Sangamon County ILGenWeb © 2000
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By Joseph Wallace, M. A.
of the Springfield Bar
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, IL

P. M. WELLS. - P. M. Wells is one of the substantial business men of Sangamon county, actively engaged in banking at Divernon for the past fifteen years. He has been a resident of this portion of the state since 1869 and is a native son of Kentucky, his birth having occurred in Muhlenberg county, Kentucky, on the 9th of July, 1866. He is a son of Mosley P. Wells, who was born in Muhlenberg county in 1845. His grandfather, James Wells, was also born in Kentucky and was a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of that state. Mosley P. Wells was reared under the parental roof and when he had attained man's estate he was married there to Laura Shutt, whose birth occurred in Muhlenberg county. They began their domestic life upon a farm, on which they resided until 1868, when they came to Illinois, settling first in Macoupin county. About two years later they located on the farm near Auburn, Illinois, where Mr. Wells gave his time and attention to the cultivation and improvement of his land with good results. His remaining days were spent upon the property which he there developed and his death occurred on the 6th of April, 1878. His wife survived him and reared a family of four children. She afterward married Robert H. Bowyer, of Sangamon county, who is now deceased. The subject of this review is the eldest of a family of three sons and one daughter, the others being Perry O., who is cashier of the People's Bank at Girard, Illinois; Charles A., who is editor of the Waverly Journal Waverly, Illinois; and Minnie A., who is a teacher in the schools of Girard, in which place she is now living with her mother.

P. M. Wells spent his boyhood days on the old homestead in Sangamon county and early became familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. His early educational privileges, afforded by the common schools, were supplemented by a term of study in the Normal School at Madisonville, Kentucky, and he entered upon his business career in connection with the Auburn Bank, owned by T. S. Parks. After spending two years in that institution he pursued a course of study in the Dixon business College at Dixon, and when he had completed the regular course he came to Divernon to accept a position in the Divernon Bank, which was organized in that year (1888). Upon the re-organization of the institution in 1901 he became a stockholder and director and for the past twelve years he has been the cashier. The success of this enterprise is largely due to his business and executive ability, his courteous treatment of the patrons of the bank and his personal popularity. In addition to this business he is engaged in the real estate and insurance business and is also a notary public, serving for four terms. In connection with Oscar Beesley, George R. Brown and C. R. Brown, he organized a telephone company for the town and instituted the Globe Automatic system, which dispenses with the service of the central girl. His enterprising spirit prompts him to keep abreast with the times in all modern improvements and ideas concerning business and his efforts have been promotive factors in the financial and industrial development of Divernon.

In 1891 Mr. Wells was married in Divernon to Miss Annie Colliflower, who was born near Hagerstown, Maryland, but spent the greater part of her childhood in Sangamon county. She is a daughter of John Z. Colliflower, who came to Illinois from Maryland. Three children grace this union, Everett, Howard and Bernice.

Mr. and Mrs. Wells are members of the Baptist church and occupy an enviable position in social circles. He belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, has filled all of the chairs in Divernon Lodge and is now a past grand. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen Camp and enjoys the high esteem of the brethren of these fraternities. He owns his own home in Divernon together with a business block and a residence. He has helped to improve and develop the town and is widely recognized as one of its most prominent public spirited and influential citizens. Politically he is an earnest Republican and was elected and served as first township clerk of Divernon township, but has never been a politician in the sense of office seeking, preferring that his time and energies should be devoted to his business affairs, which are constantly growing in volume and importance. He belongs to that class of representative American men, who while promoting their individual success also advance the general prosperity.

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