This venerable citizen of Nez Perces County is one of the deserving pioneers of the west and at least two states have profited by his worthy labors in development in the early days on the coast, while in the eastern part of our country he also did good work in two or more states.
Richard Wells was born in Harrison County, Ohio, on July 10, 1824, being the son of John and Nancy Wells. The father was a farmer, born in Virginia in 1810 and died in 1890. The mother was born in Ohio and died in 1847. Our subject remained at home until he was twenty-two and then came with his parents to Illinois. There he remained until 1864, paying attention to tilling the soil. Then he took teams and made the weary journey across the plains to Oregon.
He bought laud in Clackamas County and farmed it for five years and then he came to the vicinity of Walla Walla and there he farmed for ten years and did well. Then he decided to seek range for stock and accordingly came to Tammany Hollow and took land where he owns three hundred and sixty acres at the present time. He handles stock and has more or less since coming here and also does a general farming business, raising wheat and barley principally. His stock was horses mostly, and of late years he has retired more from active business to enjoy the competence which his industry has provided.
On June 10, 1848, in Pike County, Illinois, Mr. Wells married Miss Sallie M., daughter of Barnett and Cornelia (Kiser) Wilsey, natives of New York. Mrs. Wells was born in New York, in 1823, October 25, and she has the following named brothers, Jahes T., in Illinois; John J., in Missouri; William, in Kansas. Mr. Wells has two brothers, Benjamin, in Illinois; Albert, at Pittsfield, Illinois, and he was a participant in the Civil War, serving throughout the entire struggle. To Mr. and Mrs. Wells there have been born five children; Louise Wishard, at Peck; Sarah M.; Almira M.; Jane Knight, at Moscow; Butler, in Nez Perces County.
Mr. and Mrs. Wells are members of the Methodist Church. He is a Democrat and manifests an intelligent interest in the affairs of government. Mr. Wells has always labored for good schools and is a warm advocate of progress in all lines. He was here in the time of the Nez Perces war and remained at home on the ranch.
Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903