In 1829, Dr. Joseph Knox built a cabin on the Wabash River about five miles below the present county seat of Bluffton. Two years later, Allen Norcross settled on the opposite bank. From 1834 to 1836, the area saw rapid immigration. Early settlers faced a 5-8 day journey by horse to carry their grist to a mill some 60 miles through the wilderness. Some drowned on the journey. (See more about early history...)
Wells County was created February 7, 1835 out of territory attached to Allen, Delaware, and Randolph counties. Since then, there have been no boundary changes. Organized in 1837, the county was named in honor of Indian agent William Wells, son-in-law of Chief Little Turtle.
Further information about the history of Wells County is available online from The Wells County Historical Society.
Today, the following sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
Bethel Methodist Episcopal Church, Bluffton
John A. Grove House, Bluffton - News article about Grove House
Stewart-Studabaker House, Bluffton (105k .gif)
Villa North Historic District, Bluffton
Wells County Courthouse, Bluffton View 1, View 2
For more information, please visit the National Register of Historic Places website.
The 1990 census showed the largest ancestry groups were persons of German, English, and Irish descent. The county's 1990 population was 99.5% white. About one-third of the population was living in urban areas at that time.
About 50 churches and synagogues serve the county's estimated 26,000 residents. The largest denominations are United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and United Presbyterian Church.
Located south of Fort Wayne in the east-central part of the state, Wells County is ~370 square miles. Most of the county has a fairly level surface, broken by slightly sloping landscapes along major rivers, creeks, and their tributaries. The area is home to many species of trees, especially white oak, pin oak, yellow-poplar, sweetgum, northern red oak, American beech, sugar maple, and white ash trees.
Much of the land is in farms. Primary crops are corn, soybeans, winter wheat, oats, and hay; livestock includes hogs and pigs, milk cows and milk production, hens and pullets; fruits and vegetables include apples, tomatoes, and sweet corn.
"Geology, Topography, and Natural History," from 1887 Wells County history book
|Jul 1837||Rock Creek|
|Apr 6 1840||Jefferson|
|Jan 4 1841||Nottingham|
|Mar 1 1841||Chester|
|Mar 1 1841||Lancaster|
Craigville, Curryville, Dillman, Domestic, Five Points, Greenville, Greenwood, Jeff, Keystone, Kingsland, Liberty Center, McNatts, Mount Zion, Murray, North Oaks, Nottingham, Petroleum, Phenix, Reiffsburg, Riverside, Rockford (Barbers Mills), Tocsin, Toll Gate Heights, Travisville, Villa North, Wellsburg, and Zanesville.
Be sure to check the INGenWeb Project pages for the counties neighboring Wells County!
Wells County INGenWeb Main Page
INGenWeb Project Main Page | USGenWeb Project | WorldGenWeb Project
Cathy Burnsed / Tallahassee, Florida / firstname.lastname@example.org
This page was last updated on Friday, 29-Jan-2016 19:13:54 MST