Uncle Early Wells owned the biggest old farm house I had ever seen as a child.

Our family would go to visit them in the summer and it was a glorious occasion.

The rooms of the house were so big you could have a dance in them and through a child's eyes they were huge. The kitchen as I recall had a butler pantry bigger then our kitchen at home, and six cooks could easily work there in the kitchen. NO eating was done in the kitchen but in the dining room where there was a large table that would seat about 15 or so. I remember the large bowls and platters of food that were served. I never saw so much food come out of one kitchen. Irma, Early Wells and Aunt Dolly's daughter never worked outside the home but prepared all the meals for the family, did the laundry, canned from the garden, churned butter, separated milk, and cleaned the very large house. She was supported by all the working members of the family so they could all live in the Home place together. Rob, Charley and Joe never married. Rob had a job driving a truck, and Charley worked on a Mississippi and Missouri River Barge. Joe farmed until he retired at about 70 years old.

Elma never married until she was about 50 but she worked in Kansas City Mo. and left her family an huge Estate of real estate.

Ava married Carson and they had two daughters and lived near Fayette Mo.

Merl married Dorothy and they had a two sons and a daughter. Merl was killed when a truck he was driving at a quarry , brakes failed and he tried to jump to safety and the truck ran over him and killed him. Norris married Martha and had a son Stephen. Norris' wife died of cancer when Stephen was about 18 years old.

Early Wells was a first cousin of my grandfather James Thomas Shelton. The Shelton and the Wells family have always been very close since the Wells and Shelton families came to Missouri together back in the 1850's from Henry County, Virginia.

I found the Early Wells in Wayne County Missouri in the Black River Twp. in 1910. The Family consisted of Early, Dollie and 5 children, Elma, Robert M. Irma O., Charles L. and Joe S. They moved from Wayne to Howard Co. about 1918.

In about 1912 he moved his family to Howard Co. and had a smaller farm east of his fathers place. He lived there with his family until about 1915 when he moved his family to the place that would be called the EARLY WELLS FARM for the next 85 years.

In the 1920 Census I found this family living in Howard County Mo. in the Chariton Twp. They had two more children, Ava and Merl. Living also in the family was Early's sister, Ollie Taylor, and his cousin, David Shelton. The was also a 20 year old Amy Gilbert as a boarder that was listed as "Instructor".

The Family attended the Richland Church which wasn't far from the Family Home. Some Relatives of this family are buried in Richland Cemetery.

In the January 1999, after the death of Irma Wells, the last remaining family member living at the home, a sale was held at the Old Early Wells homestead. The Furnishings of the house brought $42,000 at auction, and in the year 2000 the home and the last 23 acres of the farm brought $40,000, total of $82,000. Over the past 20 years the rest of the farm acreage had been sold. Joe Wells had been the one who ran the farm after his father died in 1958. When he quit farming the Land was sold except the 23 acres that the house was on.


Doris Artrip, 2000