Samuel A. Wells
Samuel A. Wells was born October 16, 1828, in Cleveland, Ohio, to which city his father, Joseph Wells, had removed in 1818 from Middletown, Conn. Joseph Wells was a millwright by occupation and was employed as such for several years in the construction of mills in and about the city.
Samuel A. Wells received a common-school and academic education in Cleveland, and until 1851 was employed in the Cleveland City Foundry, which had previously been built by his father. He made his first trip on the lakes aboard the steamer Alabama, running from Cleveland to Dunkirk, on which he remained one year as second engineer, the following season shipping on the Granite State, which came out new at that time. The latter part of this year he was made chief engineer, and he subsequently served on the City of Concord, Wisconsin, J. W. Brooks, Buckeye and Granite State, all belonging to the Northern Transportation Company. In 1862 he was in the Alleghany, in 1863 in the New England, and in 1864 in the Cuyahoga, on which he remained until 1868. At this time he returned to the employ of the Northern Transportation Company, and was in the Buckeye and City of Concord, later engaging on the Dean Richmond and Hector, of the Winslow fleet. For some time he was employed by the Lake Superior line in the Northern Light, transferring from her to the propeller Antelope. For the three succeeding years he left the lakes and worked on the Rocky River railroad, but he eventually resumed his old calling, and for a time was employed by Bradley's line. He was in the William Edwards for ten years, and since 1891 has been engaged by the Menominee Transit Company. Mr. Wells was on the Granite State when she was wrecked at Cleveland, the sea being so high that the crew were all able to reach shore by means of poles and lines.
Mr. Wells was married, in 1853, to Miss Louisa A. Compton, now deceased. Her father, John W. Compton, was for many years a chief engineer on the lakes, and her brother David was on the lakes for over ten years. They are both deceased. In 1891 Mr. Wells was married to Emma L. Henricle. He is the father of three children: Harriet, who still resides at home; Marion, who is married and makes her home in Cleveland; and Jeanette, who is married and lives in the Indian Territory. Mr. Wells is a respected and well-known citizen of Cleveland, where he has always made his home, and he has a wide acquaintance among lakefaring men with whom he has been associated since 1851.
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This version of Volume II is based, with permission, on the work of the great volunteers at the Marine Captains Biographies site. To them goes the credit for reorganizing the content into some coherent order. The biographies in the original volume are in essentially random order.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.