John Webster Wells, one of the best known and most highly esteemed farmers of the Belknap County, no living in retirement in the town of Belmont, is a native of Gilmanton, this county, born July 17, 1823. A son of Dudley and Mehitable (Burleigh) Wells, he comes of noble ancestry. On the father's side he is a descendant of John Wells, who died at Loudon, N.H., about the year 1766; and on that of his paternal grandmother, his decent is traced to Captain Roger Dudley, who was slain in early life, in one of England's wars, about the year 1586.
Nathaniel Wells, son of John Wells, of Loudon, was born at Raymond, N.H., February 22, 1750, and died at Gilmanton, N.H., January 6, 1833. He married Mary Dudley, who was born at Exeter, August 11, 1758, and died at Gilmanton, July 5, 1836. Her father, Joseph Dudley, was born in Exeter in 1728, and died at Raymond in 1792. His father, James who was born June 11, 1690, at Exeter, and died in the same town, was a son of Stephen, who was born in Exeter and died there in 1734. The Rev. Samuel Dudley, the father of Stephen, was born in 1606 at North Hampton, England, and died February 10, 1683. He was a son of Governor Thomas Dudley, who was born at North Hampton, England, in 1576, and died July 31, 1653, at Roxbury, Mass., having come to this country in 1630. Nathaniel and Mary (Dudley) Wells had six children ---- John, Eunice, Mary, James, Dudley, and Sarah. Dudley Wells, the fifth child, was born November 11, 1793, in Pittsfield, N.H., and died at Gilmanton, January 24, 1831. His marriage with Mehitabel Burleigh was solemnized September 14, 1817. She was born in Gilmanton, January 29,1797, a daughter of Stevens and Abigail (Taylor) Burleigh, and died in Belmont, May 11, 1873. The fruit of their union was two sons ---- James Dudley and John Webster.
John Webster Wells received his education in public schools of Gilmanton, after which he took up farming and land surveying, and all thorough his years of activity pursued these lines of employment. In 1851 he married Julia Ann Clark, who was born in Gilmanton, N.H., December 5, 1828, daughter of Thomas and Hannah (Fellows) Clark. Her father, who was born in Loudon, N.H., August 14, 1798, died in Belmont, June 3, 1879; and her mother, who was born in Plymouth, N.H., December 19, 1801, died in Belmont, October 5, 1879. Mr. and Mrs. Wells have two sons and a daughter ---- Walter Clark, Fannie May, and Thomas Dudley. Walter Clark, after graduating from New Hampton Institution, engaged in farming and land surveying. His farming is pursued successfully on the old homestead, which he purchased some time ago. His Justice of the Peace, has held important town offices, and is an all-round reliable business man. In 1891 he a graduate of Tilton Conference Seminary and Female College, Tilton, N.H. Fannie May graduated at Tilton Seminary, and was for several years Preceptress of that institution. She was a thorough student, and later spent some time abroad in travel and study, after which she resumed teaching, and was Preceptress at Troy Conference Academy, Poultney, Vt., and Wilbraham, Mass. This last position she resigned, and married the Rev. William Love, of North Dakota. Thomas Dudley, who was a zealous student, fitted for college at Tilton Seminary, and graduated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., class of 1887. He is now editor of the Waterbury Daily Republican, and a Director of Connecticut State Prison.
In politics John Webster Wells is a Democrat. He has been a member of the School Committee for several years, Town Treasurer for seventeen consecutive years, Selectman for three years, County Commissioner for forty-five years. Both he and his wife have been members of the Free Baptist church for fifty-four years, and for the past thirty years has served as Deacon.