WALLACE WELLS & PHYLLIS WELLS
IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 1: "Wallace Wells, 1 1/2 years"
PHOTO 1 TAKEN: Rothchild & Co, Chicago IL, circa 1900
IDENTIFICATION ON PHOTO 2: "Phyllis / Wells Harland J"
PHOTO 2 TAKEN: Unknown photographer and location, probably Eugene OR, circa 1927
PURCHASED: 2016, Antique Peddlars, Springfield OR
In photo #1 is Wallace Wells (1899-1959). He is one of three sons of Jesse G. Wells (1867-1942) and Emma A. Cruse/Kruse (1865-1950). The parents are from Illinois and lived in Chicago 12 years before moving to Eugene Oregon. Their three sons were born in Chicago:
- 1893 Robert Raymond Wells (d. 1972)
- 1896 Harold Jesse Wells (d.1973)
- 1899 Howard Wallace Wells (d. 1959)
1910 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 43, born IL of NY and PA parents, Lawyer
WELLS, Emma A., wife, 45, born in IL of German parents, no occ.
WELLS, Raymond R., son, 17, born in IL
WELLS, Harold J., son, 14, born in IL
WELLS, Wallace H., son, 11, born in IL
On the WWI Draft Registration, Wallace gives his names as "Howard Wallace Wells", born 27-Oct-1898. He is employed at the Eugene Fruit Cannery. The registrar remarks that Wallace is medium height, slender build, blue eyes, light hair, and has no obvious physical disqualifications.
1920 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 52, born IL of NY and PA parents, Lawyer
WELLS, Emma A., wife, 54, born in IL of German parents, no occ.
WELLS, Raymond R., son, 27, born in IL, partner at Auto Garage
WELLS, Harold J., son, 24, born in IL
WELLS, Wallace H., son, 21, born in IL
1930 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 62, Lawyer
WELLS, Anna A., wife, 63
WELLS, Wallace, son, 31 single, no occ.
PETERS, Nettie G., sister-in-law, 57 widow, born in IL of German parents, no occ.
1940 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane > Eugene
WELLS, Jesse G., head, 72, Lawyer
WELLS, Anna A., wife, 73
WELLS, Wallace, son, 41 single, no occ.
Wallace's WWII Draft Registration (at left) states he has never been employed, which is not what he said on the WWI Card.
The fact that Wallace is grown, single and has no occupation on the 1930 and 1940 Census reports, makes me wonder if he might have been physically disabled in some way. There is a column on the 1940 Census bearing employment codes, and Wallace is shown as "U" which stands for "unable to work." Perhaps he served in WWI and was injured?
(Father) Jesse G. Wells became a lawyer in Eugene, running his own practice. Afterward he served as Justice of the Peace until his retirement. Emma died in 1950 at the home of her son Robert where she resided since the death of Jesse in 1942.
Photo #2 is labeled "Harland J Wells" but I believe this is a typo for "Harold J Wells", and also bears the name "Phyllis". This cannot be a photo of Harold as a child because the photo is not old enough to show a toddler in the 1890s. It was taken in the late 1920's. The name "Phyllis" holds the key. Harold Jesse Wells did indeed have a daughter named Phyllis, born about 1925 in Eugene OR.
This newspaper story appeared in the Eugene Guard, 16 Feb 1931. (Click the image for a larger version.)
When Phyllis was 3, this news insert appears in The Eugene Guard newspaper.
The 1930 Federal Census shows this family:
1930 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene > 542 Lawrence Street
WELLS, Harold J., head, 34, married at 28, born in IL of IL parents > Lawyer
WELLS, Bertha E., wife, 29, married at 22, born in SD of OH & IN parents
WELLS, Phyllis, daughter, 5, born in OR
1940 Federal Census > Oregon > Lane County > Eugene > 542 Lawrence Street
WELLS, Harold, head, 44, born in IL, attorney
WELLS, Bertha E., wife, 39, born in SD
WELLS, Phyllis Eileen, daughter, 15, born in OR
WELLS, Charles Jesse, son, 10, born in OR
The photograph on the left is Phyllis Wells from her 1943 Senior Class yearbook at Eugene High School. She was active in Band, Orchestra and A Capella.
The second photo is from the 1946 University of Oregon Yearbook.
UPDATE - - It is now five years later, and upon returning to the same antiques shop in Springfield Oregon, I have located and acquired several more photos from the same family as Phyllis and Wallace WELLS.
Most of the background research is already outlined above.
I have sketched up this family tree to help me see how these are all connected. (Those indicated by yellow blocks correspond to photographs I have in my possession.) I came away with two images of JESSE G. WELLS (lawyer in Eugene Oregon), taken several years apart. I have posted the younger photo at Findagrave.
Here is his wife EMMA ANNA KRUSE WELLS. There was an identical photo in the same booth, and it was marked "Grandma Wells" but I bought the one that gave her full name and dates of life, "Emma Wells, 1865-1950, age 84 yrs". I also posted this image at Findagrave :
And Emma's sister JEANETTE KRUSE, who married a man named PETERS:
Here is Jesse G. Wells' year-younger brother SCHYLER WELLS:
And this is EDWARD L. WELLS, but I am not able to determine how he is related to this family.
Lastly, I'd like to show the back of each image so you can see that the hand-writing appears to be the same on each photo. (Feel free to click the image for a larger version.)