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John L. Wells

JOHN L. WELLS is superintendent of the Mount Rogers Furniture Company, one of the leading manufacturing concerns at Trout Dale, Grayson County, and is one of the progressive citizens and representative business men of this place.

Mr. Wells was born in Rowan County, North Carolina, May 20, 1886, a son of William Baker Wells, who was born in Patrick County, Virginia, October 3, 1864, and who died at Danville, Pittsylvania County, this state, April 22, 1911. In his native county William B. Wells was reared to the age of fourteen years, and thereafter he was a resident of Pittsylvania County until he attained to his legal majority, his educational advantages having been those of the schools of these two counties. He was for two years a farmer in Davie County, North Carolina, where his marriage was solemnized, and he then returned to Pittsylvania County, Virginia, where he passed the remainder of his life, except for an interval of three years spent in Rowan County, North Carolina. He continued farm operations in Pittsylvania County until 1900, and thereafter was associated with the Danville Lumber & Manufacturing Company at Danville until his death, he having been yard foreman for this company eleven years. He was affiliated with the Junior Order of United American Mechanics, and he and his wife were members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mrs. Wells, whose maiden name was Martha Ann Gentle, was born in Davie County, North Carolina, October 27, 1865, and died at Danville, Virginia, May 14, 1912. Of the children, John L., of this sketch is the eldest; William Thomas, an electrician by vocation, died at Danville aged twenty-three years; Minnie May continues to maintain her home at Danville; Roy Leonard died in infancy; Charles has left the old home county and other representatives of the family have no definite knowledge of his present whereabouts; Mary Ann is the wife of William C. Wyatt, a farmer in Henry County.

John L. Wells attended nine sessions of school in Pittsylvania County, and his broader education has been gained through study in night schools, a correspondence course in the great International Correspondence School at Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he specialized in studies applying to service as building foreman and later completed a regular commercial course. He began work at the age of eighteen years, and he was employed in woodworking and furniture making work with the Boatwright Furniture Company of Danville until 1920, besides having been for eighteen months in the employ of the Richmond Woodworking Company, in the capital city of Virginia. From 1911 to 1920 Mr. Wells was superintendent of the manufacturing plant of the Boatwright Furniture Company, and in the latter year he severed this alliance to accept a position in Greensboro, North Carolina. There he held the position of superintendent for a large furniture company during the greater part of that year, and from the autumn of 1920 until February, 1922, he was there engaged in the building and repairing of automobile bodies. He then accepted his present position, that of superintendent of the manufacturing plant of the Mount Rogers Furniture Company at Trout Dale, Virginia. This concern, with a well equipped factory and with a corps of forty employees, manufactures high grade bedroom furniture, and the company has a substantial trade in Now York and the New England states, as well as in other states of the Union.

Mr. Wells is a democrat in politics, and he and his wife are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He is affiliated with Trout Dale Lodge No. 219, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Bethesda Lodge No. 52, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and with the Encampment body of this fraternity at Danville, where also he is a member of John Forbes Council No. 144 Junior Order United American Mechanics, of which lie is past councillor and which lie represented in the State Council of Virginia in 1906. At Danville Mr. Wells is affiliated also with Puquosen Tribe, Independent Order of Red Men, and Olive Branch Council No. 127, Sons and Daughters of Liberty, of which he is past councillor.

July 4, 1907, recorded the marriage of Mr. Wells and Miss Sallie M. Morton, daughter of Robert H, and Laura Alice (Hughes) Morton, who reside on their farm in Charlotte County, this state. The names and respective birth dates of the children of Mr. and Mrs. Wells are here recorded: Robert Lee, April 20, 1908; Clarence Cecil, September 27, 1909; Virginia, June 6, 1911; John Leonard, 1915; Roy, 1917; and George Henry, April 20, 1921.