George P. Wells


    George P. Wells, a well known merchant of Ooltewah, is a native of Tennessee , and was born in what is now James County (though at the time of his birth it belonged to Hamilton County ), September 15, 1838. He is a son of Barnum and Mary ( Hopkins ) Wells. The father was of Scotch descent, and the mother of Dutch descent. His grandparents were Virginians, and his parents were natives of that State, and both were born in Smith County-the father about the year 1790, and the mother about 1794. Both died, when our subject was but an infant, in Hamilton County, though now James County. They were married in their native State about the year 1830. In 1837 they immigrated to Tennessee , and settled where they soon died of milk poison. The father was a farmer and stock trader, and though he was not very successful, he was a man of energy and industry. Our subject, an orphan, was reared by a first cousin, Flemming T. Wells, who watched over him in his infancy and youth with a father's care. He secured a good academical education in his youth, and after completing the same up to the age of thirty-three years (1871), he gave his attention exclusively to f arming. In the early part of 1872 he entered the firm of Stone & Read at Ooltewah as a salesman, and remained with this establishment until October, 1873. Mr. Read sold out to Mr. Stone in the spring of 1872, and Mr. Stone died in July, 1873. In January, 1874, he established a store of general merchandise at Ooltewah of his own, and from that date to the present he has been engaged in mercantile business at this place. Our subject is a first-class business man. He began life rather poor, but by industry and close application to business he has secured a fair competency. He now controls a business of about $7,500 dollars annually. October 17, 1877, he was united in marriage to Miss Rebecca E. Caruthers, a most worthy lady, born in what is now James County , March 17, 1848. This excellent lady died November 2, 1884. This union resulted in one son, Willie F., born July 12, 1882. Our subject is a decided Democrat, and always supports that party; is a worthy and consistent member of the Missionary Baptist Church . His wife was a member of the same church.

“Goodspeed’s History of East Tennessee,” James County , 1887.