John Wells (1839-1909)
History of the Saint Croix Valley was published in 1909, John Wells died shortly after.
From History of the Saint Croix Valley (ARC F 587 .S14 E3 1909 v. 1 in the UWRF Archives)
John Wells is one of the earliest settlers of Pierce county now living. He resides in the city of River Falls, Wis., where he is leading a retired life. He was born in Huntingtonshire, England, August 3, 1839. His mother died when he was three years old, and his father when our subject was twelve years of age. The boy then lived with his grandparents until their death, and when he was eighteen years of age, in 1847, he came to America, settling in Pierce county, Wisconsin, and worked for a number of farmers in different parts of the St. Croix valley. Upon the breaking out of the Civil War, in 1861, he enlisted in Company I, Twelfth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and served three years. He was at Vicksburg and Atlanta and took part in many of the important engagements. He was mustered out and discharged at Chattanooga, Tenn. He then returned to River Falls, where he has since resided. He is a member of the G. A. R.-I. N. Nichols Post No. 177, department of Wisconsin. During his early life he was a Democrat in his politics, but of late years has voted with the Republican party. Mr. Wells married for his first wife a Mrs. Dickey, who died, leaving no children. Mrs. Cotney became his second wife. Her maiden name was Ruby Ann Rathburn, and to her there were no children born. Mr. Wells married for his third wife, Mrs. Susan Herrick, a sister of his second wife. Mrs. Wells was a mother of ten children by her first husband, seven of whom are living. Anna Quinette died at the age of eighteen; Daniel resides in New York state; Ruby married Edward Mussey of North Dakota; George lives in New York state; William died at the age of thirty years; Flora is the wife of Harley Chinnock, St. Croix county; Mary died when three years old; James resides in New York state; Samuel resides at Grandview, Wis.; Clarence, the tenth child born, resides in St. Croix county. All of the children were born in the state of New York. Mrs. Wells was born June 28th, 1830, at Oxford, N. Y.