Wells, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of Wells


Rufus P. Wells was born December 15, 1817 In Athens County Ohio. At the age of 17, he and his half uncle and family moved to Elkhart County Indiana until the spring of 1838. He came to Porter County and worked at odd jobs for four years. He then engaged in teaching winters and working summers. On September 30, 1849 he married Miss Maria Smith and moved to his 320 acre farm in Porter Twp. which he had purchased in 1844. In 1870 he was elected to the office of clerk of courts of Porter County by the Republican party taking his seat in Nov. 1871. He was re-elected and served in all 8 years. He was a member of the Christian Church and Masonic Lodge. His wife died in 1875 leaving three children, John Q., Orrin and Mary (married C. E. Mandeville). He married Ruth Shenck of England in 1878. Mr. Wells died in 1911 at the home now occupied by the John Q. Wells at the age of 93.

John Q. Wells married Miss Hattie Coates in Alliance, Ohio, March 5, 1874 and lived on the home farm (now the home of the John Garriots in east Porter Twp.). He was in politics too besides farming. When his health didn't permit him to farm he sold out and spent sometime in Chicago and finally lived on Michigan St. in Valparaiso. He died of a heart attack at the age of 64. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Wells, Burgess, Grace, Mary and Ruth. All are deceased.

Mary Wells born March 29, 1887, married Arthur Gilson of rural Hebron Oct. 1, 1903 at the home of her parents. They started housekeeping on a farm in Boone Twp. on a farm owned by Clinton Gilson, living in an old school house located on the farm until the house was finished in the spring. She was very active in O.E.S. being worthy matron in 1930, holding every office in the Hebron Chapter and secretary for many years until her death in Feb. 28, 1968. She was a member of the Christian Church of Boone Grove and a charter member of the Aylesworth Club which was started Oct. 12, 1912.

Clinton Gilson and Rosa Kerr were married Sept. 2, 1873. They lived on a farm in Boone Twp. now occupied by Lewis Gilson. Four boys were born (2 died in infancy), Otto and Arthur. Arthur and Mary lived on the farm most of the time except two years staying at the Otto Gilson home. They moved back to their farm living in the home purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Ed Miller. Arthur served on the advisory board of Boone Twp. in 1938 when the new Hebron School was built where it now stands, also at the same time was on the advisory board for the new Porter Memorial Hospital. He passed away in the hospital Jan. 3, 1969. One son, Chester David was born Sept. 25, 1905. Chester married Edna E. Rampke Oct. 1, 1933 at the home of her parents in Boone Grove.

William Rampke and Miss Mary Schultz were married in Riverdale, Ill., Feb. 20, 1890. Two years later they moved to a farm which they purchased 3 miles south west of Valparaiso near the old Leonard Schoolhouse. Eight children were born to this union, six still living. Twenty years later they moved to a farm known as the Robert Wark farm, 1 mile east of Boone Grove. After 11 years of farming they moved to the house across the schoolhouse, He was janitor of the school when Clayton Phillips was trustee.

Chester spent the first eight grades in the Aylesworth School which was located on the west side of the road between the bridge and State Road 8. The last four years of high school was in Boone Grove, graduating in 1925. Edna spent all 12 years there graduating in 1928.

Chester and Edna have spent their entire married life on the farm home. Chester's son Lewis, by a former marriage, lives on the old Gilson homestead, He married Miss Joan DeVelde in 1950 and have two children, Edith was born May 24, 1938 in the same house her father was born. Nov, 22, 1938. Chester lost his right arm in a shredder while at work at Otto Gilsons. Work has been hard but his hobby has been to fix and make things easier to work with one arm. They started an egg route in Gary in 1935 when they couldn't sell any around here and have had it ever since, missing only a few deliveries because of bad weather, going every week. At one time there were 3 generations taking eggs. Edith married to Robert Young, Sept. 19, 1959 and are living in their house on the corner of the farm. Until the death of Arthur and Mary, 4 generations (counting the 3 sons of Edith and Robert) were living on the same farm.

Source: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County. 1976. A Biographical History of Porter County, Indiana. Valparaiso, Indiana: American Revolution Bicentennial Committee of Porter County, Inc. 180 p.
Page(s) in Source: 176-177

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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