyterian church. Here for more than a generation she worshipped, with her husband and children, and ln the quiet churchyard hardby, those of her household to whom the summons has come were buried and there will she be also. Funeral services will be held at the residence of Mr. Downs this morning at 9 o'olock.
Marriage1 Dec 1824, Pennsylvania
ChildrenMary Ann (1826-1870)
 Rebecca Maria (1828-1908)
 Sarah Jane (1831-1892)
 James Allison (1833-1892)
 Margaret (1836-1870)
 Louisa Matilda (1840-1913)
 Charlotte Frances (1842-1908)
Last Modified 24 Jul 2017Created 5 Aug 2023 using Reunion on a Mac