Newsletter #22, June 1998

New Location, New Activities

Message from the President

Dearest Wells Cousins,

Well, the Reunion is getting close and I'm starting to get pretty excited! Betty Jo has reserved the 4-H camp and my daughter and I had a chance to visit Memorial Day weekend. It is a beautiful place and is just down the road from Blue Licks. We have reserved an air-conditioned building to eat and get cooled down in, but anticipate a lot of outdoor activity options this year. The camp has just finished up a nice swimming pool and has a scenic lake with canoeing. There is a softball field as well as volleyball and basketball courts.

Remember, we are trying to make this a fun day for everyone, from the lap-baby to the seasoned citizen alike! So help us get the word out, it's almost here! Think real hard and see if there's any of your close or extended Wells family that donít know about the reunion and show them the newsletter.

I am hoping to try and talk them into allowing a short flintlock rifle demonstration. If you've never seen a flintlock rifle up close, it's a real treat! Our ancestors used the flintlock rifle to gain our freedom and settle Kentucky. I may even be persuaded to dress the part... I've enlisted one of our Wells cousins to help plan a few activities.

Patricia Ann Alderdice Senseman and husband Mark Senseman will be joining us from Cincinnati. You may know Patt as Phyllis Craig Alderdice's daughter and Miriam Wells Craig's granddaughter. Patt has just published a book, Celebrate that helps spruce up just about every holiday on the calendar.

I'd like to see what you all have been doing this past year. If you have participated in any interesting events or have some hobbies to share, bring something to show us. If any of your children or grandchildren have won any outstanding awards, please share them with us. I've always enjoyed the crafts made by fellow Wells descendents. Plan on bringing in some of your favorite photos, arts and crafts, etc. If you want to sell some personal creation, that's fine, or something to donate to the Wells Reunion silent auction, that's fine too. We'll sort things out and have a good time seeing what everyone has been working on.

I know Patricia Straube has some good ideas to help us with our genealogy. Be sure to bring any new discoveries you have made and any questions on Wells genealogy to the Reunion. I'll be bringing some charts and books if you want to do a little research. If you have any local genealogy materials or items of interest, bring them along.

So, don't forget to bring your bathing suits, musical instruments, arts and crafts, softball gloves, genealogy questions and updates and bring a smile on your face because we're going to have a good time!

Remember, we're planning on staying until supper this year. We have the camp reserved until 7 p.m. Bring a little extra food and lots of those Wells family members with you!

We'll see you there!

Jon Hagee


Note from the Editor

A special thanks goes to Marilyn Wells Padgett for allowing us to use her pen and ink drawing of Aaron and Ruthís cabin on the reunion flyer. Her artwork first appeared on the cover of the 200th Anniversary Wells Family Cookbook in 1990. I think it makes a great logo, donít you? Remember to send in those photos, drawings, and photocopies of original documents to be included in the newsletter.




As editor of the newsletter, I hope to be able to use this headline in every issue. What qualifies as a breakthrough? Exciting new information about Aaron and Ruthís lives, their children, grandchildren, and perhaps, someday, their parents.

Thanks to Marilyn Wood Armstrong, who has done research in Ohio, we now have a copy of the death record of Aaron and Ruthís daughter Rachel E., born 12-Mar-1794. She married John D. Wells, son of Robert Wells, 6-Jan-1814 in Clermont Co. OH.

Rachel E. Wells, age 88, b. in Ky. d. 17-Feb-1882, in Williamsburgh Twp., Clermont County Ohio. Cause of death was given as Consumption [Tuberculosis].



 HISTORY OF KENTUCKY AND KENTUCKIANS, E. Polk Johnson, three volumes, Lewis Publishing Co., New York & Chicago, 1912. Common version, Vol. III, pp. 1286-87. [Harrison County]

JOSEPH4 E. WELLS, M.D. [Riley3, William W.2, Aaron1] --Since 1896 has Dr. Joseph E. Wells been an active practitioner in the medical profession at Cynthiana. He has gained wide recognition as a skilled physician and surgeon and stands in the front rank in the medical fraternity in Harrison county, Kentucky. Dr. Wells was born at Mount Olivet, Nicholas county, now Robertson county, Kentucky, on the 25th of October, 1860. He is a son of Dr. Riley and Elizabeth (Brown) Wells, both of whom were likewise born in Nicholas county, the father October 5, 1830, and the mother May 17, 1840. Dr. and Mrs. Riley became the parents of two children--Joseph E., the immediate subject of this review; and Mary, widow of Richard Ridgley, of Mount Olivet, Kentucky. Dr. Riley Wells was summoned to eternal rest on the 17th of April, 1901, and his cherished and devoted wife, who still survives him, now maintains her home at Mt. Olivet. William Wells, paternal grandfather of him whose name initiates this review, was born in Pennsylvania, in 1800, and he died in the Blue Grass state in 1872. He married Miss Matilda Collins and they located on a farm in Nicholas county, where they passed the residue of their lives and where they reared a family. Riley Wells was reared to the invigorating discipline of the home farm and after completing the curriculum of the public schools of Carlisle and Flemingsburg he attended an Academy in Bracken county, Kentucky. Thereafter he became interested in the medical profession and was matriculated in the Eclectic Medical College, in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1858. He initiated the active practice of his profession at Mount Olivet and there gained high repute as a skilled physician and surgeon. In his political convictions he endorsed the cause of the Republican party, in the local councils of which he was an active factor, being a member of the Republican County Committee. He was pension examiner at one time and during the war was offered a position as surgeon of a regiment; this he refused, preferring to remain at home. His sympathies were with the north. He began life with practically nothing in the way of worldly goods but at the time of his death he left an estate of some eight hundred acres of most arable Blue Grass land. He was president of the Mount Olivet National Bank from the time of its establishment until his death. He was a fine financier, an able doctor and a public-spirited citizen and no one in Robertson county was accorded a higher degree of popular confidence and esteem than he. The maternal grandfather of Dr. Joseph E. Wells, of this review, was John Brown, a native of Tennessee, who came to Nicholas county, Kentucky, as a young man: he was long a prominent farmer and stock-raiser in that county. Dr. Joseph E. Wells was reared and educated at Mount Olivet, to whose schools he is indebted for his preliminary educational training, later supplementing the same with more advanced study in the University of Kentucky, at Lexington. In 1878, however, he decided to follow the vocation of his father and accordingly was matriculated in the Ohio Medical College, at Cincinnati, in which well ordered institution he was graduated as a member of the class of 1881, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Immediately after his graduation he returned to Mount Olivet, where he became associated with his father in the practice of his profession. In May 1896, however, he severed his connections in that place and removed to Cynthiana, where he enjoys a large and lucrative patronage and where he stands at the head of his profession in this section of the state. For eight years after coming to Cynthiana he was a member of the firm of Givens & Wells and for the ensuing eight years he was a member of the firm of Givens, Wells & Moore. In November, 1909, however, the partnership alliance was dissolved and all three doctors began individual practice. In connection with his life work Dr. Wells is a member of the Harrison County Medical Society; the Kentucky State Medical Society, of which he is president in 1911; the American Medical Association; the Mississippi Valley Medical Society; the Southern Surgical Society; and the Kentucky Midland Society. On the 15th of May, 1883, was recorded the marriage of Dr. Wells to Miss Bessie R. Peckover, who was born at Nicholasville, Jessamine county, this state, in 1864. She is a daughter of Dr. E. J. and Jane (Ridgly) Peckover, the former of whom was a well known dentist in Cynthiana, Kentucky, for a number of years. Dr. and Mrs. Wells have one child--Bird Martin, who is now the wife of Dr. C. R. Rice, of Augusta, Kentucky. Dr. Wells is the owner of considerable farming land in Robertson county, Kentucky. In politics he is a stalwart in the ranks of the Republican party, in which he has been an influential factor in this section of the state. He has never aspired to public office or any order, preferring to give his undivided attention to the exacting demands of his profession. In the grand old Masonic order he has passed through the circle of York Rite masonry, holding membership in the lodge, chapter, council and commandery, in the latter of which he is past eminent commander of Cynthiana Commandery. He is also affiliated with the Knights of Pythias, in which he is past chancellor commander of Quinby Lodge, No. 58; and he is a charter member of Lodge No. 438, Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks. He and his wife are zealous members of the Christian church, in which he has long been a deacon. Dr. Wells is a man of broad information and great kindliness of spirit, a man whose life has ever been characterized by good deeds and noble thoughts. As a citizen he is sincere and straightforward and is well deserving of the high regard in which he is held in Harrison county.


In addition, the first paragraph of the following biography of Riley Wells?brother-in-law, William H. Brown, which gives the ancestry of Riley Wells?wife, Elizabeth "Bettie" Brown, was found by using the search engine at The Kentucky Biographies Project which is a part of the Kentucky GenWeb Project at


History of Bourbon, Scott, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Kentucky, ed. by William Henry Perrin, O. L. Baskin & Co., Chicago, 1882. p. 733. [Nicholas County] [Carlisle City and Precinct]

WM. H. BROWN, deputy sheriff, P. O. Carlisle, was born near Mt. Olivet in what was then Nicholas County (now Robertson), April 4, 1844. His father, John Brown, was a native of Pennsylvania and came to Nicholas County about 1830, where he followed farming and carpentering until his death in 1848. The mother, Mary Tatman, was a native of Bracken County, Ky., and a daughter of Vincent and Sarah (Williams) Tatman. Her death occurred in 1860 at about the age of forty-seven years. She had by her first marriage two sons and one daughter, all of whom are now living: James E., farming at Mt. Olivet; Bettie, wife of Dr. Riley Wells, who is practicing his profession at Mt. Olivet; and the subject of this sketch. Her second marriage was to Mathew Throckmorton, also deceased. By this marriage there were three children: George and La Fayette, in Mt. Olivet and Mathew, in Nicholas County.